The Course Architect
A.W. Tillinghast was a Promethean figure in American golf.
Born in 1876, Albert Warren (A.W.) Tillinghast is the sixth golf course architect to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2015. Other members include Donald Ross (1977), Robert Trent Jones (1987), Allister MacKenzie (2005), Charles Blair Macdonald (2007) and Pete Dye (2008). Similar to these prominent architects, Tillinghast’s brilliance and creativity is found in some of the greatest golf courses in the United States. In 1922, Tillinghast, brought to life his vision of beauty and challenging play on the course now regularly enjoyed by a select number of players. Oak Hills Country Club is ranked as the most preferred private course in central Texas.
Tillinghast's trademark style is evident with its tree-lined fairways, bunker-protected greens and contoured putting surfaces.
In his dual roles as architect and prolific writer for the leading magazines of Golf’s Golden Era, “Tilly’s” design principles formed the foundation for the development of the modern golf course. The acknowledged master of an enormous variety of design elements, each of his courses seems distinct from every other… each one a unique and memorable original. His creations (including Baltursrol, Bethpage, Oak Hills, San Francisco Golf Club and Winged Foot) are universally acclaimed by players and fellow architects alike and have noted numerous national championships as well as top amateur and professional events, both in the era of their construction and down through the present day. Tilly viewed each his efforts as an opportunity its to provide 18 golfing inspirations and his self-designated philosophy, termed “The Course Beautiful,” was to provide a true test of the game for players of all abilities in a setting of maximum aesthetic harmony.“The merit hole is not judged by its length but rather by its interest and its variety…It isn’t how far, but how good!”A.W. Tillinghast