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HouckDesign's team has designed about 250 courses in 10 countries and has 200 years of combined experience in the business and sport of disc golf as professional players and designers.  Our team members are committed to designing courses that follow design concepts grounded in the principles John has been developing and teaching. We understand the importance of a good financial decision. The designers on our team have diverse experience from event management, course management, creating greater sustainability on courses, projections for economic impact and tourism, project engagement, retail and wholesale operations,  horticulture, and more.  We are innovators who push the art and science of design forward with each project. There is simply no equal when it comes to disc golf course design.

Meet The HouckDesign Team

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John Houck
Premier Master Designer, Co-Founder

The most distinguished and experienced course designers in the disc sports industry, Master Designer, John Houck started playing disc sports around the age of 15 (1975) and has devoted his whole life to disc sports. John grew up playing golf as a small child with his father, and learned design concepts from golf and applied them to disc golf course design. He has worked exclusively in this industry continuously since the age of 18. He is known as a “living legend” for his contributions. He is an inventor of disc golf design concepts, creator of some of the largest disc golf events, a published writer, a public speaker, an MC of Freestyle Championships, the commentator of National Championships, creator of the PDGA Doubles Championships, tournament director of over 100 PDGA tournaments and owned two venues with multiple Championship disc golf courses on each. John is a member of the World Disc Golf Hall of Fame and the World Freestyle Frisbee Hall of Fame. He is a two-time world champion in Freestyle Frisbee. John has been focused on the quality of design, not quantity -- innovating with each new design and continues set the bar higher. His courses have ranked #1 in the world for over 12 years. He is an expert at showcasing the natural beauty of the land to create a superior playing experience. He has solo-designed over 135 and he continues to passionately design and consult regularly.

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Dee Leekha-Houck
Co-Founder, Managing Director

Dee’s background includes almost 40 years of entrepreneurship with ventures in the insurance, commercial real estate investing, and the disc golf industry. She was introduced to the business of real estate investments and property management by her father as a teen-ager. Dee was inspired to create HouckDesign in 2007 with her husband, John Houck — the sports leading designer. She continues to devote herself to promoting the growth of disc golf through design innovation and carving out new business paths within the disc golf industry. She regularly shares her business and design knowledge with other designers through workshops and her industry-wide discussion and educational group: 3 Disc Golf — safer, smarter, and more sustainable disc golf. She is available for disc golf consulting for course designs, business models for venues, design reviews, and planning & developing disc golf projects with public and private sector clients worldwide. She created the concept of Micro disc golf courses in 2017 and is also the Founder of M Disc Golf, LLC, a company focused on the design and development of recreational and tournament disc golf courses offered by designers who use HouckDesign principles and concepts. Dee has designed and/or co-designed over 10 courses. She has worked with John and given input on every HouckDesign course design for more than a decade.

Dee is also the host and creator of 3DG-CON, the annual disc golf course design conference.


Steve Brinster


Steve grew up in New Jersey and started playing Disc Golf in 1994 at the age of 14.  It was not long before he began competing in tournaments and officially turned pro in 1997.  In his first World Championship in 1999, Steve finished in 32nd place.  He has continued to compete at a high level throughout his career and has reached as high as the 3rd best player in the world rankings. He has accumulated over 100 professional wins and has participated in events in six different countries. His most distinguished achievement came in 2013 when he won the United States Disc Golf Championship, noted to be one of the most prestigious events in this sport. Steve’s passion for this sport, combined with his love of nature and art has led him down many paths.  He has helped organize and run a variety of tournaments over the years including local tournaments, charity events, National Tours and most recently with course design for the 2023 Professional Disc Golf World Championships in Vermont. Recently he was inducted into both the New York and New Jersey Disc Golf Hall of Fame. Steve's course in VT is currently ranked #4 in the world on UDisc. His wife Lesli is the 2001 Disc Golf Rookie of the Year, and their 11 year old twins, Leighton and Lydia are both great players.  Disc Golf is a passion in the Brinster Family and their love for this sport resonates amongst this sport’s community.  His son Leighton has 3 career wins and was 25th in the world at the 2023 Junior Disc Golf World Championships.  Steve is looking forward to uplifting the art of course design. 

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Ric Evans

Ric was the first designer to join our team in 2022  He has been a huge fan of flying discs since he was a kid in the ’70’s, which eventually led him to designing and building Northern Michigan’s first disc golf course at Timberlee Resort way back in 1996.  He’s designed and built several other courses around Northern Michigan since then, as well as helping start several clubs, and hosted countless league nights, work-bee’s and tournaments.  He went Pro in 1996 ~ #12633 ~ and never looked back.  While he absolutely loves playing disc golf, his passion for perfecting a fairway or tweaking a green is as apparent as his love for teaching folks how to play or improve their game.  Ric enjoys working on expanding Odyssey Farm with his wife Jenn, playing music, and growing the great game of disc golf in as many ways as he can.  


Mike Harrington

Mike’s background includes a Horticulture Degree and 25 years of property management, starting off as a landscape laborer, turf management at a few golf courses, as an entrepreneur in the lawn/landscape industry and then the past 6 years Mike has focused on growing his disc golf businesses which includes disc golf leagues and tournaments, a retail disc golf store, an online store, and disc golf course design. Over the past 14 years since Mike discovered disc golf, he has travelled to 44 states playing courses and is ranked in the  Top 10 in the world on for the most number of courses played. He has played over 1,525 courses. Through his passion for disc golf and his background in turf management and landscape design/management, Mike brings his expertise to our team.  Mike envisions a world where everyone knows what disc golf is, and disc golf is available to all ages and people of different demographic backgrounds. Mike wishes everyone can experience the joy disc golf has brought to him and so many others.


Paul Wright


Paul is a six-time PDGA Disc Golf Amateur World Champion including four years as a PDGA Amateur Doubles World Champion and two years as a PDGA Amateur World Champion in the MA50 and MA60 division.  Paul loves the sport, and its many health benefits. Paul worked with John on a project in Monroe, WA in 2013-2014 and has since designed 11+ courses including some internationally in eight other countries. Paul was also a firefighter for 28 years in Kent, WA and served as the Battalion Chief 16 of those years. Paul is involved with the sport of disc golf in multiple ways including serving on the PDGA Senior Committee and volunteering with the Paul McBeth Foundation. He continues to play in tournaments, leagues and enjoys promoting the sport to others. Paul says he has seen disc golf enhance the lives of people around him including many seniors.   He states, "it is an honor to be a part of sharing our sport."


Finlay Buchanan-Jacobs

Finlay has been in disc golf for 10 years, and he has been playing in DGPT tournaments since 2016.  He has played in 32 states and has played over 300 courses.  He was lucky enough to discover the sport of disc golf when he was still in elementary school. He quickly fell in love with the sport, dedicating himself to both improving his disc golf game, and the quality of his local courses. What began as side hobby quickly became a huge part of his life. After spending countless hours refining his game, Finlay set his eyes on becoming a touring professional. Despite finding some success playing professionally for most of the last decade, Finlay came to the realization that course design must improve if the sport is to reach its full growth potential. After over a decade of learning and volunteering alongside some of our games best mentors, Finlay decided to take the next step in his disc golf journey. He has designed 2 courses and worked on 6 others. With a unique combination of competition experience and course design knowledge, Finlay’s background will provide an opportunity for Finlay to contribute in the goal of designing in a way that’s safer, smarter, and more sustainable. Finlay looks forward to completing a par 72 design on his property in NY where he plans to host tournaments and create a disc golf destination like no other.

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Steve Klehfoth


Steve's journey in disc golf began over a decade and a half ago when his wife, Jessie, introduced him to the sport. He has a deep love for the game, and he has not only honed his skills as a player, but he has discovered his passion for course design. Steve's commitment to the disc golf community extends beyond the playing field. He ran summer disc golf leagues twice a week, fostering a sense of camaraderie among players. His dedication is further evident in the many tournaments he hosted. As a co-founder of the Flying Eagle Disc Society disc golf club, Steve played a pivotal role as its acting president for its first decade. He was contracted to plan, produce and execute the disc golf events at the GoPro Mountain Games. Steve has designed and/or consulted on 13 courses in the past 10 years. He looks forward to the contributions he will make at HouckDesign and continuing to serve in the sport of disc golf.

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Joey Schmit


Joey fell in love with disc golf in 2002 and has been a crucial member of the disc golf community of North Dakota ever since. Joey's expertise in drones, remote sensing, GIS, and LiDAR technologies directly ties into course design and planning, aligning with his vision for the sport's growth. He spoke at the Inaugural Course Design Conference in 2014  on Drones and Disc Golf.  He recently spoke and presented on the usage of LiDAR in course design at the 3DG-CON Course Design Conference hosted by the Houcks. As the PDGA State Coordinator for North Dakota, Joey volunteered much of his time to the sport and hosted dozens of tournaments and events including clinics for hundreds of people to enjoy. His infectious attitude for disc golf won him the “Disc Golfer of the Decade” award in North Dakota in 2016, Joey’s favorite part of disc golf course design is the ability to utilize all the knowledge and skills he has gained throughout his life experiences to spark that same passion in others. Joey has designed 40 temporary courses and 13 permanent courses. His passion for the game is fueled through camaraderie, competition, exploring and dissecting challenging course designs across the globe, and advancement of the sport.

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