Roy Bechtol

Three words come to mind when you spend any time with Roy Bechtol: creative, genius and FUN. Bechtol's career encompasses nearly 35 years of experience in land planning, landscape architecture and golf course design. On new projects, Bechtol works from a blank slate, and an initial walkthrough on the raw land will produce uncommon and stunningly complete ideas. On renovations, the Bechtol team has the background that allows it to improve already-sound concepts for the benefit of the golf course itself as well as its owners and investors.

Bechtol and his team's intuitive, creative aesthetic mesh seamlessly with their attention to the environment and YOUR bottom line; he often finds additional room for residential growth that the original planner may have overlooked. 'If we can redirect some holes and not hurt the golf experience while creating real estate opportunities, then we are earning our keep,' Bechtol said. The Bechtol team is able to make changes without interfering with a course's natural sightlines, a skill honed with adherence to basic - but often overlooked - principles of artistry and vision.

Any course worth its salt must be challenging, but the key is to balance difficulty with fun. No one does this better than Bechtol and his team. Roy is extremely experienced and comfortable in working in areas with critical environmental features and is well known for environmental sensitivity. His involvement with golf course design began at the Austin Country Club with Pete Dye in the late 1970s. Since then he has worked on numerous projects with Tom Fazio and was associated with Tom Weiskopf and Jay and Carter Morrish & Associates for 14 years. His collaboration and side-by-side involvements with these (and other) accomplished artisans have helped shape his golf course architectural philosophies.

In addition to his role in Bechtol Golf Design, Roy is the president and chief executive officer of Planned Environments, Inc. Founded in 1974, Planned Environments is a full-service land planning and landscape architecture firm that has master planned more than two million acres, most of which focused on resorts and golf communities.


Some of Bechtol's most notable projects include: The University of Texas Golf Club (in Austin, Texas), The Ambush at Lajitas (in the Big Bend region of southwest Texas), Comanche Trace (in Kerrville, Texas), Black Bear Golf Club (in Delhi, Louisiana), Laurelmor (in Boone, North Carolina), The Golf Club Star Ranch (in Hutto, Texas) and Saddle Creek Golf Course (in Copperopolis, California). Each of these courses has carefully withstood the test of time.

Bechtol also has been lauded for his work on The Austin Country Club in 1979 (with Dye); The Hills of Lakeway in 1981 (with Jay Morrish, who at that time was Jack Nicklaus' lead architect); The Golf Club at Circle C in 1992 (with Morrish); Barton Creek Foothills in 1984 and Barton Creek Canyons in 2000 (both with Fazio); La Cantera's Resort course in 1997 (with Tom Weiskopf and Morrish); Vaquero in 2002 (with Fazio) and Escondido in 2005 (with Fazio). Bechtol was involved in the routing of each of these courses in association with the surrounding communities.

You can bet that Bechtol is playing the courses he has designed - or out on other designer's work in an attempt to learn from his peers; he is known for a casual game peppered with spectacularly good shots. Bechtol is a one-handicapper, yet he seems more comfortable playing out of the rough. 'It's boring in the fairway,' he notes.