Course Architects

Course Architects

From left: Ted Ray, Biggerstaff Wilson, Vernon Macan, Harvey Combe and Harry Vardon meet in 1913 prior to a match at Victoria (BC) Golf Club.

Inglewood has had several course Architects since its founding in 1919.

In January of 1920, Mr. A.V. Macan of Victoria, B.C. was selected as Golf Course Consultant for the new Inglewood Country Club. He was to coordinate the project with Mr. Robert B. Johnstone, a local golf architect, as necessary. Macan was primarily responsible for the routing and strategic design and Johnstone managed the day to day details. After reading the article, “Inglewood – Seattle’s New Course”, Pacific Golf and Motor Magazine - July 1922 written by Macan, you will be very convinced that Macan had a very active role and he considers it one of his designs. Also in November 1922, Macan was again hired, for a fee of $200.00, to plan and engineer the sand traps.

As well as a prominent course architect, Macan was an accomplished player, a PNGA Hall of Fame member. Since he primarily designed courses in the NW his reputation was more regional. The courses included: The California Golf Club of San Francisco, Columbia-Edgewater, Fircrest, Broadmoor, Royal Colwood, a renovated Shaughnessy Heights, and Manito.

In addition, when Gene Sarazen played several Macan layouts, he came away duly impressed. "Never before have I seen such beautiful golf courses. I've seen an architecture, something new, that has been in my mind for years and I am glad to see a man with A.V. Macon's ability bring it out. Every hole is different and each offers a real test if the player expects to get down in par figures.  Macan was an artist in the truest sense of the word. He shaped the earth into some of the finest golfing grounds in North America.” 

Comments like these are still heard today.

Did you know there where very few trees on the course when it opened. The largest stands were along the current entry road and near the club house. Greens Committee minutes report that 2100 trees were planted in 1931and 500 more a couple years later.

Apparently in preparation for the first PGA Tour event in Seattle, renowned Golf Course Architect, A. W. Tillinghast, made an analysis of the course and a recommendation for each hole including removal of the bunkers to the right and left of #5. Tillinghast is known for designing: Bethpage Black, Baltusrol, Winged Foot and many more. His list of suggested changes is available in the archives. Many of the changes were implemented.

In 1949, Vernon Macan returned to Inglewood and provided the Green committee with a “master plan”. This is a terrific document in which Macan presents his impressions and suggestion - 30 years later. We plan to include some of these descriptions in future newsletters. His design philosophy shows through in the plans.

 In a significant modification, the 16th tee was moved about 50 yards NE in 1960 to make room for housing. The green at that time was located about where the Red tees are now.  Ken Putnam was hired to do the redesign work.

There is a report that Ted Robinson made recommendations for improvements in 1967. Apparently some water hazards and many bunkers were removed at that time to speed up play.

According to a news article in 1991, after many complaints by players in the GTE Seniors event, the greens for Nos. 1, 2, 13 and 14 were re-styled. Senior PGA member Bruce Devlin volunteered to redesign the greens after the 1990 tournament. Bob Souchak of Fore Inc., a local golf course construction firm, supervised the implementation of Devlin's scheme.

The last major changes to the course have been the 1999 addition of the pond and new green on 18 followed in 2006 by the changes to the 15th fairway and green as designed by Amundson’.

However, through it all, Inglewood retains and remains a tribute to the design genius of A. Vernon Macan.

And…. According to Alec Rose, Seattle Sportswriter, “The last word in golf course architecture!  The clubhouse and golf course of the Inglewood Country Club is a combination that would be hard to beat, anywhere.”

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