It is not so unusual to hear someone say: "Golf is my life." But it is unusual to meet someone for whom the statement is so literally accurate.
American expat Roger Packard has forged an impressive career as a golf course designer having spent almost four decades creating courses throughout the United States, South America and Asia.
"Golf course design has given me a great deal through travel and friends I have made," says the 60-year-old. "I have completed projects in Venezuela, America, Thailand and South Korea. And now I am working in Chengdu, locally, plus France."
Packard launched his professional career at age 22 after completing a landscape design degree while working for his father Larry Packard. Since then he has designed about 250 golf courses.
"My top courses in the US include Innisbrook, Cantigny and Eagle Ridge which are all highly-rated among the projects I have completed," he says. "My father and I were together for 16 years before he retired to Innisbrook, one of our course developments in Florida. He's 95 and still plays golf every week."
Golf course design is quite an unusual career choice and Packard believes there are only about 150 people in the US doing it professionally, all from a wide variety of backgrounds.
"There are former golfers, landscape designers like myself and even a guy with an insurance background in Pete Dye (one of the most famous golf course designers)," he says.