In the spirit of the history and traditions of the game of golf, and in recognition to the lasting contributions to the field of American Golf and Landscape Architecture by Wayne E. Stiles, Bob Labbance and Kevin Mendik researched and wrote The Life and Work of Wayne Stiles published in 2008. The intent was to honor a relatively unknown Golden Age American golf architect who has 35 original designs to his credit in Massachusetts alone, and a portfolio of 145 courses and consultations. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Stiles left behind relatively few writings and little had been written about him. He was not inclined towards self-promotion, was rarely photographed, and primarily focused on pleasing his clients and designing enjoyable golf holes. Stiles’ training and work as a landscape architect during his competitive golf years and subsequent golf architecture career instilled in him a strong understanding of the role of trees, sight lines and shading which in turn influenced the long term strategic implications associated with all elements of course maintenance. At some courses, much of his work has been preserved or restored; at others, virtually no Stiles features remain. The goal remains to increase recognition of Stiles’ and Van Kleek’s work, and to encourage their respective clubs to preserve and ideally restore original design features, while accommodating modern play, golf carts and environmental constraints not present during the Golden Age of American Golf Architecture.
The updated News and Notes section contains documentation of several Stiles designed courses not included in the book and recent developments regarding restoration efforts and other work at Stiles and Van Kleek courses. The Stiles Photos section contains personal family photos which were graciously provided by the Step-Granddaughter of Wayne Stiles. Publications and Articles features links to news stories about Stiles and Van Cleek and golf related writings by co-author Kevin Mendik since the book’s release in 2008. Visitors are encouraged to contact the Wayne Stiles Society with any information, photos or plans they may have regarding Stiles or Van Kleek and their work.
The first known professional golf-related project by Wayne Stiles was made available by Mr. Stiles’ home course of Brae Burn. Dated March 1915, the plan shows existing conditions and topographic detail for the golf course, where the U.S. Open was played in 1919. The original plan has been framed and resides in Brae Burn’s Bobby Jones Room.
On July 31, 2016, the Nashua Country Club in Nashua, New Hampshire hosted their Centennial event with a full field of hickory players, as well as tributes to Wayne Stiles and Lifetime NCC member Pat Bradley. Notes and images from the event can be seen in the Nashua Country Club Centennial Gallery.
The 2015 golf season saw a number of inaugural events: Pine Brook in Weston, MA held their first Stiles Cup with the winner being determined based on play in club events. Norwood Hills held a WSS Event on October 2015 with over 80 golfers participating. Norwood Hills WSS Inaugural October 2015
To date, over two dozen clubs have joined the Wayne Stiles Society, although there is no formal membership process at this time. We look forward to formal events as clubs enter into their centennial years. Additional information will be published as it becomes available. Wayne Stiles Society Charter Member Clubs