Perry Maxwell

Full Name
Perry Duke Maxwell
Year of Birth
Year of Death
1952, aged 73
Place Born
Princetown, Kentucky, USA
Place Died
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Writing in The Architects of Golf, the authors commented as follows: “Maxwell was best known for his wildly undulating greens, and his reputation was of such stature that he was hired to rebuild greens at Augusta National, Pine Valley, the National Golf Links and others.”

Born in Kentucky, the son of Dr. James A. Maxwell and Caroline Harris, Perry Maxwell was educated at the University of Kentucky, Lexington and Stetson University in Florida but poor health (he suffered from tuberculosis) prevented him from finishing his studies. He moved to Oklahoma where he met his wife Raymonde Woods then settled into a banking job as a cashier, eventually rising through the ranks to become vice president of the Ardmore National Bank.

Perry was a staunch Presbyterian, following the precepts of John Knox, so he never drank alcohol, smoked tobacco or swore and this clean-living lifestyle was one that he passed onto his four children. The family attended the First Presbyterian Church weekly, along with Sunday school, and both Perry and Ray were instrumental in the development of their local church.

The oil industry in Oklahoma brought untold prosperity to Ardmore, which was said to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in the country, and the Maxwells were able to purchase a 320-acre property for $7,025.00 at public auction from the Board of the County Commissioners. Perry’s brother-in-law was then brought in to oversee the running of the dairy farm.

It’s said his interest in golf was sparked by reading H. J. Whigham’s book, How to Play Golf, which was published the year after he won the US Amateur in 1896. The Scotsman’s father was a friend of C. B. Macdonald from their student days at the University of St Andrews and Whigham would go on to marry Macdonald’s daughter, Frances.

Encouraged by his wife, Maxwell laid out a 4-hole course in 1913 on their property (it would eventually become part of Dornick Hills Golf &...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Perry Maxwell

Chester Valley

Gem USA - Best in Area

Host to the United Hospitals Senior Golf Championship on the Champions Tour between 1985-1987 (and subsequently under different sponsorship until 1997), Chester Valley Golf Club has flown quietly under the golfing radar since then.


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4th Texas - Best in Area

"It is often said that Ben Hogan’s success was partly due to the fact that, having played his early golf at Colonial Country Club, every other course in the world was easy in comparison."


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Crystal Downs

1st Michigan - Best in Area 10th USA Ranking 10th North America Ranking 18th World Ranking

Crystal Downs Country Club is set delightfully on a headland that is wedged between Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake in America’s Midwest. The course was designed by Alister MacKenzie and supervised by Perry Maxwell.


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Dornick Hills

14th Oklahoma - Best in Area

Dornick Hills Golf & Country Club was where Perry Maxwell built his first course in 1914. Poignantly, when the respected architect died, he was buried in the family plot close to the 7th hole.

Gulph Mills

17th Pennsylvania - Best in Area

Founded in 1916, Gulph Mills Golf Club had an 18-hole layout in play three years later, once Donald Ross had built the course for the membership. Unusually, the modern day course retains a short set of par five holes.


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15th Arkansas - Best in Area

Renovated by Jay and Carter Morrish in the late 1990s, the course at Hardscrabble Country Club dates back to the 1920s when Perry Maxwell first pegged out the fairways. The club hosted the 1979 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.


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Hillcrest Country Club - Oklahoma

16th Oklahoma - Best in Area

A Golden Age design from Perry Maxwell in the late 1920s, Floyd Farley in 1960 and Arnold Palmer in the mid-1980s modified the course at Hillcrest Country Club, but it still retains much of its original charm.

Hope Valley

27th North Carolina - Best in Area

Donald Ross laid out the course for Hope Valley Country Club back in 1926. Byron Nelson won the fourth of his eleven straight PGA Tour wins here in 1945 but it’s much altered since then, most recently by Brian Silva.


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Jimmie Austin

13th Oklahoma - Best in Area

Host to both the male and female US Public Links Championships (in 2009 and 2013, respectively), Bob Cupp redesigned Perry Maxwell's course at the Jimmie Austin Golf Club at the University of Oklahoma in 1996 and Tripp Davis completed a renovation in 2017.

Ohio State University (Scarlet)

20th Ohio - Best in Area

Alister MacKenzie drew up the plans for the golf complex at Ohio State University in the early 1930s but the doctor died soon afterwards so Perry Maxwell was given the contract.


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Perry Maxwell Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 13
2 Cory Lewis Courses Played 12
3 Joseph Andriole Courses Played 10
4 Mark White Courses Played 9
5 David Harak Courses Played 8
= Bob McCoy Courses Played 8
= James Gold Courses Played 8
= Fergal O'Leary Courses Played 8
9 Paul Jones Courses Played 7
10 Andy Troeger Courses Played 6