Do you know how to play a golf course based upon its designer? Do you have a favorite?

Ray Hearn is the architect behind Macatawa Legends and Quail Ridge. He once told me I could shave four strokes off my score just by knowing the course designer. Sadly, he didn’t say how.

There are certain trademarks of our more well know west Michigan designers. With all the Jerry Matthews courses around here, you should see similarity in bunker design and lots of water. Matthews is big on wetlands, etc. Reese Jones did Thousand Oaks and leaves plenty of room to drive the ball with fairways that help return errant shots to the short grass. If you play The Mines, you’ll notice the use of “eyebrow” bunkers….bunkers with long grass on the top side. Pilgrims Run used to have those but that long grass tends to slow down play.

Maybe one day Andy and I can get Mike DeVries from Pilgrims Run or Ray Hearn for a designers perspective. In the meantime, do you have any favorite golf designers/