In the spirit of the history and traditions of the game of golf and recognition of 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 Stiles and Van Kleek courses page contains a list of extant courses, documentation of several Stiles-designed courses not included in the book and recent developments regarding restoration efforts and other work. 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 golf project by Wayne Stiles was made available by Mr. Stiles’ home course of Brae Burn. Dated March 1915, the plan shows the existing conditions, including topographic detail for the layout at that time, on which the 1919 U.S. Open was contested. It represents Stiles’ first known professional golf related architecture and drafting work. The original is displayed in the Jones Room at Brae Burn.
(Images of the plan - large .tif file, and title block here).