Nicknamed the “Toronto Terror,” Stanley Thompson was one of the finest and most influential golf course architects in Canada. Born in Scotland, Thompson at a young age emigrated to Canada with his family. He started to learn about golf course architecture by attending Ontario Agricultural College.
After World War I, Thompson entered practice in 1921, but only landed a few modest jobs in the Ontario area. After a few more modest designs in Winnipeg and Toronto, Thompson carved his legacy after his work on two courses in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper Park and Banff Springs. These courses exhibited a degree of strategic design that was unparalleled and began receiving worldwide acclaim. It was noted that even Winston Churchill would make appearances to play the golf courses, even though Churchill played very little golf.
Thompson was among the more colorful people in the golf design world. Many remembered him as a man of as much flamboyance as intelligence. Thompson was also recognized for his ability to mentor many people that would follow in his footsteps, especially in growing the game in Canada. These people include Robert Trent Jones, Howard Watson, C.E. Robinson, Norman Woods, Geoffrey Cornish, and Robert Moote. In 1980, Thompson was elected into the Canadian Hall of Fame.
Thompson was a founding member of ASGCA in 1947 and served as ASGCA President from 1949-1950. Thompson served with the ASGCA for five years until his death in 1953.