Perry Maxwell was born in the town of Princeton, Kentucky. He attended school in Kentucky, but would move to Oklahoma his early life to recover from tuberculosis. Maxwell took up the game of golf shortly after and built a golf course, with the assistance of his wife, in 1913. The course, Dornick Hills Golf and Country Club, was just north of their home in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
In 1919, after Maxwell’s wife had passed away, he decided to spend time touring America’s most prominent Southern and Eastern golf courses. Maxwell was a full-time architect in 1925, working on projects in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City area. In the 1930’s Maxwell partnered with Alister Mackenzie and designed courses such as Crystal Downs Country Club and Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. Later in his career, Maxwell worked with his son, J. Press Maxwell, and they designed several courses together.
Maxwell was known for his ability to build complex green structures, that were noted in all of his design work. He was hired to rebuild greens at facilities like Augusta National, Pine Valley, and the National Golf Links of America.
Maxwell was part of the 14 founding members of ASGCA in 1947, and served as an ASGCA member for five years until his death in 1952.