STANLEY THOMPSON (1893 – 1953)
A fine amateur golfer, Stanley Thompson is best known for his enduring golf course designs, including the course at Ladies’. The native Torontonian began designing new courses and renovating existing ones when he returned from the First World War.
Between 1920 and 1953 he designed, remodelled or constructed over 145 golf courses in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and South America. 14 of his courses are consistently listed among the top 100 courses in Canada, including the two spectacular mountain course designs for the Banff Springs Hotel Golf Course (Banff) and Jasper Park Golf Course (Jasper), Highlands Links (Nova Scotia), St George's (Toronto) and Capilano (Vancouver). Stanley Thompson was elected to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1980.
Stanley Thompson had very specific ideas about design.
From the book The Toronto Terror by James A. Barclay, Sleeping Bear Press, 2000:
"Nature must always be the architect's model.
- The line of bunkers and greens must not be sharp or harsh but easy and rolling.
- Bunkers around the greens should always be visible when a player is within striking distance. In no case should the bunkers be unfair. One should be able to get out with one shot without Herculean effort.
- Place bunkers on the sides of mounds, and rake the sand up the slope, creating flashed faces.
- A green should face the shot, but should never recede from the player for the very reason that the surface would be invisible.
- Seventy percent of the putting surface should be available for the placing of the hole.
- The starting holes should be comparatively easy, so as not to congest the course.
- The most successful course is one that will test the skill of the most advanced player, without discouraging the duffer, while adding to the enjoyment of both.”