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Experience is a critical component of any company's success; but more than the sheer quantity of experience, one should also consider the quality and sources of a firm's experience.  While it would be cliché to say that we do not want to be the biggest firm, simply the best, that is the approach our team takes toward each project.  Our principal and support staff have over a century's worth of combined experience in a wide range of golf facilities and land planning projects from small renovation projects to large upscale residential developments centered around championship caliber golf courses and government-funded land planning projects.  A member of the American Planning Association, an affiliate member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a published author, our principal is sought out for his creativity, communication skills and ability to provide unique solutions to a client's problems through a combination of critical thinking and a "hands-on" and "outside the box" approach to each project. (cont. below)

The par-4 third hole at Copper Mill Golf Club (above and below) is a short par-4 that combines the open feel of the rest of the layout with the Louisiana feel of a large bayou crossing in front of the tee complex (back right in the chute of trees in the photo above), then hugging the left side of the fairway and fronting the green--providing more than ample temptation for long hitters. 

Those who have known Nathan since his younger days credit this ability to a childhood full of creative opportunity.   Although no one in his family played golf, he picked up the game at age 10, taught himself how to play by watching and emulating Jack Nicklaus from television and reading Nicklaus's "Golf My Way" books.  By age 11, he designed his first "golf course"--utilizing three acres of his parents' land at their Indiana home to lay out a working three-hole course (complete with contoured fairways and sand bunkers).  He even went so far as to draw up construction drawings to be utilized by his friends whom he recruited to help build the course.  He soon discovered that his love for playing the game was only equaled by his zeal for learning more about the history of the game and its roots in early courses and their design styles.  By his freshman year in high school, he has honed his game well enough to be selected as a member of the varsity golf team.  By his senior year, he had decided his goal was to become a golf course architect after college and he soon found himself enrolled in Mississippi State University's PGA-sanctioned Professional Golf Management (PGM) program--his key to opening doors in a growing golf industry.  (cont. below)

In addition to the golf course itself, Mr. Crace also designed the residential home sites and street circulation at Copper Mill in Zachary, Louisiana (above)--enabling him to maximize valuable golf course frontage lots and golf course view lots without jeopardizing the integrity of the course.  Curving streets, sensible circulation, and strategic green space help to provide the aesthetics desired by today's discerning home buyers while realizing maximum return on investment for the developer.

He would graduate from Mississippi State Summa Cum Laude with a 3.89 cumulative GPA and a Bachelors Degree in Marketing as well as a degree from the PGM program prior to graduating and going to work for an upstart golf course design firm in Jackson, Mississippi.  While with that firm, he gained valuable insight into the critical details of renovation projects and new course design.  He became a quick study in master planning and soon was producing visually stunning full color-rendered plans to help drive the marketing efforts of the firm's clients.  He was fortunate to not only be a member of the project team for a number of high profile and successful projects, but also to play an active and leading role in the planning, implementation and completion of those projects as well.  While working on these projects, Nathan discovered that he also possessed a keen ability for land planning and residential development planning--developing the layouts for streets, home sites, and other features upon which the project engineers would base their plans.  The son of a long-time and well-respected general contractor in Louisville, Kentucky (Bill Crace), Nathan understands construction from both sides of the table and uses that knowledge to keep projects flowing smoothly without costly delays. 

In 2002, he would co-found Watermark Golf/Nathan Crace Design--geared toward providing a full range of golf course architectural and planning services to clients throughout the United States and beyond.  The firm's offices are strategically located in the bedroom community of Magee, Mississippi (the halfway point between Jackson and Hattiesburg).  In addition to being nearly the center point of an area encompassing Memphis, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mobile and Birmingham, it is also just 1½ hours from the Gulf Coast and only a matter of minutes from the Jackson International Airport--and consequently the rest of the globe.  As Nathan likes to say, he will go "anywhere a plane, car, or pack mule will get me."  Combined with the experience and expertise of the firm's support staff, our principal possesses the experience, knowledge, technical thinking, artistic ability, and "people skills" required to set Watermark Golf apart from the competition in today's competitive marketplace for golf course architecture and land planning. 

* Nathan is an affiliate member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a golf course architect, but is not a licensed landscape architect.
     

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