Robbie Robinson

Full Name
Clinton Earl Robinson
Year of Birth
1907
Year of Death
1989 (aged 82)
Place Born
Amadee, Quebec, Canada
Place Died
Oakville, Ontario, Canada

“Robbie was a great mentor for me early in my career. He schooled me in the fundamentals of golf course design and the principles of Stanley Thompson. He also encouraged me to join ASGCA and was my primary sponsor. The courses he was most proud of include Brudenell and Mill River on Prince Edward Island, Cedarbrae, Credit Valley and Dalewood in Ontario." Doug Carrick

Robbie Robinson graduated with a BSc degree from the Ontario Agricultural College (now the University of Guelph) in 1929 but before then he’d actually fashioned his first golf course design as an undergraduate, updating and renovating a private course in Fenelon Falls for Sir Joseph Flavelle, a wealthy businessman who made his fortune in the meatpacking business.

He served as construction manager for Stanley Thompson at Sunningdale Country Club then stayed on to serve as the club’s superintendent until 1936, when he re-joined the architect’s practice to work on Green Gables on Prince Edward Island and Highlands Links in Cape Breton. Unfortunately, World War II intervened and Robinson enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

After his military service, he worked on housing developments for the Canadian government’s Central Mortgage and Housing Department but his involvement with golf was far from over as he also served as director of the Green Section of the RCGA for twenty years, starting in 1949.

Aged fifty-four, he decided to become a full-time golf course architect in 1961, having spent most of the post-war years designing and remodelling layouts on a part-time basis.

In The Evolution of Golf Course Design, author Keith Cutten pays tribute to the role played by the architect in growing the game: “Robinson brought a high-level intensity to his work, designing/re-modelling more than 140 golf courses in three main markets: Canada; the United States; and South America.

However, more than a few golf historians consider him to be under-appreciated as a golf course architect. Money, or a lack thereof, sheds light on much of Robinson’s caree...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Robbie Robinson

Bayview

59th Ontario - Best in Area

Bayview Golf and Country Club lies close to the centre of Toronto and it offers its members a wide range of sporting activities, including swimming, tennis, curling and golf.

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Beverly Golf & Country Club

72nd Ontario - Best in Area

Beverly Golf & Country Club is set out on pleasantly undulating terrain to the west of downtown Hamilton – this tree-lined course is regarded as one of Robbie Robinson’s best…

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Brudenell River

7th Prince Edward Island - Best in Area

A Robbie Robinson design from the late 1960s, the Brudenell River course is the older of the two 18-hole layouts at the Brudenell River Resort on the east side of Prince Edward Island...

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Cherry Hill

39th Ontario - Best in Area 66th Canada Ranking

Cherry Hill Club was established in 1922 when nine founding members from nearby Buffalo acquired a tract of farmland which was then turned over to Walter J Travis for transformation into an 18-hole course.

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Credit Valley

50th Ontario - Best in Area 94th Canada Ranking

Stanley Thompson set out the original six holes at Credit Valley Golf and Country Club but the modern day course is very much a Robbie Robinson design.

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Gowan Brae

3rd New Brunswick - Best in Area

The 18-layout at Gowan Brae Golf and Country Club is a late 1950s Robbie Robinson design that lies along the windy shores of Bathurst Harbour, overlooking the Bay of Chaleur in the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Mill River

3rd Prince Edward Island - Best in Area

Set on the western side of PEI, the Mill River golf course measures 6,885 yards from the tips. It was originally designed by Robbie Robinson and then restored in recent times by Graham Cooke.

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Rideau View

64th Ontario - Best in Area

Howard Watson set out the original 9-hole course at Rideau View Country Club in 1958 then Robbie Robinson added another nine holes to the layout five years later.

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St Thomas

20th Ontario - Best in Area 39th Canada Ranking

Formed in 1899, St Thomas is one of the oldest golf clubs in Canada, originally known as St Thomas Pinafore Park Golf Club.

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