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Calling all armchair architects: Enter the 2019 Lido Design Competition

January 29, 2019

Back in the fall of 1987, Gilbert S. Hanse was a 24-year-old aspiring golf architect who’d just left Cornell University to spend six months in Scotland examining its great courses. During his stay, he took the time to enter Golf Digest’s first-ever golf design contest, one of thousands who sent in entries from around the world. Hanse’s entry (shown above) was a quarterfinalist, but it didn’t win. That didn’t hold him back. In 1988, Hanse returned to Cornell, earned a Master’s Degree, then began his very successful architecture business that has recently seen him create, among others, the venue for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the new No. 4 course at Pinehurst in North Carolina and the third 18 at Streamsong Resort in Florida, Golf Digest’s Best New Public Course of 2018.

Should you enter the 2019 Lido Competition, the annual golf design contest co-sponsored by Golf Digest/Golf World and the Alister MacKenzie Society, we can’t guarantee you’ll go on to experience a fantastic design career, but we can guarantee that if you’re one of the finalists, your entry will be judged this year by Gil Hanse.

If you win, you’ll receive $3,000 and an invitation to attend the MacKenzie Society annual meeting in August at Valley Club of Montecito in California, where you’ll be invited to play its famed Alister MacKenzie-designed course, ranked No. 86 on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest. If you come to the meeting, you’ll receive another $2,000 to help defray your travel costs.

The rules are simple. Design an original par-4 hole that reflects the golf design principles practiced by Dr. MacKenzie. It must be a hand drawing not larger than 11" by 17" and can be accompanied by a single page of explanation. A complete set of rules and an entry blank are available at or by sending an email to

Deadline for the 2019 Lido Competition is April 15, 2019. The winner will be notified on or about May 15.