A natural course architect who worked with nature
For a man who worked on over 100 courses and had a 40-year career in course design, Ralph Plummer deserves to be better known. Not just for his output, but for the sheer quality of his designs and his innate ability to work with landscapes. Plummer was reportedly happiest when he was working on site, and combined a designer’s sensibility with a thorough knowledge of how to build the courses he’d penned.
What really set Ralph Plummer apart from his contemporaries was the way he utilized natural features. He preferred to work with what was there, using trees instead of bunkers, exploiting gradient changes to provide challenges and site greens where they would be subject to crosswinds. He avoided the artificial, resulting in a style that is at once uncluttered and natural.
His competency at golf helped. A good player, Plummer believed his ability on the course assisted his ability at the drawing board. He also had an eye on the future, and knew that improvements in technology and technique would change how golf was played and how courses were designed.
This is what makes Tryall’s course so special. The only example of Plummer’s work outside of the US, it combines all of his classic features with a stunning ocean-side location.
“I’ve built golf courses in mesquite thickets in West Texas,
rice fields in Louisiana, and swamps in Jamaica”