Robert Muir Graves

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Robert Muir Graves
Graves, c. 1990
Born(1930-09-24)September 24, 1930
DiedJune 28, 2003(2003-06-28) (aged 72)
Alma materMichigan State University
UC Berkeley
OccupationGolf course architect
Years active1955–2001
Maryalice "Mimi" Rowland (m. 1952–2003)
ChildrenVictoria Graves
Elizabeth "Betsy" Mahan
Kathryn "Katy" Yoder

Robert Muir "Bob" Graves (September 24, 1930 – June 28, 2003) was an American landscape and golf course architect who was president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects[1] from 1974–75. Graves designed many golf courses, including golf courses in California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, British Columbia and Malaysia.

Early life and education[edit]

Robert Muir Graves was born on September 24, 1930 in Trenton, Michigan,[2] United States. He was the son of Orin Nelson Graves (1901–1980) and Margaret J. Muir (1902–1987). He had two siblings, a brother and a sister. Graves studied at Michigan State University and graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in landscape architecture.[3] Serving in the United States Navy during the Korean War, and 22 years in the Naval Reserves, he achieved the rank of Commander.[4]

In 1952, while living in Berkeley, California, he married Maryalice "Mimi" Rowland (born 1933). Graves was a multi-faceted man whose interests included flying (both for business and pleasure), music, and a wide range of sports including golf, skiing and horseback riding.[5]


Graves began his career in 1955 as a landscape architect before transitioning into golf course architecture. His first project as a golf course architect was redesign of the Carmel Valley Country Club in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California and Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, California.[5] He designed over 75 golf courses around the world, but his best-known work is located in the western United States. In 1972, he designed the Big Meadow course at Black Butte Ranch in Oregon.[5]

His Sea Ranch Golf Links was opened in the early 1970s, and recognized as a "natural" and "minimistic" piece of golf course architecture. Graves also designed Port Ludlow Golf Course and Canterwood Country Club in Washington state.[5] One of his masterpieces, completed in 1978, was the Championship 18 Course at Buffalo Hill Golf Club in Kalispell, Montana. Graves became the President of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1974 and served until 1975.[5]

In 2002, Graves and his good friend Geoffrey Cornish published a book called Classic Golf Hole Design: Using the Greatest Holes as Inspiration for Modern Courses.[1][6]

List of golf courses in the United States[edit]

List of international golf courses[edit]

Personal life and death[edit]

Graves was married to Maryalice "Mimi" Graves (née Roland) and had three daughters, Victoria Graves, Elizabeth "Betsy" Mahan, and Kathryn "Katy" Yoder. He died on June 28, 2003 in Bend, Oregon, due to complications from cancer.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Big Canyon CC - History and background of the Club". Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  2. ^ Hall, Zach. "Oregon newspaper profiles wife of ASGCA Past President Robert Muir Graves". American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA). Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "Golf Architects/Designers – Robert Muir Graves". TeaTimes. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  4. ^ "Robert Muir Graves". Ever & Forever. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Graves one of handful who designs courses". The Daily Inter Lake. June 27, 1976.
  6. ^ Graves, Robert Muir; Cornish, Geoffrey (2002). Classic Golf Hole Design: Using the Greatest Holes as Inspiration for Modern Courses. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0471413721.
  7. ^ Hall, Zach (January 12, 2015). "Widgi Creek Golf Club: Offseason update on Bend public golf course". The Bend Bulletin. Bend, Oregon.
  8. ^ "Furry Creek Golf and Country". Golf in British Columbia. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Respected Golf Course Architect, Author and Educator Dies at 72" (PDF). Retrieved April 5, 2015.