Favorite American golf course architect?

My vote is for Donald Ross - hands down, I feel.


Does Ross count? He wasn’t an American… But he is one of my favorites for sure.

I’m a huge fan of Mike Strantz.

True Blue in Myrtle Beach is one of my all time favorite Tracks.

George C. Thomas, Jr.
Courses Built

* North at Los Angeles Country Club, The - Private in Los Angeles
* Ojai Valley Inn & Spa - Resort in Ojai
* Palos Verdes Golf Club - Semi-Private in Palos Verdes Estates
* Red Hill Country Club - Private in Rancho Cucamonga
* Saticoy Golf Course - Public in Ventura
* Spring Lake Golf Club - Private in Spring Lake Heights
* The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades
* Whitemarsh Valley Country Club - Private in LaFayette Hill

I think George was American…
I’m sure Barkow would know… but I grew up on Palos Verdes CC… where Hogan chose to shoot his action shots for his
Biographical film “Follow the Sun”

It’s just a great little track.

Los Angeles CC for those who have been fortunate enough to play there, is one of the worlds greatest courses.

Scottish not American :sunglasses:

But an architect of American golf courses. Ambiguous title.

Yes, I phrased the title wrong - favorite architects of American courses -

Ross is Scottish, yes :laughing:

Its still too ambiguous though.

Are you talking about golf courses that are in America or ‘american’ courses. ‘American’ courses can be found around the world, they usually have too much water, superfluous and easy bunkering, wide fairways and are often tree lined. The fairways are manicured and as soft as the greens. They are normally ginormous and could be described as ‘green bits surrounded by cart paths’


I agree with that.

I also agree that Ross was great. He was…a kid who grew up at Royal Dornach in Scotland, became a really good golfer and architect. Like everyone, that early experience must have forever influenced everything he did, even after he moved to America to build so many courses.

Ross is my favorite all-time architect. There’s a course outside of Syracuse that is a Ross design and it’s private. A family friend of mine, about 20 years older than me, had connections with the pro shop. On weekdays we would play 18 holes and walk for $12, on a beautifully manicured Donald Ross course and we were the only golfers out there. Good times.

One of my favorite American architects is Arnold Palmer. I’ve played a few of his designs and have enjoyed every one of them. And Eagle Watch in Woodstock, GA is one of my favorite courses I’ve ever played.


My vote is for Robert Muir Graves. Neat little story: I moved to the bay area 6 years ago after college to take a job and quickly began familiarizing myself with all the bay area public golf courses. Eventually the girlfriend drug me up highway 1 for a vacation in this sleepy little coastal town called Gualala. Turns out Gualala is the home of the Sea Ranch Golf Links, a really neat Graves links design out in the middle of nowhere that looks like it was cut out of coastal Scotland and transported to the California coast. Every once in a while you have one of those rounds that really affect you on an emotional level, be it because of the weather, company, the course, etc. Well I had 2 of these to bookend a great trip and when I got home I was curious about this Graves guy, who is revered in the Sea Ranch community. Well it turns out that he has designed a bunch of courses up and down the Pacific coast, many of which I played growing up, and it turns out that my favorite little muni goat track (Chalk Mountain in Atascadero), hundreds of miles away, where I played every summer day and really cultivated a love for a game was also designed by Graves. I loved his courses before I ever understood course design.

Here’s a list of his achievements:

Courses Built
Big Meadow at Black Butte Ranch - Resort in Black Butte Ranch
Bigwood Golf Course - Public in Ketchum
Bip Roberts Municipal Golf Course - Public in Helena
Blackberry Farm Golf Course - Public in Cupertino
Boundary Oak Golf Course - Public in Walnut Creek
Bridges at Gale Ranch, The - Public in San Ramon
Brooktrails Golf Course - Public in Willits
Buchanan Fields Golf Course - Public in Concord
Canterwood Golf Club - Private in Gig Harbor
Chalk Mountain Golf Course - Public in Atascadero
Championship at Buffalo Hill Golf Club - Public in Kalispell
Cherry Island Golf Course - Public in Elverta
Contra Costa Country Club - Private in Pleasant Hill
Diablo Hills Golf Course - Public in Walnut Creek
East at Blue Rock Springs Golf Course - Public in Vallejo
Eighteen Hole at Villages Golf & Country Club - Private in San Jose
El Cariso Golf Course - Public in Sylmar
Executive at Las Positas Golf Course - Public in Livermore
Franklin Canyon Golf Course - Public in Hercules
Glen Annie Golf Club in Goleta
Greens at Redmond, The - Public in Redmond
Highlands/Park at Casper Golf Club - Semi-Private in Casper
Illahe Hills Country Club in Salem
Jackpot Golf Club - Resort in Jackpot
Kinabalu Golf Club in Sabah
La Purisima Golf Course - Public in Lompoc
Lake Merced Golf & Country Club - Private in Daly City
Logan River Golf Course - Public in Logan
Maderas Golf Club in Poway
Meadow Springs Country Club - Private in Richland
MeadowWood Golf Course - Public in Liberty Lake
Monterey Pines Golf Course in Monterey
Moraga Country Club - Private in Moraga
Mountain Springs Golf & Country Club - Semi-Private in Sonora
Murray Parkway Golf Course - Public in Murray
North/West at Avalon Golf Club - Public in Burlington
Northstar at Tahoe Golf Course - Resort in Truckee
Overlake Golf & Country Club - Private in Medina
Paradise Valley Golf Course - Public in Fairfield
Park/Links at Casper Golf Club - Semi-Private in Casper
Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club - Resort in Carmel
Rancho del Pueblo Golf Course in San Jose
Regulation at Las Positas Golf Course - Public in Livermore
Rio Bravo Country Club - Private in Bakersfield
River’s Edge Golf Course - Public in Bend
Salinas Fairways Golf Course - Public in Salinas
San Geronimo Golf Club - Public in San Geronimo
San Jose Municipal Golf Course - Public in San Jose
Santa Clara Golf & Tennis Club - Public in Santa Clara
Sea Ranch Lodge & Golf Links, The - Public in Sea Ranch
Seven Oaks Country Club - 9 Hole Course in Bakersfield
Seven Oaks Country Club - Private in Bakersfield
Short Nine at Villages Golf & Country Club - Private in San Jose
South/North at Avalon Golf Club - Public in Burlington
Sun Willows Golf Course - Public in Pasco
Swenson Executive at Swenson Park Golf Course - Public in Stockton
The South - Jack Clark at Chuck Corica Golf Complex - Public in Alameda
Thunder Canyon Country Club - Private in Washoe Valley
Tide/Timber at Port Ludlow Resort - Resort in Port Ludlow
Timber/Trail at Port Ludlow Resort - Resort in Port Ludlow
Trail/Tide at Port Ludlow Resort - Resort in Port Ludlow
Twin Lakes Golf Course - Public in Saint George
Van Buskirk Park Golf Course - Public in Stockton
West/South at Avalon Golf Club - Public in Burlington
Westridge Golf Club - Public in La Habra
Widgi Creek Golf Club - Semi-Private in Bend
Woodcreek Golf Club - Public in Roseville

Certainly some great Donald Ross tracks…
“Twomasters” and I dueled it out on a Donald Ross track “Roseland” years ago up in Canada.

Didn’t know Graves did El Cariso down in LA… I won a junior tournament there when I was 12. I remember someone telling me I just needed to bogey the last two to win… I think I bogeyed them both… but have a dusty trophy in a box somewhere to prove it!

Old thread but the Sea Ranch is without a doubt the best consecutive 9 holes I’ve ever played in my life. Mountain Springs was my high school and JC home course and when it first opened was the worst, most rinky dink half assed track on the face of the earth. The approaches on 10 of the 14 par 4s & 5s were blind, 6 tee shots literally had no landing area and 10 fairways were on more than a 10% slope one way or another, some a LOT more. Graves walked off the job halfway through the construction and the whole thing just about went into receivership. The unofficial name wads Mountain Goat Springs. They’ve fixed some of it over the years but it’s still far from perfect. It was a great home track though because the first time around nobody had any idea where to hit anything or what club to hit. There were a few times kids DQd because they ran out of ammo with all the OB tee shots and lost balls. Brutal stuff.