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

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

James Colgan Editor

James Colgan is a news and features editor at GOLF, writing stories for the website and magazine. He manages the Hot Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and utilizes his on-camera experience across the brand’s platforms. Prior to joining GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse University, during which time he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at