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Dana Fry

Hero
Notable Courses
Year of Birth1962
Year of Death
Place of BirthKansas City, Missouri, USA
Biography

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Dana was educated at the University of Arizona from 1980 to 1983, where he studied Business. Playing for the men’s golf team, he shot a course record 64 at Randolph Park Golf Course in Tucson then set another course record while home in Kansas City between semesters with a 62 at Minor Park Golf Course.

The summer before his senior year, he met up with Andy Banfield, a lead designer for Tom Fazio, who invited Dana to have a look at a new course under construction at Ventana Canyon Golf & Racquet Club in Tucson. Dana started out by flagging saguaro cacti that required transplanting and before he knew it he was offered a part time job.

Andy taught him how to run a bulldozer and shared a lot of his thoughts on golf course design. Tom Fazio then made Dana a full-time employee which meant he never completed his studies but, as he says himself: “I never graduated from college but boy did I ever get an education.”

Dana was part of the Fazio design team for five years, during which time he worked alongside the late Mike Stranz at Callawassie Island off Hilton head, before teaming up with Michael Hurdzan in 1988.

He’d interviewed for a position with Pete Dye but found out he would be working with Perry Dye and not his father, so when the offer of a job in Canada with Hurdzan came along, he jumped at it.

That job was at Devil’s Pulpit in Caledon and when it was over he was able to move to Columbus, Ohio with his family and make that a permanent home base. Two years after completing Devil’s Pulpit in Ontario, Hurdzan and Fry followed it up with another 18-hole layout, Devil’s Paintbrush, on the same Caledon Village property.

Hurdzan and Fry commissions during the 1990s and 2000s numbered over a hundred and the vast majority of them were located in North America, though the firm also completed a couple of Italian jobs early in the new millennium at Acaya in the southeast of the country and at Royal Park I Roveri in the northwest.

When profiling the architect, Darius Oliver commented: “Fry demonstrated real conceptional and construction talents at Calusa Pines in Florida, Shelter Harbor in Rhode Island and the Devil’s Paintbrush course in Canada but he’ll probably best be remembered for his work on the Erin Hills Golf Course in Wisconsin, which played host to the US Open in 2017.”

In 2012, Hurdzan and Fry went their separate ways: Dana and his colleague (of 17 years) Jason Straka joining forces to form their own company and focus on Asia and other markets worldwide, leaving Michael and his son Chris to concentrate more on North America.

Jason attended Cornell University and attained a degree in landscape architecture before completing a master’s degree in agronomy under Dr. Norm Hummel at the same university. Norm first introduced him to Michael Hurdzan in 1991 then four years later he became a staff member.

The new company of Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design now has offices in the United States, Brazil and China and the firm is working on a second course on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, called Yas Acres, which is due to open in 2020.

The architects are also building another new private course on an estate outside Sao Paulo, Brazil and they have signed for two projects in Vietnam; an 18-hole resort course in Hue and a 36-hole resort complex in Ha Long Bay.

There’s also a big assignment ongoing in the Avalon/Stone Harbor area by the Jersey Shore for the Union League of Philadelphia, involving the construction of a 27-hole facility for members that own summer beach homes in the area.

Quote:

“I started traveling regularly overseas to Asia for work in 2006 and moved to Hong Kong full time for several years until moving back to the U.S. in December 2013. I have now travelled to over a hundred countries and it goes without saying that if you want to continue to build new golf courses you will in fact have to work internationally.

As for myself, I love the adventure, travel and challenge of working in foreign countries but it isn’t easy. The language barriers, lack of qualified golf course contractors and limited knowledge of golf in some of these countries presents many obstacles but I found the rewards far greater. I plan on working overseas for the rest of my career.” Dana Fry


Notable Courses

01
Acaya

Acaya

undefined, Puglia

02
Arcadia Bluffs (South)

Arcadia Bluffs (South)

Arcadia, Michigan

03
Burlington Country Club

Burlington Country Club

Burlington, Vermont

04
Calusa Pines

Calusa Pines

Naples, Florida

05
Cooks Creek

Cooks Creek

South Bloomfield, Ohio

06
Desert Willow (Firecliff)

Desert Willow (Firecliff)

Palm Desert, California

07
Dundarave

Dundarave

Cardigan, Prince Edward Island

08
EagleSticks

EagleSticks

Zanesville, Ohio

09
Erin Hills

Erin Hills

Hartford, Wisconsin

10
FarmLinks

FarmLinks

Sylacauga, Alabama

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