John van Kleek graduated from Cornell University in 1912 and received his Masters in Landscape Design the following year. He was the first golf architect to graduate from Cornell. He laid out the Albuquerque Country Club which opened in 1914 and joined Wayne Stiles in 1923, becoming a partner the following year. Van Kleek primarily worked in the busy Florida office until 1930 when he left the firm to work for Robert Moses in New York. He designed courses from South America to upstate New York, including private, public and municipal courses. He worked at times with Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. His biography is contained in The Life and Work of Wayne Stiles along with numerous photographs. An interview with his daughter Jean Pettigrew was conducted by Bob Labbance in August of 2007 and is available here.
TIF Images (click to download)
Pelham Bay NY Van Kleek without hat, Bobby Jones second from right.
In the Field in Florida L to R: Walter Hagen, Stiles, Van Kleek, Van Kleek’s brother Walter.