Last week, we introduced some great, less-heralded modern golf course architects whose work is more regional than national or worldwide in scope. These designers are responsible for both locally-loved and nationally-acclaimed courses alike.
This week, we're turning back the clock a bit, to focus on some classic architects of a similar stripe. These aren't the Donald Rosses, C.B. Macdonalds and A.W. Tillinghasts of the world, who managed to get around by ship, boat and early airplane. But these architects left behind a numerous consequential courses a little closer to home.
William Langford & Theodore Moreau
- The Golf Courses at Lawsonia (Links) - Green Lake, Wisc.
- Culver Academies - Culver, Ind. (9 holes)
- Harrison Hills Golf & Country Club - Attica, Ind.
- Marquette Golf Club (Heritage) - Marquette, Mich (9 of 18 holes)
- Wakonda Club - Des Moines, Iowa (private)
- The Country Club - Morristown, Tenn. (private)
- Texarkana Country Club - Texarkana, Ark. (private)
C.B. Macdonald, along with protégés Seth Raynor and Charles Banks, is well known for distinctively deep, flat-bottomed bunkering and greens that seem to drop off on all sides, but by no means did he have a monopoly on that exciting brand of design. Langford and Moreau's work is mostly confined to the Midwest, but their standout courses, including Lawsonia Links and Culver Academies, make for some of America's best inland golf.
Region: Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic, Ohio
- Cascades at Omni Homestead Resort - Hot Springs, Va.
- Atlantic City Country Club - Northfield, N.J.
- Seaview Resort (Pines) - Absecon, N.J.
- Lancaster Country Club - Lancaster, Penn. (private)
- Huntingdon Valley Country Club - Huntingdon Valley, Penn. (private)
- Philadelphia Country Club - Gladwyne, Penn. (private)
- Cherry Hills Golf Club - Cherry Hills Village, Colo. (private)
- Indian Creek Golf Club - Miami, Fla. (private)
The vast majority of Flynn's body of work is private, but key opportunities to enjoy his austere brilliance remain at Atlantic City, the Homestead and select other courses. We would love to see his courses at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland and Cleveland Heights in Lakeland, Florida restored as well.
Wayne Stiles & John Van Kleek
Region: Northeast, esp. New England
- Taconic Golf Club - Williamstown, Mass.
- Franconia Golf Course - Springfield, Mass.
- Country Club of New Hampshire - Sutton, N.H.
- Hooper Golf Club - Walpole, N.H. (9 holes)
- Rutland Country Club - Rutland, Vt.
- Prouts Neck Country Club - Scarborough, Me. (private, open to Black Point Inn guests)
- Split Rock Golf Course - Bronx, N.Y.
- Glen Arven Golf Club - Thomasville, Ga.
- Albuquerque Country Club - Albuquerque, N.M.
- Tarpon Springs Golf Course - Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Despite relative obscurity in modern times, Stiles and Van Kleek had a long and prosperous career in golf course design, with more than 100 courses bearing their names. Shying away from high-profile projects, they made inexpensive, solid golf their priority, and as a result, their courses tend to be beloved by locals first and foremost. But they have their prestige: Taconic is one of the best college golf courses in the country and the great Bobby Jones played the last round of his life at the Stiles/Van Kleek-designed Wahconah.
- Riviera Country Club - Pacific Palisades, Calif. (private)
- Los Angeles Country Club - Los Angeles, Calif (private)
- Ojai Valley Inn & Spa - Ojai, Calif.
- Stanford University Golf Course - Palo Alto, Calif.
- Saticoy Regional Golf Course - Ventura, Calif. (9 holes)
- Whitemarsh Valley Country Club - Lafayette Hill, Penn. (private)
- Marion Golf Course - Marion, Mass. (9 holes)
Thomas' body of work was quite small relative to the influence of his best designs, namely Riviera and Los Angeles Country Clubs. If you don't have private club connections, focus your efforts on Stanford and Ojai to get an idea of the dramatic bunkering style Thomas deployed on his courses.
Region: United Kingdom, especially England
- Swinley Forest Golf Club - Berkshire, England
- St. Georges Hill Golf Club - Surrey, England
- Stoke Park Country Club & Resort - Buckinghamshire, England
- Formby Golf Club - Merseyside, England
- Royal Portrush Golf Club - County Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Muirfield - East Lothian, Scotland
- Aberdovey Golf Club - Gwynedd, Wales
- Century Country Club - Purchase, N.Y. (private)
- Old Elm Club - Highland Park, Ill.
- Toronto Golf Club - Mississauga, Ont.
- Koninklijke Haagsche Golf & Country Club - The Hague, The Netherlands
The United Kingdom only really counts as a "region" by virtue of its size relative to corresponding "regions" in the United States. After all, for hundreds of years, it constituted the entire world of golf and golf courses. Nevertheless, Colt is noteworthy for the incredibly high standard of courses he left behind in the U.K. - including legendary links, heathland and parkland courses - as well as some notable designs in Continental Europe and the U.S.
Region: United Kingdom, especially Scotland
- Brora Golf Club - Sutherland, Scotland
- Championship Course at Carnoustie Golf Links - Angus, Scotland
- Dunbar Golf Club - East Lothian, Scotland
- Lundin Golf Club - Fife, Scotland
- Murcar Links Golf Club - Aberdeen, Scotland
- Royal Troon Golf Club - Troon, Scotland
- St. Enodoc Golf Club - Cornwall, England
- Hunstanton Golf Club - Norfolk, England
- Pennard Golf Club - Swansea, Wales
- Grange Golf Club - Dublin, Ireland
- Newlands Golf Club - Dublin, Ireland
James Braid was first and foremost a professional golfer, known as part of the "Great Triumvirate" of the game around the turn of the 20th century (along with Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor). His prolific design career comprised more than 200 courses, all of them in the United Kingdom with the exception of a small handful in the Republic of Ireland. His well-routed, strategically sound courses are solid tests, from the more modest small-town clubs to the mighty Carnoustie, which hosts the 2018 Open Championship.
Stanley Thompson (EDITOR'S LATE ADDITION)
- Cape Breton Highlands Golf Course - Sydney, Nova Scotia
- Green Gables Golf Course - Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
- Banff Springs Golf Club - Banff, Alberta
- Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course - Jasper, Alberta
- Whirlpool Golf Course - Niagara Falls, Ontario
- St. George's Golf & Country Club - Etobicoke, Ontario (private)
- Chagrin Valley Country Club - Chagrin Falls, Ohio (private)
- Constant Springs Golf Club - Kingston Jamaica
- San Andres Golf Club - Bogota, Colombia
Stanley Thompson, the "Toronto Terror," had a prolific career that included more than 150 courses, the vast majority in Canada. His flair for bunkering and strategically fascinating holes translates well in any setting, from the Maritimes to the mountains of Alberta.
Have you played any of these classic regional golf course architects' courses? Share your reminiscences and recommendations in the comments below!