Geoffrey Cornish received a bachelor's degree from the University of British Columbia and a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts, both in agronomy. His interest in golf course architecture was aroused upon graduation in 1935, when he was hired to evaluate soils and find topsoil on the Capilano GC under construction in West Vancouver, BC, after two of his classmates had turned the job down in favor of graduate school. He then trained for four years with golf architect Stanley Thompson and was later employed for a short time as greenkeeping superintendent at the St. Charles CC, Winnipeg, Canada.
During World War II Cornish served with the Canadian Army Overseas, returning to become an associate of Stanley Thompson in 1946 and '47. This was followed by an association with Lawrence S. Dickinson, pioneer turfgrass scientist, at the University of Massachusetts until 1952, when he entered private practice as a golf architect.
By 1980 Cornish had planned more courses in the New England states than any other architect in history. He had also designed and remodeled layouts in other parts of the United States, in Canada and in Europe. He was the author of numerous articles on course design and turfgrass subjects. In 1981 he received The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Distinguished Service Award and in 1982 The Donald Ross Award.
In 1964 Cornish was joined by William G. Robinson, who in 1977 established the firm of Cornish and Robinson, Golf Course Designers, Ltd. of Calgary, Alberta. Together they prepared the publication GOLF COURSE DESIGN: AN INTRODUCTION, distributed by the National Golf Foundation. In 1983 he was joined by Brian M. Silva to establish the firm of Cornish and Silva, which in 1995 became Cornish, Silva and Mungeam, Inc.
Doctorate ( Honorary) University of Massachusetts
Masters degree (Agronomy) University of Massachusetts
Bachelors degree (Soil Science) University of British Columbia
American Society of Golf Course Architects (President 1975) (Fellow)
Soil Science Society Of America
Phi Kappa Phi - Honorary Scholastic Society
Sigma Xi - Honorary Research Society
National Golf Foundation
British Association of Golf Course Architects (Honorary Member)
Royal Canadian Golf Hall of Fame
2006 – Mungeam Cornish Golf Design, Inc.
1995 - Joined by Mark A. Mungeam in the firm of Cornish, Silva and Mungeam, Inc.
1983 - Joined by Brian M. Silva in the firm of Cornish and Silva, Inc.
1952 - Entered private practice as a golf course architect. In collaboration with Associate,William G. Robinson (who joined him in 1964), designed a total of over 180 courses now in play in Canada, the United States and Europe. In addition he has prepared plans for updating many well known layouts from Coast to Coast.
1947-1952 - Taught and conducted research at the University of Massachusetts in subjects related to golf course design, construction and maintenance. Continues to give a series of lectures each winter to the Winter School for Turfgrass Managers at the University of Massachusetts 1947-1952 - Taught and conducted research at the University of Massachusetts in subjects related to golf course design, construction and maintenance.
1945-1947 - Again with Stanley Thompson
1940-1945 - Canadian Army Overseas, final rank of Major
1935-1940 - Worked under golf course architect Stanley Thompson of Toronto as an apprentice architect, construction foreman and superintendent.
RELATED PROFESSIONAL WORK
In 2002 published CLASSIC GOLF HOLE DESIGN, also with Robert Muir Graves and 18 STAKES ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON, a solo project.
In 1998 published GOLF COURSE DESIGN, by Geoffrey S. Cornish and Robert Muir Graves. Derived from their much sought after Harvard School of Design course, this publication is a textbook for those interested in learning about the profession.
In 1993 THE GOLF COURSE was updated and reprinted as THE ARCHITECTS OF GOLF. This book has been called, "the ultimate reference source for anyone interested in golf."
Cornish is the co-author of THE GOLF COURSE by Cornish and Whitten, the definitive history of course architecture and a wide seller in the US and UK.