St. Louis was near the peak of culture during 1904: It had just hosted both the Summer Olympics (including golf at Glen Echo Country Club) and the World’s Fair, and it was in no rush to abandon the grand vibe surrounding the grounds when the World’s Fair came to an end. The city immediately tapped Robert Foulis to design a 27-hole public golf facility, following the lead of New York City and other metropolises welcoming the sport.
This included a first nine designed to ease rookies into golf, before setting them out on the more challenging Dogwood and Redbud nines. Hale Irwin and associate Stan Gentry came in nearly a century later, looking to spruce up Foulis’s original design and keep Forest Park an attractive addition to perhaps the city’s most visited district (the course counts both the St. Louis Art Museum and The St. Louis Zoo as neighbors). There’s all sorts of old-time quirk, whether it’s the rectangular green at Dogwood No. 8, or the semi-Biarritz green at Redbud No. 7.