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Local golf course architect takes game global

Posted October 9, 2013

— When most people look at a golf course, they see a day off - a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Rick Robbins sees the winding avenues of green grass and strategically situated bunkers a bit differently.

Robbins is a golf course architect

"I tell people I've never had a job," Robbins said, pointing out a course he built in South China.

From a family of golfers, Robbins knew he wanted to be a part of this game at an early age. He grew up in Cary, went on to North Carolina State to study landscape architecture and now he's one of the most sought-after designers in the world.

Local golf architect had touch on Prestonwood, around the world Mitchell: Local golf architect has touch on Prestonwood, around the world

"It's a passion that you get to come out and create things like you see behind me," Robbins said while at Prestonwood Country Club.

The course that welcomes the Champions Tour to Cary every year was renovated by Robbins, reaching its current layout in 2012.

Many of the adjustments came as a way to show off the features of the land, such as the lakeside greens.

Most of his recent work, however, is done in Asia - a growing market for the sport of golf.

"The Chinese, they're just starting this,” Robbins explained. “They want big golf courses and hard ones.

"I spend a lot of time drawing the plans and designs for the courses myself,” he added. “I really believe that's a hands-on type thing."

Hand-drawn and transformed into par threes, fours and fives.

"It's really neat when you see things kind of come to life,” Robbins said. “You watch the shaper push the dirt and make the greens the way you want."

Robbins insists he has no favorite golf courses or favorite golf holes. But it is easy to see why: the grass is greener here than in any other office.

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