Gil Hanse’s favorite 10 courses in the world reflect his creativity, reverence for tradition

Gil Hanse's projects span from Pinehurst to Rio de Janeiro, while his top 10 courses reflect the tradition and creativity that inspire his designs.

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Gil Hanse is an earth-mover with an Ivy League pedigree. Hanse, who received his masters in landscape architecture from Cornell University, is entrenched as one of golf’s foremost 21st-century course architects. From Winged Foot to Sleepy Hollow and Pinehurst to Rio de Janeiro (where Hanse designed the first Olympic golf course in more than a century), Hanse has built a career shaping many of the game’s finest tracks.

Hanse’s top 10 courses list (or rather, top 2 courses, with eight runners-up) reflect decades of experience as a mover-and-shaker in the golf design industry. From golden age to modern-day, few architects unite creativity with tradition better.

French Creek Golf Club in Elverson, Pa.
Field guide: Exploring Gil Hanse-designed French Creek Golf Club
By: Christian Hafer

Gil Hanse’s top 10 courses in the world

1. The Old Course at St. Andrews – St. Andrews, Scotland

2. National Golf Links of America – Southampton, N.Y.

(Remainder are in alphabetical order)

Chicago Golf Club – Wheaton, Ill.

Cypress Point Club – Pebble Beach, Calif.

Los Angeles Country Club, North Course – Los Angeles, Calif.

Merion Golf Club, East Course – Ardmore, Pa.

Muirfield Golf Club – Muirfield, Scotland

Pine Valley Golf Club – Pine Valley, N.J.

Royal County Down – Newcastle, United Kingdom

Royal Melbourne, West Course – Melbourne, Australia

Gil Hanse’s top 10 courses in the world list. Gil Hanse

James Colgan Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at