Jan Bel Jan, ASGCA, of Jupiter, Fla, was elected president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects at the organization’s recent 73rd Annual Meeting in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona.
A Pittsburgh native, she comes from a golf family. Her father, George Bel Jan, was a golf pro/superintendent; three of his five brothers were PGA professionals. Bel Jan is a landscape architecture graduate of West Virginia University.
Bel Jan began her design career with Tom Fazio, ASGCA, with whom she held a senior position in golf course design, construction and project management for more than 20 years. Her experience as a registered landscape architect, certified arborist and former assistant superintendent has provided her with a unique outlook on the playability, strategy, ecology, economics and aesthetics of golf courses.
“I want to carry on the mission of ASGCA Past Presidents Greg Martin, John Sanford, Jeff Blume and others,” Bel Jan said. “Thoughtfulness for our clients so we may continue providing the best product, helping show a better economic way to do things and greater recognition for the work of ASGCA members.”
Bel Jan is the second woman to serve as ASGCA President; Alice Dye, ASGCA, was the first. Like Dye, she is also recognized for her role as champion to all golfers in playing from the most appropriate tees.
“I had known for a long time that the most-forward tees were not far enough forward,” Bel Jan said. “This was not only about women, but children and older men, too. There has to be a way for everyone to play from markers and feel that they belong and are valued. I went through 20 different terms before I decided on ‘Scoring Tees.’ Everyone wants to score better, especially the best players.”
The design portfolio for Bel Jan features dozens of projects, including: Jupiter Island Club, Hobe Sound, Florida; Pelican’s Nest Golf Club, Bonita Springs, Florida; Green Valley Country Club, Greenville, South Carolina; Boca Lago Country Club, Boca Raton, Florida and The Old Collier Golf Club, Naples, Florida. She has been recognized by the USGA in their “Women and Golf Course Architecture” Museum exhibit, and she serves on the board for the National Alliance for Accessible Golf.
Bel Jan will serve as ASGCA President through fall of 2020.