Cutten Golf Course Design

Plan > Design > Shape

Harry Shapland Colt

Posted on Jan 17, 2014


"Immediately when we attempt to standardize sizes, shapes, and distances we lose more than half the pleasure of the game.

~ H.S. Colt

LIVED:  August 4, 1869 – November 21, 1951

ORIGIN: Highgate, England

BEST COURSE:  Royal Portrush (Dunluce Links)

LEGACY:  One of the most important influences for early golf course architecture.  Defined the profession of golf architect, being the first non-professional golfer to design courses.  Created visual challenges to tease and intrigue the golfer.  Excellent strategies through bunkering and length (all clubs).


  • Rye Golf Club (original designer, secretary), Rye, East Sussex, ENG (1895)
  • Swinley Forest Golf Club, Bershire, ENG (1910)
  • Toronto Golf Club, Toronto, ON, CAN (1912)
  • Eden Course, St Andrews, SCO (1913)
  • St. George’s Hill, Surrey, ENG (1913)
  • Hamilton Golf and Country Club, Hamilton, ON, CAN (1916)
  • Pine Valley (advising Crump), New Jersey, USA (1918)
  • Sunningdale Golf Club (New), Berkshire, ENG (1922)
  • Utrechtshe Golf Club (De Pan), Utrecht, HOL (1928)
  • Milwaukee Country Club, Milwaukee, WI (1929)
  • Royal Portrush (Dunluce Links), Antrim, N.IRE (1933)


  • Sunningdale Golf Club (Old), Sunningdale, Berkshire, ENG
    • re-design of Willie Park Jr. course completed while still secretary at Rye
  • Muirfield Links, Muirfield, SCO
    • the club purchased new land in 1928 and had Colt re-work the course


  • started as a lawyer and partner in the Hastings Law Firm of Sayer & Colt
  • may have been the first to become a golf architect without being a professional first
  • short-lived partnership with Alister Mackenzie
  • partnership with Charles Alison and John Morrison – 300 courses worldwide
  • preferred to work close to home (U.K. and Europe)
    • key influence to golf in Belgium and Holland
    • trusted his partners for foreign work (e.g. Alister Mackenzie in Australia; Charles Alison in Asia and the Far East)



  • Some Essays on Golf Course Architecture, H.S. Colt and C.H. Alison


  • Harry Colt portrait obtained from Newbattle Golf Club website (click here)
  • Royal Portrush image obtained from the Royal Portrush Golf club website (click here)
  • Sunningdale (NEW) image obtained from architect Frant Pont, Infinite Variety Golf (click here)
  • Toronto Golf Club image obtained from architect Jeff Mingay, Mingay Golf Course Design (click here)