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BCowan

Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« on: May 30, 2014, 10:50:37 PM »
Sylvania is a great Willie Park Jr track.  Large Oak trees canvass the property and the movement of the land is 2nd to none IMHO.  I caddied at this course from ages 12-16, and many improvements have been made in the last 20 years.  The club over the last 10 years has removed some Oaks to increase sunlight to the greens and airflow.  They are in need of much more removal, but Rome wasn't built in a day.  The greens are now maint. firm, compared to sponginess when I was out there 20 years ago.  Prior to studying architecture I never realized how good the natural features were (Ravines, gulley's, natural hazards).  That is probably what I love most about the course and Willie Park Jr.  The greens are pretty small and I do not have the original photos.  The course has 5 par 3's and 5 par 5's which is common Park Jr fashion.  Arnold Palmer won the Ohio Am here in 54' and it was last hosted in 02'.  Another thing I never realized until a friend mentioned it the other day is the course has a lot of blind tee shots (which I love). 

Club History-

    I want to first thank Drew Rogers with providing me all that he knows about the course's history and the original routing maps.  SCC was originally a par 75, 6350 yard course.  The original clubhouse was by the present day Tony Paco's in Sylvania. The present day driving range was where the original 18th hole was.  The original routing never came back to the clubhouse after the 9th green.  Holes 1, 2, 6, and part of 7 never existed.  The original 8th hole a par 3 that was 115 yards has since been removed. 
 
   They aren't positively sure who oversaw and executed the necessary hole realignments… or if an architect was even involved.  Drews guess is the pro (also the superintendent) directed things for the most part over a period of time in the ’30’s and ’40’s - his name was Louis Chiapetta. Louis actually had some previous background working with Park, Jr.  The club also had a golf consultant (Grange Albus) that oversaw some odds and ends of Park’s direction in mid ’20’s…so that is a best guess how the holes were rearranged.
 
   Today’s #1 and 2 received some adjustment in the '80’s by Hills… Steve Forrest is believed to have built the current green there…as well as the green on today’s par-3 6th.  Ferdinand Garbin reconstructed all of the bunkers in the early ’90’s.  Also of note, on today’s par-3 14th, the foreground ridge was actually more complete original, which is to say the saddle in the middle was not there.  It would have been completely blind at Park’s direction.  In 1939, R.A. Stranahan authorized the lowering of that ridge to open a partial view of the green.  The original routing had 7 par 5's. 







Great Youtube video of the course (6 mins) by Kyle Truax!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KnsOMW92no

SCC #1 Tee (Par 4),  Many trees have been removed between #1 and #2 (Prob 100)  You used to not even be able to see the 2nd hole.  #1 and #2 flood a lot in the spring. 


SCC #1 Fairway,  The original 18th fairway is to the right of the present day 1st fairway.  The original 18th hole is now the driving range. 



SCC #2 Tee (Par 5),  The 10 mile creek that goes through this hole goes through another 3 or 4 courses in the Toledo area.  The creek has to be crossed twice on the hole, the green is original I believe, except you originally came up the present day 1st fairway.  (Joe Bausch)


SCC #2 Fairway


SCC #2 Approach


SCC #2 Original route to the green.


SCC #3 (Par 3) This hole is one of the best on the course.  Green slopes a lot back to front.  Get above the hole with the modern day green speeds and you better leave your head cover on.  You can see areas where they have continued to cut trees down.



SCC #3 Greenside (Jason Way)




SCC #4 (Short Par 5)  Blind tee shot, you want to be in the left half of the fairway for a better view of the green. 


SCC #4 Fairway


SCC #4 Approach



SCC #5 Tee (Par 4), This is the #1 handicap hole.  Straight away with a narrow fairway and a ridge 280 yards off the tee.  The green runs away from you in the fairway.


SCC #5 Fairway


SCC #5 Left side green side (Jason Way)



SCC #6 (Par 3)


SCC #7 Tee (Par 4), Calls for a slight fade off the tee.


SCC #7 Fairway (Par 4), Great mild dogleg to the right. 


SCC #7 Right of green (Jason Way)


SCC #8 Tee (Par 5), Lots of room off the tee, straight away hole.


 
SCC #8 3rd shot approach (Jason Way), Fairway lines moved to left for 2nd shot landing zone.


SCC #8 looking back from the green


SCC #9 Tee (Par 3) 


SCC #9 Green (Par 3)



SCC #10 Tee (Par 3), One of the easiest holes on the course, enjoyable to say the least (Photo from ladies tee)



SCC #11 Tee (Par 4), This hole is so good, has so many natural features on it.  The ideal landing area for the drive is the same elevation as the tee box.  From the back tee, one has to hit it 235 yards to carry the lower level of the fairway and make it to the desired spot.  Advantage being that one doesn't have a blind shot and there is a gully in front of the green. 


SCC #11 Fairway,  the hole was fairway bunker less when I caddied there 22 years ago, now a bunker is left of the fairway


SCC #11 Approach


SCC #12 Tee (Par 4) One of the best holes in Toledo.  Especially if you can shape it right to left.


SCC #12 Approach


SCC #12 Gully 


SCC #12 looking back (Jason Way)


SCC #13 Tee, This tee was lengthened 60 yards or so 15 years ago.  Trees need to be removed. 


SCC #13 Fairway


SCC #13 looking back (Jason Way)


SCC #14 Tee (Par 3) Long par 3, plays shorter.  The green is somewhat of a butt-crack green.  The green contour matches the shape of the land halfway between the green and tee.  The cart path was removed!  Originally you couldn't even see the flag stick.  RA Stranahan wanted the U shape cut out of the fairway


SCC #14 Green side


SCC #14 Green (Butt Crack) like green that mirrors land


SCC #15 Tee (Par 4),  Need to be in the left side of the fairway.  If one goes down the hill there is about 13 yards of fairway to work with.


SCC #15, At top the hill one has a longer shot but the stupid tree on the right is less in play


SCC #15 Behind the Green


SCC #15 looking back (Jason Way)



SCC #16 Tee (Par 5), This is straight away par 5, reachable in two. 

 
SCC #16 Fairway,  the 2nd shot needs to favor the left side.


SCC #16 Approach


SCC #16 approach (Jason Way)




SCC #17 Tee (Par 5)  Short Par 5, long hitters can really take advantage of


SCC #17 From top of hill (210 yards out)  shorter hitters have to decide whether or not to take on gully 70 yards short of green


SCC #17 Green side left


SCC #18 Tee (Par 4) Chute is wider than photo shows (Jason Way)


SCC #18 This step near the creek was taken out and regraded to a constant slope



SCC #18 Looking back to the tee



SCC timber ho


SCC Fire wood


SCC caddie shack (For all the caddies)


Words of wisdom from Tommy (This sign is 20+ years old)


How to get a vacation


The office


Thee yard


Tommy G, the man!  Caddie master for prob 40+ years! 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 02:24:41 PM by Ben Cowan (Michigan) »

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 09:34:21 AM »
Thanks for the photo tour of one of those far less heralded places.  I have toured it several times, but have never played it.  Very nice place, and locals usually mention their negative first - the blind tee shot on 4.  Not sure why, with all the nice holes with no complaints, but that is what I always hear.

Art Hills has done some work here and TCC.  Seems as if they left more of the Park shadow bunkers well out of play over at TCC, which I like to see kept.  But, it seems they allowed the overall character of SCC remain intact while making required changes (like adding range)

Wouldn't know about the food in the clubhouse....I can't get past the Tony Packo's west side location in the little shopping center up near the front entry.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Terry Lavin

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Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 09:41:22 AM »
Ohio has a deep bench.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  H.L. Mencken

BCowan

Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2014, 09:42:56 AM »
Thanks for the photo tour of one of those far less heralded places.  I have toured it several times, but have never played it.  Very nice place, and locals usually mention their negative first - the blind tee shot on 4.  Not sure why, with all the nice holes with no complaints, but that is what I always hear.

Art Hills has done some work here and TCC.  Seems as if they left more of the Park shadow bunkers well out of play over at TCC, which I like to see kept.  But, it seems they allowed the overall character of SCC remain intact while making required changes (like adding range)

Wouldn't know about the food in the clubhouse....I can't get past the Tony Packo's west side location in the little shopping center up near the front entry.

   Thanks for the kind words.  #1 and #2 are A Hills holes and are decent, much better than his 3 tiered green at TCC and pond(s) out there.  I think some of the bunkers need to be re-worked, and with the tree removal you can see more green contours.  I think the original range was by the tennis courts or where Tony Packo's (Sylvania) is now located  ;D, I don't know where exactly the original range is, that was before my time.  Tony Packo's is the staple for Toledo thanks in large part to Jamie Farr.

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2014, 10:00:07 AM »
My parents dated there, (at least at the original Packo's on the east side) and it is a staple of every trip to Toledo.

A few years ago, I went up and Steve Pate was playing in the senior Open.  Took him to the original.  Finished fifth, I think, but most of his press conference was about his trip to Packo's.  I still send him stuff from their on line shop......
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Steve Lang

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2014, 06:06:41 PM »
 8)  Ben,

Thanks for pics of SCC, like seeing an old friend.. haven't played there for ages.

TP's was a staple in T-town before Jamie Farr's constant plugging on Mash... though many signed buns on the wall were due to his influence..  we used to love playing Collins Park's 9 holes on the east side (other than how cheap it was)  cause TP's was so close on Front St. for post play chili & dogs. 

Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

David Stamm

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 11:50:35 PM »
Thanks for the tour, Ben. I've been curious about this course for a long time. Terry is correct. Ohio's bench is indeed deep. Very solid looking course.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 11:53:27 PM by David Stamm »
"The object of golf architecture is to give an intelligent purpose to the striking of a golf ball."- Max Behr

Richard Hetzel

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2014, 06:19:37 AM »
Thanks Ben!
Last Ten: 
Mid Carolina Club (SC), Crandon GC (FL), Streamsong Blue (FL), Columbus CC (OH), PB Dye GC (MD), Hotchkiss (CT), Copake CC (NY), Fenwick (CT), Yale (CT), Architects (NJ)
Top 5 this year:
1. Yale
2. Culver
3. Wilmington Municipal
4. Charleston Municipal
5. Streamsong Blue

Evan Fleisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2014, 04:49:55 PM »
Thanks for the write-up and photos Ben!
Born Rochester, MN. Grew up Miami, FL. Live Cleveland, OH. Handicap 13.4. Have 22 & 19 year old girls and wife of 25 years. I'm a Senior Supply Chain Business Analyst for Vitamix. Diehard walker, but tolerate cart riders! Love to travel, always have my sticks with me. Mollydooker for life!

Jeff Shelman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2014, 11:27:13 PM »
They could certainly get rid of some trees, but there would be a whole lot of worse ways to spend part of a day than playing here.

I'd tee it up there in a second.

BCowan

Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2014, 10:03:30 AM »
Jeff,

    It is amazing that they used to have a lot more.  I haven't seen a bigger lumber yard at a course then what I tried to photograph.  That lumber yard could heat a small town for an entire winter. 

Brian Finn

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 10:30:15 AM »
I played Sylvania CC yesterday.  The course sits on a nice, rolling property and is a lot of fun to play.  Like my favorite classic courses, it had just the right amount of quirk.  A handful of blind shots and nice use of ravines throughout the property produced some really interesting holes.  The par 4 fifth hole and par 4 twelfth really stood out to me as the best holes on the course. Among the par 5s, the fourth, sixteenth, and seventeenth were very good (and diverse).  The par 3 fourteenth was different, in a good way.  This hole (and many others) seemed like it could become truly outstanding if the green were expanded to its original size and shape.  I saw lots of neat corners and edges that are now fringe or rough, but (to my untrained eye) looked like part of the original green pads. I imagine an architect skilled at restoration could reclaim these areas to enhance the greens.  Some tree thinning on the internal parts of the property would really enhance some of the beautiful views across the course.  It seems they are gradually working on this already. If the club ever went for a full restoration plan, I think the first and second holes could be modified to look & feel more like the rest of the course. #2 in particular seemed out of character.  Overall, Sylvania was a fun and interesting course. I was glad to have the opportunity to visit. 

Dan Grossman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 12:11:05 AM »
Just saw this thread. I played SCC several times as a junior golfer in the early 90s and is (was) always one of my favorites. Tree removal us impressive, despite what it looks like now. I'm a huge fan of Willie Park Jr. Has anyone played Ashland CC in Ohio?  Not as good as SCC, but fun.

DMoyse

Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2014, 08:07:17 PM »
Great pictures Ben! Thanks for this!

Have played there 2 years ago. Great, classic course, lots of history. #3 (uphill par 3) is a victim of modern course maintenance, with any ball above the hole going 10 feet off green (down the hill) with the slightest hit...

Michael Marzec

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2014, 10:42:19 AM »
Great photo tour, Ben! Just stumbled across this after looking at your Wille Park Jr. Course list and saw Sylvania. I am adding this to my list of must plays while I am still living nearby.
"Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite. And furthermore, always carry a small snake." - W.C. Fields

BCowan

Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2014, 10:45:00 AM »
Great photo tour, Ben! Just stumbled across this after looking at your Wille Park Jr. Course list and saw Sylvania. I am adding this to my list of must plays while I am still living nearby.

Let me know when you want to play.  Sept is a great month for golf!  thanks for the kind words

Niall Hay

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2014, 09:42:13 PM »
The course and the land look pretty good.

Michael Marzec

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2014, 08:01:39 AM »
Thanks, Ben! September sounds good to me. I saw the Walking Society event at Indianwood and was hoping to play, but I will be in Kentucky  then. I will PM you (if I can figure out how) regarding Sylvania.
"Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite. And furthermore, always carry a small snake." - W.C. Fields

BCowan

Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2015, 10:05:44 PM »
Nice write up on Drew Rodgers and the renovation work at SCC.  I'll try and have before and after photos up in the early summer.

http://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/Article/Rogers-to-lead-renovation-project-at-Sylvania-Country-Club/3333/Default.aspx#.VMmhQS6f9Vf

BHoover

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Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2015, 10:14:47 PM »
Very nice. Good to hear that the classic features of the course will be restored and/or retained. What type of work will he be doing--bunkers, greens, trees?

Mike Tanner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2015, 01:14:42 PM »
This brings back memories for me too. My Uncle Harold and Aunt Bette were members there. One summer when visiting Toledo my father and I joined them for a round. I had barely any interest in golf then, and certainly none in architecture, but I agreed to go just to be able to hang out with an aunt and uncle I only got to see once a year. I still remember the rolling hills and ravines on the property and my sense of being in a secluded park  despite being right next to a busy street. 
Life's too short to waste on bad golf courses or bad wine.

BCowan

Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2015, 11:22:33 PM »
Collar of short grass added to the first green. Also tree removal around the green













« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 11:25:07 PM by Ben Cowan (Michigan) »

Brian Finn

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Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2015, 06:35:21 PM »
Those photos look great.  I am thrilled to see the work is underway, and can't wait to see more.  Drew Rogers is the perfect guy for the job. 

On my one play there, I thought the course was good, and could be excellent simply by uncovering what is already in the ground (via tree clearing, green restoration/expansion, etc).  I understand they are also doing drainage work, which will certainly help conditions stay consistently firm.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2015, 11:02:13 AM »
I'm with Drew in Chicago at the moment. He mentioned to me this morning he'd seen these photos appear, and was very surprised - fast going, as they only completed the work a couple of days ago1
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

BCowan

Re: Sylvania CC -Photo Tour- (Sylvania,OH) Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2015, 11:14:22 AM »
I'm with Drew in Chicago at the moment. He mentioned to me this morning he'd seen these photos appear, and was very surprised - fast going, as they only completed the work a couple of days ago1

   Thanks Adam for connecting us.  I have attached original routing photos above that Drew emailed me with his approval.  Also a bit of history attached above.  SCC originally had 7 Par 5's and was a par 75. 

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