(December 25, 1890 – January 24, 1944)
A prominent golf course architect during the early part of the 20th century.
Flynn was born in Milton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Milton High School, where he had played interscholastic golf and competed against his friend Francis Ouimet. He laid out his first course at Heartwellville, Vermont in 1909 and was then hired to assist Hugh Wilson with completion of the East Course at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He worked as the construction supervisor at Merion and remained on as superintendent for a short time, helping establish the course.
Flynn continued his involvement with Merion for 25 years, perfecting the course. He and Wilson had hoped to form a design partnership, but Wilson’s failing health prevented it. Instead, Flynn partnered with Howard Toomey just after World War I with Flynn the designer and Toomey handling the engineering side of the work. They started their own golf architectural firm, Toomey & Flynn. William Gordon, Robert Lawrence, and Dick Wilson all started out as assistants with the firm of Toomey and Flynn; all later became prominent designers in their own right. Flynn was particularly active around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, producing numerous highly rated courses which compete with each other for attention. Although his body of work is found around Philadelphia, his most recognizable work is outside the area, in places like Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, The Cascades in Virginia, The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, and Shinnecock Hills on Long Island.