Jim Engh (James J. Engh)

Born: 1958 (Dickinson, North Dakota)

Jim Engh received a B.A. in landscape architecture from Colorado State University in 1985, and over the subsequent years has come to be known as the modern master of mountain golf course design. But Engh's reputation as a mountain course designer belies his varied portfolio, which ranges from Great Lakes woods to rolling grassland prairies to links, and, of course, mountain ranges throughout North America and Asia.

If Engh's signature design style can be summed up in a few words, it is his ability to turn intimidating, extreme, even seemingly inhospitable landscapes into golf courses, while still conveying the essential nature of the land.

After a brief stint as Director of Golf Course Design and Construction for British firm Cotton Pennick, and then IMG Development, in the late 1980s, Engh founded his own firm in 1991. Within a decade, his designs were appearing at the tops of golf publication awards lists, including an unprecedented four "Best New Course" awards by Golf Digest from 1997 to 2003 (three straight from 2001-2003), and the first Architect of the Year Award from the same magazine in 2003.

One of Engh's most striking "extreme landscape" mountain courses is Fossil Trace in Denver, where 64 million-year-old triceratops footprints and other fossils still reside alongside the 12th green. Another example is The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa in Grand Junction, Colo., where verdant fairways wind between ridges, mounds, and mesas of natural red rocks.

Engh's non-mountain designs have also won awards. Tullymore Golf Club in Stanwood, Mich. -- the "best new public course" in 2002 – has been ranked as high as 15th on lists of the greatest public courses in the nation. Wetlands, towering pines, and blind shots characterize Tullymore, as does an Engh hallmark found on many of his designs: snaking, trench-like, white-sand bunkers that define green complexes and landing areas.

Engh's elite portfolio consists of layouts that all feel and look unlike those of any other golf architect, past or present.

Average Overall Rating

4.2 stars from 5

based on 420 reviews.

4-5 stars:
3-4 stars:
2-3 stars:
1-2 stars:
Avg. Course Layout: 3.9 stars from 5
Avg. Off-Course Amenities: 3.8 stars from 5
Avg. Value for the Money: 4.0 stars from 5
Avg. Pace of Play: 4.2 stars from 5
Avg. Staff Friendliness: 4.3 stars from 5
Avg. Course Conditions: 4.4 stars from 5

Jim Engh-designed golf courses map