In this episode, we sit down with Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Co-Founders of the world class golf architecture design firm, Coore & Crenshaw. These golf legends, take us through the journey of their 34 year partnership and friendship, what it’s like envisioning and designing golf courses like Sand Hills, Friar’s Head and Kapalua Plantation from scratch and how their unique approach to working with the land as it exists has led to their continued success around the globe.
Like his partner, Bill Coore was exposed to traditional golf architecture during his formative years. A native North Carolinian, Coore played much of his early golf at the Donald Ross courses of Pinehurst and the Perry Maxwell designed Old Town Club in Winston-Salem. A 1968 graduate of Wake Forest University, Coore began his professional design and construction career in 1972 with the firm of Pete Dye and Associates. Under the Dyes’ guidance, Coore was introduced to the elements of creative design and physical construction. It was also the Dyes that first introduced Coore to the written classics of golf architecture– the same books that Crenshaw was then collecting and studying. The information within these books was to later form the foundation for the Coore and Crenshaw partnership.
During the succeeding ten years, Coore was involved in the design, construction and maintenance of golf courses in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Canada, and Texas.
Coore formed his own design company in 1982. Thereafter, he completed courses at Rockport Country Club in Rockport, Texas (featured in the 1986 issue of the U.S.G.A. Golf Journal), Kings Crossing Golf and Country Club in Corpus Christi, Texas and Golf du Medoc in Bordeaux, France (named one of the ten best courses in France and one of the top fifty courses in Europe). Bill Coore and his wife, Sue, reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Ben Crenshaw has long been recognized as a historian and traditionalist. Since seeing The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts at age sixteen, he has held a fascination with golf architecture. His is an appreciation of the game’s subtleties gained from years of study and the experience of a successful playing career spanning over three decades and nineteen P.G.A. Tour victories including the 1984 and 1995 Masters. Competition has taken Crenshaw to many of the world’s most renowned golf courses where he has spent considerable time analyzing their design and construction techniques.
His entry into the golf architecture business brought closer a life long goal of creating quality golf courses in the classical style. Prior to the formation of Coore & Crenshaw, Inc., Crenshaw served as a player consultant on the design and construction of the TPC Course at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas, site of the annual Byron Nelson Classic.
Crenshaw, a native Texan, attended the University of Texas and still resides in Austin with his wife, Julie, and daughters Katherine, Claire, and Anna Riley.