Robert "Red" Lawrence was born in White Plains, NY in 1893. He was a layout engineer at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York.
Red Lawrence was well placed among the second generation of American designers. Lawrence emerged from the "Philadelphia School" of golf course architecture as a design assistant at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA. He worked for and with William S. Flynn at Merion from 1921 to 1932.
Later, Lawrence's work as an associate involved him in a number of inland Eastern USA golf courses including The Cascades at the Homestead Resort in Virginia and other fine courses. Red Lawrence is a founding member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (founded in 1947). In May, 1958 at the age of 65, Red left the East Coast and moved to Tucson, Arizona. He designed many courses in Arizona, including in the Scottsdale/Phoenix/Chandler area and in Tubac. His design of Desert Forest Golf Club (1962) earned him the nickname of the "Desert Fox" as it was the first true desert golf course in the Southwest. It is also his premier course design. Red died at the age of 83 in 1976, and was inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.