“This course design has been a highlight of my career since its location, while strikingly obvious in hindsight, did not jump out at me after the first of several site visits and tours of the 12,000 acre estate. But once I strode over the plateau, with views which reminded me of the highlands of Scotland, I knew this would test the mettle of golfers who want to play courses that would challenge the professionals.”
– Donald Steel

Donald Steel was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, in 1937, second son of a Scottish doctor and a graduate of St. Andrew’s University. In 1961, he was appointed the first Sunday Telegraph golf correspondent, the youngest ever to hold the post at 34 years of age and a position he held for 30 years. Steel became a golf course architect in 1965 when he joined Cotton (C.K.), Pennink, Lawrie and Partners after graduating with a Masters of Arts degree from Cambridge University in 1960.

He founded his own firm, Donald Steel and Co. in 1987 and has since built 70 new courses in more than 20 countries, including four in the US:

  • Cherokee Plantation, SC
  • Carnegie Abbey, Newport, RI,
  • Martha’s Vineyard, MA
  • The Highland Course, a top golf course in Virginia.

Other Donald Steel golf courses include include:

  • Redtail (Canada)
  • Vila Sol and Aroeira (Portugal)
  • Efteling (Holland)
  • The Carnegie Links at Skibo Castle (Scotland)
  • The Strathtyrum at St Andrews (Scotland)
  • Harleyford and Brocket Hall (England)
  • The Abaco Club at Winding Bay (The Bahamas)
  • Rajawella (Sri Lanka).

A believer in building courses that blend easily with the landscape and represent value for money, six courses designed or redesigned either wholly or in part by Donald have hosted major tournaments on the PGA European Tour or the Ladies Professional European Tour in the last few years. Donald was the first Hon. Secretary of the British Institute of Golf Course Architects from 1971-85 and has held the office of Chairman and President. He is also the author or editor of several books on golf including The Classic Links of Great Britain and Ireland.

In 1993, he was elected the eighth President of the Association of Golf Writers. He is the first person to have combined careers in writing and golf course architecture and is therefore the only person to have been President of both the BIGCA and AGW. To complete one of the most varied and distinguished careers in the game, he was an international golfer who played competitively in many countries. He took part in the Open championship at St Andrews in 1970. He is currently President of the English Golf Union.