by John Houck
You asked for it. So, here it is.
First, I want to thank everyone who has subscribed to get the latest from HouckDesign. And I am happy to post this as my first Blog entry. As the sport grows, and as HouckDesign grows, Dee and I will have more news to reveal more frequently. I’ll also be posting more design concepts and opinions here, and we hope soon to have posts on different design topics from our growing design team.
Our design team now consists of two designers, and we will soon reveal more. Our designers are those who are committed to excellence in design and to serving the client's needs. We have aligned with designers who are open minded and committed to learning and creating the best courses, based on concepts that ensure the greatest results for our clients. As we carve out new paths, our designers will, too.
Mike Harrington has been studying and developing his design knowledge with us for many years. He is integral to our team, and we are delighted he chose to join our team. Ric Evans is committed to creating designs which will apply Houck principles and understands how much goes into a great design. We want to welcome Ric and Mike -- you may be hearing from them, as they might want to write and share their thoughts on our blog. Designer number three will be announced in a month of two. And then next year a couple more.
Now that we are launching new alliances and partnerships in disc golf, all I can reveal right now is that our company is focused on growth in multiple ways. We are always looking for designers who are dedicated to this industry and who want to learn in a sincere, dedicated, loyal, and committed way with us.
If you are a player, please know that I appreciate your support and understanding of what it is I have been working towards for this industry when it comes to design. I want you to have more fun and be tested fairly for your skill. I hope to continue to bring you designs that will challenge you, wow you, and leave you with some of your greatest disc golf memories.
I also want to acknowledge the Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) and the PDGA, both whom have made tremendous contributions to the sport, and thank the good people behind the scenes and on the front line who have to smile though all the challenges that a new and fast-growing sport brings.
With deep appreciation, I want to thank our friends and family who have supported us these past 18 years and without whom we could not have built this company and done what we have gotten to do. You have helped us lay the foundation for all the great things ahead. And thanks to all our clients, many of whom have become lifelong friends, for the opportunity to work with you to create experiences that so many people have enjoyed.
Finally, I want to let you know about Dee, since she is the reason this company even exists. She created HouckDesign, and it was her idea. She built it. Business comes easy to her, but making it in the disc golf industry came with new challenges. She was never an avid player, and coming from a very different background, she saw disc golf from a very different perspective. She kept building and she never looked back, and never gave up. She was so passionate and committed. She kept taking the company forward with each new project. She has contributed immensely to the developmental establishment of course design practices. Many of you may not know she has coached and educated designers for over a decade. She continues to shape the industry and stretches the boundaries with each project on the business and development side. She has now designed in 9 states and given input in all my designs for over a decade.
Many of you do know that Dee started an industry design group called 3DISColf: Safer, Smarter, and More Sustainable. (18) 3DISCgolf - safer, smarter, and more sustainable | Facebook It’s made up of designers, club leaders, parks people, manufacturers, players, and more, and it recently passed the 1,000-member mark. 3DG inspires debate on important issues, and it's a place to share knowledge and receive knowledge from others. Last year Dee created and started hosting the annual course designers conference as part of 3DG. Don't miss this 2nd annual conference, 3DG-CON2, at Maple Hill Disc Golf, MA, Nov. 10th-Nov 12th, where she will question multiple top pro players on their thoughts on design and you will hear from 8-10 experts and designers on topics that are important for all designers to understand better. https://www.facebook.com/events/231132323182111
Coincidentally, since I met Dee in 2005, I have been given opportunities to design on some great projects, and I pushed myself to keep growing as a designer. Even today, I keep an open mind as the industry demands change for one reason or another. I do everything I can -- not to compromise quality. It takes me more time to design than some other designers as I consider so many options. It's a puzzle and a balancing act. It's difficult to choose each time. In the end, a design gets created where I know I did the best I could with what I was given. I do my best to utilize as many natural features as I can. There are trade-offs at times. In the end, the design speaks for itself. With each project I still learn lot. I use that knowledge to take me farther on the next project.
I’ve been sharing design knowledge for almost 4 decades now, and I have hardly published much these past five years. Now...get ready. I’ll be posting my thoughts here on a regular basis in hopes that we can all design and build courses that are safer, smarter and more sustainable. And maybe even a little bit better. Thanks. --John
This photo may be 15 years old. Dee says this is her favorite photo of me. Not sure what she sees in this photo, but I was having visions of my latest fairway design concept. What else!