Brian Schnieder, left, with his father, Rick, and brother, Paul, on the Swilcan Bridge.
Brian Schneider shapes, directed by 2-year old Isabelle.
Our youngest associate, Brian Schneider is also the most travelled of the group. Starting long before joining the company and continuing to this day, he never misses a chance to visit an interesting golf course in search of unique features. As a result, he is always quick with a design idea. No surprise he has had a hand in some of our boldest work to date.
How did you come to work with Tom?
"After graduating from college with a pair of science degrees, I did the obvious thing and decided I wanted to design and build golf courses for a living. I had bought and read Tom’s books, The Anatomy of a Golf Course and The Confidential Guide, and connected with what he’d written so I wrote him a letter asking for a job. Apparently, my total lack of qualifications or experience wasn’t enough to earn a position with RGD, so he recommended that I educate myself by studying great courses and sorting out what made them great. For the next five years, that’s what I did.
Throughout that time, I frequently pestered Tom with phone calls and letters, asking if he was ready to hire me yet. I finally got my chance in the summer of 2002. I was living in Philadelphia at the same time work started on the second course at Stonewall Golf Club in eastern PA. It was my shot to jump on a bulldozer and put my years of study into action. I became a full-time RGD associate that fall."
What has been your favorite learning experience in golf?
"Rather than just travel around looking at golf courses, I decided to travel and work as a green-keeper, to study design from a maintenance perspective. Many a thoughtful and generous superintendent took me in and I secured a string of positions at some of America's finest clubs, like Merion, Pine Valley, Shinnecock Hills and others, absorbing the nuances of the famous places I worked. I made my way around the country this way, working at one club while visiting other local courses of interest."