John Flynn - A Good Game

Barely a year ago, John Flynn was asked to board a plane to Moscow based on some golf course designs that an overseas developer had heard of through word-of-mouth. Within a couple of days, Flynn was laying some rough sketches of his plans on the developer’s desk, which overlooked Red Square. After a brief translation, Flynn was simply asked, “How much?”

“It’s interesting,” Flynn says. “Most people start designing courses in the states and then try to get into Europe. For some reason, with me, it’s the other way around.”

With three courses in Russia under his belt, and many renovations of courses under way in the states, Flynn spends a lot of time walking on them. His first steps on a fairway were in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, following his father around with a nine iron. After constantly playing courses while growing up, his love affair with golf was in full swing when Flynn found his purpose one summer while working at a golf course.

“I was out working on the course, and I noticed that something on a hole could be fixed with a slight adjustment,” Flynn says. “I told them, and they said I shouldn’t be working on the course, that I should be designing it.”

After working for eight years in Toledo for Arthur Hills and Associates, Flynn took an artistic background and applied it to laying out courses in a style he calls “urban,” which is a mix of courses in the 1930s and what we see today. He hopes to bring this style to his adopted hometown of Columbus in the near future.

“I’m hoping that I can bring something here that would be a destination for everyone—a mixed-use course that everyone can enjoy,” Flynn says. “It would be a lot more than just a golf course.”

For more information go to