Golf Was Meant To Be A Walking Game


J D Hart Golf Design is about objective, true, natural golf  design. We are highly experienced and educated experts in various golf business postures. Our agenda is to bring you, our customer, an objective view which renders a product that is easy to live with, naturally beautiful, with all details fully thought through.
Tour victories and knowing how to play golf as it relates to design, is very important, but that alone cannot open ones mind to the constant balance one needs to keep with nature.  An enormous amount of working knowledge is required when designing, building and maintaining golf courses. It has been said that experience is the best teacher, and it is.  J D Hart Golf Design strives for the most aesthetically pleasing and authentic golf designs, that were designed to be best enjoyed when walked.

Back To The Game As It Should Be


Golf course architecture is an art form and as time has evolved it has come full circle; back to its beginnings.  The trend is toward minimalism and traditional Scottish designs. Our belief is that the best golf courses are “Found", rather than “Contrived".


After visiting, studying hundreds of designs, the collage that fits my philosophy includes many well-known traditional Scottish designs, such as, St. Andrews, Royal Dornoch, Turnberry, Royal Aberdeen, Carnoustie and Kingsbarn.

Carnoustie, Scotland


The foremost American golf course using similar  design philosophy is Pine Valley, by George Crump.  Another having some of the very unique design features  is Myopia Hunt Club.  Now,  fast forward to recent times, and Prairie Dunes, Sand Hills, Ballyneal all have come upon the American golf scene in true minimalist and traditional Scottish design, style.


Some of the past golf course designers that have strongly influenced my perspective are: Old Tom Morris, James Braid, George Crump, Allister McKenzie, Herbert Leeds, and A.W. Tillinghast.  In more recent times, Perry Maxwell, Jack Nicklaus, the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Tom Doak, Tom Fazio, and Pete Dye all have made lasting impressions on my golf course design philosophy.

Prairie Dunes, KS

Pine Valley, NJ

A golf course on a great piece of property, in a great location, is of course important.  In my experience, to be true to the roots of the game, the golf course must be created with a non-contrived minimalist design that promotes the values of the game of golf. 


The game was meant to emulate in the player nine core values of life:  sportsmanship, respect, honesty, courtesy, integrity, responsibility, confidence, judgment, and perseverance. These values are enhanced when a course is created that promotes tranquility, and  being one with nature.

The game of golf has withstood several hundred years of time and those of us who respect this, will continue to work toward its original intent.  So should we look at golf as extracting the best from us.  This is the goal I seek when designing or redesigning any golf course.    I continually strive to extract the best golfing experience from the landscape without comprising nature's dynamic plan.


In my years of observing, studying, operating and maintaining golf courses, many design flaws have stood out, both aesthetic and functional. That knowledge and experience guides my work even more so on your project.

Bethpage Black, NY

A.W. Tillinghast

Hidden Creek, NJ

Coore & Crenshaw

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