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Dave Thomas Golf Courses

from the Experts in Golf Holidays

⏱ 6 min read

The Belfry Golf Resort, England

Captain of The PGA

Dave Thomas is a legend in the golf world. He has designed more than 100 courses across the world and won many awards, including being named as one of the top 100 most influential people in golf by Golf Magazine.

His design philosophy is simple - create world-class courses that are not just visually stunning but also easy to walk so they can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

In its Centenary Year in 2001 he was the captain of The PGA and was made a Life Member of the Association in 2005.

Dave Thomas Facts

Name David Charles Thomas
Born 16 Aug, 1934
Died 27 Aug, 2013
Nationality Welsh

Ryder Cup Legacy

Teaming up with Peter Alliss, Thomas designed The Belfry’s famous Brabazon Course on which The Ryder Cup was played in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002.

The course is full of golfing history and visiting golfers can try to recreate some of it when playing there. Seve’s historic drive onto the 10th green, the putt that won the 1985 Ryder Cup match by Sam Torrance or Christie O’Connor Jr’s superb 2 iron across the lake at the 18th.

As well as The Brabazon, Thomas had a hand in the other two courses at The Belfry, The PGA National which has held European Tour events and The Derby which contains strategically placed bunkers, water hazards and well-designed risk and reward holes.

The Brabazon Course Statistics
Par: 72 | Yardage: 7,160

The PGA National Course Statistics
Par: 72 | Yardage: 7,043

The Derby Course Statistics
Par: 69 | Yardage: 6,057

About Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the son of William Thomas a mining engineer and rugby full-back from Aberdare in South Wales.

William passed away in 1949, the same year his son watched some of the game’s great champions including Fred Daly, Max Faulkner and the legendary Sam Snead competing in The Ryder Cup at Ganton. Watching these top players left such a lasting impression, Dave was determined as a player to aspire to the same standards and started his golf career as an assistant professional at Gosforth Park.

He managed to win multiple European Tour events during the 1950's and 1960's as well as finishing runner up for The Open Championship twice. He proudly represented Wales in the World Cup of Golf a total of 11 times and would play in The Ryder Cup on 4 occoasions but arthritis would bring a premature end to his playing career.

Thomas immersed himself in his other great passion, the design of golf courses. Teaming up with Peter Alliss, the pair designed a wide variety of parkland layouts throughout the English countryside with the courses at The Belfry becoming their crowning glory.

He did not confine his design talents to England though, moving north of the border you can find Thomas layouts near Dundee with the Buddon Course at Carnoustie and the Lansdowne Course at Blairgowrie. Near Glasgow he created the Earl of Mar course and teamed up with the great Seve Ballesteros for the layout at the Westerwood Golf Hotel. There are Thomas designs in Aberdeenshire, The Borders and all the way up in the Highlands with the expansive track at Spey Valley in the Carirngorms National Park.

Dave would eventually apply his trade further afield, creating more than twenty courses in Europe. Most of these designs were in Spain along the South East coast creating layouts in Murcia, Cadiz, Catalunya and the Canary
Islands. His CV also includes Cannes Mougins, La Baule and Terre Blanche in France and courses in Africa, China, Japan, South America and Taiwan.

A few months before he passed away in his home in Marbella Dave was given with Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour. He was presented with a silver membership card at a special luncheon at Shepherd’s Restaurant in London, attended by Board Member and life-long friend John O’Leary along with representatives of the Association of Golf Writers.

Dave Thomas Golf Courses in England

As one of the world's most prolific golf course designers, Dave Thomas has seen his work being enjoyed across the length and breadth of England. His marquee designs are seen at 4-time host of the Ryder Cup The Belfry, European Tour host Slaley Hall as well as popular resort courses like Bowood Golf Resort, Donnington Grove and Old Thorns.

Dave Thomas Golf Courses in Scotland

Dave Thomas has designed some of scotland's most prestigious golf courses during his career. He designed the Cardrona course near Peebles for the MacDonald Hotel Group who were so impressed with his work they commissioned him to create the Championship course at Spey Valley in Aviemore. He designed a number of resort courses in Scotland including layouts at Mar Hall & Roxburghe but also has layouts at Carnoustie with the Buddon course, Blairgowrie Golf Club in Perthshire and Newmacher Golf Club in Aberdeen.

Dave Thomas Golf Courses in Spain

When Dave Thomas extended his designs into Spain he concentrated his work on the South Eastern coast between Murcia and San Roque. In Murcia Thomas designs can be found at La Manga, Mar Menor, Hacienda del Alamo and Roda while further South are Marbella Golf Club and the Old Course at San Roque. North of Murcia Thomas created 3 loops at Almenara Golf Club and also ventured out to the Canaries with his fantastic design at Abama.

Other Dave Thomas Golf Course Designs

Golf Courses in England
Oulton Hall
The Tytherington Club

Golf Courses in France
Golf International Barriere La Baule
Cannes-Mougins Golf Club
Terre Blanche

Golf Courses in Germany
St Leon-Rot Golf Club

Golf Courses in Spain
Marbella Golf Club
Roda Golf Club
San Roque (Old Course)
Altorreal Golf Club
Centro Nacional de Golf
Lorca Golf Club
Playa Serena Golf Club

Golf Courses in Scotland
Newmacher Golf Club
Westerwood Golf Club

Golf Courses in Turkey
Nobilis Golf Club

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