William Stephen Flynn (December 25, 1890 – January 24, 1944) was a prominent golf course architect during the early part of the 20th century. Among Flynn's most notable work are the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island, Cherry Hills Country Club, Lancaster Country Club and his work at the Merion Golf Club. Life and career [edit ]
Flynn was born in
Milton, Massachusetts. He graduated from [1 ] Milton High School, where he had played interscholastic golf and competed against his friend Francis Ouimet. He laid out his first course at [2 ] Heartwellville, Vermont, in 1909 and was then hired to assist Hugh Wilson with completion of the East Course at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He worked as the construction supervisor at Merion and remained on as superintendent for a short time, helping establish the course. [2 ] [3 ]
Flynn continued his involvement with Merion for 25 years, perfecting the course. He and Wilson had hoped to form a design partnership, but Wilson's failing health prevented it. Instead, Flynn partnered with Howard Toomey just after
World War I with Flynn the designer and Toomey handling the engineering side of the work. They started their own golf architectural firm, Toomey & Flynn. William Gordon, Robert Lawrence and Dick Wilson all started out as assistants with the firm of Toomey and Flynn and all later became prominent designers in their own right. Flynn was particularly active around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, producing numerous highly rated courses which compete with each other for attention. Although his body of work is found around Philadelphia, his most recognizable work is outside the area at places like Cherry Hills in Denver, The Cascades in Virginia, The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, and Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. In 1927, Flynn added the Primrose nine at [4 ] The Country Club. Three holes from the Primrose are used on the course's Composite Course for the U.S. Open, but much of Flynn's renovation work at The Country Club goes unnoticed.
The climax of Flynn's career would be
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, where he had his finest site and certainly produced his greatest work. Toomey and Flynn were hired to redesign the original course in 1931 with the addition of new land to build the back nine. Flynn kept only two holes from the original course in a total makeover. Shinnecock is praised for its beautiful routing and Flynn's use of the natural terrain. It is currently ranked third in 100 Greatest Courses Ranking, the highest of any course Flynn was involved in. Flynn died at the age of 53 in Philadelphia. Golf Digest's [1 ] Courses designed by Flynn [edit ] Atlantic City Country Club - Atlantic City, New Jersey Bala Golf Club - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Beaver Dam Golf Club - Prince George's, Maryland Boca Raton North Course - Boca Raton, Florida Boca Raton South Course - Boca Raton, Florida Brinton Lake Club (Now Concord Country Club) - Concordville, Pennsylvania Burning Tree Club (Construction) - Bethesda, Maryland Cascades Golf Course (Homestead Resort) - Hot Springs, Virginia Robert Cassatt Estate Course - Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania Cherry Hills Country Club - Cherry Hills Village, Colorado Cleveland Heights Country Club - Cleveland Heights, Florida Cobb's Creek Golf Club (Co-design) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Country Club - Brookline, Massachusetts The Country Club - Pepper Pike, Ohio The Country Club of Harrisburg - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania The Country Club of Virginia (Plans for 36 holes) - Richmond, Virginia The Country Club of York (Plans for 18 holes) - York, Pennsylvania Denver Country Club (Redesign) - Denver, Colorado Doylestown Country Club (9 holes) - Doylestown, Pennsylvania Eagles Mere Country Club (Redesign Old Course, Design New Course) - Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania Elyria Country Club - Elyria, Ohio Floranada South Course - Floranada, Florida Friendship Golf Course (Edward McLean Estate Course) - Washington, DC Glen View Club (Redesign) - Golf, Illinois Gulph Mills Golf Club (Construction) - Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania The Homestead Golf Course (Redesign) – Hot Springs, Virginia Huntingdon Valley Country Club – Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania Indian Creek Country Club – Indian Creek Village, Florida Indian Spring Country Club - Silver Springs, Maryland Kilkare Course (William Plunkett Private Course) - Heartwellville, Vermont The Kittanset Club – Marion, Massachusetts Lancaster Country Club – Lancaster, Pennsylvania Lehigh Country Club – Allentown, Pennsylvania Manor Country Club – Rockville, Maryland JF Manne Miniature Golf Course - Ocean City, NJ Manufacturers Golf & Country Club – Oreland, Pennsylvania Marble Hall Golf Course (Now Green Valley Country Club) – Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania McCall Field Club - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Merion Golf Club East Course (Design and Redesign) - Ardmore, Pennsylvania Merion Golf Club West Course (Design and Redesign) - Ardmore, Pennsylvania Miami Beach Polo Club (Plans for 18 holes) - Miami Beach, Florida Mill Road Farm Golf Course (Albert Lasker Private Course) - Lake Forest, Illinois Monroe Country Club (9 holes) - Monroe, New York Normandy Shores Golf Club - Normandy Shores, Florida North Hills Country Club (Redesign) - North Hills, Pennsylvania Ole Monterey Golf Club - Roanoke, Virginia Onondaga Golf and Country Club (Redesign) - Fayetteville, New York Opa Locka Golf Course - Opa Locka, Florida Overbrook Country Club (Redesign) - Overbrook, Pennsylvania Penn Athletic Club Indoor Course - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Pepper Pike Club – Pepper Pike, Ohio Philadelphia Country Club – Gladwyne, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Cricket Club (Redesign) - Flourtown, Pennsylvania Pine Meadow Golf Course - Mundelein, Illinois Pine Valley Golf Club (Redesign) - Pine Valley, New Jersey Plymouth Country Club (9 holes) - Plymouth, North Carolina Plymouth Country Club – Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania Pocantico Hills Golf Course (Rockefeller Private Course) - Tarrytown, New York Pocono Manor East Course (Design and Redesign) - [Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania] Ritz Carlton North Course - Boca Raton, Florida Ritz Carlton South Course - Boca Raton, Florida Rock Creek Park Golf Course - Washington, DC Rolling Green Golf Club – Springfield, Pennsylvania Seaview Country Club Pines Course (9 holes) - Galloway, New Jersey Sewell's Point Country Club (Now Norfolk Country Club) - Norfolk, Virginia Shinnecock Hills Golf Club – Shinnecock Hills, New York The Springhaven Club (Redesign) - (Wallingford, Pennsylvania) Springdale Golf Club (Redesign) - Princeton, New Jersey Sunnehanna Country Club (Redesign) - Sunnehanna, Pennsylvania Sunnybrook Golf Club (Design and Redesign) - Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania Town and Country Club (Now Woodmont Country Club) - Rockville, Maryland U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club – Annapolis, Maryland Wampanoag Country Club (Redesign) - Swansea, Massachusetts Washington Golf and Country Club (Design and Redesign) - Arlington, Virginia Westchester Biltmore Country Club (Now Westchester Country Club) (Construction and Redesign) - Westchester, New York Whitemarsh Valley Country Club (Redesign) - Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania Women's National Golf and Tennis Club (Now Glen Head Country Club) (Redesign) - Glen Head, New York]] Woodcrest Country Club – Cherry Hill, New Jersey Woodward Estate Golf Course (Dr. G. Woodward Private Course) - Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania Yorktown Country Club River View Course - Yorktown, Virginia Yorktown Country Club Lake View Course (Plans for 18 holes) - Yorktown, Virginia References [edit ]