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Golf Course Architects

Updated: Jun 13, 2018

#Golf #Architect

Robert Trent Jones, Sr., (born June 20, 1906, Ince, England, died June 14, 2000, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.), was the British-born American golf course architect who was one of the world’s leading designers of golf courses.


He designed or remodeled over 500 courses during a 70+ year career


After enjoying his life as a professional golfer, Jones took up golf course architecture in the 1930s. Among his notable course designs were the Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif., and Peachtree Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga. He also remodeled Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga., and Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.


In 1947 Jones became a founding member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and later served as the society’s president.



Rees Jones was born in Montclair, New Jersey the son of legendary golf course designer Robert Trent Jones and the younger brother of golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

Born: September 16, 1941 (age 76), Montclair, NJ

Parents: Robert Trent Jones

Award: Old Tom Morris Award

Books: Golf Course Developments

Siblings: Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Education: Yale University, Harvard University


Donald Ross, 1872-1948 (Wikipedia)


Asheville Golf Course is one of the oldest courses in Western North Carolina. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this classic layout was designed by famed course architect Donald Ross in 1927 and it accomplishes the difficult double task of being challenging and fun.


Donald Ross is considered one of the major forces in the history of American golf course architecture. Born and raised in Dornoch, Scotland, he learned several different golfing skills, including greenkeeper, club maker, pro, and architect. In 1889, Ross would take his talents to the United States, accepting a position as a pro-greenkeeper at Oakley Country Club near Boston. After accepting the position, Ross redesigned the golf club, which displayed his ability as a golf course architect. Ross would be approached by the Tuft family and persuaded him to become the winter professional at the golf course they were building in Pinehurst, N.C., which is now known as Pinehurst Resort.


The planning and remodeling work at the Pinehurst golf complex brought Ross national fame and his services were being requested all throughout the United States. From 1912 to 1948, Ross was considered to be America’s best-known and most active architect. By 1925, Ross had over 3,000 employees working for him on the construction process of his golf courses.

Ross’ design philosophy incorporated much of what he saw when he grew up in Scotland. His courses tended to have a links touch to them and a natural feel. Ross was also known for sculpting complex green surfaces that required a premium on short recovery shots.

Ross played a major role in the formation of ASGCA and hosted the first ever Annual Meeting at Pinehurst in 1947. He also served as honorary ASGCA President, working alongside the first ASGCA President, Robert Bruce Harris, the same year. Ross’ legacy in American golf will forever be remembered and cherished by many.


Ross's most famous designs are Pinehurst No. 2, Aronimink Golf Club, East Lake Golf Club, Seminole Golf Club, Oak Hill, Memphis Country Club, Inverness Club and Oakland Hills. Some of his early work was in Virginia and includes Jefferson Lakeside Country Club and Sewell's Point Golf Course. He also designed the Municipal Golf Course at Asheville, North Carolina in 1927.[2] He displayed great attention to detail. Often he created challenging courses with very little earth moving; according to Jack Nicklaus, "His stamp as an architect was naturalness." His most widely known trademark is the crowned or "turtleback" green, most famously seen on Pinehurst No. 2, though golf architecture writer Ron Whitten argued in Golf Digest in 2005 that the effect had become exaggerated compared to Ross's intention because greenkeeping practices at Pinehurst had raised the centre of the greens. Ross also designed one of Westchester, New York's best courses, Whippoorwill Country Club, in Armonk, New York; however, Charles Banks was hired by Whippoorwill to redesign the course in 1928. He also designed a 9-hole course in northern New York, known as the Schroon Lake Municipal Golf Club in 1918. He designed the Hope Valley Country Club in Durham, North Carolina in 1927.[3]

Ross often created holes which invited run-up shots but had severe trouble at the back of the green, typically in the form of fallaway slopes. In the 1930s he revolutionized greenskeeping practices in the Southern United States when he oversaw the transition of the putting surfaces at Pinehurst No. 2 from oiled sand to Bermuda grass. Ross also designed the course at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina which is home to the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship. Currently, Sedgefield Country Club is the only regular Donald Ross design on the PGA Tour. Aronimink Golf Club, located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, played host to the AT&T National in 2010 and 2011.

Ross was a founding member and first president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, which was formed at Pinehurst in 1947. He was admitted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977, a high honor rarely awarded for anything other than playing success.

Ross died while completing his final design at Raleigh Country Club in North Carolina. Ross is buried in Newton Cemetery in Newton, Massachusetts.


William B. Lewis, "Willie B." (1924 - Born: Easley, South Carolina


1. Crown Plaza Golf Course Asheville

Crown Plaza Golf Course Asheville, previously named Great Smokies Holiday Inn Sun Spree Resort, is a Resort 9 hole golf course  located in Asheville,North Carolina .

The course first opened for play in 1976. The course was designed by William B. Lewis.

The course captures the beauty of the Western North Carolina mountains and offers just enough challenge to keep the game interesting. The course is nestled on 120 acres within the Appalachians, plus is surrounded by the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains.  There are streams coming into play throughout the course's design.

Par for the course is 35. From the back tees. the course plays to 2,800 yards. From the forward tees. the course measures 2,232 yards. The longest hole on the course is # 6, a par-5 that plays to 510 yards. The shortest hole on the course is # 9, a par-3 that plays to 125 yards from the back tees.

Watch out for # 8, a 395-yard par-4 challenge and the #1 handicap hole on the course. The easiest hole at Crown Plaza Golf Course Asheville is # 5, a 140 yard par-3.


Willie B. worked on farms that his father bought to rejuvenate and sell. Willie ran the tractor and did the earth moving as necessary. Although he studied textiles at Clemson, he would do landscaping work on weekends. Eventually he entered the landscape business on a full time basis. When he and others decided to build a country club in Pickens, North Carolina, he was asked to build it since he was in landscaping. He knew he needed help so he contacted a golf pro, a Canadian, living in Georgia by the name of Bob Renaud and the two of them laid out what was then County Country Club (later changed to Pickens C.C.). Willie did all the construction. Renaud stayed on for a while as pro-manager.


Willie was eventually introduced to George Cobb and they first worked together on C. C. of Sapphire with Willie doing the grading work. They followed that up with Green Valley Country Club. From there Willie got more involved in course design and eventually went out on his own having worked with Cobb for about six years. In 1970 he moved his business to Sarasota, Florida where he spent four years before moving back to Pickens. He got out of the course construction business and focused on course design.

Willie is most proud of the work he did creating Bent Tree C.C. in Sarasota which was the site of a LPGA tour event for several years. He always continued his landscaping business along with his involvement with golf course design and construction.