Colt Course - 18 Hole

Colt playing the Rye Course



H.S. Colt golfing at the Rye Golf Club

Course Architects' Background
Harry Shapland Colt  1869-1951

Harry S. Colt studied law at Cambridge University where be became Captain of the Golf Team.  He practiced law for several years but his first passion was always golf.  Colt was considered a fine golfer all his life although he remained an amateur.

Many firsts are attributed to Harry Shapland Colt: 

  • He was the first golf course designer not to have been a professional golfer. 
  • He was the first to consistently use a drawing board in preparing his designs.
  • He was the first to prepare tree-planting for his layouts.


H.S. Colt was the third of the revolutionaries who dared to carve golf courses out of the heather and pines of central England.  He had his first design experience in 1894, when he laid out the Rye Golf Club on the southeast cost of England. Upon the opening of Sunningdale in 1901, Colt became the club's secretary and at the same time began planning courses in the surrounding heathlands for other clubs. 

He was particularly adept at establishing turf in any environs. He could also be relied upon to make regular inspections of his work long after its completion to assist with the normal problems experienced by infant courses.

Colt did not always incorporate strategic concepts into his golf designs; but in his early British courses he did restore a strategic relationship between the placement of fairway and greenside bunkers, a ‘links’ concept missing from most inland courses.

He had a major part in planning courses for The Toronto Golf Club (1912), the Hamilton Golf and Country Club (1914), St. George's Golf and Country Club (1920) and York Downs Country Club (1921).

Colt travelled to Manitoba and designed the Pine Ridge Golf and Country Club.  He also assisted in the expansion of the Royal Montreal Golf and Country Club.

Although most of his work was done in Europe and in the U.K., there are nine different states in the United States where Colt courses exist and in some cases there are many in one state.
Sadly, H.S. Colt outlived most of his family and friends and at the time of his death at age 82, was deaf and lonely.

Martin Hawtree

The name Hawtree is synonymous with golf course design since 1912. The dynasty; F.G., F.W., and M.G. is probably the longest continuous practice in golf architecture. Hawtree’s experience and knowledge is second to none spanning three generations and core to Hawtree’s multi-disciplinary practice having been founded in over 750 projects.

Hawtree’s architectural influence, known and respected throughout the world, is spread across Europe with significant and intriguing incursions into Africa, the Americas, Australia, the Far East and the Indian sub-continent.


F.G., Frederic George, began work in 1912, most of his design and constructional work spanned the inter-war years; he worked closely with the veteran Open Champion J.H. Taylor. Frederic William joined his father in 1938, and after the war, dissolved the construction company in favour of a purely architectural practice.

Martin Hawtree joined his father’s firm in 1973, taking over the reins in 1985.

Like father and grandfather, he devoted much of his time to voluntary work for golfing bodies, in particular, the then British Institute of Golf Course Architects; both his father and himself occupying the Presidency of that Institute for many years.

Martin has a great passion for links courses, extending Hawtree’s client list to four prestigious Open Championship venues.