Whitemarsh Valley Country Club owes its design to George C. Thomas Jr., who created only three golf courses in the East before building a reputation as a golf architect and botanist in California.
Thomas grew up on the property that eventually became the Whitemarsh Valley course. He was educated at Episcopal Academy and the University of Pennsylvania before working with his father at Drexel and Co., a banking company. He produced the course at Whitemarsh Valley in 1908.
Thomas had a passion for gardening, especially rose breeding, and he moved to California in 1919 to take advantage of the favorable climate for growing roses. He became an expert botanist but continued his interest in golf, designing and building an impressive collection of golf courses throughout California.
Thomas once said of golf design, "When you play a course and remember each hole, it has individuality and change. If your mind cannot recall the exact sequence of the holes, that course lacks the great assets of originality and diversity."
These qualities are quite visible in his design at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club.