Mike Cocking is the second ‘C’ in the architecture firm OCCM - ‘Ogilvy Clayton Cocking Mead’. While they may sound like a provincial English solicitors, they could go down as the most influential Antipodean architects for the best part of a hundred years.
Their work has been extensive and widely praised, primarily in Australia but increasingly beyond. They restore, renovate and design from scratch and it’s hard not to enjoy their philosophy when they state ‘Our goal is to make the journey to the hole a more interesting one for the golfer’..
If you are planning a trip to Australia, I thoroughly recommend Mike’s podcast with Andy at the fried egg here. He is also an accomplished watercolour artist and his Golf Renderings site is well worth a visit. Graylyn Loomis spoke to him about his work here. I’m looking forward to using his guides on the course!
Many thanks Mike for your selections. It is a tremendous list!
ST ANDREWS - THE OLD COURSE
Long before anyone thought about design there was the Old Course. The product of centuries of evolution and relatively untouched by man it just might be the most thought-provoking and strategic test of golf on the planet.
UK Golf Guy Review, Scottishgolfhistory.org
SWINLEY FOREST GOLF CLUB
The poster-child for a short, fun, playable course for the average golfer but somehow entirely relevant for the better player. Swinley is all class… understated & elegant, interesting & fun. My favourite of the heathland courses.
UK Golf Guy Review, Swinley Forest Website, Graylyn Loomis
CHICAGO GOLF CLUB
In an age where developers seem obsessed by sand dunes and ocean frontage, Chicago shows us how superb design and construction can make a world-class course over fairly flat terrain and miles from the water. I wonder how many sites like this have been overlooked because they lack drama?
Fried Egg, Chicagology
THE DUNES CLUB
Long before Pacific Dunes or Sand Valley, Mike Keiser purchased 90 acres of sandy, forested land near his beach home on Lake Michigan, to prevent developers turning it into housing. After some prompting he decided a small private golf course might be a good idea… somewhere where he and his friends could have a casual round in a beautiful setting and away from the fanfare of the larger country clubs and resorts. It might just be the most enjoyable day of golf I’ve ever had.
The Golf Bucket List, top100golfcourses.com, fried egg
NORTH BERWICK - WEST LINKS
Can golf get any more fun that this? It’s a brilliant design and North Berwick should be a must see for any visitor to Scotland and not just because of the Redan or the Pit.
UK Golf Guy review, Scottish Golf History, Planet Golf
It may not have the undulation of Royal Melbourne or the ocean views of Barnbougle but few get as much out of their property as Kingston Heath. Whilst Mackenzie seems to get all the credit, the real heroes were Mick and his son Vern Morcom, who helped create interest with some of the best bunkering in Melbourne, adding some elegant contours and a beautiful set of greens on a site that gave them little to work with.
Kingston Heath Website, Planet Golf, Golf Course Architecture
If I had a time machine the one course I would love to have seen is Cypress Point just after opening. As good as the course is now those old black and white images show a course that was even better.
Graylyn Loomis, Golf Digest, Playing the Top 100
The history buff in me gets all nostalgic at courses like Prestwick. Home of the first Open. Designed and built by Old Tom. The original 12 holes are fun and seriously quirky. And 13 might be the hardest green to hit of any of the championship courses.
Golf Club Atlas feature, Planet Golf
Can you include a course you haven’t played? I had built up my first experience at Augusta to the point where I felt for sure I would be disappointed. I wasn’t.
Masters.com, Planet Golf, GolfClubAtlas.com, Augusta Chronicle