Bill Coore became a golf course designer almost by accident. In 1971, the North Carolina native happened upon a course called Oak Hollow, about 90 miles west of Raleigh. Coore liked the look of the course and asked a maintenance crew worker who designed it.

Pete Dye, the worker said.

Coore found Dye's number, called him and after a bit of badgering got a job on the maintenance crew at Cardinal Golf and Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. Coore eventually became a course superintendent in Texas and his first design project was a low-budget, nine-hole course near Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico. The first nine holes were so well received Coore was asked to build another nine and his career was born.

Coore became partners with Ben Crenshaw in 1986 -- a developer had introduced the two a couple of years earlier -- and their design company took off.

Coore's philosophy is to use the land's natural contours to shape his course. That was the case at Bandon Dunes in Oregon, where he looked at the dunes on his evening walks and decided it was the right time and place for a links course.

It was also the case at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., where Coore and Crenshaw's Saguaro Course weaves brilliantly throughout the desert landscape.

Coore has said he believes top-end courses should also be playable for weekend duffers; his fairways aren't narrow ribbons that reject all but the straightest of drives.

After designing courses all over the world, Coore returned home; he and Crenshaw were given the prestigious task of restoring the famed No. 2 Course at Pinehurst. Their work was widely praised and the U.S. Open returned to Pinehurst and their restoration in 2014.

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