Ben Crenshaw (Ben Daniel Crenshaw)

Born: Jan 11, 1952 (Austin, Texas)

The enduring image most golfers have of Ben Crenshaw is his emotional victory in the 1995 Masters, which he dedicated to his instructor Harvey Penick, who had died a week earlier. Amazingly, Gentle Ben, as Crenshaw was known, didn't have a single three-putt the entire tournament.

The Masters victory was the exclamation point on a career that included three NCAA Championships, 29 career wins and the captain of the victorious 1999 Ryder Cup team. In 2002 Crenshaw was deservedly inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Crenshaw has put together an impressive second career as well, teaming up with Bill Coore in 1986 to form one of the most prestigious golf design companies in the world. Among Crenshaw's designs: Kapalua Resort in Hawaii, the Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth, Mass., Sand Hills in Nebraska and We-Ko-Pa in Scottsdale.

Crenshaw's interest in golf design began when he was 16 years old and playing in the U.S. Junior at Brookline Golf Course near Boston. He was intrigued by how the course designers made Brookline look so natural and, with its smallish greens and undulating terrain, so old. When he turned pro in 1973 he'd take side trips to visit courses designed by Donald Ross, A.W. Tillinghast or Alister MacKenzie.

Crenshaw doesn't believe in tricking up courses. In one interview he said, "The easiest thing you can do is build a hard course," Instead, he tries to design courses that are challenging for scratch golfers but are playable for weekend duffers.

Crenshaw has been described as an "old soul," and his courses reflect his personality. Many of them feature irregular, raggedy-edged bunkers -- a tribute to MacKenzie -- and small, undulating greens. One of his favorite quotes, attributed to John Low, a captain of the Royal & Ancient: "Undulation is the soul of the game."

Average Overall Rating

4.7 stars from 5

based on 1186 reviews.

4-5 stars:
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1-2 stars:
Avg. Course Layout: 4.8 stars from 5
Avg. Off-Course Amenities: 4.5 stars from 5
Avg. Value for the Money: 4.2 stars from 5
Avg. Pace of Play: 4.5 stars from 5
Avg. Staff Friendliness: 4.7 stars from 5
Avg. Course Conditions: 4.6 stars from 5

Ben Crenshaw-designed golf courses map