Question of the week [Sept. 19-25]: If you could only play courses designed by one golf course engineer, who would that engineer be and why?
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Courses designed by Arthur Hills of Toledo, Ohio. Fun and entertaining courses for golfers of all skill levels.
Hands up, Mike Strantz.
Bring visual intimidation and creativity to golf. He took eight courses, mostly in the East. Two in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and two in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Blueberry Hill Farm in Asheboro, North Carolina, and Tobacco Road by Pinehurst are an absolute gem. Bring your sense of humor. Sadistic golf at its best.
Alistair Mackenzie. Beautiful designs that are simple, don’t move much dirt and are visually stunning. Pasatiempo – A little paradise.
Stanley Thompson, one of the best players ever.
Dye house. He always seems to score well in his laps. My favorite is at Purdue University [Kampen Course].
I like to play Donald Ross designs because they are fair, usually not real tall, and they are plentiful and scattered all over the states. Some of my best rides were on his courses.
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Tom Fazio of course. His courses are challenging, but playable, and all of them are great. His mastery of the parkland golf course is self-evident. A real pleasure to play any of his designs.
Palm Bay, Florida
One Architect – Mike Strans. His courses are challenging, fair and well-thought-out. Stand on any starting point and you will see everything, but you have questions. I don’t know of anyone who built a more beautiful golf course. caledonia golf and fish club [Pawleys Island, South Carolina], especially the back nine; The rugged beauty of True Blue Golf Club [Pawleys Island]; Blueberry Hill farm with carved rock formations and streams winding everywhere to Tobacco Road, a trail like no other. If you play it with an open mind, you will wonder what just happened and want to reboot. It is unfortunate that his early death prevented further great designs.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
I love the simplicity of his designs and the challenge of playing his courses. They look simple, but they play hard. I am a member of the Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Scotland. Ross was born in Dornoch and grew up working on the golf course. Once you play RDGC, you will understand the impact that course has on every course that he or she has designed. I think the second hole in the RDGC is the best level 3 I’ve ever played. I am also a member of four Ross courses – one of which is the last one designed and built by, Raleigh Country Club. The 15th hole in the RCC is short, sloping. It’s a great example of how he uses what I jokingly call “optical illusions”. There is a large bunker on the left side of the fairway that appears to be from where most people got shot, next to the green area. In fact it is located 20 yards in front of the green. Its position makes the golfer think it is closer to the green than it is, which shortens most of the approach shots off the green.
Raleigh, North Carolina / Dornoch, Scotland
Donald Ross. I like to play Donald Ross tournaments because they are fair to every player with a skill level and can be a very rigorous test of the best players in the world. It seems that he uses the natural terrain in his schemes.
Port St Lucy, Florida
Easy question: Tom Fazio. why? The courses are very playable for all levels, but give golf course management. That is, if you miss a lane or green in the wrong place, you will find it difficult to equalize. Immediately behind Fazio will be Donald Ross. For obvious reasons. You can play the most important historical tracks in the country.
It’s up to two great architects, AW Tillinghast and Alister MacKenzie. Both were masterful designers and belonged to the all-time top five. Ultimately, I chose MacKenzie because it worked specifically on three courses I’ve seen, but I’ve never played. Augusta National, Cypress Point, and Crystal Downs are three excellent trails to say the least.
To paraphrase a well-known writer, “No architect has such a complete understanding of the game. His courses are not overly penalty, nor are they overly long. They are not easy. They are fun and exciting. It is like a puzzle. You have to figure it out.” Augusta National was baffling. Best game since 1932. The funny thing is that I just got back from playing one of the gems of Tinglinghurst, Niagara Falls Country Club, which hosts the Porter’s Cup every year. That, coupled with the fact that he designed over 250 courses almost gave him a nod.
Stanley Thompson would be my choice. His best designs (St Georges, Kitchener Westmount and Highland Links) showcase classic/timeless design characteristics that stand the test of time at the amateur and professional level. Stanley Thompson has been as good as any designer over the past 100 years. The courses and the superior strategic design speak for itself.
My father, George Cope. for example; Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.
George Cobb, Jr.
West Columbia, South Carolina
Robert Trent Jones Sr.
I have always enjoyed the Mr. Jones designed courses with the big greens, lots of refueling and the natural surroundings of the earth. Meeting him in the late 1970s at Tanglewood Park in North Carolina – two courses of his design – was a real pleasure. Knowing I’m Canadian, he asked if I had played the Kananaskis in Alberta, because it was one of his most favorite projects.
He had an open budget from the Alberta Heritage Trust to design the 36 holes.
Seth Raynor was a pro of course guiding to improve lines of sight and increase playability on parts of the property that weren’t ideal for the big 18 holes.
Roslin Heights, New York
In the historical category, I’ll pick up AW Tillinghast. It’s clearly one of the greatest options and your options are endless. There is no better line in the United States.
In the modern category, I will accept David McClay Kidd. You can play a variety of tournaments and play all over the world. Who wouldn’t want a steady diet of Bandon Dunes?
Fort Worth, Texas
I will only play courses designed by Donald Ross.
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Donald Ross or Core and Crenshaw. There is no deception.
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