George Waters is a golf course architect and shaper based in San Francisco. He has participated in the design and construction of many significant courses built in the modern era, including Barnbougle Dunes (Australia), Sebonack (NY), and the Renaissance Club (Scotland). He has also helped restore many of golf’s classic courses, including Pinehurst Number 2 and Pasatiempo. He holds a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, where his Masters research focused on golf courses in coastal dunes and included extensive field study in Great Britain and Ireland. This research formed the foundation for his recently published book Sand and Golf: How Terrain Shapes the Game, a study of what makes golf and golf course architecture so special on sandy ground.
George knew early on that developing a thorough understanding of golf course architecture would require learning from the ground up and that would mean spending lots of time walking, working on, and playing the great courses. That study began with a summer working on the greens staff at Royal Dornoch, and traveling throughout Scotland visiting the classic links.
He went on to win a summer internship with Tom Doak, and after graduating with his Masters continued to work with Doak and other well known architects including Coore&Crenshaw, Jim Urbina, and Jeff Mingay. During this time he learned that having good ideas about golf course architecture was one thing, but actually implementing them took a great deal of time and personal attention in the field.
George has worked with holes and features from their conceptual design, to rough shaping, to the final finishing details, learning how each step in the process influences the final product. All of these experiences have taught him that truly unique and interesting golf course architecture is a product of the landscape, rather than something that is developed behind a desk. A commitment to time on site formed the foundation for his education in golf course design and it is central to his own philosophy as an architect. George has learned how to get the most from spectacular properties, and those with more subtle gifts, by traveling the world and working with great courses in every setting imaginable.