Golf Work, Golf Play For Tripp Davis

For those playing in the Porter Cup, the jaunt to the Niagara Falls Country Club in upstate New York is a golfing holiday that combines the pressures of tournament play with the pleasures of teeing it up on a classic A.W. Tillinghast track.
But it is a different sort of outing for 46-year-old Tripp Davis, a onetime All-American golfer for the University of Oklahoma who has qualified for 15 USGA championships. To be sure, he goes there to compete in an event that first was staged in 1959 and counts Ben Crenshaw, Phil Mickelson and David Duval as past champions. But it also counts as a business trip for Davis, for he runs a golf course design firm and is in the midst of revamping the layout on which the Porter Cup is held.
At first blush, it seems an unusual mix of work and play. But that is how Davis has been living the past 20 years. As an amateur good enough to have been medalist in one U.S. Mid- Am and quarterfinalist in two others. And as a course designer who has produced notable originals, such as the Old American Golf Club outside Dallas, and also completed acclaimed restorations of layouts such as the Engineers Country Club in Roslyn, N.Y., and Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla., where the 2014 U.S. Senior Open recently was contested.
It was as a player that Davis first got interested in golf. Born William Hurst Davis, III and nicknamed “Tripp” by his father, the youngster grew up in Atlanta. “My mother’s side of the family were all golfers,” Davis recalls. “They lived in a small town south of Atlanta and played on a nine-hole, Rotary Club course. Whenever we would visit, the uncles would take the kids to play golf to get them away from the aunts.”


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