Flynn will forever be remembered for his work in 1931 at Shinnecock Hills in New York, which was essentially a redesign of a Seth Raynor and Charles Blair Macdonald course that had to be shifted away from a proposed highway running through Southampton. About a third of the layout was to be retained, but the interaction between the new and old land here was so beautifully handled by Flynn that it’s almost impossible to distinguish between the 12 holes he created and the 6 originals that were reshaped.
William Flynn got his start in design at Merion nearly two decades earlier. Working on the grounds crew he helped Hugh Wilson complete the course and apparently suggested a few amendments of his own. He later went into business with Howard Toomey, and was particularly prolific in the Philadelphia area where he designed fine courses like the Philadelphia Country Club, Rolling Green, Huntingdon Valley and Lancaster. Other notable Flynn layouts include Cherry Hills, the Cascades Course at The Homestead, Lehigh and nine holes at The Country Club in Brookline. Significantly, he was also the guy appointed to complete the final few holes at Pine Valley after George Crump had passed away.