Someone once asked: “Do you like teaching more than golf course design?”

The answer: I enjoy teaching and golf course design equally.

golf course design by Ray Hearn

Ray Hearn came oh-so-close to a hole-in-one at Ballybunion Golf Club

In 1997 I started co-teaching an overseas golf course design seminar through Michigan State University each fall, and it included trips annually to Scotland, Ireland or England.

In those on-the-site travel seminars the students and teachers played and then discussed shot value, strategy and playability at great courses such as St. Andrews Old Course, Royal Troon, Royal St. George, Royal Lythum at St. Annes, Turnberry, Royal Ashdown Forest, Ballbunion Old, Royal Dornock, Royal County Down and others.

The seminar attracted shapers, students, golf raters, media, club members, pros, superintendents, board members and more.  Needless to say, it was a tremendous experience, educational for all and wildly successful.

After several years, I stared getting emails with similar requests: “Dear Mr. Hearn I would love to partake in your overseas golf course design seminar, but I just can’t afford it.  Would you ever consider an online version?”

Following a year of research and preparation, I started my online seminar and 20 years later it remains very successful.

I limit the number of attendees each year to just 10, and that always means a waiting list. Participants hail from around the world including the USA, Canada, Dubi, Saudi Arabia, England, Scotland, Ireland, South Korea, China, Nigeria, Mexico, Columbia, South Africa and India.

Again, this seminar is all online and includes 12 chapters of varied topics each with an assignment in which I personally grade.

The chapters:

  • 1: Great Golf Course Architects that Shaped the Profession
  • 2: Golf Course Design Principles
  • 3: Golf Course Feature Development Part 1
  • 4: Golf Course Feature Development Part 2
  • 5: Penal, Heroic and Strategic Schools of Design
  • 6:Par 3 Design
  • 7: Par 4 & 5 Design
  • 8: Types of Golf Courses
  • 9:Ray Hearn’s Design Process (One of My Industry’s Most Comprehensive)
  • 10: Steps in Developing a Golf Course
  • 11:The Future of Golf & Golf Course Design
  • 12:The International 18 Hole Design Contest from a Real-World Golf Site.

In each year a top student emerges from the outstanding groups of students. The 2018 winner was Gaurav Pundir, the golf course superintendent of the acclaimed Tollygunge Golf Club in Kolkata, India.

Overall, I enjoy the great depth and richness of my discussions with my students.  As with my oversea seminar, my students range from golf pros, superintendents, club presidents, shapers, civil engineers, avid golfers, landscape architects and more. We have enjoyed a 97 percent satisfaction rating. I love the seminar and so do my enrollees. Each enrollee loves the fact that they can proceed at their pace and in the comfort of their home or office.

My next seminar starts June 1, 2019 with only three openings left. E-mail me at to learn more.

"Raymond Hearn is part artist and part engineer."

Michael Konick

Golf Writer, Delta Airlines Magazine


119 West 37th St.
Holland, MI 49422 USA