“The greatness of a man is measured by his positive influence on people around them.”
If that quote has validity (apologies to Disraeli), then Jack Kidwell was a great man, for he had a positive influence on everyone who ever met him, especially Mike Hurdzan. Jack Kidwell was a humble man who loved people and the game of golf, and his skill at both was without peer. He lived a life of near-saintly proportions. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was sincerely interested in every person he met. He would make any sacrifice to help a friend.
Jack grew up during the Great Depression as a sharecropper’s son who became an Ohio high school golf champion, an infantry officer in the Philippines, a loving husband, a devoted father, and a treasure chest of thousands of loyal friends and fans. To simply meet Jack Kidwell was a significant moment for many people. For him to be part of your life was an even greater feeling.
In the world of golf, he could be compared only to Old Tom Morris. Both were professional golfers (Jack was a Class A PGA member for many years), golf course superintendent (Jack was likewise a Class A superintendent), and golf course architect (Jack was president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1980). Not only was he the genesis of our firm in 1957, he was a mentor and second father to Mike. His golf course design was simple and traditional, which explains why so few people recognize his name and his work. His approach was purely functional, as he worked hard at keeping the cost of golf modest and the game available to all. His ideals led to millions of rounds of golf played each year on his 100 or so golf courses by golfers of every income level and skill level. Those golf courses will endure any hardship for they were designed and built on bedrock principals that are timeless. Those principles and that design philosophy lives on today at Hurdzan Golf Design and is the foundation of our success and longevity.
It is to this gentle man who inspired so many others by words and deeds that we dedicate this website. His relevance to our lives was incalculable, and we will ensure his name, and ideals live forever in the world of golf. Read his bio to learn more about this remarkable man.