Course Designers

 

The Early Years

The first design of the Saint Andrew’s Mt. Hope course was the work of William Henry Tucker Sr. who had joined the professional staff in 1895. Having apprenticed under Tom Dunn, whose U.K. based firm was, at the time, the most active golf course construction company in the world, “Willie” Tucker was well qualified to lay out the new course. The project was initiated in 1896; the course officially opened in the summer of 1897. Tucker would go on to design more than 100 golf courses across the U.S. during a career spanning more than 50 years.

In 1914 the Saint Andrew’s Board reached out to Donald Ross for suggestions of improvements to the layout of (then) holes 10-14. Ross created a graceful new design for this section of the course which stood, with little change, for 65 years. Three of these holes … today’s 8,14 and 15 … remain in play with fairway lines unchanged.

In 1928 the Saint Andrew’s Board solicited James Braid, Scotland’s most famous and prolific golf course designer, for suggestions of improvements. Braid responded with a detailed redesign of (then) holes 15-18. His recommendations were implemented in 1929, making Saint Andrew’s the only American member of the more than 400 clubs that comprise the Association of James Braid Golf Courses. The tee and fairway line of Braid’s 16th hole remain in play on today’s 9th hole.

The Modern Era

In 1983 the Saint Andrew’s Board entered into an agreement with Jack Nicklaus and Associates for the redesign of the Mt. Hope course and the creation of a “Jack Nicklaus Golfing Community at Saint Andrew’s”. JNA modernized the course, installing new greens, traps and waterways. The back nine was rerouted into wooded highlands to the west of the original layout, bringing stunning new sight-lines into play. The new “Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Saint Andrew’s” opened on May 29, 1985.

Throughout its more than 125 years of operation at Mt. Hope, the Saint Andrew’s Board has sought to improve the playability and quality of its magnificent golf course while retaining the best features of its historic design. The quest for continuous improvement, deeply rooted in the Club’s history and culture, is ongoing.