Marion Hollins – golf industry trailblazer and one of the first female golf course architects – was named an Honorary Member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects at the recent ASGCA Annual Meeting in Cleveland. On Nov. 9, an Honorary Member plaque was presented in California to Hollins’ great-nephew, Tony Grissim, by Brian Costello, ASGCA, and ASGCA Immediate Past President Forrest Richardson.
A 2021 World Golf Hall of Fame honoree, Hollins’ impact on golf continues to be noticed, 100 years after winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur championship. ASGCA Honorary Membership is a rare designation seldom given to anyone besides ASGCA Donald Ross Award recipients.
Hollins entered golf course development in 1923 when she and others created the Women’s National Golf & Tennis Club in Glen Head, New York. Hollins was instrumental in the project, helping to secure the land, assemble the finances, recruit members, hire a golf course architect and oversee the course construction.
The following year she approached developer Samuel Morse with a concept for an elite private club in Pebble Beach, California. Morse reserved 150 acres and put Hollins in charge of what became Cypress Point Club.
“Honorary Membership underscores the respect ASGCA members have for Hollins’ work and her impact on the game,” ASGCA President Jason Straka, ASGCA, said. “She contributed new thinking to golf course architecture, helping those in our practice think in expanded ways.”
Hollins designed one of the most famous holes in golf, No. 16 at Cypress Point. Dr. Alister MacKenzie later wrote, “I was in no way responsible for the hole. It was largely due to the vision of Marion Hollins.” Hollins later worked with MacKenzie on his designs at Pasatiempo and Augusta National.
“(No. 16 at Cypress) was made better by Marion’s vision and intuition, and that was only a fraction of her contribution to golf on the Monterey Peninsula,” said ASGCA Immediate Past President Forrest Richardson, ASGCA. “Besides Samuel Morse himself, the world owes her a great ‘thank you’ for what was accomplished in this special part of the golf world.”
“It is difficult to understand how incredible Marion Hollins’ achievements were given the social and economic eras with their prescribed roles for women, with travel limited to horse power, early roads and automobiles, cross-country train service and ocean-going vessels, and with the limits to communication by newsprint,” said ASGCA Past President Jan Bel Jan, ASGCA.
“In a time when women accounted for only a small percentage of total golfers and an even smaller percentage of women were involved in any form of golf related business, the accomplishments of Marion truly stand out,” said ASGCA Foundation President Rick Robbins, ASGCA.
ASGCA and ASGCA Foundation are supporting a fundraising initiative to honor Hollins’ contributions to the game of golf. The Marion Hollins Memorial Project is planning a landscaped memorial area overlooking her grave at Cemeterio El Encinal in Monterey, California. To find out more about the memorial project and to make a donation, visit www.marionhollins.org.