Hole #16: In the Style of Dick Wilson (1903-1965)
His real name was Louis, but everyone called him Dick Wilson. As a kid, he worked as a water boy for a construction crew at Merion. After leaving college, he went to work for William S. Flynn, becoming his chief construction superintendent. Stranded in Florida by the Depression, Wilson became the pro and greenskeeper at Delray Beach Country Club. After World War II, he designed courses on his own and with the able assistance of his protege, Joe Lee. Wilson was one of the nation’s premier designers from the early 1950s until his death in 1965. His role call of courses include many famous tournament venues: The Blue Monster at Doral and Bay Hill, both in Florida, La Costa in California, Callway Gardens in Georgia, Cog Hill in Chicago, NCR Country Club in Dayton, Laurel Valley in Pennsylvania, and Royal Montreal in Quebec.
If the cluster fairway bunkers on the left of our 16th hole seems like a mirror image of our 11th (visible off to the right), just remember that Wilson learned the trade from William Flynn, the honoree of our 11th hole. The 16th green is built in Wilson’s trademark style, well-elevated for air circulation and drainage, and heavily bunkered all around, even across the front. Dick Wilson invariably designed golf holes to be played through the air, from tee to green.