Architect Profile: Devereux Emmet

Architect Profiles, Architects

Architect Profile: Devereux Emmet


Devereux Emmet was born in 1861 in Westchester County, New York to a wealthy family who were one of the earliest families in America. Emmet graduated from Columbia University in 1883 and became deeply enamored with the game of golf after a trip to Scotland in 1884. Emmet was a great player in his own right, reaching the quarterfinals of the 1904 British Amateur.

Later on, he met C.B. Macdonald while he was in Great Britain preparing for the design of National Golf Links of America, where Emmet was eventually Macdonald’s principal partner and a founding member. Emmet also designed the original nine holes at what would eventually become Garden City Golf Club. In 1930, he formed a partnership with Alfred Tull, which continued until his death in 1934.

During his 30-year career, Emmet designed over 170 golf courses, mostly in the New York area. Due to the loss of many of his original designs and significant renovations of others (e.g. Garden City, Congressional), he is one of the more underappreciated architects of the golden age. Emmet, unlike his mentor Macdonald who took to template holes, adopted more of a philosophy of naturalism. Emmet routed holes based on what the land gave so many of his courses have unusual stretches of par holes (e.g. back-to-back par 5’s or par 3’s).

Due to the loss of many of his original designs and significant renovations of others, Emmet is one of the more underappreciated architects of the golden age.

Quick Facts

Open Links Courses: 54

Top Ranked Courses (World)*: 1 (Garden City)

Top Ranked Courses (U.S.)*: 7 (Garden City, Fenway, Congressional (Blue), Leatherstocking, Rockaway Hunting Club, St. George’s G&CC, Wee Burn)

Public Courses < $100: 15

Total Majors Hosted***: 9

Select Course Portfolio

Top Ranked

Public < $100

The Today’s course column above refers to the courses where Emmet laid out the original course but another golf course architect (GCA) subsequently performed significant renovations. The Year column is when that GCA performed the renovations.


In the heat map above, the size of the circle is determined by the number of Emmet courses in a particular state and the color of the circle is determined by the accessibility of those courses. The greener the circle, the more public courses there are in that particular state. New York (35) offers by far the most Emmet courses, followed by Connecticut (5).

One of the great aspects of Emmet’s portfolio is that many of his courses are accessible and affordable. There are 15 Emmet courses that you can play for under $100! The Albany metro area has the highest concentration (4), followed by Altoona (3), Hartford (2) and Hempstead (2). Keney Park in Hartford is currently ranked as the best public course in Connecticut by Golfweek and can be played for under $50.

If you have access to private golf, the most concentrated region of top Emmet courses is Long Island. St. George’s, Huntington, Rockaway Hunting Club, and Garden City (original course designed by Emmet) are all located there.

Family Tree

Further Reading

  • St. George’s Golf & Country Club: Devereux Emmet’s Long Island Legacy by Bradley Klein

  • Devereux Emmet: The Forgotten American Master by Mark Chalfant (limited production)


Open Links Website

To find Emmet courses near you, register for free on our website. Go to the Architect filter and select Devereux Emmet. You can then add any additional filters to meet your preferences (e.g. accessibility, location, price).

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