Gil Hanse began his career in golf course design while studying at Cornell. He was the recipient of the prestigious William Frederick Dreer Award, which allowed him to spend a year in Great Britain studying the earliest examples of golf course architecture. While in Britain, Gil interned with the firm of Hawtree and Son, the oldest continuously practicing golf course architectural firm in the world.
Subsequently, Gil was an Associate, and then a Design Partner, in Tom Doak's Renaissance Golf Design, based out of Traverse City, Michigan. In 1993, he founded Hanse Golf Course Design Inc. based on the principles of creating a small firm that takes a personal interest in the design and construction of each project. The company's courses are simple and elegant in appearance, yet sophisticated in strategy and interest.
Gil is one of only a handful of American architects to build a course in Scotland, where he constructed the 18–hole Craighead Golf Links for the world's seventh oldest golf club, the Crail Golfing Society. He was chosen to design and oversee creation of the Olympic Course in Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games. He has also established himself as a top restoration specialist, with his resume of work including: the Kittansett Club; Tillinghast's Fenway in Scarsdale, New York; TPC Boston; Los Angeles Country Club; Plainfield Country Club, Plainfield New Jersey and Century Country Club, Purchase, New York.