Natural artistry has been ascribed as the essence of Stanley Thompson’s design philosophy. The harmonious blending of artfully sculpted golf landforms with the surrounding environment, omni-present natural features and breathtaking views was and remains the anchor to the classic, uniquely Thompson dynamic. Thompson golf holes were created to look as if they had always been there and were always meant to be there.
If "natural artistry” is the essence, then a memorable quote from the Master himself on his philosophy in design speaks to his profound obsession with the creation of course routings which effortlessly integrated golf’s recreational, physical and cathartic health benefits. "The most successful course is one that will test the skill of the most advanced golfer without discouraging the duffer while adding to the enjoyment of both”.
In his publication, About Golf Courses: Their Construction and Upkeep, Stanley Thompson & Co. Limited, Toronto, Montreal, Cleveland, circa 1930, Thompson wrote about his thoughts on the design of golf courses. Following is an excerpt from this publication which best describes the philosophy of Stanley Thompson in his own words.
"In selecting a golf course site, in addition to its accessibility, there are other factors which should be taken into consideration, the most important of which is not its picturesqueness, although this is an important item. Apart from the general suitability of the terrain for golf the deciding factor should be the chemical and physical character of the soil, as the proper selection will save the club thousands of dollars in construction and maintenance. It would be almost criminal for a committee to obligate a club to certain land without first being sure as to its suitability. The average green committee changes from year to year and usually has far more enthusiasm than knowledge. Wherever any work is attempted, outside of ordinary maintenance, the experience of most clubs has been that a great amount of money has been squandered."