Designers' Choice: Everyone Plays Favorites — Including the Game's Best Architects

[IMAGE "1924248" LEFT] Favorite course by a dead architect: It's silly to pick just one of them. On different days it might be National Golf Links, the Old Course at St. Andrews, Cypress Point, Royal Melbourne or Crystal Downs.

Favorite course by a living architect (other than yourself): Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw's Sand Hills. I walked the routing just before they started construction, and I counted 12 or 13 holes where they could just mow out the green without any artificial contouring. Amazing.

[IMAGE "1924249" LEFT] Favorite course by a dead architect: Old Tom Morris's Machrihanish, minus the final two holes. The course reminds modern designers to respect the landscape and not move heaven and earth where it's unnecessary.

Favorite course by a living architect (other than yourself): Kyle Phillips' Kingsbarns. He created a dunescape that appears completely natural, even to the trained eye.


[IMAGE "1927395" LEFT] Favorite course by a dead architect: From a design perspective, Pinehurst No. 2. It's a totally tree-lined course where a tree doesn't come into play, and water hazards are nonexistent. There is water on the 16th hole, but it's not really in play.

Favorite course by a living architect (other than yourself): Pete Dye's Harbour Town. I've always had a great deal of respect for Pete Dye — he had a strong influence on my design career. Of course, I did have a little to do with Harbour Town, since I consulted on the project!

[IMAGE "1924250" LEFT] Favorite course by a dead architect: Alister MacKenzie's Augusta National is green and white — pristine, dark green with the brilliant white bunkers. Pine Valley has natural brown tones with shaggy grass. Hard to choose.

Favorite course by a living architect (other than yourself): Jack Nicklaus's Muirfield Village and Pete Dye's Stadium Course at PGA West. Muirfield's rolling countryside tests the world's best players every year, while PGA West revolutionized golf with its contouring.

[IMAGE "1924246" LEFT] Favorite course by a dead architect: Pine Valley — it's a great mix of holes with a lot of strategy.

Favorite course by a living architect (other than yourself): Sand Hills. Like Pine Valley, it's got great variety and strategy, and the setting is one of golf's all-time best theaters! I could say the same for Pacific Dunes.

[IMAGE "1924251" LEFT] Favorite course by a dead architect: The National Golf Links and Cypress Point. The National is the most amazingly intriguing course in America. Cypress Point is the most beautiful pairing of golf architecture and landscape architecture.

Favorite course by a living architect (other than yourself): Tom Doak's Pacific Dunes. When I walked off Pacific Dunes, I asked myself, "On our best day, at the absolute top of our game, could our team have done this well?" I have serious doubts.

[IMAGE "1924252" LEFT] Favorite course by a dead architect: Cypress Point. Arguably the most beautiful setting for golf, with strategically diverse and memorable holes.

Favorite course by a living architect (other than yourself): Pacific Dunes. Doak took a brilliant piece of linksland and delivered a great golf experience, refusing to allow traditional notions of par sequence or length to compromise what the land called for.

[IMAGE "1924245" LEFT] Favorite course by a dead architect: Donald Ross's Pinehurst No. 2. The great classic courses demand imagination and experience, not simply the application of power. No. 2 is unexcelled in this way.

Favorite course by a living architect (other than yourself): TPC Sawgrass. By forcing doubt into the players' minds, Pete Dye created a new level of challenge.

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