Harry Colt

Full Name
Henry Shapland "Harry" Colt
Year of Birth
1869
Year of Death
1951 (aged 82)
Place Born
Highgate, London, England
Place Died
East Hendred, Oxfordshire, England

Such is the capricious nature of ceremonial awards, Harry Colt is shamefully absent from the World Golf Hall of Fame despite the inclusion of a number of his contemporaries.

Harry Colt studied law at Clare College, Cambridge. Twelve months after his 1887 enrolment, he joined the committee of the Cambridge University Golf Club and in 1889 became the club's first captain. After graduation he was admitted to the bar, becoming a solicitor and partner in the Hastings law firm of Sayer & Colt.

In 1894 he laid out the new course at Rye with Scottish professional Douglas Rolland and in 1895 was appointed Honorary Secretary of Rye Golf Club with Rolland becoming the club’s first professional. Between 1901 and 1913, Colt served as Sunningdale Golf Club’s first Secretary and during his tenure he fashioned the course at Rowlands Castle near Portsmouth in 1902.

In 1907, twelve months after he reached the semi-final of the Amateur Championship, Dr Alister MacKenzie (the first Honorary Secretary at Alwoodley Golf Club) called upon Colt to help him design a new course on the outskirts of Leeds, and the doctor joined C.H. Alison becoming Colt’s second business partner. Two years later, Colt’s new course opened at Stoke Park, framed by the iconic backdrop of the 18th century mansion house, designed by James Wyatt, architect to King George III.

His “least bad course”, Swinley Forest, quietly opened for play in 1911. Authors Henry Lord and Peter Pugh, commented in Masters of Design – Great Courses of Colt, MacKenzie, Alison & Morrison as follows: “One of the most astonishing things about Colt’s routing was that it was mapped out in his mind’s eye before any of the thousands of pine trees covering the site were removed.”

Already within his portfolio were Blackmoor, St George’s Hill and Camberley Heath. Colt had also visited France and ...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Harry Colt

Aldeburgh (Championship)

1st Suffolk - Best in Area 49th England Ranking

Founded in 1884, Aldeburgh Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in Suffolk and is separated from the tidal Alde estuary by an unusual strip of coastal heathland.

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Alnmouth

6th Northumberland - Best in Area

Located close to the North Sea, the historic Alnmouth Golf Club is the fourth oldest in England. The current course is routed in two nine-hole loops that were laid out by Harry Colt.

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Alwoodley

2nd Yorkshire - Best in Area 14th England Ranking 37th Britain & Ireland Ranking

The Alwoodley Golf Club is home to one of the finest and most subtle inland courses in the British Isles, located in a secluded spot.

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Barton-on-Sea (Becton & Needles)

10th Hampshire - Best in Area

Founded in 1897, Barton-on-Sea Golf Club now boasts three loops of nine (Becton, Needles and Stroller) and the holes are an amalgam from the drawing boards of the late architects, Harry Colt and J. Hamilton Stutt.

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Bath

2nd Somerset - Best in Area

Set out on a former stone quarry that operated on high ground overlooking the town, Bath Golf Club is blessed with free-draining soil...

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Beaconsfield

6th Buckinghamshire - Best in Area

Harry Colt, perhaps the best golf architect of all time, designed the course at Beaconsfield Golf Club in 1913 and the clubhouse is architecturally special too.

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Belvoir Park

3rd Down - Best in Area 9th Northern Ireland Ranking

With undulating, lush fairways and avenues of trees, Belvoir Park Golf Club is quite rightly regarded as one of the best inland courses in Northern Ireland.

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Biarritz Le Phare

8th South West France - Best in Area 47th France Ranking

The original course at Golf de Biarritz Le Phare, which was laid out by Tom and Willie Dunn in 1888, was one of the oldest on the European continent that was subsequently redesigned by Harry Colt in the 1920s...

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