Feature Interview No. 2 with George Bahto
November, 2002

Please refer to George Bahto’s December,1999 Feature Interview for biographical information. Since that Feature Interview, Bahto penned The Evangelist of Golf, which was published by Clock Tower Press in November, 2002. In addition, he has become hands-on involved in restorative projects at such courses as Essex County Country Club and The Knoll in New Jersey.

(All art work is provided by Barbara Thomas, who has an extensive collection on holes at the National, amongst other Long Island courses. For more information, please contact her at BST327@aol.com.)

1. Given your background as a businessman, not a writer, how did you get involved with writing?

The Knoll Country Club, here in New Jersey has been my home course for the past 25-plus years and in the middle 1980′s our original clubhouse burned to the ground and all the memorabilia was lost (or mysteriously disappeared) including paintings, old records, and even the original Banks blueprint.

Hoping to come up some information I began visiting the USGA Golf Library in Far Hills and found out I would have to search through the many old magazines and books to come up with any in-depth information. I became aware that many holes on our course were some sort of renditions of famous holes from Europe, which really intrigued me and I began informing our members of the various renditions on our course. This caught the attention of a number of our members which led to me writing a short club history of our course and its founding.

Our very difficult Biarritz, 245-yards, hated by most, was miraculously transformed into a favorite hole by many members after I explained its origin came from a course in France built in the late 1800′s as did many others.

That information in turn led to Banks’ mentor Seth Raynor which of course led me to the great C. B. Macdonald. Raynor especially intrigued me because I couldn’t find out anything about him.

This Raynor fellow documented very little and the courses he build were mostly for very private clubs generally not accessible to the general golfing public – hence his long-time obscurity as a major architect of the Golden Age.

Sleeping Bear Press (now Clock Tower Press) saw some of my drawings I had given to Tom Doak and ‘signed me up’ to write a book about C.B. and his two ‘cohorts’ (thanks again Tom!). Major encouragements came from friends Dr. Bill Quirin and golf book dealer Dick Donovan.

2. Please share some of what was entailed in gathering the material.

After I had exhausted looking through the archival material at the U.S.G.A. Golf House Museum with just marginal results concerning Mr. Raynor visiting the courses seemed to be the next step. Gaining access to these courses was very difficult in the beginning butonce they understood that I would not be delving into their social histories, it became easier. After granted access to such respected clubs as Fishers Island and the National, doors opened readily and virtually everyone was cooperative.

It was important to see the courses but gaining access to their archives, club histories and speaking with their historians yielded the best results. Newspaper articles often spoke of where else the architect was working – often very surprising – just a lot of digging. It became much easier as time went on and soon information was being sent to me. I have met so many very fine people and have made many great friends all over the country. It has been a very satisfying time in my life.

3. Can youshedsome light onthe relationship between Horace Hutchinson and Macdonald?

I came across numerous references to Horace Hutchinson as being a close friend of Charlie’s during my research.

Hutchinson and Bernard Darwin were the co-columnistfor the London Country Life 1914 ‘Architecture Competition’ during the time of Lido’s construction, the competition that Dr. MacKenzie won. Hutchinson, in 1901, was one of the respondents to the famous ‘Best Hole Discussion’ (holes in the British Isles, that is) in the same London publication that triggered the ideafor Macdonald using the best holes in Europe for his ‘Ideal Golf Course.’

Macdonald’s admiration of Hutchinson was returned as Hutchinson was mightily impressed by Macdonald’s work at the National. As quoted in Scotland’s Gift in regard to the National, Hutchinson remarked that ‘my own opinion of the qualities of this course is so high that I am almost afraid of stating it too strongly’ and that when it opens ‘next year, it will be far and away the best in the United States.’

4. Which of the Macdonald hole designs do you think is most misunderstood?

That’s an easy one – the Cape hole.

It has become a strange evolution over time that the present (mis)conception of a Macdonald type Cape hole has come to refer to risk / reward tee-shot over some type hazard – the reward of a successful challenge being a better approach to the green. Remember, I’m talking about the Cape hole in the context of Charles Blair Macdonald ‘inventing’ the strategy, which he did.

That risk/reward drive concept is not what a Macdonald cape holes is about.. You could not have ‘invented’ a diagonal drive over a hazard in the British Isles for certainly there would have been and still are many of them in the British Isles.

The definition of the word ‘cape’ refers to a body of land jutting into a body of water, forming a small peninsula. Macdonald 14th ‘Cape’ green originally jutted into Bulls Head, but was subsequently moved in the late 1920s for two reasons. One was that, downwind, big hitters were attempting to drive the green – C.B. would not have any of that nonsense. The second reason was the necessity of constructing a new access road along the edge of the shoreline. The original road to the clubhouse ran through the middle of the property and it was becoming a problem because of increased traffic. Macdonald moved the14th green further left inland and further down the fairway, then surrounded the green on three sides with sand representing the original concept. Seth Raynor then designed a new access road leading to the new National front gate.

Macdonald / Raynor Cape holes come in a variety of designs. The 14th at Fishers Island, for example, requires a tee-ball that flirts close to the edge of a hazard rather than successfully attempt a carry to gain advantage. The Fishers Island Cape green juts out into wetlands.

The famous Cape hole at Mid-Ocean juts out into Mangrove Bay but there is a lot of vegetation that disguises the look (see drawing pp-236 Scotland’s Gift).

Even greens that seemingly jut out into midair at the edge of a precipice can be considered ‘Cape-style greens” – in an article he wrote about the Yale course, Charles Banks who was there at the time, describes the second green (not the second hole) at Yale ‘as a Cape style green’ – he helped build the course.

The Cape definition that has evolved of the diagonal risk carry will certainly continue to be used but a true cape hole refers to the orientation of the green complex, again, all this in the context of the Macdonald/Raynor architecture.

The original Cape green was thirty yards back and jutted into Bulls Bay. Barbara Thomas's version of the Cape Green depicts its location for the past eighty years.

5. Which standard Macdonald/Raynor holes (Alps, Redan, etc.) do you think they never surpassed from the ones thatwere created at National Golf Links of America?

That’s been an underlying thought in my mind over these last few years; was there ever genre’ of hole designs that was built better than a one at National? I don’t think it was an accident that there might not have been – well perhaps the 5th at Mid Ocean – which leads to a couple of thoughts.

Was Raynor ‘under orders’ not to do so? Did Macdonald purposely not build any that were better than at National? Or was it sheer genius on the part of Macdonald that those individual designs were so superior they were never surpassed in the many courses he, Raynor and Banks ever built. I’ll leave that one for others to answer.

Put all this in the context of 1907 through 1910 and we can better understand the genius of Charles Blair Macdonald.

6. Please discuss your favorite Biarritz hole and the different ways to attack the varied hole locations.

Oh boy, how do you attack a Biarritz? Do you? – might be a better question.

I think of it more as a defensive situation. First we should remember that in nearly every case there was only a single tee built on these holes. Clubs were the ones that built the multiple forward tees and the rear tee is the ORIGINAL tee in nearly every case. Old scorecards often listed these holes at 215-yards or even less but that would be from the middle of the back tees, so add a few more yards to the hole. I would think 225-yards would have been the norm on the earlier courses (excluding resort-type layouts) and 235-yards and up, certainly the length of the later courses.

Attack? – I think not, in those early days. In today’s world I think it still is a defensive play – sort of ‘let’s stay out of trouble and get to the next tee’ if you are considering scorecard numbers. If you are thinking how fun a hole this is to play, well it doesn’t matter, just be heroic and go at the pin. I would love to ‘be allowed’ to built a Biarritz at 265-275 yards today and keep the ground extra firm to simulate the hole as it was built in the 19-teen’s and 19-twenty’s – how it was meant to be.

There are less than a handful of Biarritz greens that have any semblance of putting features that they were originally built withand honestly, the 13th at my home course, The Knoll, has the best surviving green. Others have subtleties but not the strong features. Thereare also features on the approach areas that we still have intact.

Imagine the difficulty of these beasts when first built – in sheer length and positioning alone, then add to the mix these great undulations – a mighty hole.

It is treated as a target-golf type hole today but it was not meant to be that way -the Biarritzwas always supposed to epitomize the ground-game.

7. Can you speak as to Macdonald’s personality? Who were his friends?

I found the Macdonald personality to be intriguing and the more I delved into his life and activities, the more I was astounded at the many friends he had worldwide. My original impression of him was of him being the big blowhard, the humorless character who antagonized and alienated those around him to a point where they did not want to be with him. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

In my research it was always about his friends, playing golf with them, visiting, conferring with them on architecture, vacationing with them, partying – he was a party-animal.

The period of the Roaring Twenties isso very interesting to me andthe friends of Macdonald encompassed much of the wealth of the nation. They were financial icons; Vanderbilts, Whitney, Rockefeller, J, P Morgan, Otto Kahn, Astor, Singer, Fleischmann – the names we are familiar with – but it was interesting to delve into the backgrounds and find out where and how they made their fortunes and their involvement in the times.

I think a lot of the (mis)conception about Old Charlie was that the early golf powers in the northeast resented this ‘Chicagoan’ bursting on the scene in 1900 attempting to domineer their inner world – who was he to tell us how things should be done?

I found him to be a true friend to those he a associated with and incredibly helpful, financially and otherwise to his faithful employees.

8. Which of the Macdonald/Raynor’s favorite holeshave been the most architecturally decimated?

The Raynor Prize Dog-Leg hole first built As Lido’s 6th holes is far and away the ‘lost design.’ Many clubs usually did not understand the concept of this hole, deeming it too difficult it with its variations of cross bunkering. It was often the first to feel the wrath of green committees and eradicated, a reflection of the membership complaint’s of it being ‘too difficult’ a hole. It was usually the longest and most difficult par-4 on the course.

Another casualty was the Alps hole with its intimidating crossbunker. Raynor, early on, stopped trying to convince a club they should have an Alps hole that was representative of the original, embodying a high prominence to play over – a blind shot to the green guarded by this insidious bunker to carry. In his early designs he persisted incorporating the high hill but as time went on Raynor relented a bit and began utilizing a rising fairway and the falloff beyond to represent the hole strategy – but he insisted on the crossbunker.

Descriptions of these holes became a hole with ‘Alps bunkering.’ This was more acceptable to most clubs but the fronting cross bunker complex usually bit the dust pretty early on.

Raynor’s early designs were very bold, like his mentor Macdonald, but after being rejected on some of the more controversial holes, he seemed to lessen the severity of the more difficult holes as time went on.

9. How did Macdonald come to grasp and appreciate the importance of presenting the golfer with strategic options?

After Macdonald returned to America from his two years at St. Andrews and learning the game and understanding its traditions while there, he saw the terrible courses here in this country for what they were, penal golf at its worse.

I can’t recall him actually explaining how he came to appreciate the importance of strategy, as such, but he wrote an article in 1897 that, in part, he spoke of the ‘shrewd placing of bunkers.’ I think more than anything else he recognized that most of the better holes in Europe offered alternate routes of play, probably because of their width and the lack of trees (in many cases).

So learning the game under those conditions, then coming ‘home’ to see the penal hazards, open ditches, barricades and such, that littered the landscapes called golf courses here in America it just sort of evolved that there should be an option for the less skilled golfer to play around a hazard.

This eventually led to the idea of him actually placing important hazards in the fairways that, if successfully challenged, could reward the golfer with a better position for the ensuing shot. This is the common architectural theme thought the National Golf Links. It is also why he proclaimed himself ‘The Father of Golf Course Architecture.’

10. Given that Seth Raynor’s solo courses are strategic in their own right, is it correct to assume that Macdonald was a highly effective communicator with Raynor? After all, Raynor never had the advantage of going to Scotland himself.

I think it was a combination of Macdonald’s ability to communicate to Seth what he was trying to accomplish and Raynor’s quick grasp of these fundamentals. Macdonald often referred to Raynor’s ability to recognize the proper placement of a key hole on new property as well as his (Raynor’s) ability to build great holes even though he did not play the game well.

11. How many course designs was Macdonald actually involved in?

This is a question often asked of me. Of course this would be impossible to answer exactly but I’ll do my best, based on what I have been able to determine.

We must first understand that Macdonald did not want to continue building golf courses after he set the original tone. His premise was to build an archetypical, Ideal Golf Course, one that would demonstrate the strategies of golf rather than what many courses of the day were, playing fields where you would indiscriminately balls down a track obstructed by penal ramparts and ditches.

Close friends convinced him to build a couple courses closer to New York City, Piping Rock and Sleepy Hollow, where, although he encountered problems about land use, he was involved with the design although little of the construction.

At the next two courses, St. Louis and Old White at the Greenbrier Hotel (then the Old White Hotel), he was quite involved. The next major course to be built (a four-year effort) was the ambitious Lido project where he took on a major portion of the design, yet apportioned some of the design to Seth Raynor . It was during this period Macdonald prevailed upon Seth to set out on his own.

In Macdonald’s own words, ‘The Mid-Ocean Club, the Yale Golf Club, the Links Golf Course, the Gibson Island Golf Course, the Deepdale, and the Creek Club were the only ones I gave any attention to after 1917 (note the word ‘any’).

In my opinion, I think most of his involvement in a number of those projects was in the initial conceptual designs. Since this is such a grey area, in The Evangelist of Golf I reviewed the courses I thought C.B. may have been involved in any way. The remaining courses built by theses three men will be covered in detail in book three.

Before the recent reaffirmation of the stature of the Seth Raynor name as a major architect, most clubs wanted nothing more than to have C.B.’s name involved with the design of their courses. That has changed.

The great 10th at National Golf Links features a green in excess of 15,000 (!) square feet.

12. Please tell us more about Charles Banks.

For background, we must remember Banks was only with Seth Raynor for just a about a year full time. He may have spend one Hotchkiss School vacation period working with Raynor the summer before he left the school. He was thrust right into the fray, working on the Mid-Ocean and the Yale projects. He must have been a great asset to Seth for in a few months he went from associate to full-scale partner when they opened their offices in New York City. He was a good businessman – I’m not sure Seth was.

‘Josh’ Banks – I really do not like the steamshovel label very much – did not have it very easy. There were so many unfinished courses to complete, it was incredible he completed as many as he did. There were a number of clubs who tried to get out of their Raynor/Banks contracts, claiming Banks did not have as prominent a name as did Seth Raynor. Their company had a contract for four courses on the Monterey Peninsula for the Del Monte group but with so much else going on after Raynor’s demise, there was no way Banks would have been able to complete that commission.

Some of the unfinished projects were near completion (Fishers Island, Yale) but there were just as many that had recently broken ground (Rock Spring, Essex County, the few courses Raynor had laid out in the months preceding his death: Waialae, Mid Pacific, Fairyland (Lookout Mountain), and more.

It’s apparent he had excellent construction foremen who had been with them for a while because there were not dramatic repercussions about the quality of the courses, although there were a few courses who felt they could not wait for Banks to complete their courses. Camargo was a prime example where they completed the 17th and 18th in house according to the master design (sort of).

13. Do youconsider the work ofCharles Banks to beunderrated?

I’d like think of much of Banks’ works as ‘not-yet-recognized’ but to answer your question, yes underrated, in one respect and no, in another. By that I mean: yes, underrated because his courses were certainly good – perhaps not up the top of Raynor-standards as far as certain aspects of design. There was less boldness in Banks work compared to Raynor’s as there was less boldness in Raynor’s work compared to the ‘master’, Mr. Macdonald. I think much of this is (was) a reflection of each man’s personality.

No, in the respect that the Banks courses – especially the latter ones – were excellent designs and most of the holes were very strong. They have an interesting character to them, appearing easier than they actually play. I think that much of this can be traced to one of the main tenets of the Macdonald’s architectural philosophy – ‘the great hole concept.’ How could you wrong using those strategies.

I think Banks began to make some changes with Raynor gone. Most notable he began raising tees higher, claiming he wanted the golfer to have a better view of the hole but be challenged greenside. Much of his bunkering was deeper on average. I think it was because he seemed to build more of his greens on higher promontories. On his own solo designs he began to incorporate mounds onto the putting surface in order to segment greens into smaller targets. I like that aspect of his green designs, especially when he built interesting transitions from one area to another.

In my opinion I think he was trying to distance himself a little from the Raynor design – not a lot but just enough to be his own person.

14. Seth Raynor seemingly worked himself to death and had numerous exciting projects on the go when he passed away. Conversely, how did Macdonald spend the last ten years of his life as it relates to golf course architecture?

Charlie Macdonald, unless he was challenged, really never wanted continue building courses after the National was built – he set what he considered a ‘benchmark’ and was content for others to learn from it, copy it or modify it. By ‘being challenged’ I mean unless an incredibly interesting and difficult situation arose such as the Lido project, where he was able to introduce other ‘famous holes’ he had never built before, he was perfectly content to play golf, enjoy his life with his friends – (lots of fun here), travel and tinker with National. The engineering problems at Lido he left to Seth Raynor.

Macdonald had a lot of very close friends and it seems they made the ’rounds’ – National, Mid-Ocean, the Links course, and often at White Sulphur Springs, most often with Judge Morgan O’Brien, Findlay Douglas and son-in-law Henry Whigham.

He was obsessed with continuing to improve the strategies at NGLA – not only did he invent the Cape hole, I think he invented the phrase ‘obsessive compulsive.’

Seth was really ill those last few months but continued on: Lookout Mountain to Cypress Point, on to Hawaii for two courses and a final one in Florida where he passed away.

A view up the Home hole at The National Links, with the famous clubhouse on the left.

15. How far into the Cypress Point project was Raynor before he died? Had he prepared a routing?

It is difficult to tell how much he had done at Cypress Point – certainly he had routed ‘his’ course, we know that. Geoff Shackelford and I thought we might turn up that routing someplace but it hasn’t been seen a yet. Geoff had heard it was in a magazine or something. Dan Wexler is an excellent researcher with two ‘Missing Links’ books to his credit and if it was to be found I think we would have turned it up. It would have been interesting seeing his hole designs over that topography but we shall just honor and cherish the MacKenzie masterpiece that was built there.

I’m very content in even the single contribution of Seth Raynor visualizing the Biarritz hole as 16th at Cypress.

16. How many Raynor courses have you uncovered that he never got credit for?

I’ve lost count of them (!) but there may beabout thirty or so. In Scotland’s Gift, Macdonald’s book written in 1927, he said ‘Mr. Raynor is most competent, having now to his credit some hundred and fifty golf links.’ – I thought, ‘well here he (C.B.) goes boasting about his protege but they keep turning up so perhaps that was not boasting.

An even more astounding quote by Raynor appeared in an article written for the Olympic Club (California) magazine in which he said: ‘Mr. Macdonald hired me originally to survey the property and retained me to duplicate his plans on the course. That all began in 1907 and since then I have built sixty golf courses’, said Seth Raynor. Sixty courses by 1918! – I have nothing close to that figure, so I guess I still have my work (fun) cut out for me.

I throughly enjoy uncovering these courses, the evolution of the founding of the club and how they came about hiring Raynor. There is usually a link to a friend of CB’s – most often one of the National’s founders was involved and occasionally the clubs were in the most unlikely places. A nine-hole course in the New York Catskill Mountains for a tiny 2-mile square town called Fleischman’s (yeast fame); a couple of remote courses in the Carolina mountains; two projects in New Orleans, one of which was on a private estate.

Most were built for the most elite (spelled ‘wealthy’) club in the city.

17. How did you become involved in restoring Macdonald/Raynor/Banks golf courses?

It seems that I have been restoring various things most of my life – T-Birds, an 1880 pool table, even a Victorian building I own – it goes on. There was such attention to detail in so many things in earlier days that seems to be missing in much of the work today.

Through an odd set circumstance I was presented the opportunity of building a course on Long Island based on the philosophies of Seth Raynor – a most stimulating and rewarding experience, to say the least. Gil Hanse was fully responsible for this coming about for which I will forever be in his debt.

Gil occasionally refers to his company, Hanse Design, as a home for wayward writers – referring to myself and Geoff Shackleford – who he has collaborated with as well.

I had suggested a few hole designs to him on a project he was working on, plugging in a few Raynor designs. We added a few more and the concept grew to a point it became a course reflective of Raynor course philosophies – I believe ours was the initial endeavor of the recent trend of building courses honoring the design of a particular old master architect.

When the time came for the course to be built Gil recommended me to the developer due to his busy schedule.

I was really taken back by the idea – pretty scared in the beginning but soon jumped in with both feet and had a great time of it. I redesigned some of the hole positioning and designed all the green myself and off we went for the next nine months. After visiting so many of the Raynor/Banks courses and studying the many blueprints and plans I had accumulated, it was easy to select an eclectic set of greens to ‘revisit.’

Spending so much time at National certainly didn’t hurt either!

To see your one dimensional drawing ‘grow’ out of the ground as you imagined it is an staggering experience to a novice like me. To think of people playing over these courses, to me, is a bit mind boggling.

After building that course, Stonebridge Golf Links, opportunities for course restorations presented themselves and here I am busy as can be.

18. What do you strive for in restorations?

Since I have been only researched the architecture of Macdonald, Raynor and Banks, I don’t feel I’m qualified nor do I feel it appropriate for me attempt the restoration of the course built by any other architect without first conducting an in depth study of that architect’s work. I’m perfectly content to stick with what I know.

First and foremost my main objective is to honor the original architect, in this case, Seth Raynor or Charles Banks. In a relatively true restoration I strive not to put any appreciable footprint of mine on their courses. I try to approach these projects without ego and if there are any modifications that would enhance the design, I model these changes on the original concept drawings and renditions of theirs that I have grown to understand through my research.

Where possible, I try to take bunkers down to their original depth and steepness. This puts the teeth back into the green complexes and in the fairway it compounds the problems tee to green. Often there are complaints of ‘too hard, too steep, too deep’ but in a short time these, often dramatic changes, are accepted once the players see that their course has become so much better.

I think deepening the hazards to where they once were, coupled with an appropriate raising of greens speeds, where possible, is more effective in adding difficulty to a course than adding a few additional yards.

Macdonald’s main tenet was to introduce most shots en-route to the green with diagonal hazards where possible, rewarding the player who successfully challenges such problems while affording the less skilled the options of playing short or around them.

I resist playing musical bunkers wherever possible. The placement of many of these original bunkers many people feel are no longer in play, are indeed, in play for many players. The shorter hitters of today are threatened by that old bunker that was eliminated because it was only 185 yards of the tee and those old dinosaur bunkers add considerable ambiance to these classic courses – sort of step back in time, if you will. There is a hardly a bunker that is a bad bunker.

Certainly there are occasions when adding new tees is very beneficial but this should be done prudently keeping in mind the object of the original architecture of the hole – it always comes down to a true understanding of the architect’s basic philosophies. The line of play intended for an important strategy should not be compromised for the sake of gaining additional yardage.

Too often the main aim of some clubs is based on numbers – scorecard yardage, slope and indexes etc…… I feel most of their courses in their original forms, even today, are perfectly capable of standing up to the normal golf world on its own merits.

Because their architecture was based on most of the best holes in golf, their courses have easily withstood the test of time and are courses one never tires of playing.

On my restorations I feel I should be on site most all the time in order to convey my thoughts to the crews and to give full attention to the details. I do not want to have a large company at this point in my life nor do I wish to but would rather full-focus on just a few projects at time.

To me much of the green complex restoration requires close attention to details and I feel that I should be on site most of the time to govern the shaping. I feel this is a strong point in my work, the attention to detail.

Much of this is about angles – varied angles in the same bunker – varied angles and slopes in the sme bunker, proper berms – not something I would invent. I’ve spent lot of time studying not only Macdonald’s intricate work at the National but the remaining original works of Raynor and Banks – original being the key word.

To ‘study a Raynor course’ already restored by someone else is not a study of the original architect’s work. It the study of someone’s restoration. …. so where do we find these originals? It takes a lot of research.

19. Which features in the dirt pleased you the most with how Stonebridge Golf Links plays? What are a couple of your favorite shots there?

There are a couple of short par-4s I like there – the 3rd is a variation of the Leven hole that fell into the land well. I kept the remains of an old green in the line of play as an approach feature. I originally planned a pretty decent ‘sand-hill’ to help obliterate some of the view to the green but being a public access courseI thought better of it – well actually, the powers to be vetoed the idea – on well, there’ll be another day.

I also like the green I built on the 16th hole, the Hog’s-Back green. I modeled the green loosely after the 4th hole at The Knoll were I’ve spend many hours putting in the late evenings. A severe mound runs through the green leaving transition problems if you are on the ‘wrong’ side of the green. This is one of my favorite style green features for it often leaves multiple breaks in putting and requires thoughtful approach shots.

Another short hole I like is the driveable par-4 sixth hole – you have to content with a huge Principal’s Nose Bunker complex in the prime landing area and a canted green if you come in from the bail-out’ side of the fairway. Lots of options on that hole which is interesting (to me) for a hole of 285-yards.

For a long hole, the 8th from the back tee fell well also. A long dog-leg with a natural pond pinching in the 2nd shot landing area and a Redan-ish green perched up on a nice promontory.

20. How do you think Macdonald would critique Stonebridge Golf Links?!

Macdonald would roll over laughing at me, I’m sure! ………… ‘feeble, George, just feeble – you haven’t learned a thing, have you’?

21. How do you intend to follow up The Evangelist of Golf?

The first book, The Evangelist of Golf – The Story of Charles Blair Macdonald,is tobe followed by a comprehensive history of the National Golf Links of America.A thirdbook, yet untitled, will document the many courses of Macdonald, Raynor and Banks as well as providing the requisite biographical information on Raynor and Banks.

Few more magical views than the one from the Leven tee at National.

The End