- Address4500 Conestoga Rd, Elverson, PA 19520, USA
You can’t have a conversation on the best modern golf course architects without mentioning Gil Hanse but he, like most in the field, got off the ground by creating thoughtful routes near his hometown. Fortunately for him, that hometown was Philadelphia, where he had oodles of influential Golden Age designs to draw upon. The result of these factors was French Creek Golf Club, one of his earliest designs, and one that seeks to bring the famous facets of the Philadelphia School to a modern layout.
Hanse and partner Jim Wagner are now known among the most active proponents of the “minimalist” look, and that aesthetic is evident at French Creek, where fairways tend to take on a rumpled look, and bunkers appear roughly hewn from the landscape. The course offers a variety of this-or-that decisions, featuring alternate fairways to enforce risk and reward.
Those well-travelled in the Philadelphia golf scene may also draw comparisons to another modern entry — Tom Doak’s Stonewall — namely for the incorporation of stone walls as well as a barn made of the same materials.
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Hanse earned a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University in 1989, achieving the William Frederick Dreer Award, which allowed him to spend a year overseas with Hawtree Ltd.