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Golf course architect Beau Welling is a big deal in the curling world

Golf course architect Beau Welling is a big deal in the curling world

Beau Welling admits he’s quirky. He embraces it. Stop Welling — a golf course architect who helped his pal Tiger Woods put the finishing touches on both highly acclaimed Bluejack National outside Houston and Payne’s Valley at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Missouri — and you’re likely to get an earful on a topic that might surprise you.

For example, Welling is known for his love of Sasquatch, and even had someone dress up as the mythical creature at his wedding a few years back to peer in through a window. And it doesn’t stop there.

Welling, who grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, owns a degree in physics from Ivy League Brown University, and he also studied Irish literature at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and is quick to evoke Oscar Wilde or James Joyce when it suits the conversation.

But when Welling, who still maintains a deep Southern drawl, started to actively follow the game of curling during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, what had started as a passive interest became an obsession.

Architect Beau Welling speaks on what will be the fifth tee at the Travis Club in Austin, Texas. (Photo: Errich Petersen for Travis Club)

“The more I watched, the more fascinated I got,” Welling told Golfweek when on-site for the official groundbreaking of the Travis Club in Austin, Texas. “It fits my brain. It’s strategic. And it’s a Scottish game that shares many qualities with golf. Both games are steeped in integrity and honor. In both games, you call your own fouls and there’s a degree of physics. So the science of it all just fascinated me. The friction and trajectories. There was a lot for me to chew on.”

Between the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, Welling found himself working on a few projects in Canada and that only helped to fuel the inquisitive fire he’d already been slowly building.

By the time the next Winter Games were played in Turin, Italy, Welling had become a bona fide fanatic. He estimated that of the 80-some hours of coverage NBC Sports had of the sport that year he consumed nearly all of it. Welling took vacation from a project he was working and learned everything about the sport he could.

“They all think I’m losing my mind in the office,” Welling said, as he’d then worked his way up to the position of executive vice president for Fazio Golf Course Designers.

Welling even researched many of the American team members and found an interesting similarity. Unlike other countries from around the world whose…


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