Here we explain who designed some of your favourite golf courses, from Augusta to St Andrews.
Your Favourite Golf Courses And Who Designed Them
Golf course architects often don’t get the recognition and plaudits they deserve for their work so to rectify that somewhat we took to Twitter to ask you what your favourite golf courses were, and we wanted to tell you who designed them. Let’s start of course with Augusta National.
The most famous and last design of Alister MacKenzie, Augusta National plays host to The Masters ever year. MacKenzie died two months before the first tournament, originally called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, was played.
The experience of playing golf’s “Grand Old Lady” is like no other in our sport. Almost every legend of professional golf has competed over this historic and iconic stretch of links land, and it will always be a site of pilgrimage for lovers of the game. 22 holes had been laid out by 1764 and the designer of these seems to be fairly unknown but in terms of the course we see today we should probably thank Old Tom Morris as he did extensive remodelling around 1860.
The Dunluce Course was designed by the great Harry Colt and even before its recent changes there were plenty who felt it was a contender for the best course in the whole of Ireland. The changes were done by MacKenzie and Ebert and they proved a huge success at the 2019 Open Championship.
Royal County Down
Now 125 years old, the course has evolved thanks to the influence of some of golf’s finest architects, including Old Tom Morris and Harry Colt. One of the game’s finest commentators, Bernard Darwin, described this classic links as one of “big and glorious carries, nestling greens, entertainingly blind shots, local knowledge and beautiful turf – the kind of golf that people play in their most ecstatic dreams”.
Jack Neville and Douglas Grant designed the course that opened on February 22, 1919.
Since then, there have been numerous revisions by: William Herbert Fowler (1922), Alister MacKenzie (1926), H. Chandler Egan (1928), Robert Hunter (1927), as well as Jack Nicklaus in creation of a new fifth hole in 1998.
Le Golf National
The venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup in which Europe destroyed he Americans was designed by Hubert Chesneau, Robert Von Hagge and Rick Baril.
In 1956 eminent English course architect Fred Hawtree was employed to remodel the course at Hillside. After extensive alterations, primarily to the back nine, the new course was ready for play by 1967.
Trump International Golf Links – Ireland
Set amidst the incredible dunes overlooking Doughmore Bay in County Clare, Greg Norman’s brilliant layout at Doonbeg has been further enhanced by Martin Hawtree since the Trump Organization took over in 2014. Everything about the place is stylish, and as you look out from the hotel and lodges over the rugged sand hills, the view of the 1st hole heading off into the dunes is one of the most alluring and compelling in golf.
Old Tom Morris extended the original nine-holer to 18 in 1886, introducing the plateaued, upturned-saucer greens for which the course is famed.
A sublime balance of fun and variety make this one of Harry Colt’s greatest legacies. Swinley Forest is one of a kind – no captain, no strokeplay competitions – very much its own club. The course appears in many world lists, and is one that lives up to the highest expectations.
A creation of Mark Parsinen and Kyle Phillips, Kingsbarns in Fife is set on land with a rich golfing history.
Golf has been played at Carnoustie for hundreds of years, but the Championship course is more recent – Allan Robertson laid out 10 holes in 1850, then Tom Morris made it 18.
There’s a strong case for saying that Carnoustie’s Championship course presents the sternest test of golf in the country and is arguably the toughest course on the Open rota.
Arnold Palmer’s first European course design, Tralee blends a more understated front nine with a back nine of unrelenting magnificence. The fearsome par-4 12th and spectacular par-3 13th across a deep chasm rank among the highlights. MacKenzie and Ebert have done work here too.
Kiawah Island (Ocean Course)
The Ocean course at Kiawah Island was designed by Pete Dye and was created for big events, as shown by the fact that it was completed just weeks before the 1991 Ryder Cup which famously became known as the ‘War on the Shore’. It also hosted the 2012 PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy.
Sawgrass is Pete Dye’s most famous creation as it hosts The Players Championship every year. But its most iconic hole, the island green par-3 17th was actually the handiwork of his wife Alice. The original design was supposed to have water just on the right-hand side but she had other ideas.
Trump International Golf Links – Scotland
This magnificent Martin Hawtree design to the north of Aberdeen, set in the towering dune-land of the Menie Estate, has captivated golfers since its opening in 2012.
Coore and Crenshaw were under pressure to deliver and compete with a brilliant neighbour as they set about designing their Cabot Cliffs. Just down the road is Cabot Links, a course that burst onto the golf scene when it opened. Once again though the two architects delivered a course that, to many, exceeds its neighbour. As you can see from the image above, it is simply spectacular.
Celtic Manor (2010 Course)
It was the vision and drive of Sir Terry Matthews that transformed an already substantial golf resort into the home of the 2010 Ryder Cup. Robert Trent Jones Jr was tasked with designing the course and he did so beautifully.
Members at Royal Porthcawl can thank both Harry Colt and Tom Simpson for their design genius, but perhaps more than that, they can be grateful for a wonderful tract of land that slopes gently upwards away from the beach creating sea views from start to finish.
The iconic course was originally laid out by Willie Fernie before restorations were made by A.N. Weir and Major Cecil Hutchinson. The Second World War had a huge impact on the course as several holes were turned into runways which led to Phillip MacKenzie Ross doing a major overhaul of the course. As a result the course would host its first Open Championship in 1977.
Substantial changes were then made by Martin Ebert and completed them excellently as shown by his work on the 9th hole in particular.
Golf has been played here since 1896 with the course getting a major James Braid makeover in 1908. The current Par-71, 6,231 yard lay-out has been described as the “links in the sky”, and looking down on the estuary from the 6th and 7th you’ll understand why.
Regularly voted one of the best courses in the world, Cypress Point on the Monterrey Peninsula was created by Alister MacKenzie.
It features many incredible holes, chief among which is the par-3 16th pictured above
There are three courses at Woburn, the Duke’s, Duchess’ and Marquess’. The first two were created by Charles Lawrie whereas the newer layout, the Marquess’ was finished in 2000 and had a design team of Ross McMurray, Clive Clark, Peter Alliss and Alex Hay.
The course at Waterville was originally designed by Jack Mulcahy, former Masters champion Eugene Claude Harmon, and one of Ireland’s greatest golf course architects, Eddie Hackett. Tom Fazio then renovated it back in 2006.
Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport hosted the Open Championship for the tenth time in 2017, and is regarded as one of the toughest, fairest and finest links in the UK.
The holes play predominantly along the valleys between often-imposing dunes, largely a legacy of Fred Hawtree’s and JH Taylor’s routing from the 1920s. It is believed the holes were originally created by George Lowe.
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