Interview With Brian Yoder President Yoder Design, LLC
A Light Hearted Golf Q & A Interview
By Brian Weis
Below is an interview with Brian Yoder, the President at Yoder Design, LLC. The following are a few traditional and non traditional golf centric questions that I love to ask influential people in the golf industry.
Can you provide our readers a brief biography?
I grew up playing golf at Inverness Club in Toledo. Caddied at Sylvania CC. Played on the high school golf team. Worked on the grounds crew at Sylvania CC and then Inverness Club during the summers while I going to The Ohio State University working towards my Turfgrass degree. During that time my father was Green Chairman at Inverness when they retained Tom and George Fazio to make improvements to the course in preparation for the 1979 US Open. While vacationing in Florida my dad and I played golf with the Fazio's and following our round we met in Tom;s office at Jupiter Hills and we discussed my future. Tom recommended I go back to school and get my degree in landscape architecture, which I did. Following my graduation I started working at Arthur Hills and Associates where I worked for 21 years. I have since started my own company, Yoder Design, LLC.
When did you start golfing and who introduced you do the game?
I was very fortunate to begin playing golf at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio where my father has been a member since 1958 a year after I was born. Inverness was founded in 1903 and was designed by Donald Ross. The highlight of my competitive golfing career occurred when I was 16 years old when I won the Inverness Junior Club Championship. Unfortunately that's when I peaked! I started dating girls and my game started going doing hill. I got married and it got worse. Had kids and it was all but over. Don't get me wrong I can still play but those were my golfing "glory days"!
What is your current home course?
I joined Inverness Club in the mid 90's when the golf industry was humming, but have since hadto resign due to the economic downturn. I now play at Ottawa Park, Toledo Ohio and The Legacy by Arthur Hills. Both Ottawa Park and the Legacy are public golf courses.
To date, what is your proudest golf accomplishment?
Co-designing Paraiso del Mar golf course in La Paz, BCS, Mexico with my partner Arthur Hills has to be the highlight of my golf course architecture career. The site is located on a sandy peninsula in the Bay of La Paz and is akin to what the Old Course at St. Andrews is like except for the warm season paspalum grass and all the gnarly desert plants. We kept much of the existing topography just as we found it moving very little earth. In fact the sandy course drained so well there isn't a stick of pipe on it except for the irrigation lines. One golf writer described our greens as "flamboyant" which I take as a compliment because there are no two alike! Very contoured similar to The Old Course!
What is your biggest golf pet peeve on or off the course?
Slow play and long putters!
What is your favorite club in your bag and why?
Driver. I like to let the shaft out whenever possible.
What is your favorite golf destination?
Scotland. When times were good our entire staff went to Scotland where we played many of the classics. Highlight of my trip was playing golf with Arthur, Shawn Smith (ASGCA) and Arthur's son Ben. I pared hole 1 and hole 18 and played like poo in between! Lot's of fun though!
What course is on your bucket list that you have not played yet?
If you woke up tomorrow and could play one course you played before, where would you play?
The Old Course at St. Andrews
If you could change one aspect, rule or thing about golf, what would it be and why?
Definitely would regulate the golf ball for tournament play. The golf ball is too hot. Many great golf courses are made obsolete which is a crying shame. Many sports play with a regulation ball. No reason the golf ball can't be regulated. Each pro can slap on their respective golf ball maker logos and let it rip! Done!
Dream foursome (living)?
My 85 year old father, my brother Bruce and my brother-in-law Jim.
Dream foursome (living or dead)?
My 85 year old father, Donald Ross and Bobby Jones.
18 Rapid Fire, Off The Cuff Questions
1) Hitting Long Drive OR Sinking Long Putt?
Long drive! I swing hard and will keep swinging hard as long as I can!
2) Having Round of Life OR Hole in One?
Round of Life. 18 good scores is better than one "lucky" shot.
3) Golfing at the crack of dawn OR twilight?
Twilight. When we were kids we would play from early morning until we couldn't see at night. In fact we would run and golf to see how many holes we could play in the day.
4) Hit a power fade OR power draw?
Power draw. Let it run!
5) Beverage cart OR halfway house?
Beverage cart. Duh! Beer babes rule!
6) Bathroom OR bushes?
Bushes! I have a known history of peeing outdoors! Hahaha! See Secrets of the Golf Course Architects
7) Hot dog OR wrap?
Hot dogs. Steamed buns if you can get 'em!
8) Around the green, being in sand OR thick rough?
Sand. No brainer.
9) Walking OR riding?
Walking. Riding is good though when you're thirsty!
10) Do you carry traditional 3 iron OR hybrid?
Traditional 3 iron.
11) Do you prefer long par 3 OR long par 5?
Long 3. Long par 5's are boring, in my opinion. I prefer a nice risk-reward par 5 where the player has the option to go for the green in two. Reminds me of when my buddy Gregg Sutton and I were playing in a scramble where he hit our drive and then hit driver off the deck on our second into the hole for an albatross!
12) Pants OR Shorts?
13) Palmer OR Nicklaus?
Nicklaus! Only because we are both Buckeyes! I love Arnie's Army while growing up though!
14) Beatles OR Elvis?
15) Play for fun OR play for money?
Play for fun! Not a big gambler! You might as well light it on fire!
16) Bump and run OR flop shot?
Depends on the situation. Certain grasses allow for the bump and run. When I was a kid I was a master of the SCS or the Super Cut Shot where I'd open the face all the way a la Phil Mickelson and flop it as high as I could. Each shot has its place in the game.
17) Lay up OR gamble?
Gamble. As my son always tells me, "go big Dad or don't go at all"!
18) 18 holes OR 36?
36! As I mentioned when we were kids we would play from sun up to sun down. Now it's called an emergency nine and there's usually our favorite beverages involved!
Revised: 12/18/2012 - Article Viewed 21,555 Times
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler