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Year of Birth1946 and 1952
Year of Death
Place of BirthAnderson, North Carolina and Austin, Texas, USA

Bill Coore grew up in Davidson County, North Carolina, just thirty miles south of Winston-Salem, where he spent his college years playing golf at Old Town Club, the home course for Wake Forest. After graduating in 1968 he started his career in golf architecture working on course construction for Pete Dye in the South Atlantic region.

“In the mid-Seventies, Coore helped build Waterwood National GC in Texas (a Roy Dye design) and then worked as an assistant to its course superintendent Gary Grandstaff.” Wrote Geoffrey Cornish and Ron Whitten in The Golf Course. “When Grandstaff joined Dye on a Mexican project, Coore took over as superintendent, and over the next several years rebuilt and modified most holes at Waterwood [now closed]. In the early 1980s Bill Coore spent two years designing and building his first solo layout. The result, Rockport (Texas) CC, so impressed popular PGA Tour golfer (and avid course design historian) Ben Crenshaw that Crenshaw asked Coore to join him in a golf design partnership.”

Prior to the 1986 establishment of the firm of Coore and Crenshaw Inc., Coore’s most prominent solo design lies to the north of Bordeaux at Golf du Médoc. Opened in 1989, the Châteaux course was Coore’s third solo design and his first and only European project.

Ben Crenshaw grew up in Austin and was first introduced to golf by his father, Charlie, at Austin Country Club where – as a six-year-old – he rode in a cart alongside his dad. He became fascinated by golf course architecture at age sixteen after seeing The Country Club in Brookline. He played golf at Austin High School and the University of Texas where he went on to win three NCAA collegiate championships before turning professional in 1973.

After a number of years refining his technique under the tutelage of Harvey Penick, “Gentle Ben” soon became one of the world’s best putters. His smooth stoke served him well, claiming his first of two Green Jackets on the slippery greens of Augusta National in 1984. Crenshaw managed to avoid taking a three-putt during the 1995 Masters tournament, which he won by one stroke from Davis Love III.

Crenshaw’s nineteen PGA Tour wins over three decades helped him to gain a deep appreciation of golf’s nuances. The Tour also took him on a journey around the world’s best golf courses where he analysed design and construction techniques. In 1982, he put his skills into practice as player consultant at TPC Las Colinas working with Byron Nelson and architect Jay Morrish. Ben Crenshaw was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002, presented by President George H.W. Bush.

Coore and Crenshaw Inc. was established in 1986, “based upon the shared philosophy that traditional, strategic golf is the most rewarding”. But it would take another five years before the partnership made a significant architectural impact when the Plantation course at Kapalua burst onto the scene in 1991.

"Their early years were spent handling a few remodeling jobs and planning several designs on select sites that, for a variety of reasons, stopped during one stage of construction or another," wrote Geoffrey Cornish and Ron Whitten in The Architects of Golf. “Undaunted, Coore and Crenshaw persisted in doing it the old-fashioned way, keeping a team of personally trained graders and shapers on call, designing in the field with very few formal drawings, and emulating the early American "bump-and-roll" designs of Seth Raynor and C. B. Macdonald. At the close of the decade of the eighties, Coore and Crenshaw's work had attracted both admiration and debate."

Since then, the design partnership has built a small but impressive portfolio of highly ranked courses, including: Sand Hills (1995), Friar’s Head (2002), Old Sandwich (2004), Colorado (2006), Streamsong Red (2013) and Cabot Cliffs (2016). Their shared love of classical architecture and their inspirational creations has created demand on their services both in terms of new designs and restorations. Recent projects at Sand Valley and Ozarks National continue to prove the old-fashioned “Golden Age” of golf architecture is still alive and well.

Q & A with Bill Coore

Rimba Irian “We’re in the pot”


In The Evolution of Golf Course Design by Keith Cutten, the author sums up the Coore and Crenshaw partnership thus: “Through their approach, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, along with architect Tom Doak, are credited with founding the current ‘minimalist’ movement in golf course architecture. Before their partnership, Bill Coore completed eight projects and Ben Crenshaw completed one solo work. However, their best efforts have emerged when projects are completed together."

Books by Ben Crenshaw:

Classic Instruction by Bobby Jones and Ben Crenshaw published in 1998.

A Feel For the Game: To Brookline and Back by Ben Crenshaw and Melanie Hauser published in 2001.

Two Roads to Augusta by Ben Crenshaw and Carl Jackson published in 2013.

Notable Courses

Austin Golf Club

Austin Golf Club

Spicewood, Texas

Barnbougle Lost Farm

Barnbougle Lost Farm

Bridport, Tasmania

Brook Hollow

Brook Hollow

Dallas, Texas

Cabot Cliffs

Cabot Cliffs

Mabou, Nova Scotia

Chechessee Creek

Chechessee Creek

Okatie, South Carolina

Clear Creek

Clear Creek

Carson City, Nevada



Parker, Colorado

Explore More Architects

Harry Colt

Harry Colt

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