Jerry Matthews Natural Course Design

Principles of
Natural Course Design

Natural Course Design

A hallmark of classic design has always been the ability of the golf course architect to blend a course seamlessly with nature, making it appear as though the course was always there. This is the backbone of Jerry Matthews Natural Course Design philosophy — simply stated as taking full advantage of the natural features of a site, allowing the land to suggest the routing and character of the individual golf holes. Employing these principles, our firm has repeatedly displayed the ability to maintain a site's integrity while designing for optimal playability. This approach was valid three-quarters of a century ago when the first Matthews course was designed, and still works today.


For players of every skill level, golf should be an exhilarating experience — fair, and above all, fun to play. Our designs embody this goal. Each well-played shot should be amply rewarded, but not all less-than-perfect shots should be penalized… an old concept often overlooked today. We combine the perfect blend of innovation with tradition to make our courses challenging yet friendly to the expert golfer as well as the novice. We know that repeat play is the lifeblood of any successful golf operation. Our courses are played over and over again because each round leaves the golfer satisfied and eager to return.


Aesthetic appeal cannot be underestimated in its contribution to both the game of golf and golfer satisfaction. We design a course with a deep reverence for the inherent beauty of the land. There is creativity and simplicity in our designs that result in a soft and natural look. Rather than forcing a hole upon the site, each is carefully crafted to fit the land, showcasing nature's beauty. Each course should be a visual masterpiece, adding an immense measure of enjoyment to the game.

Economics of Design

Today, it is more important than ever to give the golfing public a dramatic and distinctive course to play at a reasonable cost. Jerry Matthews Natural Course Design creates innovative and exciting golfing environments without incurring unnecessary construction costs or producing excessive maintenance costs. Rather than moving large amounts of earth to obtain a look, we allow the land to suggest the placement and flow of the course, then artfully sculpt what nature has provided. Over the years our timeless and enduring design philosophy combined with practical construction practices have proven to be key elements in the economic success of our clients.