The ultimate list for the discerning golfer

Most Influential Tillinghast Courses
By Robert S. Trebus
Robert S. Trebus is President of the Tillinghast Association and co-editor of the Tillinghast Trilogy,
the collected writings, sketches and photographs of A.W. Tillinghast—"The Course Beautiful, Reminiscences of the Links" and "Gleanings from the Wayside."

Shawnee on the Delaware:
His first major commission, it opened in 1911 and became home to the now defunct Eastern Open, an early major. Located in the idyllic Delaware Water Gap, the best holes include the famous Binniekill, a par-3 that plays over a branch of the Delaware.

Pine Valley:
Although George Crump and Harry Colt are credited with the overall design of Pine Valley, several others contributed design ideas. Tillinghast takes credit for the long 7th and 14th. The great Sahara cross hazard on No. 7 became a trademark feature on dozens of his other par-5s.
Somerset Hills: One of his early commissions, this cult classic in New Jersey was designed to have a finish every bit as grand as the one at Merion’s East course, which had just opened.

San Francisco:

Over the course of 20 years, Tillinghast made several trips over the early highways and byways to California to design and redesign the course. The bunkering is some of his best, and the short No. 7 was built on the ground of the last legal duel fought in the U.S.


Hired to build a second course at Baltusrol, which had hosted five national championships, Tillinghast boldly told Baltusrol to blow up the old course. Instead he would build "dual" golf courses—the Lower and Upper. When completed, he advertised himself as the "Creator of Baltusrol."

Winged Foot:
The famous East and West courses are on the rolling Westchester County terrain that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson. Tillinghast hailed it as the model for a 36 hole complex.

Brook Hollow:

Built in the style of Pine Valley for a cadre of Dallas businessmen, the heavily bunkered course was the first to install automatic irrigation.

The 27 hole complex and site of the 1936 Ryder Cup was Tillinghast’s home course when he lived in Harrington Park, N.J. The head pro was PGA President George Jacobus, who retained him to be the consulting course architect for the PGA.


A hidden gem explodes the myth that the classic designers did not move a lot of dirt. On the Palisades near the Hudson River, it took a crew of 200 men two years to dynamite rock outcroppings, clear forest, drain swamps and bulldoze and shape the land.

Modeled after Pine Valley, the Black course may have been Tillinghast’s sternest "man killer." But this complex of four courses represented an unprecedented feat—the development of four courses simultaneously. On completion, Tillinghast aptly predicted that Bethpage would become a Mecca for public golf.

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