Building great golf courses comes naturally for designer Terry LaGree

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Unless you’re a member at one of Florida’s great courses, Black Diamond in Lecanto, you probably don’t know who Terry LaGree is. It’s all right, he doesn’t mind.

After working first as the project manager during Black Diamond’s construction in 1986 and 1987 (helping to interview and hire architect Tom Fazio), and then as the development’s General Manager until 1995, LaGree struck out on his own too, in his words, “spend the next 15 or 20 years of my life playing in the dirt.”

LaGree put his Landscape Architecture degree to work by joining Barbaron, Inc., a golf course construction business in which he is now a partner. Though he prefers to build more courses than design them, his architecture credits are nevertheless mounting. And like their designer, LaGree’s creations are typically underrated; most notably the stylish but unheralded Royal Oaks in Ocala and the adventurous Diamond Players Club in Clermont, Fla. senior writer Derek Duncan spoke with LaGree over the telephone to find out more about his past and current projects as well as his views on the design and construction side of the business.

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Terrill A. LaGree is President of Barbaron, Inc. and is responsible for operation, customer relations and the design division of the business.