GolfClubAtlas.com > Golf Course Architecture

Breaking Down the Bendelow List

(1/43) > >>

Sven Nilsen:
In my mind, there was no more important figure in the growth of golf in the United States than Tom Bendelow.  He is often denigrated for his skill as an architect with the description of "18 stakes on a Sunday afternoon," a label that sells short a career dedicated to bringing the game to the masses.  

The most complete listing of Tom Bendelow's golf courses that I've seen is found at the MSU Turfgrass Information Center (which I understand to have been compiled by Stuart Bendelow from the research he has done on his grandfather's career):

http://golfarchitects.lib.msu.edu/pre-ASGCA/bendelowt/

The list is not perfect, and is far from complete.  The current count is 556 (a remarkable number by itself, especially when compared to the 292 courses noted in Cornish & Whitten).  But considering that Bendelow supposedly passed the 600 mark during the first decade of the last century, we still have some work to do (sources claim the total number to be in the 700's).  Here are a few benchmarks for Bendelow from early in his career:

-From Jan. 1, 1897 to Sept. 2, 1898 he laid out 83 courses.

-In the year leading up to March 19, 1898 he designed 60 courses.
-By Nov. 14, 1905 he was responsible for 395 courses.
-As of March 21, 1913 he had laid out over 350 public golf courses.

My goal for this thread is to provide an update to the current list, to document any contemporaneous reports of his work and to attempt to fill in any missing pieces.  Along the way I might stray into the bigger picture of a career that followed this basic path:

1.  Moved to New York City from Scotland in 1892 and worked as a typesetter.
2.  Started working with A.G. Spalding in the greater New York area as a designer of golf courses.
3.  Managed the first municipal golf course in the United States at Van Cortlandt.
4.  Moved to Chicago in 1901 to help Spalding spread the game throughout the country.
5.  Worked as the Golf Department Manager for Wilson from 1916 to 1920.
6.  Took over the position of in-house architect for The American Park Builders in 1920.
7.  Continued to work as an architect throughout the 20's and 30's until he passed away in 1936.

Along the way, if anyone has any information to add about particular courses, aspects of his career or thoughts on his importance to the game, please feel free to chime in.

Sven

John Kavanaugh:
I've never liked this list because of how two clubs where I am a member are counted four times.  Two courses in Lawrenceville, Illinois and two in Robinson.  I don't get the need to artificially stretch the numbers on such a prolific career.

Sven Nilsen:
Bendelow's Early Years (1894 - 1896)

1894

H.M. Pratt Private Course (Glen Cove, NY) - Was hired by the Pratt Family (Standard Oil) to teach golf and build a 6 hole course.
Glen Ridge GC (Glen Ridge, NJ) - The list has separate listings for 1894 and 1900, C&W has 1900 only, did he do the original 1894 course and come back again later?  May 14, 1900 New York Tribune article notes Bendelow adding 6 holes.  


1895

Allegheny CC (Far Hills, NJ)
Llewellyn GC (West Orange, NJ) - Oct. 29, 1895 The Sun article notes Bendelow adding two holes.

Soangetaha CC (Galesburg, IL) - This seems early for his work in the Midwest.
Queens County GC (Nassau CC) (Glen Cove, NY) - C&W has 1900.

Notes:  Sources also have Elkridge Hunting and CC (1899 on the List) and Pelham Manor GC (1898) with a date of 1895.

1896

Nutley GC (Nutley, NJ) - The List has 1898.  Nov. 24, 1896 New York Times notes course laid out by Bendelow.  1899 Guide notes laid out by Bendelow.

Oakland GC (Bayside, NY) - Aug. 19, 1896 The Sun article (see below) notes course laid out by Bendelow.  Dec. 1908 The American Golfer notes course was laid out by Bendelow.

Flushing Athletic Club (Flushing, NY) - June 17, 1896 New York Tribune notes Bendelow visit to Flushing.  March 4, 1896 The Sun article notes Bendelow and Travis designed a 9 hole 2,300 yard course.  The 1899 Guide and the 1900 Harpers note course laid out by Bendelow in March, 1896.

Oak Ridge GC (Forest Park) (Oak Ridge, NY)
Forest Park GC (Woodhaven, NY)
Patchogue GC (Patchogue, NY) - The List has this as Patchogul.  Oct. 27, 1896 The Sun notes Bendelow laid out a course at Durkee's place in Patchogue.

Highland GC (Canton, OH)
Congress Lake Club (Hartville, OH)
Scranton CC (Dunmore, PA) - Aug. 19 and Dec. 18, 1896 The Sun articles note course laid out by Bendelow.  1899 Guide notes laid out by Bendelow.  1900 Harpers notes laid out by Bendelow in 1896.

Easton GC (Easton, PA) - Dec. 29, 1896 Ithaca Daily Eagle notes Bendelow laid out a 9 hole course in Easton.  Nov. 24, 1896 New York Times (see above) notes course laid out by Bendelow.  1900 Harpers notes laid out by Bendelow in Nov. 1896.

Wyoming Valley CC (Wilkes-Barre, PA) - 1899 Guide notes laid out by Bendelow in April 1896.  1900 Hapers notes laid out by Bendelow in April 1896.  Other sources have him returning in 1915.

Additions:
Englewood GC (Englewood, NJ) - An April 10, 1897 Boston Evening Transcript article notes new course laid out by Bendelow.

Westchester GC (New York, NY) - April 18, 1896 New York Tribune article notes Bendelow laid out 9 holes on the Watson estate.

Interlaken GC (Saratoga, NY) - Is this Saratoga GC, which the early guides note as laid out by R.C.B. Anderson (the greenskeeper) in 1896?  May 2, 1896 Mechanicville Saratoga Mercury notes plans for Bendelow to lay out the course.

Phelps Private Course (Blue Ridge, PA) - May 2, 1896 The Evening Post article notes Bendelow laying out 9 hole course for Miss Phelps in Blue Ridge.


Notes:  Were Oak Ridge GC (Forest Park) and Forest Park GC (Woodhaven) the same course?  C&W have his work at Forest Park dating from 1910.

Oakland article -

Sven Nilsen:

--- Quote from: John Kavanaugh on October 28, 2014, 10:51:52 AM ---I've never liked this list because of how two clubs where I am a member are counted four times.  Two courses in Lawrenceville, Illinois and two in Robinson.  I don't get the need to artificially stretch the numbers on such a prolific career.

--- End quote ---

John:

There are a handful of duplicates on the list, which I hope to identify as we work through the courses.  Some of these are the result of a course being referred to by different names at different times.

Sven

Rick Shefchik:
The list includes Northland Country Club in Duluth. My research definitely puts Bendelow at NCC around the time that the club expanded to 18 holes in 1912, and it certainly makes sense that he would have been involved, but I haven't been able to find any definitive documentation that he in fact designed the club's first 18-hole layout. I don't think Stuart has found any such proof, either.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version