Among American collegiate golf courses, only Yale is more highly regarded than Stanford University.
The Stanford University Golf Course dates back to 1930, when Almon E. Roth, the University Controller, hired George C. Thomas Jnr and William P. Bell to design and construct an 18-hole layout for the Board of Trustees.
Additional land was acquired in order to bring the San Francisquito Creek into the design and Felt Lake was enlarged to provide a sufficient volume of water for irrigation. Indeed, half the total construction cost of $380,000 was spent on ensuring this water supply for course maintenance.
Robert Trent Jones Snr remodelled the course in 1968 then Donald Knott redesigned the 3rd and 4th holes in 2004 (creating back-to-back par threes) as well as restoring the original tee on the 5th hole – though some feel the architect should also have removed the two large trees in the fairway on the 473-yard 12th hole.
Quite a few Stanford University students have become noted professional golfers – including PGA and LPGA professionals Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Mickey Wright and Michelle Wie – and former USGA presidents Sandy Tatum and Grant Spaeth both played for the Stanford University golf teams as students.
This has the reputation for being a tough golf course. The walking tracks from tees to fairways can be extraordinarily strange. For example, to get to the first fairway, you have to walk down a slope, cross an active motorway and traverse through a farm. The continued tree removal will be welcomed by all who play. The change in elevation is striking in places.