Dennis Wise has added his touch to some of the world’s most beautiful golf courses, as a golf course designer with more than 35 years’ experience, personally responsible for more than 100 courses in three countries and more than 30 states, including several in Arizona. Seven of those courses are currently ranked in Golf Digest‘s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The 57-year-old Scottsdale resident worked for golf architect greats such as Larry Packard and Tom Fazio, and he has also consulted on or renovated more than 40 golf courses.
Wise founded Dennis Wise Golf Course Design in 2012 out of an enduring love of golf, nature and architecture, and a deep personal desire to create memorable golf environments that would enrich lives and connect people to the outdoors. His first solo endeavor was the two-year redesign of the Makena Golf & Beach Club in Maui for the Discovery Land Company, which will launch as a private golf course community this fall.
Wise talked about why he’s passionate about working on golf course design, and you can watch him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.
What brought you to Arizona?
I managed golf design studios for Tom Fazio in South Florida in the 1980s and then in Kansas City, Kansas, in the 1990s. I relocated 20-plus individuals from our Kansas City design team to Scottsdale in July 2000.
We felt that growth existed in the West for our brand. I had finished a private club in Scottsdale called Estancia, and was about to commence on a new project called Mirabel. Furthermore, I wanted to be nearer a larger metropolitan city with an airport hub that would allow all of us the ability to go nonstop to numerous cities, which did not exist living in Kansas City. I looked for a year and half throughout the West, and felt Phoenix had the airport, the weather and the Midwest people connectivity and was a very affordable place to live.
I was born in Waterloo, Iowa, and lived several places before settling here in Arizona. Continue reading