Golf Course Design

Thank you for your interest in David Toms Design. I am truly excited about the new projects we are working on and the numerous developments we are considering getting involved in not only here in the U.S. but internationally as well.

Golf course design has long been a passion of mine and something I plan to do long after my playing days are over. We have been very privileged and candidly humbled to be considered for multiple top projects and take a very serious look at each opportunity that comes our way.

"I've been involved in Carter Plantation really since day one, with the initial shaping of the golf course. I spend a lot of time compared to most tour players who do design work. I've been there many, many, many times. I know every curve of every hole, every bunker, every green. My name will be with each project we do for the life of the project and I want to protect our reputation."

David Toms speaking about the signature course he created at the Carter Plantation in Springfield, Louisiana

Design Philosophy

David Toms Design has a very specific philosophy when it comes to golf course design that is made up of three key areas.

  1. What truly is right for the land we are given to work with
  2. Are we listening to the wishes of the land owner / developer
  3. What will the long term playability be for golfers of all ages and skill level

While our philosophy doesn’t necessarily differ from many other designers working today, we sincerely apply this to every one of the jobs we take on. I am fortunate to have a family that golfs, so building a golf course that can challenge my father, my kids and also allow me to go out and be challenged is truly something we focus on day in and day out. In addition, we pay very close attention to how the final result will be maintained for years to come. It is not only important to consider all final finishing details when it comes to the golf course landscape design, but we are also very conscious in terms of an overall budget.

As a Tour player, I am extremely fortunate to get to not only play some of the game's most famous historical golf courses, but also test and play all of the new designs as well. Every time I play a tournament, I can’t help but mentally review it from a design perspective as well as from an eye of playability. I am constantly asking myself what the thought was for bunker placement, turns in fairways, green complexes as well as overview strategic shot values. It gives me a chance to create a unique “repository” of great design concepts that I can then incorporate into our new projects today.

Rees Jones; PGA TOUR Professional & Course Consultant
David Toms; PGA TOUR Commissioner,
Tim Finchem at the course groundbreaking of
the Tournament Course at Redstone in Humble,
Texas home of the Shell Houston Open.


David Toms has been involved with the construction of five golf courses. He has been the lead designer (Carter Plantation) as well as a player consultant (Redstone). He has built courses from the ground up (LaTour) as well as redesigned and renovated (Baton Rouge Country Club).

In addition to relying on his own 20-year golfing career to provide design knowledge, Toms has had the privilege of working with and learning from one of the most famous and accomplished architects – Rees Jones – on two projects.

New for 2010

David Toms and Jim Lipe are overseeing a major redesign project at the University Club in Baton Rouge. The course will see its corridor reduced as far as its hitting areas with new bunkers, additional lakes and trees including areas that have sand dunes and native grasses to offer more challenges. With a new set of championship tees, the course will be stretched to some 7,500 yards at its par of 72.

"There's a lot of things we're trying to accomplish," said Toms. "I think you not only want to recruit the best players, but when you get here you want them to improve. You want them to able to play a golf course that's going to challenge their game off the tee. Not just into the greens and second shots, but also around the greens. You want them to be able to show up at other golf courses and be prepared to play at that level. I think what happens now is we have corridors so wide here, your penalty is that when they show up at a golf course with a lot of water hazards and a lot of trees, they're not sure what to think about it and they're not comfortable. The first thing you want to do is shrink down the driving areas to make them more narrow so that you might not necessarily hit driver every hole. You learn to throttle back and play conservatively at times and play golf like I play."

"You see what this looks like now, but I had the vision of what I think this golf course should be, what the shot values are, where the hazards should be, and to me it's a great opportunity to give back to LSU and give back to the golf program. I'm part of the ownership group at the club and to see this reach its potential is great. It's going to be a great tool for the golf teams, for the university, and something we can all be proud of. We all thank the donors. It is a big deal. To have this paid for before we're even moving dirt is great, and it just shows you the support for the purple and gold."

Links to Review:

Carter Plantation:

Redstone Golf Club:

USA Today Golf Design article:

Club and Resort Business Golf Design article:

University Club in Baton Rouge

La Tour Golf Club in Mathews

Tip of the Week

To hit a low punch shot to avoid those tree limbs or get through the wind play the ball farther back in your stance than normal. Keep the club face closed and keep your hands ahead of the ball at address and impact. Take a slightly abbreviated backswing and remember to follow through.

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