Professional Golfers And Course Design

Mike Weir wants to get into course design.

I’m not surprised. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a successful pro who doesn’t think about that line of work.

But I’m not at all sure that professional golfers are the best judges of what makes a good course. I’ve played several courses designed by famous pros, and I don’t know that they’re worth the fuss. The Els course I played was fun, as were the Palmer and Nicklaus courses, but they’re not on my must-play lists. On the other hand, the Tom Weiskopf-designed Forest Dunes may be the best I’ve ever encountered.

My favorite courses have actually been laid out by relatively unknown designers, or by outright amateurs. Those courses tend to have an air of “friendliness” that the others lack. The designers of those courses weren’t out to impress people with their architectural skills, but to construct a course that was fun, and that people wanted to play.

Weir may the right attitude, though:

“I think of my dad,” Weir said “I want to build courses that somebody who is a 20-handicapper can play.”

That sounds promising.

To be fair to the pro golfer designers, however, I haven’t really played enough of their courses to make a sound judgment. So I’m really interested in other’s judgments about celebrity golfer designed courses. Worth playing, or lacking in value?

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