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Gary and Lila Williams, Sun City Mesquite at opening of Conestoga GC

Interview With Gary Panks Golf Course Architect Gary Panks Associates

A Light Hearted Golf Q & A Interview

By Brian Weis

Below is an interview with Gary Panks, the Golf Course Architect at Gary Panks Associates. The following are a few traditional and non traditional golf centric questions that I love to ask influential people in the golf industry.

Can you provide our readers a brief biography?
College golf at Michigan State University. Captain 1963. Competitive amateur golf over 40 years. Started golf course design in 1980. Completed 50 courses to date. Web site is Last completed course is Conestoga in Mesquite Nevada. I have had an enjoyable and gratifying career and there may be one or two more to design under the right circumstances.

When did you start golfing and who introduced you do the game?
I started at age twelve. My dad sent me out with other kids and I learned by trial and error. I had previously caddied for my Dad and Grand Dad and learned to mimic my Dad's swing as my Grand Dad had a lousy swing. I remember a year or two later (after three or four bad shots) throwing my clubs into a pond. I learned two things from that experience. IE: How to swim and the importance of keeping cool under fire. My low competitive round over the years was a 64 and I have betterd my age several times, the first at age 68.

What is your current home course?
Arizona Country Club

To date, what is your proudest golf accomplishment?
Designing golf courses enjoyable for all golfers which can be quickly set up for tournament play.

What is your biggest golf pet peeve on or off the course?
Designers who place too many bunkers on a course. They cause too much visual clutter and are expensive to maintain and replace. Fairway Landing zones and green targets can be more clearly defined by fewer bunkers. 40 to 64 is enough to do the job.

Slow play on the course and slow drivers on the road.

What is your favorite club in your bag and why?
My wedge because I can usually get it in the "make-able" range. We all like what we do well.

What is your favorite golf destination?
The Phoenix Scottsdale area.

What course is on your bucket list that you have not played yet?
Cypress Point

If you woke up tomorrow and could play one course you played before, where would you play?
Pebble Beach.

If you could change one aspect, rule or thing about golf, what would it be and why?
Putting with the club anchored to the body.

Dream foursome (living)?
Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson.

Dream foursome (living or dead)?
Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan

18 Rapid Fire, Off The Cuff Questions

1) Hitting Long Drive OR Sinking Long Putt?
Long Putt. It always feels good going in!

2) Having Round of Life OR Hole in One?
Round of life.

3) Golfing at the crack of dawn OR twilight?
At the crack of dawn.

4) Hit a power fade OR power draw?
Power draw.

5) Beverage cart OR halfway house?
Half way house.

6) Bathroom OR bushes?

7) Hot dog OR wrap?
Hot dog.

8) Around the green, being in sand OR thick rough?
In sand.

9) Walking OR riding?

10) Do you carry traditional 3 iron OR hybrid? Hybrid.

11) Do you prefer long par 3 OR long par 5? Long Three.

12) Pants OR Shorts?
Depends on weather.

13) Palmer OR Nicklaus?

14) Beatles OR Elvis?

15) Play for fun OR play for money?
Play for fun.

16) Bump and run OR flop shot?
Bump and run.

17) Lay up OR gamble?
I would rather gamble but at my age must lay up more often.

18) 18 holes OR 36?

Revised: 01/11/2013 - Article Viewed 32,136 Times

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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