William Flynn

Full Name
William Santa Flynn
Year of Birth
Year of Death
1945 (aged 54)
Place Born
Milton Massachusetts, USA
Place Died
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Based on his ability to link classic ideals to modern philosophies, Flynn, as a golf architect, was highly innovative. Flynn first drew his layouts using topographic maps, before modifying them in the field. Flynn’s golf courses were built precisely to the architectural plans he developed, with assistance from his partner Howard Toomey. Keith Cutten

William Flynn was raised in Milton, outside Boston, where he competed against Francis Ouimet in inter-scholastic golf matches when playing for the school team. Flynn’s career in golf got under way at Merion Cricket Club when he was part of the construction team on what’s now the East course at Merion Golf Club.

He worked under his brother-in-law Frederick Pickering when the course was being built then he later looked after the course as superintendent, assisting Hugh Wilson when he redesigned the layout.

Flynn made Philadelphia his home base and he became the only non-Pennsylvania native in the famous Philadelphia School of Golf Architecture, the group of architects responsible for many of America’s greatest golf courses.

Before the onset of World War I, Flynn was responsible for laying out two fine courses in Pennsylvania – Doylestown Country Club and the Country Club of Harrisburg – but when the war ended he teamed up with Howard Toomey, a railway civil engineer to form the firm of Toomey & Flynn, specialist in golf design and construction.

Throughout the 1920s, the company fashioned dozens of well-regarded golf courses, including Lancaster County Club (1920), Cherry Hills Country Club (1923), Rolling Green Country Club (1926), Huntington Valley Country Club (1927) and Philadelphia Country Club (1927).

Flynn also worked on the redesign of Shinnecock Hills at the end of the 1920s and many consider this to be his finest achievement. He was also among a profusion of architects who shaped the completion of Pine Valley after the death of George Crump.


"Based on his ability to link classic ideals to modern philosophies, Flynn, as a...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by William Flynn

Atlantic City

15th New Jersey - Best in Area

This venerable course has hosted national championships on several occasions over the years and Atlantic City Country Club claim to have coined the golfing term “birdie”.


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Cherry Hills

4th Colorado - Best in Area

William Flynn designed Cherry Hills in 1922 and if you do get the chance to play this famous course your driving distances will flatter to deceive. Denver is not called the Mile High city for nothing and Cherry Hills is certainly golf with altitude.


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Country Club of Virginia (James River)

12th Virginia - Best in Area

The James River course is one of three impressive 18-hole layouts used by members of the Country Club of Virginia and it was originally laid out by William Flynn in 1928, five years after he designed the acclaimed Cascades course at The Homestead...


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19th Ohio - Best in Area

Bordered by the Black River, the old course at Elyria Country Club is a 1920s William Flynn layout that has handled the golfing tests of time rather well.


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Glen View

38th Illinois - Best in Area

William Flynn redesigned the original Herbert Tweedie course at Glen View Club in 1922 and it served the members for almost eighty years before Davis Esler lovingly restored it in 1999.


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Green Valley

46th Pennsylvania - Best in Area

The 18-hole layout at Green Valley Country Club originally started out as a public layout named Marble Hall Golf Course. Designed and operated for twenty years by local architect William Flynn, it was sold to Green Valley in 1944.

Homestead (Cascades)

3rd Virginia - Best in Area

The Homestead mountain setting is truly delightful and the Cascades golf course looks totally natural with its ponds, streams and slopes, but the fairways were blasted through the limestone using tons of dynamite.


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Indian Creek

15th Florida - Best in Area

Indian Creek Country Club is at the heart of Indian Creek Island and is located between Bal Harbor and Miami Beach. Here in splendid isolation lies one of America’s most exclusive communities...


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7th Massachusetts - Best in Area 73rd USA Ranking 84th North America Ranking

The Kittansett Club is situated at the end of Butler Point which extends into Buzzards Bay. Its location offers spectacular views and challenging shot making in the ever-changing wind.


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William Flynn Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Joseph Andriole Courses Played 16
2 Cory Lewis Courses Played 15
= Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 15
4 Mark White Courses Played 13
= Fergal O'Leary Courses Played 13
6 Bill Vostniak Courses Played 12
= Bob McCoy Courses Played 12
8 James Gold Courses Played 11
= David Harak Courses Played 11
10 Jon Gillman Courses Played 10