Jon Scott returns to Nicklaus Design to lead agronomic consulting efforts

After overseeing PGA Tour’s agronomic services for nine years, Scott comes ‘home’

Jon Scott is among the fortunate few who have found that the grass is greener on both sides of the fence. And in some cases, he had a lot to do with it.

Scott, who left Nicklaus Design in 1998 to pursue a position with the PGA Tour, is returning “home,” as he put it, to oversee the organization’s fast-burgeoning need to provide agronomic services and consulting, as well as input on irrigation needs, to Nicklaus Design clients worldwide. Scott, who returns as vice president in charge of agronomic services, was with Nicklaus Design from 1988-98, before leaving to join the Tour.

“My nine years with the PGA Tour have given me a unique perspective on the role agronomy plays in competitive golf,” said Scott, who was the Tour’s vice president for agronomy. “If you have a course right for a competitive golf event, it is also right for the members and daily fee players the other 51 weeks of the year. This is the experience I can now bring back to my work at Nicklaus Design.”

During his tenure with the PGA Tour, Scott led nine agronomists as they covered approximately 115 tournament venues a year. He also consulted for and with the Champions Tour, Nationwide Tour and the World Golf Federation.

The timing of Scott’s return is perfect in that Nicklaus Design is the world’s leading and most active design firm, with over 50 courses under construction and just as many or more in the planning stage. A challenge has always been to ensure that Nicklaus Design clients are adhering to the same high standards of golf course maintenance and conditioning that Jack Nicklaus long ago established. With 60 percent of Nicklaus Design’s work being international–they have projects under development in 32 different countries–the challenge of overseeing the agronomic needs of every client grows.

“We are very fortunate to have Jon return,” Jack Nicklaus said. “Jon was a valuable member of our staff before he left, and now, after nine years of overseeing some of the world’s finest venues, his value to us is even greater. Jon is going to provide us input and recommendations on the grasses that many of our clients should consider, and then once those decisions are made, he will guide the superintendent and his or her staff on the proper maintenance techniques to incorporate to ensure the best possible playing conditions.”

Scott has been a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSAA) since 1975 and a certified golf course superintendent since 1983. He worked for 15 years as a superintendent at courses in Florida, Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky.

Scott officially joins Nicklaus Design today, Sept. 1, but will waste no time adjusting, as he boards a plane for Europe to visit a number of the courses the company is opening and has under construction.

“Much of what I did at the PGA Tour was founded on what I learned from Jack during my nine years as senior agronomist for Nicklaus Design,” Scott said. “He taught me the importance of course conditioning as it relates to golf at the competitive level.

“Coming back to Nicklaus Design is like returning home after an extended time on the road. This closeness and familiarity is what I am looking for as I head into the final quarter of my career. From the minute Jack and I had the conversation about my return to Nicklaus Design, I was on board with the idea.”

For 35 years, the mission of the Nicklaus Companies has been to enhance the golf experience, and to bring to the national and international consumer golf-related businesses and services that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of Jack Nicklaus. These services include golf-course design, the development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of golf products and services. Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has been involved with 304 courses open for play in 29 countries and 38 states. Of those, Jack Nicklaus has designed, co-designed or re-designed 250 courses around the globe, 47 of which have been ranked in various national or international Top-100 lists.

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