If might seem like golf course architect Scott Hoffman came out of nowhere with his design at Lost Rail, opened in 2022 outside of Omaha. However, he’d previously worked for over a decade with Tom Fazio, designing courses in the western U.S. He then worked with Tim Jackson and David Kahn for a number of years. Hoffman wasn’t pursuing new work when he was approached about looking at land for a club near Omaha, where he’s from, and those interests turned into Lost Rail, Golf Digest’s runner up for Best New Private Course for 2023. He’s now busy constructing Mapleton, another new stand-alone club near Sioux Falls, Idaho.
Hoffman joins Golf Digest architecture editor Derek Duncan on the Feed the Ball podcast to discuss finding the land for Lost Rail, his instinct for routing golf courses, the insomnia-inducing puzzle of routing Lost Rail, the freedom of working for Fazio versus being his own business, how to water a 20,000 square-foot green, whether classical architecture influences his designs, the futility of properly evaluating a course after just one round and how he compares and contrasts Shinnecock Hills with National Golf Links of America.