The battle for the soul of golf architecture rages on, but there’s little debate about which side is winning. The growing army of neo-classicists, their banners carried by designers such as Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Tom Doak and David McLay Kidd, hold the high ground.

But the signature architects who once were the trendsetters in golf design – former touring pros turned architects, such as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Greg Norman – are still in demand, though much of their work is outside the U.S. And the old guard has been joined by a younger crowd of current and for-mer stars who are shifting their focus from playing to course design. This includes famil-iar names such as Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Louis Oosthuizen and Annika Sorenstam.

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