As first reported in the Bangor Daily News, Steve Norton, 80, had just made a hole-in-one (his first) last Thursday when one of his playing partners, Susan Hunter, stepped to the tee. Of course, having just witnessed an ace, a golfer refocuses just a bit in hopes of matching the feat. And Hunter nearly did.
Most golfers dream of the opportunity to play any of America’s 100 Greatest Courses. Mark Greer has played 95 of them, and he has the souvenirs to prove it. Some might opt to collect ball-markers, hats, or shirts from these courses as a keepsake, but Greer chose to collect a more unique item: divot-repair tools.
Golf architecture from the late 1800s through the Great Depression is a well-traveled road. Between contemporaneous books and articles from the likes of Horace Hutchinson, C.B. Macdonald, Alister Mackenzie, George Thomas and others, and from the discoveries of modern researchers who scour archives and digitized newspaper reports, the story of golf’s formative years in America
The Minnesota native wasn’t technically a golf course architect—he never built an actual course—but rather a golf course artist. And yet the creative flair and dramatic realism that Chapman, who died on July 9 at age 97, brought to his fictional drawings made them as memorable as some real-life designs. An accomplished player who attempted
When your family lineage of designing and building golf courses reaches back nearly 90 years, you tend to view the profession of golf course architecture from a unique perspective. Rees Jones began working for Robert Trent Jones in 1965 when his father was at the height of his career. That proximity to the most prominent
One of golf’s most mysterious sites is almost ready for its grand debut. Or for some, a re-introduction. Sheep Ranch is now the fifth 18-hole course at Oregon’s Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, as the Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw course opened officially on Monday, even amid covid-19 restrictions on the resort this spring. To understand
Pete Dye, “the man who reinvented golf course design,” as Golf Digest’s Ron Whitten described the master architect, died earlier this year at age 94. Dye’s greatest gifts are the golf courses he built for golfers around the world to enjoy, which will endure lifetimes, such as Harbour Town, which hosts the RBC Heritage this
Moments in golf’s recent history have taken important steps toward making the game more inclusive of the LGBTQ community. Two examples: TPC Harding Park hosting the inaugural Pride Open, organized by Greg Fitzgerald, the first out, gay male PGA teaching pro, and the USGA raising Pride flags at its headquarters in June and sharing an
What do artists desire most: critical acclaim or commercial success? They aren’t mutually exclusive, and every creator desires both, but rarely, in any medium, do the two overlap entirely. When he was younger, the always outspoken Kidd might have strived purely for critical consideration, embracing the notion that the artist’s role is to push the
The long-term consequences of golf courses sitting fallow for extended periods of time was a very real concern this past spring, as people around the world retreated indoors into quarantine. The thought of courses being abandoned en masse, out of hardship, was not on my mind in January, however, when I walked the site of
How much thought does an average golfer give to the way holes are laid out on a golf course? Does the routing matter, or at least does it matter more than the quality of the individual holes? Can a golf course be great if the routing is poor, and conversely, can a wonderful routing save
Seminole Golf Club, a mainstay in Golf Digest’s biennial ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, will be center stage during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Skins Game pitting Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff. What will viewers see when the vaunted course makes its television debut? Veteran architecture editor Ron
Every architect yearns to work on a great site, and almost all of them will tell you that good land is one of the top requirements for building a good golf course. Over the last 25 years, places like Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley and Barnbougle Dunes, in Tasmania—several of the most incredible sites to ever
For the last five years, nearly everything Gil Hanse touches seems to turn to gold. Hanse is arguably the hottest, and hardest working, golf architect in the business and has had an incredible string of successes, with both original designs and restorations of storied courses, since the debut of his Rio Olympics course in 2016.
It’s time to talk about The King, specifically the golf courses of Arnold Palmer Design Company. For more than 45 years, Palmer’s design company has built highly entertaining and beautiful courses worldwide for clients who were proud to display the Palmer name. But was there a cohesive design intent behind the hundreds of courses the
12. Seminole Golf Club Donald Ross (1929) / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2017) A majestic Donald Ross design with a clever routing on a rectangular site, each hole at Seminole encounters a new wind direction. The greens are no longer Ross, replaced 50 years ago in a regrassing effort that showed little appreciation for
It began with a simple question: if The Old Course at St. Andrews is so great, why hasn’t it been mimicked or replicated more often? What a can of worms. Of course, it has been copied in different ways over time, and it remains the touchstone for so much of what we consider standard in
A single great feature, or even a merely interesting one, can enshrine a golf course with character. Pebble Beach and Cypress Point show off a rocky coastline like few others, but the endowment doesn’t have to be that grand. Character can come from lesser features, like a sand ridge (Seminole), a snaky tributary (Augusta) or