Education: University of Miami, B.A., M.A.; Broward Junior College, A.S. Hobbies and other interests: Playing golf.
Home— Atlanta, GA. Office— Cupp Design, Inc., 5457 Roswell Rd., Ste. 103, Atlanta, GA 30342. E-mail— [email protected]
Golf course architect; worked variously in advertising and as a golf professional; worked for Jack Nicklaus golf architecture firm, 1969-84; Cupp Design, Inc., Atlanta, GA, founder, 1984—. Military service: Served for three years in the U.S. Army.
American Society of Golf Course Architects (board member).
The Edict(novel), Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2007.
Bob Cupp grew up loving the game of golf and playing it at every opportunity. While attending college at the University of Miami, where he earned an undergraduate degree in illustration and graphics and a master's degree in fine art, he was disappointed in the lack of a golf scholarship at the school, and so ended up playing baseball in order to earn a stipend toward his tuition. However, golf remained his first love and he played competitively on his own time. After graduating, Cupp spent several years in the U.S. Army, then returned home to Florida where he worked various jobs in advertising while he played golf at the competitive amateur level. Eventually he gave in to the pull of the game, and found a job working as a golf professional. The position gave him the exposure to the game that he was seeking, as well as helping to build his network of connections within the sport. His interest in art came into play when he began helping to rebuild certain areas of the golf course. His skills developed quickly, to the point where other courses were requesting his assistance. Determined to make the most of his opportunities, Cupp went back to school to earn an associate degree in agronomy. Then he went to work for Jack Nicklaus, designing golf courses as his senior designer, a job he held for fifteen years before finally striking out on his own and forming Cupp Design, Inc. He has worked on famous golf courses all over the world, and with many of the greatest names in the sport, including Tom Kite, Jerry Pate, and John Fought, as well as, of course, Jack Nicklaus. In an interview for the Golf Club Atlas Web site, Cupp tried to explain his philosophy regarding how he sets out to design a course: "The easiest answer is that I subscribe to the theory that a good shot must be rewarded." He went on to add: "I have since learned through numerous new courses and revisions projects that all players enjoy a challenge. Sometimes that challenge is just getting the ball airborne, but aside from them (and for whom you must always provide a lane of play), even the meanest talent is thrilled pulling off the unlikely master-stroke."
In addition to designing golf courses, and spending a good deal of time playing golf for his own pleasure, Cupp has begun to write fiction. Combining his fascination with golf with his own fertile imagination, Cupp wrote The Edict, a novel that goes back in time to the early history of the sport and its origins in Scotland. He uses as his backdrop a 1457 edict from King James II, who was concerned that Scotland was ill prepared to defend itself against the English should they attack, and so banned the playing of golf to encourage his citizens to instead practice their skill with a bow and arrow—far more useful than golf in the event of a war. However, Cupp's tale behind the ban involves a local Scottish tournament and the characters set to compete on the golf course, including Caeril Patersone, a shepherd, and his friend and caddie Micael Carrick. A nobleman, realizing Patersone is likely to win based on his superior skill, sets out to get the tournament canceled to protect him from a bad bet. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the book a "lively and colorful tale." Robert Saunderson, in a review for School Library Journal, praised Cupp for his first effort, stating that he "develops intrigue, suspense, humor, and historical curiosity that should work well for most readers." Booklist contributor Bill Ott found the book "quirky and fun."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2007, Bill Ott, review of The Edict, p. 29.
Publishers Weekly, March 12, 2007, review of The Edict, p. 36.
School Library Journal, August, 2007, Robert Saunderson, review of The Edict, p. 143.
Golf Week Online,http://www.golfweek.com/ (April 30, 2007), Bradley Klein, review of The Edict.
Random House Canada Web site,http://www.randomhouse.ca/ (November 6, 2007), "Author Interview."
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (November 6, 2007), author profile.