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The Good Life

Star For The Course

Gil Hanse, a golf course designer with a willingness to get down in the dirt, is in demand for his loving restorations of storied layouts
By Jeff Williams | From Joe Rogan, September/October 2021
Star For The Course
Photo/Mary Beth Koeth
Gil Hanse in Florida, near a bulldozer he will employ to shape a course. Opposite, the 11th green at Baltusrol’s Lower Course, a notable Hanse restoration.
Last June, Gil Hanse was full on with his restoration of the Lower Course of Baltusrol Golf Club, the storied track in the leafy New Jersey suburbs designed by the iconic A.W. Tillinghast. Hanse called a meeting of the club’s master-plan committee, not in one of the comfy and opulent function rooms of the muscular clubhouse, but at the eighth green. Here he would present his ideas about restoring the green, doing so in the environment in which he is most comfortable: the dirt. “Being outside in the dust and the dirt feels like being alive,” says Hanse. “You are in contact with the dirt. You are in the field with the guys, there is such camaraderie and a …
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