MARENGO, Ill. — Architect Bob Lohmann has promoted longtime associate and fellow ASGCA member Todd Quitno to senior vice president of design, necessitating a change to the firm’s official name going forward, Lohmann Quitno Golf Course Architects, Inc.
Quitno, 45, has spent the last 22 years working with Lohmann, who founded the firm in 1984. Quitno joined the company in 1996, straight out of Ball State University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. He joined the American Society of Golf Course Architects as an associate in 2010, and earned full member status in 2015.
Quitno’s ascension and the new company name necessitated a change to the firm’s website, now to be found at www.LohmannQuitno.com. Quitno and Lohmann can still be reached via their current emails: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
“This is the first step in creating a company that Todd will direct, eventually as the managing partner, for 20-30 years to come,” said former ASGCA President Lohmann, now 65. “Fact is, Todd’s been running 90 percent of our projects — from the planning phase straight through to our work in the field — for a long time already. We’ve always run things by each other, and we’ll continue to do that. Only now we’ll do so as partners.
“Todd is so personable, so talented — he brings an element of design flair and daring that exceeds my own frankly. He’s ready to take the lead here. As a company, we have always stressed the critical relationship architects will always have with cost projection, with the client’s return on investment. I learned that as a young designer in the 1970s from Ken Killian and Dick Nugent. Todd learned it here, from me — and that priority will never change. But he’s a younger man with all the design skills in the world and a better handle on what the market requires today, including the role of technology and social media.
“I’ve been around a long time but here’s the reality: Many of my best contacts are already retired! I still understand the market today, as a private club member myself I know the inherent struggles: We’ve got 180 members. How can we improve our product to get to 200, or 230? But Todd understands the market even better because, at 45, he is the market.”
As Lohmann notes, Quitno is already carrying the design load, with renovation projects underway at clubs across the Midwest and elsewhere, including:
• Schaumburg Golf Club, Schaumburg, Illinois
• Medina Golf & Country Club, Medina, Minnesota
• Rye Golf Club, Rye, New York
• Brighton Dale Golf Links, Kenosha, Wisconsin
“Bob has built a tremendous reputation in this business and I would like to keep that tradition going — which is why we agreed it’s important to put my name out there more prominently,” Quitno says. “We’ll always collaborate. Bob and I share a lot of similar perspectives on golf design — he has taught me so much about the business. But while I appreciate all he has done for me and my family, I’m even more grateful for this opportunity to lead the company into the future — and to look at some different approaches as to how we pursue and execute our work.”
During his two decades with the firm, Quitno has authored a half dozen original course designs, including Blackstone Golf Club in Marengo, Illinois, a popular daily-fee club in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Following prevailing industry norms, most of his work has been focused on renovation: Quitno has authored more than 100 different projects of various size, several of which earned Renovation of the Year honors from Golf Inc. magazine (2010, 2012) and ASGCA Design Excellence Awards (2014). He’s currently an ASGCA Board of Governors member and a frequent speaker on topics ranging from stormwater management on golf courses to the particulars of master planning and mixed-use development.
Today’s golf market, the one Quitno has been observing and shaping for 20 years, is remarkably similar to the one a young Bob Lohmann encountered when he left Killian and Nugent to launch his own firm, in 1984: precious few new builds, highly renovation-centric, ever more regional.
According to Quitno, the techniques used to deliver design/renovation work have changed dramatically, however. He pointed to the firm’s recent hire of landscape architect Zach Tegge, a 2011 Arizona State University grad whose job is based primarily around the application of GPS and drone technologies to the design and development process.
“The pace, the sheer speed and efficiency of what we can do and what we’re expected to do today is pretty striking,” Quitno says. “Our time frame on most projects is much shorter than what it was just 10 years ago; technology has really influenced that. Nuanced, accurate plans are always the starting point — the pathway to getting the most efficient and accurate pricing when jobs are put out to bid. But they remain a concept, on paper.
“What’s changed the most — and what will animate Lohmann-Quitno going forward — is our ability and obligation to be responsive to changes on the ground, to new opportunities, and to utilize a variety of delivery methods — many of them technology driven — to satisfy our clients’ needs.”
The formation of Lohmann Quitno also signals the formal separation of the design and contracting operations here in Marengo. Golf Creations, the course construction firm founded by Lohmann in 1987 (www.GolfCreations.com), has always been a separate entity, but the two have historically been marketed together as a design-build duo. Going forward, the companies will pursue work independently, Golf Creations under the leadership of Lohmann and his son, Jim Lohmann.