One of the leading lights in modern golf course design, we look at some of the courses Gil Hanse has designed and restored.
What Courses Has Gil Hanse Designed?
In terms of climbing the golf design architectural ladder, American Gil Hanse has done just that, forming his own company, Hanse Golf Course Design in 1993, and has also been able to work with some other leading design minds like Tom Doak and Martin Hawtree.
As a result of a large body of work, Hanse has become one of the most influential golf course architects in the world right now and when you look at some of the courses he has designed and restored below, it comes as no surprise.
The original course was designed by Donald Ross and after someone found some old photographs of the course, a new restoration project was approved. Hanse was given this task and they looked to return the bunkers to the original Ross shapes and the greens were developed too. The work was completed in 2018 and later that year the course hosted the BMW Championship won by Keegan Bradley.
One of Hanse’s gems, Castle Stuart is a beauty of a modern links on the Moray Firth which has achieved much in under ten years, hosting the Scottish Open four times. The course is set over a fabulous stretch of coastline with a number of the most striking holes played right along the water’s edge as you can see above.
Hanse was brought in to advise on restoration at the course since 1995, but the original designer was Seth Raynor. Unbelievably the course sits on an island that is only two miles wide and eight miles long.
Los Angeles (North)
Originally laid out in 1897, the North course at Los Angeles Country Club had influence from Herbert Fowler, George C. Thomas Jr, William Bell , before Hanse was entrusted with restoration work. He clearly did an outstanding job because the course will get to host its first ever Major Championship in 2023, the US Open.
Another restoration job for Hanse, the American got his hands on the East course at Merion back in 2014, a year after Justin Rose won the US Open.
Oakland Hills (South)
A course that has hosted six US Opens and a Ryder Cup, the original layout was done by Donald Ross and Hanse has been advising the club on renovations since 2015.
Ohoopee Match Club
Hanse set out 22 stunning holes at this Georgia track that Rory McIlroy has admitted to being a member at.
Rio 2016 Olympic Course
Hanse was one of eight architects who bid for the right to design the course for the Olympic Games in 2016, and many believe he won because he was willing to move to Brazil during the construction. Hanse had to use his creativity in the design here because there was little elevation change in the land but the course was considered a success during the event as Justin Rose and Inbee Park went home with gold medals.
Southern Hills (Championship)
Widely thought to be the best golf course in Oklahoma is Southern Hills. Once the work of Perry Maxwell, Hanse headed a $19 million facility upgrade. This started in 2018 and plans looked at lengthening the course and installing a new irrigation system.
The third course at Streamsong is the Black which is much larger in scale compared to the other two courses currently on the property. The Blue was designed by Doak, whereas the Red was done by Coore and Crenshaw, but to many the Black is the finest of the three. It was unveiled to much fanfare in 2017.
Trump National Doral (Blue Monster, Golden Palm, Red Tiger)
Hanse has had a long renovation and restoration relationship with Donald Trump and his golf courses as he has played a part in all three of the courses at Trump National Doral. The best and most prestigious of the three is of course the Blue Monster which Hanse developed in 2014 and has hosted many big tournaments over the years.
Winged Foot (East and West)
A.W. Tillinghast originally put both of these courses together and Hanse restored them both which many have called his finest restoration work. The East was done in 2014 and the West, in preparation for the 2020 US Open, was done in 2016-17.
Other notable mentions – Boston, Crail, Narin & Portnoo, Plainfield, Pinehurst No.4, Quaker Ridge, Ridgewood (West & East), Taconic, The Country Club (Clyde & Squirrel), TPC Boston, Tokyo, Trump International Dubai, Vineyard
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