As seen in Summer 2018 FORE Magazine
For Charlie Davison, golf is a family affair. He has played his entire life and so have his kids and grandkids. His passion for the game contributes greatly to his desire to positively affect our youth.
Davison is CEO and CFO of Todd Eckenrode-Origins Golf Design, an Irvine-based golf course architecture firm that boasts 39 new golf course designs (15 international) and more than 20 course renovation projects, including La Jolla CC, which recently hosted the SCGA Amateur Championship.
An integral supporter of the SCGA Junior Foundation over the past 10 years, his contributions to SCGA Junior and efforts to promote youth development in the game are now part of his DNA. One of his first undertakings was with Kevin Gigax, executive director of SCGA Junior, on the first Shootout tournament, a big-time fundraiser at Terranea GC in Palos Verdes, now known as the SCGA Junior Foundation Cup.
“He’s such a big supporter of the Foundation Cup,” said Gigax. “It’s obvious that he loves the interaction with up-and-coming junior golfers.”
What started as a bridge to connect Origins Golf and SCGA Junior has now turned into a passion.
“He’s been incredible to the Foundation,” said Gigax. “He’s gone as far as giving us his personal golf contacts. Charlie will do anything to help us out and that really means a lot.”
Davison explained that SCGA Junior stands out amongst the other non-profits because they help underserved kids not only in golf, but in life as well.
Davison’s job at Origins is, he says, to “keep the lights on” by handling business affairs and general marketing. But he notes that while the game is growing, it’s not growing at the pace we’ve become accustom to or would like to see.
“Golf is at a crossroads. In the past there were 500-600 new golf courses built each year,”Davison said. “This year, there was a loss of 176 golf courses. So, while people continue to pick up the game, we’re almost seeing diminished access.”
Now, he says, it’s all about the executive-style course, where it takes less time to play and is more cost-effective for the course owner and players. The average millennial, junior and beginner players prefer it this way. If you ask Davison, not only is it about less distance, but it’s also critical to focusing on details such as tee box location, bunker placement, fairway width and green size.
“It is important to make sure that the courses we are developing are not intimidating to the majority,”Davison said. “Only about five percent of players are single-digit handicaps … we can’t lose sight of that.”
Davison is committed to supporting SCGA Junior in the same manner that the sport has supported him and his family.
“The direction that the Foundation is going is impressive and encouraging,” said Davison. “Sure, it’s great to see these kids excel on the course but it’s even better to see them succeed in college and beyond. We’re turning out well-rounded adults.”
Top 3 SoCal Junior Friendly Courses:
- Mesa Linda, Costa Mesa
- Goat Hill, Oceanside
- Emerald Isle, San Diego