Golf course architect Gordon dies

David W. Gordon, the longest-tenured member of the ASGCA, had a hand in design of Saucon Valley and Stanwich Club.



David W. Gordon, a fellow of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), died Oct. 20, 2017. He was 95. The son of one of ASGCA’s original members, William F. Gordon, David was a lifelong resident of Doylestown, Pa.

After serving in the Air Force in World War II as an instructor pilot in B-24 bombers, Gordon studied at Penn State University, earning a degree in agronomy. He then joined his father’s golf course design business.

The Gordons designed dozens of golf courses in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Ohio, New York and Canada, including: Saucon Valley Country Club (Grace and Weyhill Courses), Bethlehem, Pa.; Browns Run, Middletown, Ohio; Stanwich Club, Greenwich, Conn.; and Sunny Brook Country Club, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

In the 1990s, Gordon presented to the ASGCA Foundation a 1914 manuscript from ASGCA founding member Donald Ross on golf course architecture. This never-before-published writing from Ross, which Gordon discovered in his attic, became Golf Has Never Failed Me: The Lost Commentaries of Legendary Golf Architect Donald J. Ross by Ron Whitten. The book, published in 1996, became a best-seller.

David Gordon was the longest-tenured ASGCA member, having been welcomed in 1951. He became a fellow in 1993, and served as ASGCA president in 1959-60.

He is survived by two sons, David J. Gordon and William F. Gordon, and his step-daughter, Lynn Bullock.

Private services will be held in Doylestown, Pa. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society.