top of page

Jim Ryan, Jr. ~ Golf Architect

Jim Ryan, Jr. has been fascinated with golf course design for as long as he can remember and is fortunate to get to explore this interest through his career as a Golf Architect.  Jim joined Tyler Rae Design as Lead Design Associate and Golf Course Shaper in 2020, and is involved with all aspects of the firm, from artistic plan production and 3D renderings, to golf course shaping and construction oversight. 

Jim has been exposed to the game his entire life as his father cut-down his old, steel-shafted golf clubs allowing him to start honing his swing in the backyard at the age of three.  Jim subsequently fell in love with the game of golf, spending countless hours on the course with his family and friends.  However, Jim found himself more fascinated with the drawings and sketches of the golf holes themselves, as opposed to simply the sport.

During his adolescence, Jim found a golf design video game that allowed him to scratch this golf course design itch. “Sim Golf”, as the video game was called, allowed him to design and play his own golf courses only advancing this interest.  He would often draw inspiration from that week’s PGA Tour event to design his courses, exposing him to the variety of design philosophies early on.  As Jim got older, he completed his high school senior thesis on the topic of golf architecture, and was fortunate to have the opportunity to route, render and 3D model a golf course on what was once the proposed property of a real golf club.

Jim’s entrance into the professional field of golf architecture came after graduating from Penn State University, where he served as a Project Manager for Mottin Golf Course Renovations in Philadelphia.  He oversaw several projects on the construction/contractor side of the business with Mottin Golf, then moved to Pinehurst, North Carolina to study under noted Donald Ross Restoration Architect, Richard Mandell, ASGCA.  After two years in Pinehurst, Jim moved back to Philadelphia to work with Tyler Rae, and help Rae to establish his own firm.

Fortunate to have grown up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, arguably the most influential city for golf architecture in America, Jim subscribes to the principles of design laid out by the “Philadelphia School of Golf Course Architecture.”  These principles, seen at area courses like Merion and Pine Valley, promote strategic golf architecture that challenges the most skilled players, but allows even beginners to enjoy the game.

Jim’s connection to Philadelphia School of golf course design runs even deeper, as he was fortunate to attend the same primary school as George Thomas, architect of Riviera and Los Angeles Country Club.  And, he was even born at the former site of a Donald Ross and William Flynn-designed golf course!


Outside the office, Jim can be found at his home Club on the golf course with his family and friends.  If not at a golf course, you can most likely find Jim supporting his beloved Penn State Nittany Lions Football team, whether near or far, every Saturday in the fall.  

Work History

2020 - Present

2020 - Present

2019 - 2020

2018 - 2019

Lead Design Associate

Tyler Rae Design


Jim Ryan Golf Course Design

Design Associate

Richard Mandell Golf Architecture

Project Manager

Mottin Golf Course Renovaitons

bottom of page