News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Dan Moore

  • Karma: +0/-0
Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour
« on: October 22, 2008, 04:19:06 PM »
Quirky good looks, depth of character, a sense of humor, an abundance of soul; what more could you possibly want.  

Originally dubbed Lawsonia Country Club, the Links Course was part of a $3.0 million 1,000+ acre resort development on the shores of Green Lake, Wisconsin.  The resort was developed by the Stone Company of Chicago which had purchased the property from the estate of Chicago Daily News publisher Victor Lawson.  The Green Lake area was first occupied by the Winnebago Indians of Wisconsin who felt Green Lake, Wisconsin’s deepest lake,  possessed special spiritual power.  



Built on the open farmland of Victor Lawson’s Estate, Lawsonia is the best preserved course of the underappreciated golf course design and construction team of William Langford and Theodore Moreau.  Costing around $250,000, an enormous sum in the Roaring 20’s, the Links Course opened for Play in 1930.  Legend has it that Walter Hagen played on opening day.
 

Their timing could not have been worse.  Lots failed to sell and course went into receivership shortly thereafter.  During WWII the grounds were used to house 400 German war prisoners and for a period of time the course was used as dairy pasture.  Eventually the property, which was valued at $11.0 mil, was purchased by the American Baptist Assembly in the mid 1940’s for about $300,000.

Thankfully, the Links Course survived its early, troubled history largely intact.  Architect Ron Forse has been engaged in recent years and a steady program of improvements have been undertaken and carried out by superintendent Mike Berwick.  Notable has been the removal of many trees, recapture of shrunken green surfaces, esthetically pleasing addition of fescue areas and expanded fairways with redefined fairway lines more consistent with the flowing fairway lines as originally intended by Langford and Moreau.

Course in 1992.  Starting from a centrally located clubhouse, the front nine is to left and back nine on right.  Red T’s show where trees have been removed and yellow dots show bunkers that have been grassed over.  The P shows a pond that was not part of the original course.




The following photos were taken over the last three years with several different cameras during various times of the golf season.  A couple were cribbed from other GCA postsas noted.  

Today the course is 6,853/6,481; it was 6,600 yards when it opened for play.  Hole yardages indicated the current yardages from the tips/white tees with the original yardage in parenthesis.  

1st Hole  418/407 (465)

Originally a par 5 with the tee located at the back of the current putting green.  The drive would have been uphill and blind.  Today this is the least interesting drive on the course which probably explains why I don’t have a photo of it.  The hole, and particularly the cross bunker, makes much more sense as a par 5.  

1st Fairway Cross Bunker This bunker is not in reach for most from the tee and makes more sense strategically for the 2nd shot of a par 5 with the fairway extended out far to the right. (photo Brent Carlson)


1st Green Typically large oval green with significant interior undulations


1st Green From Behind


1st Green From 5th Fairway Showing Severe Penalty for those who miss on the left.  


2nd Hole 431/422 (425)

My favorite drive on the course, up and over the fairway cop bunkers.  The walk through the mounds presents a great view of the Lawson’s Guernsey Dairy Barn; a view I believe was intentionally created by the placement of the mounds.  Green has always been awkwardly askew making me wonder if was damaged during the WWII time period.  

2nd  From Tee: the Proper Line is Over the Right Hand Cop Bunker


2nd From Between Mounds Showcasing the Lawson’s 1916 Guernsey Barn


2nd From Fairway Right Over the Flanking Bunkers


2nd From Fairway Left


2nd from Green Looking Back Showing Possible Ground Approach Over Flanking Bunkers



2nd in 1939


3rd Hole 386/367 (380)

This hole features a superbly placed bunker on the inside of the dogleg inviting the risk/reward of a shorter approach to a difficult raised green.

3rd from Tee




3rd Bunker


3rd Green from shade of tree since removed


4th Hole 203/175 (205)

A  fine hole, one of two long par 3’s intended to test one long iron and fairway wood play.  The holes plays 1-2 clubs uphill to another large oval green whose surface is blind from the tee.  With a large bunker at the base of the green giving the hole the look of a Redan, the hole does not posses the right to left angle and cant of the green required of a Redan.  It may look like a Redan, but if it doesn’t play like a Redan, IMHO it is not a Redan.  Redan or not, it is a great hole, one of the strongest and most unique on the course.

4th  Hole Drawing


4th From Tee (Brent Carlson first photo)


4th Look Back

4th From Right Side


5th Hole  487/475 (445)

A funky short par 5 that may have been a par 4/5 as the original course plan shows an up tee and a tee in the current position .  Tight drive into a narrow opening.  Another large fairway cop bunker protects the left hand approach and deviously hides 70-75 yards of fairway between it and the green.  With the green open and welcoming from the far left one is well advised to attack this bunker to leave an approach from the far left.  One of the most difficult greens on the course.  

5th From Tee


5th Left of  Landing Zone


5th From 200 yds


5th  Green as approached from right; why its better to be left


5th From Green showing opening from left


6th Hole 439/406 (410)

The 6th is a glorious hole; long, expansive and replete with subtlety and strength.  Starting from a tee tucked back and to the right, one is confronted with a huge cross bunker 200 yards from the tee.  The green is visible in the distance 445 yards away just peeking out from the top of the cross bunker.  The perfectly aligned cross bunker hides not only the angled landing zone but two fairway bunkers which defend the left edge of the fairway; one a double nostriled principal’s nose.  The cross bunker is masterful as it provides a measure of blindness, challenge, mystery and treachery on a wide open downhill hole where everything should be right in front of you, yet is not; an amazing architectural feat.  

From the tee the hole flows down and to the right with the landing zone moving significantly downhill beyond the cross bunker .  A very good drive may leave a slightly downhill lie only to face a green that is down the hill from where you stand yet sitting up, perched on a beautifully manufactured greensite.  In fact the final approach to the green is quite steep and often makes an attempt at a running approach stop dead and roll back down the hill.  The green is large and welcoming as a whole but is bisected by a large ridge running from the front left toward the back right where it flattens out.  This gives the green three distinct sections.  The high front portion angled to the right, the flattish back right portion and the lower back left portion.  The difficult task of finding the right section of the green with your approach is the key to success.  


6th From Tee (photo Brent Carlson)


The Brilliant Cross Bunker


More Tree Thinning Right of Cross Bunker in 2008


6th From Crest of Hill


6th From 200


6th Principal’s Nose Bunker


6th From 8th Fairway showing tiered green


7th Hole  161/146 (130)

The famed boxcar hole with nowhere to miss the green; another era’s version of the 17th at Sawgrass.

7th From Tee


7th From Green


7th From 8th Tee Area


7th Site of Missing Bunker Left of Green


8th Hole  339/322 (350)

A short par 4 requires a strategically placed drive to have any chance of getting close to the pin on the deceptively elevated green.  As tempting as the direct line to the green may look, the proper play is straight ahead over the cross bunker.  

8th Tee Box as Seen From Behind 7th Green


8th From Tee Pushed far to Right

8th from left side of tee. Trees between cross bunker and green once blocked direct line to green

8th From Landing Zone


8th From Green Looking Back at Tee and 7th Green


9th Hole  536/529  (540)

The 9th hole starts a quirky sequence of three consecutive back to back par 5’s and par 3’s.  The holes are so different many players do not realize they have just played 6 holes without seeing a par 4.

The ninth features a drive over another cross bunker with a cape-like area of fescue challenging those wishing to cut the corner.  The 2nd goes up through a bottleneck at the crest of the hill pinched by two large fairway bunkers.  The least built up green on the course is anything but flat.

9th From Tee Fescue Area was littered with trees prior to Ron Forse’s arrival


9th From 7th Tee with 8th Green in Foreground


9th From Landing Zone of Drive


9th Through the Bottleneck


9th Green from 100 yards

« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 11:22:47 AM by Dan Moore »
"Is there any other game which produces in the human mind such enviable insanity."  Bernard Darwin

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia the Links Course Photo Tour: The Front Nine
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 04:59:26 PM »
Dan, as always, you have the best overview of Lawsonia of anyone I know...

Perhaps your photo essay should be offered to Mr. Pont, in his fine photo tour website of great courses...

http://www.golfarchitecturepictures.com/Pages/usa.html
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 07:07:10 PM »
Dan

This tour has been worth the wait.  I am intrigued by several features:

1. The "bottleneck" on the 9th is a great feature especially as it isn't really apparent form further back how damaging a miss right/left can be.

2. The "Boxcar" looks totally wild and it is a shame the trees low left can be cut back a bit to leave what would be a fun recovery for a load of golfers.

3. The Principal's Nose bunker complex is a bit wierd.  Is there a decision to make off the tee or for the second which really brings home the importance of the namesake? 

4.  The width of the course is awesome.  I bet folks get caught out being non chalant off the tee and don't really figure out why the approaches aren't working out well.  Are the greens kept firm?

5. You are using a curious description of "cross bunker" a few times where there is clear space to go around the hazard.  Does "cross bunker" carry a different meaning than what I think of as a purely carry hazard?  It seems to me that these are really diagonal wing bunkers.  Did fairway used to go both sides of these hazards?

6. The corner bunker on the 3rd fairway - is it a sucker play?  It seems like if anything, the left edge or just left of the bunker is the line assuming one can carry the bunker, but not by too much - no?

7. The green complex for #2 is very cool.  Did the green used to come closer to the bunker and gulley?

Thanks for posting!

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South & Crystal Downs

Dan Moore

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 09:20:49 PM »
Dan

This tour has been worth the wait.  I am intrigued by several features:

1. The "bottleneck" on the 9th is a great feature especially as it isn't really apparent form further back how damaging a miss right/left can be.

"I can attest that being in either of those bunkers is no fun."

2. The "Boxcar" looks totally wild and it is a shame the trees low left can be cut back a bit to leave what would be a fun recovery for a load of golfers.

"The Trees on the Boxcar are nowhere near the green and do not affect play in any way."

3. The Principal's Nose bunker complex is a bit wierd.  Is there a decision to make off the tee or for the second which really brings home the importance of the namesake? 

"At over 300 yards generally this bunker is out of reach from the newer back tee.  At the original hole length I think it would have been in play and something to be avoided though it clearly lacks the strategic role of its namesake.  I think it was/is more of a factor for the shorter players who plays way out left to avoid the cross bunker and would have to carry it with their second shot.  It does look cool though."

4.  The width of the course is awesome.  I bet folks get caught out being non chalant off the tee and don't really figure out why the approaches aren't working out well.  Are the greens kept firm?

"On our recent trip the greens were quite firm.  They have adopted a regime of rolling the greens every morning and its had paid off in the form of firmer and quicker greens."

5. You are using a curious description of "cross bunker" a few times where there is clear space to go around the hazard.  Does "cross bunker" carry a different meaning than what I think of as a purely carry hazard?  It seems to me that these are really diagonal wing bunkers.  Did fairway used to go both sides of these hazards?

"I use cross bunker when the bunker crosses the ideal line of play such as on 6 and 9."

6. The corner bunker on the 3rd fairway - is it a sucker play?  It seems like if anything, the left edge or just left of the bunker is the line assuming one can carry the bunker, but not by too much - no?

"Some may be able to carry the bunker but not many.  The ideal line is to get as close as you can while staying to the left.  If you wimp out and play safe you can add 20-30 yards to your 2nd shot."

7. The green complex for #2 is very cool.  Did the green used to come closer to the bunker and gulley?

"No idea."

Thanks for posting!

Ciao
"Is there any other game which produces in the human mind such enviable insanity."  Bernard Darwin

Joe Hancock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2008, 09:42:15 PM »
There's a small handfull of courses that make me yearn to be a superintendent again......this is one of them.

Thanks for the reminder.

Joe
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

J_ Crisham

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2008, 09:59:12 PM »
Dan, Very nice pictures-thanks again for setting  up the outing.
                            Best,   Jack

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2008, 10:13:43 PM »
Sean, Dick calls them gull wings. They do serve multi-functionally due to their placement and angles of orientation. They are a re-occurring motif, used in a variety of situations and manner throughout the course. The one on 6 is likely the best example of the heroic because it is on the line of instinct.

Re 7; Dan is correct that the trees are not an issue. If you look closely the trees are virtually behind the green.  Because it would require a full carry that long in order to find them, they are not in play. If someone did pull a club that carried that far, it would be an error so grievous, recovery is deservedly from the tee.

#9 bottleneck; It was amazing going back there after some 17 years and on this shot, I felt the same puckerability as one does on the second shot to the first at Sandy Hills.

I'd agree with Dan's no grey area, not calling the 4th a Redan, if and only if all the level or downhill Redans built are not Redans. Otherwise the fourth is more of Redan than all the others.

Dan's use of 'Cop bunkers' struck me similarly, as you felt about the 'cross bunker'.

Otherwise, Great essay Dan. Thanx. I learned alot of the history. The version I had been told was long ago and not as complete or accurate.

"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Eric_Terhorst

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 10:22:15 PM »
Dan,

great illustrations as usual.  I'll disagree with your comment that the 7th is like the 17th at TPC--if only to remind you that I have twice made par from down below!.  Yeah, I know that's a knock on my iron play, but still.

Sean,

insightful comments from just looking at these--it seems it can be done from good pics.  In addition to doling out punishment for getting on the wrong side of the fairway, missing greens really hurts on this course, especially in certain spots (like short right on 6), and as Dan observed when the conditions are f&f as we found them on the last visit. 

Looking forward to seeing the back nine...


Patrick Kiser

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2008, 11:33:58 PM »
Dan,

Excellent background and before & after to go with the great pictures.

Was the time of year around fall?

This should definitely get into Art Fuller's photo directory:

http://delicious.com/golfclubatlas/
“One natural hazard, however, which is more
or less of a nuisance, is water. Water hazards
absolutely prohibit the recovery shot, perhaps
the best shot in the game.” —William Flynn, golf
course architect

Anthony Fowler

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2008, 12:13:11 AM »
Is the 6th as amazing as it looks?

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2008, 12:36:04 AM »
Yes, I'd say the 6th is that amazing!  And, for the really strong player, the newer way back tees makes it doubly amazing.  I have no business way back there.  The gull wing grass bunker up the right looks like an easy clear.  But the length and long angle of it makes the far right side not that easy to carry.  Of course the play is over the fat left side and catch the down hill speed slope.  But the down hill lie to the uphill two tiered front high to lower back left green with the false front is a hoot.  I've seen a very good player rejected twice in a row by an approach that kept coming up a little to cozy and short of a front pin. 

Before Ron Forse and Jim Nagle were brought in to consult and restore, there were two red maple trees positioned behind 6 green with they had removed.  Those trees worked well as aiming lines for the front right and back left tiers of the green.  But, with them removed, more vague yet intriguing approaches are required. 
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Patrick Kiser

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 12:57:40 AM »
Without looking at the topic subject or the architects involved and not knowing any better ... I would have guessed the 6th was pure C.B. MacDonald / Seth Raynor.

Do we know if Langford & Moreau were influenced in some way by the work of C.B. MacDonald / Seth Raynor?  Just curious.
“One natural hazard, however, which is more
or less of a nuisance, is water. Water hazards
absolutely prohibit the recovery shot, perhaps
the best shot in the game.” —William Flynn, golf
course architect

Dan Moore

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 01:18:19 AM »
I stand by the use of the terms cross bunker and cop bunkers; they are the descriptions used by Langford in his writings.  He referred to cross bunkers as those in the direct line of play and also referred to another type of bunker located on the sides.  He also used another term, "echelon," which I will highlight when we get to the 13th hole.  Langford's modernized versions of the cross and cop bunker were artistic improvements on the austere stepplechase variety in vogue at the turn of the century.  While I like the term Gull Wing bunkers I doubt that is a term Langford ever heard or used. 

Do we know if Langford & Moreau were influenced in some way by the work of C.B. MacDonald / Seth Raynor?

Patrick,  a dissertation might be in order on that question. 
"Is there any other game which produces in the human mind such enviable insanity."  Bernard Darwin

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 01:38:41 AM »
Dan, I've seen in other writing, and personally used the terms "cop bunker" as one that guards a ball from going OB or out into rough, or as a bunker that guards the entrance of a green.  I call the big vulcano on the 17th a Whistling Straits, a 'cop'.  I don't know for sure that those ussages are correct.  I never thought of the two bunkers guarding the entry onto the FW at Lawsonia #2 as cops.  I guess they evoke the notion of Mae West bunkers to me...  ;) ;D 8)

I had used bunkers en echelon in describing the bunkers on 13 from the first time I described them on GCA, and was never aware that Langford or Morreau actually used that term.  It just seemed like the right description.  But, not really much of a coincidence as that is just what they are, en echelon.

And, similarly, I just use gull wing for several of the long sweeping bunkers that have a deep and fat sculpted grass mound side behind the sand or turf, that tapers off on the diagonal.  I doubt Langford or Morreau used that term, but is just seems the best description I can come up with. 

I also call some Raynor and some Langford-Morreau bunkers that are narrowing from both sides of the FW and equal distance and dimensions and popping up mid fairway as 'alligator or frog eyes" like those on #17 Lawsonia, and a few I've seen that are quite similar at Raynor's Yeaman's Hall and CC of Charleston. 

The similarity of earthwork features of Raynor and L&M are really undeniable.
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 05:18:23 AM »
I made a mistake, I meant to say low right of the green, not left.  I would be very surprised that nobody hits the right side of the 7th and kicks into the trees/shrub area.  The crap must be much further away than it looks.


Dan

Langford's use of the term "cross bunker" is very interesting.  I have never heard of one being an optional carry.  My impression was that a cross bunker had to be crossed (a forced carry) if one was to get to the hole using the fairway.  Was Langford unique in his usage of the term?  I notice they seem to be cut at an angle whereby the tiger line to the green requires a longer carry - suggesting they are a bit more strategic than what I think of as cross bunker - assuming one can carry the thing.  To me, this style of bunkering is closer to Colt's of turning a cross bunker on its diagonal shooting in from the edge of the fairway and breaking it into to several bunkers.  I know the actual look of the bunker is more trench like as we associate with cross bunkering, but the strategy is exactly the same as how Colt used them.  I wonder if the look of the bunker was a determining factor in Langford labelling them cross bunkers.  Do you have any more info on what Langford had to say?

I am not sure I have ever seen a bottleneck with the sides dropped down like on the 9th.  Did Langford use this idea on other courses?  Have folks seen it used on other courses?


Ciao
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 05:22:55 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South & Crystal Downs

Anthony Gray

Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2008, 08:41:29 AM »

Do we know if Langford & Moreau were influenced in some way by the work of C.B. MacDonald / Seth Raynor?

Patrick,  a dissertation might be in order on that question. 


   On photos alone many people would guess Raynor.



Dan Moore

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2008, 08:59:24 AM »
Ron Forse told us that Pete Dye upon seeing L/M at West Bend told Ron Whitten about the amazing Raynor holes he found in Wisconsin.
"Is there any other game which produces in the human mind such enviable insanity."  Bernard Darwin

Mike Sweeney

Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2008, 09:01:43 AM »

Do we know if Langford & Moreau were influenced in some way by the work of C.B. MacDonald / Seth Raynor?

Patrick,  a dissertation might be in order on that question. 

   On photos alone many people would guess Raynor.

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/opinionchalfant.html

Phil McDade

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2008, 10:24:10 AM »
A few thoughts:

-- On the Raynor/Macdonald connection to Langford. It's one of the more intriguing questions regarding Langford's work. As is obvious from Dan's excellent photo essay, Langford and his chief landscaper Moreau utilized what might be termed a highly engineered style re. their bunkering, pushed-up greens, and internal green contours. One might look at, for instance, this GCA essay of Sleepy Hollow: http://www.golfclubatlas.com/sleepyhollow1.html and think -- there has to be some kind of connection. To date, there has been no historical record (at least among the GCA Langford fans who have looked) demonstrating any connection between Raynor/Macdonald and Langford. But there are some interesting ties -- Langford (like Raynor, a civil engineer by training) studied at Yale, spent time on the East Coast, probably had access (because he was a very good golfer in his own right) to some of the East Coast's best-known courses, perhaps even NGLA, and settled in Chicago, where he ran a golf course along with his design efforts (and presumably knew about, perhaps even played, Chicago GC). It's all speculative, not really even circumstantial evidence, but the similarity of their work begs the question -- could two separate teams of architects/designers come up with such a striking look independently of each other? I have argued that the near-Redan 4th at Lawsonia bears too much similarity to a classic Redan for Langford not to have known about the Redan design concept (and there's no evidence that Langford ever traveled overseas to draw inspiration for his work). I have even argued that the boxcar 7th hole may be Langford's attempt at replicating the design philosophy of a Raynor/Macdonald Short.

-- I'm not sure the second set of bunkers on the wonderful 6th properly qualifies as a Principal's Nose bunker, although as Dan suggests, it plays a different role for golfers of varying ability. For the shorter hitter, the initial cross bunker does suggest a line of play left, in which the second set of bunkers do need to be crossed. But I've always regarded the Principal's Nose concept to be one in which the bolder and riskier play is rewarded with an easier approach, i.e. slotting the drive on TOC to the right of the PN and left of OB right, which leads to an easier approach. To me, there is little benefit at all to be left of that second bunker complex, particularly given the green demands there -- the 6th green has a little shelf of a green area on the left side that (when it has a pin) is best approached from the right of the fairway. The 6th is probably the best par 4 at Lawsonia, and one of the outstanding par 4s you'll find, both in look and its strategic demands.

-- Several of the pictures (on holes 5 and 6) show a beautifully crowned tree that has not been removed, and should not ever be, in my view. GCA contributer Brad Swanson has dubbed this the "aiming tree" in a previous thread, and it can be used as something of an aiming point/reference point for three separate holes -- 5,6, and 8.

-- The 8th is one of my favorite short par 4s, in part because the visuals on the tee (much enhanced by recent tree removal) are so deceptive. Dan suggests the proper route off the tee is over the cross bunker; I've seen it played best when the golfer takes a more aggressive line left of the cross bunker -- the fairway left beyond the cross bunker really opens up (of course, it's unseen from the tee, another marvelous use of blindness by Langford), and provides a much more open approach into the green, which is one of the smallest at Lawsonia and nearly completely surrounded by sand.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 10:26:14 AM by Phil McDade »

Cliff Hamm

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2008, 10:33:10 AM »
Dan...Possibly the best photo tour that's been posted.  Beyond well done.

Played both Yale and Lawsonia for the first time this year.  Both were spectacular.  While I suspect I am in the vast majority I actually enjoyed Lawsonia more...

BTW despite playing on consecutive days, count me among the 'ignorant' that didn't realize that 9 started a 6 hole sequence without a par 4. Excellent observation. Again, Lawsonia is beyond spectacular, although I do think the front is the stronger of the two 9's.

Patrick Kiser

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2008, 10:59:13 AM »
Phil,

Interesting.

I wonder if GB has anything on this from his work on CB MacDonald / Seth Raynor.

Paging George...


A few thoughts:

-- On the Raynor/Macdonald connection to Langford. It's one of the more intriguing questions regarding Langford's work. As is obvious from Dan's excellent photo essay, Langford and his chief landscaper Moreau utilized what might be termed a highly engineered style re. their bunkering, pushed-up greens, and internal green contours. One might look at, for instance, this GCA essay of Sleepy Hollow: http://www.golfclubatlas.com/sleepyhollow1.html and think -- there has to be some kind of connection. To date, there has been no historical record (at least among the GCA Langford fans who have looked) demonstrating any connection between Raynor/Macdonald and Langford. But there are some interesting ties -- Langford (like Raynor, a civil engineer by training) studied at Yale, spent time on the East Coast, probably had access (because he was a very good golfer in his own right) to some of the East Coast's best-known courses, perhaps even NGLA, and settled in Chicago, where he ran a golf course along with his design efforts (and presumably knew about, perhaps even played, Chicago GC). It's all speculative, not really even circumstantial evidence, but the similarity of their work begs the question -- could two separate teams of architects/designers come up with such a striking look independently of each other? I have argued that the near-Redan 4th at Lawsonia bears too much similarity to a classic Redan for Langford not to have known about the Redan design concept (and there's no evidence that Langford ever traveled overseas to draw inspiration for his work). I have even argued that the boxcar 7th hole may be Langford's attempt at replicating the design philosophy of a Raynor/Macdonald Short.

-- I'm not sure the second set of bunkers on the wonderful 6th properly qualifies as a Principal's Nose bunker, although as Dan suggests, it plays a different role for golfers of varying ability. For the shorter hitter, the initial cross bunker does suggest a line of play left, in which the second set of bunkers do need to be crossed. But I've always regarded the Principal's Nose concept to be one in which the bolder and riskier play is rewarded with an easier approach, i.e. slotting the drive on TOC to the right of the PN and left of OB right, which leads to an easier approach. To me, there is little benefit at all to be left of that second bunker complex, particularly given the green demands there -- the 6th green has a little shelf of a green area on the left side that (when it has a pin) is best approached from the right of the fairway. The 6th is probably the best par 4 at Lawsonia, and one of the outstanding par 4s you'll find, both in look and its strategic demands.

-- Several of the pictures (on holes 5 and 6) show a beautifully crowned tree that has not been removed, and should not ever be, in my view. GCA contributer Brad Swanson has dubbed this the "aiming tree" in a previous thread, and it can be used as something of an aiming point/reference point for three separate holes -- 5,6, and 8.

-- The 8th is one of my favorite short par 4s, in part because the visuals on the tee (much enhanced by recent tree removal) are so deceptive. Dan suggests the proper route off the tee is over the cross bunker; I've seen it played best when the golfer takes a more aggressive line left of the cross bunker -- the fairway left beyond the cross bunker really opens up (of course, it's unseen from the tee, another marvelous use of blindness by Langford), and provides a much more open approach into the green, which is one of the smallest at Lawsonia and nearly completely surrounded by sand.
“One natural hazard, however, which is more
or less of a nuisance, is water. Water hazards
absolutely prohibit the recovery shot, perhaps
the best shot in the game.” —William Flynn, golf
course architect

Shane Wright

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2008, 12:15:37 PM »
Dan - thanks so much for posting.  Sorry I missed out a couple of weeks ago. 

I've GOT to get over from mpls to play it.

Shane

Bradley Anderson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2008, 04:44:19 PM »
Dan,

What a great write up for a great golf course.

Next time you are in town I'll have to show you an old article from the 60's about how they used to hand mow those steep green and bunker banks at Lawsonia. They had one guy who ran a push mower on the banks and he made himself a special pair of shoes with spikes on them to keep from slipping and falling down those slopes.

You gotta wonder how they maintained those slopes when they were first built, and if they might have played really tough when the grass got long. Imagine those slopes with 4 or 5 inches of grass on them. It makes me wonder if L&M might have designed them with that difficulty in mind.

Greg Ohlendorf

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2008, 07:53:23 PM »
As I talk to golfers heading to Wisconsin to play Blackwolf, Whistling Straits, etc., I always suggest a trip to Lawsonia. I am always amazed on how few have have even heard of it nor less played it. This course continues to fall below the radar for places to play for far too many golfers. The course is an excellent example of classic architecture with many outstanding features as expertly pointed out by Dan. Excellent photo essay on a course that really deserves the conversation and attention.

Patrick Kiser

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lawsonia: The Links Course Photo Tour (The Front Nine)
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2008, 09:46:53 PM »
Mike,

I'm just seeing the link here.

Big thanks for reminding us all to check the obvious first...



Do we know if Langford & Moreau were influenced in some way by the work of C.B. MacDonald / Seth Raynor?

Patrick,  a dissertation might be in order on that question. 

   On photos alone many people would guess Raynor.

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/opinionchalfant.html
“One natural hazard, however, which is more
or less of a nuisance, is water. Water hazards
absolutely prohibit the recovery shot, perhaps
the best shot in the game.” —William Flynn, golf
course architect

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back