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Renowned course architect passes away at 97

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Renowned Canadian golf architect Geoffrey Cornish died Friday in Amherst, Mass., at the age of 97 according to the American Society of Golf Course Architects.

“His exceptional work as a golf course architect, author and lecturer cannot be overstated,” ASGCA president Rick Phelps said in a release. “Mr. Cornish’s contributions to the profession of golf course architecture and the golf industry will live on for generations.”

Cornish was first exposed to design in 1935, working under the tutelage of Stanley Thompson in British Columbia. He served in the Canadian Army during World War II, returning home in 1946. He then made his way to the United States, where he studied turf at the University of Massachusetts for five years.

Beginning his own practice in 1952, Cornish had a hand in the design of more than 240 courses in the United States, Canada and Europe. He is believed to have designed more courses in New England than any other architect.

The author of several books on course design, Cornish wrote 'The Architects of Golf,' a first-of-its-kind narrative of the history of golf architecture. He was also president of the ASGCA in 1975-76. He influenced a host of future architects, including Tom Doak, who first took up the game at one of Cornish's courses.

No formal funeral services for Cornish were announced.