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GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Chris Buie on October 16, 2010, 10:04:25 AM

Title: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on October 16, 2010, 10:04:25 AM
You know it used to be so thick and wooded. As a little girl we used to ride the bus there. So the school bus used to go down there and make that circle around. Once you hit Overhills, it could be bright daylight on HWY 87, soon as you hit that dirt road it was like dark because the pine trees were so tall and so many it blocked the sun and could be just like a little dark cool place that you was going into.
It was just like their little secret world.

                                                                 - Glodean Robinson

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/front.jpg)

PREFACE
We were discussing private golf courses on here recently and I mentioned a course I've been meaning to write about.  Apparently, there is not much information to be found specifically regarding the design of the course.  I've included what I could find.  Since the story is singular and not well known I've taken the liberty of including anecdotes that convey the ambiance. Most of the photos are from the North Carolina State Archives.  The anecdotes are primarily from an engaging book called OVERHILLS ORAL HISTORY by Jeffrey D. Irwin and Kaitlin O’Shea.  I think you'd find it an interesting read and a worthy addition to your library.

THE STORY
It was a certain mystery. People would say, where are you working? I'd say Overhills and they'd go where? Who? Nobody really knew much about it. I mean you go down 87 or you go down Vass Road, you really don't see it.
-Sandy Hemingway

Beyond a particular grove of longleaf pines near Pinehurst was a private estate owned by the Rockefellers and a few of their friends - the likes of Averell Harriman. When he wasn't wrestling with Churchill, FDR, Stalin, etc. about the fate of the modern world that behemoth would visit his cottage for a well deserved rest.  Preventing WWIII from happening being a rather demanding affair. 

That a man who could go pretty much anywhere he wanted chose Overhills makes a large statement about the nature of the estate.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/harrimancs.gif)

Among the other prominent members was George Herbert Walker. Walker was president of the United States Golf Association at the time. His grandson and great-grandson were both named for him - as well as both being Presidents of the United States.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/walkerbush.gif)

To make sure the estate was a fitting caliber they got Donald Ross to design their 18 hole course.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/golfOverview.jpg)

All in all the whole affair was rather extraordinary: a polo field, a private railroad depot, dairy, extensive equestrian and hunting facilities, etc.  Along with the distinction of having a private Ross course perhaps the most interesting feature for me is the folklore. The estate had a profound place in the lives of many people in the area as well as large personages and families.  "This idyllic Southern Arcadia" was the rarefied backdrop for many visitors as well as the local working population - and all of their children - for whom the course served as a playground as well as a golfing area.

Toward the beginning of the 20th Century the Rockefellers acquired an 11,000 acre estate contiguous with the massive Ft. Bragg property. It was originally owned in the 18th and 19th centuries by the McDiamarid family.  Their Ardnave Plantation, seated along the Lower Little River near the village of Manchester, was the home of Daniel McDiarmid throughout much of the nineteenth century.  Daniel was the son of Highland Scot immigrant and Presbyterian Minister Angus McDiarmid.

Ft. Bragg was one of largest military bases in the US - even before they added Overhills to it in 1997. When the sale of the Overhills community became imminent there was concern amongst historians, Ross aficionados and the local population.

The army humored them and went through the motions of listening to these populations by letting them offer ways to preserve rather than destroy this exquisite piece of American heritage.  My personal favorite desperate attempt to save it was the Camp David South concept - a presidential retreat.  However, as with several other golfing facilities it was ultimately absorbed by the military. During WWII Augusta National was turned over to the war effort (turkeys and cattle were the only things you would see roaming the fairways there during that war).  In Overhills case it was not returned to its original use. 

THE SQUIRE OF OVERHILLS
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/percy.jpg)

The squire of the estate was Percy Rockefeller - a member of Skull and Bones.  He "was labeled in 1910 as one of the coming rulers in banking, steel, railroads, oil, and sugar. After a career aggressively involved in a wide range of capitalist enterprises, Rockefeller died at a young 57, following an operation for ulcers of the stomach".  (His son Avery succeeded him as benevolent dictator after Percy's passing.) He and Harriman had a proper falling out due to the fact that Percy was a fox hunter while Averell preferred to hunt birds.  After the fox hounds interfered with Averell's bird hunting a couple of times matters came to a head with Percy not being willing to curtail his hunting rituals.  Averell sold his house and left for good.  He left the hunting dogs behind as well.
Averell and his daughters on the porch of his Overhills cottage:

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/harriman.jpg)

THE GOLF
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4.jpg)

Before delving into the particulars of the course, there are a couple of points which will give you some perspective on why Overhills was imbued with an uncommon mystique.
Usually, a golf course architect is given about ~200 acres to work with. Cost is, of course, also a major factor in determining what is wrought by the designer, as well. Here is a direct quote regarding the marching orders which were given to Mr. Ross:

"Here, Mr. Ross, you have 3,500 acres of property to choose from.  I want a golf course that will have no superior - you are the doctor and do anything you want to - and do not consider expense when making your plans, you have an absolutely free hand."

In other words, the Rembrandt of golf course design was given over 10 times the usual amount of land to work with - and cost was not a consideration. Keep in mind that this is part of the same ideal sandy loam golfing terrain as the home of American golf next door - in Pinehurst.
And, through close inspection, you will see that Ross brought the full force of his genius to bear in forming this particular golfing area.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/rossoverhills.gif)

For the readers joining us who are not entirely familiar with the Ross biography one thing worth noting that he was mentored at St. Andrews in Scotland under the personal guidance of no less that Old Tom Morris. In addition to winning the (British) Open four times, Morris is universally considered the supreme patriarch of the game of golf.

(http://www.golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/otm2.jpg)

The second fact to keep in mind is that this area was - just like Augusta National - a nursery with a kaleidoscope of professionally cultivated plant species. (Mind you, Overhills was created 20 years before Augusta.)

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/prospectus/lindleysmall2.jpg)

Kim Elliman (a Rockefeller):
"[The golf course] was a backdrop; it was everyone's view shed. And my grandmother took loving care of the planting both with the dogwood and other flowering plants and trees. So if you could imagine the sequence of it: you had daffodils, you had dogwoods, you had azaleas, and the budding really flowers were really focused on March 15 for six weeks and the end of April, which was when there was the heaviest use. And it really was sort of just gorgeous. It was a kid's paradise to play in, but it was just gorgeous."

Florence Short:
"You know when I'd take friends down there was usually somebody that loved the golf course. And in earlier years, if you came earlier in the spring it would all be kind of purple with bluets growing. So you'd arrive and it would just be purple."


Let's have a look at the reflections from some of the people who were there...

From "Overhills Oral History":

Bob Model (a Rockefeller):
"The front nine was magnificent and I can remember playing. To my recollection there was only one hole-in-one on the ninth hole. And in those days they were sand greens. Were you aware of that? I guess you were, of course. And those were sand greens. So I can remember when there were sand greens. And I can remember when we moved away from the sand greens. Lotes ran the golf course and did a wonderful job. I can't remember when we started trying to recreate the second nine. I don't know the layout today as opposed to when it was first – because during the war they let the second nine [get overgrown].
In my view, the front nine was the old fashioned part of the course and the back nine was trying to modernize what Donald Ross had done. Probably from a historical perspective, had they kept the sand greens and had they kept the whole course as a complete original Donald Ross course, that would be something I think that would be very unique. And interestingly I doubt we would have ever put in, had Pat not been really interested in golf, I doubt we would have converted because there would have been no need to have done that. But Pat's wife was a golfer and they had friends who came down and golfed. And people were used to country club golf so we tried to make the course a compromise. But it was a family course and it was never anything but that. It never got used very much and so consequently we really didn't – it was whatever you did for the greens and whatever you did was fine, I think. It was never considered to be anything other than just a place for the family to get out there anytime they wanted to. To my knowledge it never really got used that heavily. But in the retrospect scope, it really is too bad that it wasn't kept as an example. Today that would mean something. Thirty years ago it didn't mean that much.
And the other thing is: you probably noticed that on the golf course with the exception of a couple on the front nine, I'm trying to think which ones, you're always hitting into a hill. I don't know if you noticed that. But you're hitting into a hill. Number six you still you were hitting into a hill. That was that lovely course. Number seven you didn't hit into a hill. Three, was a par 3 and you hit into a hill. And four was par 5 and there was a small hill. Five there was a par 3 and you hit up into a hill. Six was that beautiful one that you hit off but it was always into a hill. Seven wasn't into a hill. Eight was into a hill. And nine they made it into a par 3 but it should have been a par 4 and it was down in a hole and you'd have been hitting into a hill. But a big drive in those days was a 180-200 yards."

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/2.jpg)

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/3.jpg)

Bob Model:
"Everybody walked on [the golf course]. I can remember in the early days, my aunt and uncle, Uncle Avery, they used to go up to number five, get up on top there and have tea. You'd have tea out there in the afternoon. In that generation everybody had tea in the afternoon. But anyway they had tea out there. They'd go out there and watch the sunset. And then Pat was very interested in golf, his wife was a golfer, and golf became popular. My father was a golfer and he used to go over to Pinehurst to play golf. In those days you could hardly get on the course over there. He always played No. 2 [Pinehurst]. I remember that. He played at Overhills, but he had friends over there and much more of a competitive type golfer. I can remember the early 50s, it was kind of a hike over there, we'd go down to Vass Road and then you'd take a left down on Young's Road."

The son of a valet there was apparently an ace golfer (Bert Alabaster) and won several employee tournaments.  He had a dog that was an expert at shagging balls as well.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/5.jpg)
Louise Alabaster:
"Now that's his dog Spud. They said that this dog retrieved about 84 golf balls in less than one hour on the golf course. He'd just run, take them up, and drop them by in front of Bert, my husband. That's my husband when he was playing golf out there. He grew up out there. He spent most of time on the golf course and he used to play with the Rockefellers or caddy for them when they were there. He played all his life. I was a Sunday afternoon widow and Wednesday afternoon widow. He had work sometimes, but he played every time he had the chance, which was good. Everybody needs some outlet of some kind. We'd go out on the golf course and then lots of times they [the Bruces] would invite us over for dinner or something like that. We‟d just have a good time visiting through dinner and afterwards just sit talking. Sometimes we‟d go in the afternoon so that my husband could play golf with Mr. Bruce on the golf course. I‟d be in the Clubhouse with Ms. Bruce and we‟d just chat and do things women do when they get together. Gossip, I guess. There was nobody out there. Now usually they were because they‟re the ones that gave us permission to use it. They said Bert was welcome anytime he wanted to come, but he still felt like he had to okay it with them and usually they invited us to have a meal with them. They were real good friends."

Lotes Holmes:
"I did par the back nine one time. We had par 35 on the front nine and par 37 on the back nine, made 72. I did par the back nine 37, nine straight pars one time. That was the only time I ever did that. I lived on the course and got to play anytime I wanted to in other words and we did play it. We enjoyed it. Every Sunday afternoon Mr. Bruce and Mrs. Bruce would go out. She had some clubs and she would play along with us too. We would usually walk in the afternoon, Sunday afternoon and play nine."

Dennis Washington:
"My mom's pop had worked at Overhills way back when they were building, when they were constructing the golf course. Her grandpop had worked there, okay, when that golf course was under construction. You can imagine building a golf course without bulldozers, without chain saws and the things that we use today. But she would tell stories about how hard the work was to get it to the point where they could play golf there. I think the original greens were sand, not grass."

There are a couple of passages in the Oral History which presage the Naturalistic aesthetic that this board so values:

Freeman Tyler:
"There's one thing I can say about him is he was peculiar about the way you trimmed your shrubbery and stuff like that. He didn't like to see nothing manicured. He liked everything left natural. We'd do pruning on our shrubbery and stuff but we'd do it to where it looked like it hadn't been cut."

Tommy McPhail:
"We were out there working on the golf course one day and me and a group were planting dogwood trees, the small dogwood trees up around Bird Song. I was sort of put in charge how to do them. I thought we'll just put them in a semicircle here and that will be pretty. We start digging holes and Miss Avery just happened to be walking out. She says, “Tom, Tommy” – they always called me Tom - “What are we doing today?” I said, “We're putting out some of these pretty dogwoods out here for you.” She said, “How are we doing it?” I said, “Well my thought was to put them in a line, in a semicircle here.” “No, no, no, we can't do it like that.” I said, “Yes ma'am, how do we need to do it then?” She said, “We need to put them out there as the Lord would have put them out there.”
--
CLUBHOUSE
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/clubhouse.jpg)

The clubhouse was designed by the New York architectural firm Tracy and Swartwout. Among their projects were the Yale Club in New York and the cloister garden at the Skull and Bones compound in New Haven. Evarts Tracy was himself a member of Skull and Bones, as well.

Ed Bruce, Jr.:
"The Clubhouse to me was always an interesting place. The Clubhouse had one big room in it, that's what I call the living room, with a big fireplace and a big moose head above the fireplace with big antlers. And facing the fireplace was a big sofa. And in front of it was a stool, a foot stool, it had like a log that must have been six feet, seven feet long with the top part of it cut off so it was flat like you cut it in half. Then two little logs on each end that would curve to match the curvature of the log. And this thing set in it. I can remember sitting in there a lot up near the fireplace or we'd play games in there on the sofa and the stool.
[They] had the big library room with shelves along one side with books in it. And then it had a gun room to where it had the racks down where people would keep their guns. I guess if when you were there as a member of the stock club or hunting club you could leave your guns there. And it had all these cabinets down below where you keep the shells and boxes of clay pigeons they'd use for shooting practice. The clay pigeon shooter was located over there not far out on the golf course from Croatan.
I was always impressed going back into the kitchen. The cook would be there, Macy, and [he] had this great big long wood cook stove also where you do the cooking. And up in the ceiling it had this chandelier light of course it was electric at this time. But prior to that it was one of the chandelier lights that had a chain hooked to it on the side wall and you could let it down. It was one of these gas lanterns that you used before electricity or in case the electricity went out."

Patricia Penny:
"Alright, to walk up the steps on the front porch – the porch was unbelievable. It was really huge and all the way from one end to the other was the most gorgeous wicker furniture. The whole thing was furnished, just absolutely elegant. And then as you walked in the big front doors there was a huge lobby that had a tremendous fireplace right in the center over on the backside."

Dorothy Yantis:
"Oh, I wish you could have seen it."
 
Overhills today:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/aerial.jpg)
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehu
Post by: Jimmy Muratt on October 16, 2010, 10:27:12 AM
Fascinating story about a course that I was unaware of.  Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Zack Molnar on October 16, 2010, 11:49:35 AM
fascinating story. Thank you for sharing. Is the course still in shape for play, or has it been let go over the years?
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Craig Disher on October 16, 2010, 12:09:03 PM
Chris,
More great stuff from you. Thanks.

You may have already seen this material but the Ft. Bragg website has some historic information on Overhills. The power point document has some nice photos of the course as well as a Ross drawing of one of the holes. Perhaps the Tufts Archives has the originals. I have an aerial of the property somewhere on my hd. I'll try to find it and post it.

http://www.bragg.army.mil/culturalresources/pages/overhills.htm

I recall that a year or so ago one of the larger buildings at Overhills burned - probably torched by pranksters - and was completely destroyed.

Have you tried to visit the site yourself?
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Craig Disher on October 16, 2010, 12:30:57 PM
Found it. This was taken in 1941. It's clear that only 9 holes were maintained and those had sand greens - note the small white circles superimposed on the larger fill pads. The other 9 look so rugged that I wonder if they had been abandoned in the early 1930s.

(http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l318/cadcaddo/ogc1941.jpg)
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 16, 2010, 12:50:39 PM
Zack, it is not used for golf anymore.  The land is used for military training now.  There used to be talk about trying to retain the estate for it's historical value or as a sort of golf camp for troubled youth - among other things.  I am not aware of any current discussions about restoring the place.
Turnberry in Scotland was in pretty bad shape after it was used as an airbase during WWII.  But they saw fit to restore it.
I certainly want our military to have what they need for proper training.  I know many people who work and train there and I know a lot about the area.  Even with that knowledge I can't quite say yet whether or not they should have preserved it.  If the land was truly essential to their training then so be it.  However, there are many, many large tracts of land near by that have similar acreage.  I'm not quite sure what was the right course of action there.  
I can say I am sorry it is not restored and being used for something great.  And I can say that there are many instances when irreplaceable pieces of our national identity were not properly handled.  
But like I said, if it is true that it was essential to our military I can accept that - and they have my best wishes.  If it was not essential and they could just as easily be doing their training on a near by tract then I do object.  I have a lot of info about it - but not enough to make a definitive call.

Craig, yes, one of the main buildings did burn down recently.  There were accusations of negligence on the Army's part by some of the historians and locals.  But, as I said above - I don't know enough to render a clear eyed judgment on that.  If I did I would say something about it - but I would not be too harsh about it because those guys have been in a continual war for almost a decade now - and we can not expect them to do everything just right.  They are working incredibly hard and I think they need moral support rather than being nagged - even about something as valuable as Overhills.  

No I have not visited the property.  Hopefully, that will change soon.

Very nice aerial photo Craig.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Craig Disher on October 16, 2010, 01:36:11 PM
Chris,
I went through basic training at Ft. Bragg and have some acquaintance with the undeveloped areas around the main base  ;) I've known about Overhills for a while and thought that it could have been easily refurbished into an r&r area for the wounded vets. I live in DC and have hosted a few who are recuperating at Walter Reed; a week at a quiet spot like Overhills would have been a great treat for them. I'm sure restoring the buildings and the course to a decent standard would have been almost a rounding error in our defense budget - and probably a lot of the work could have been done pro bono.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Ed Oden on October 16, 2010, 02:09:57 PM
Chris, thanks for sharing.  This is very cool stuff.  According to the Tufts website, they have Ross' field sketches for the 2nd and 8th holes.  Have you looked at them?  I also found a reference to a Winter 2001 article in Triad Golf Today about Overhills, but it is no longer available online.  Have you seen that?  I don't have a copy, but I think Wexler's Lost Links had a chapter on Overhills.

If anyone is interested:

...here is a link to an online pdf of the Overhills Oral History Chris references above... http://www.bragg.army.mil/culturalresources/Docs/pdfs/OVERHILLS%20Oral%20History%20Report%206.2.2009.pdf

...and this link has a few more pictures that I didn't see already posted above or in the Oral History pdf... http://books.google.com/books?id=vYAA2N4MnYoC&pg=PA66&lpg=PA66&dq=overhills+golf&source=bl&ots=FqOxDI7tXU&sig=08kvji4lZ6Wdc-I2A0z22mn9S0A&hl=en&ei=atq5TNXmGMaqlAfpqLC1DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CCgQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=overhills%20golf&f=false

...and here is a slightly different aerial I found... http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pfwilson/golfcourseaerial.jpg


Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Mike Sweeney on October 16, 2010, 05:46:05 PM
Slightly confused. Chris' opening post says it is Rockefeller estate, but Ed's links make it sound like an exclusive quiet retreat ? Was it both or did I miss something?
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Craig Disher on October 16, 2010, 05:55:47 PM
Slightly confused. Chris' opening post says it is Rockefeller estate, but Ed's links make it sound like an exclusive quiet retreat ? Was it both or did I miss something?

Mike,
I believe Overhills was a private retreat for members which by the 1920s had come under the ownership of one of the Rockefellers and Averell Harriman. Harriman eventually backed out, the Rockefeller died and ownership passed to the Rockefeller family which used it as a family retreat until it was sold to the US government.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 17, 2010, 07:45:36 AM
Quote
Slightly confused. Chris' opening post says it is Rockefeller estate, but Ed's links make it sound like an exclusive quiet retreat ? Was it both or did I miss something? - Mike Sweeney

Hi Mike.  Here is my opening statement:
Overhills was a private course about 20 miles from Pinehurst built for the Rockefellers and a few of their friends - the likes of Averell Harriman.

That is pretty clear, is it not?
The story is very long and involved.  You can find much more information about the ownership and other things in the book - which is worth reading from several different perspectives (golf, historical, rural Americana, etc.)

Here are some more (NC Archives) images from a link that Mr. Oden pointed out.  
This is the 8th hole (1st hole on the left).  The bunker is 140 yards off the tee - ready and waiting to grab that hooked guttie.  Doesn't that terrain look terrific?  It is the same soil over there as in Pinehurst by the way.  Ross must have been very happy to see that because he never got tired of weaving his fairways through the sandy loam.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/overhills8.jpg)

This is the 418 yard 6th hole in 1920.  The fairway bunkers were between 180 and 220 off the tee.
"A wiregrass mound on the left side of the fairway about 350 yards off the tee preceeded two small bunkers flanking the green.  With an elevated tee and a low ridge crossing the fairway, this single hole challenged the golfer with multiple elevation changes.  The only earth moved to create this hole came from the tee boxes, bunkers, and greens."
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/overhills9.jpg)
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Mac Plumart on October 17, 2010, 09:00:36 AM
Golf Club Atlas at its finest.  Truly excellent stuff.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Tiger_Bernhardt on October 18, 2010, 12:23:47 AM
Jimmy Were you a or are you trying to join now? lol This is a very cool topic about a course I never heard of. It is so near Ran it hurts.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Mike Sweeney on October 18, 2010, 05:41:14 AM
Chris,

I should have been more specific with my question, I was thinking of the Rockefellers in St John, Virgin Islands. From Wikipedia, "In 1956, Laurance Rockefeller donated most of the land he had acquired on the island to the United States' National Park Service, under the condition that it must be protected from future development. The remaining portion, the Caneel Bay Resort, continues to operate on a lease arrangement while the park owns the actual land."

So my thought was perhaps the golf course could be carved out and away from the Rockefeller (and others) agreement similar to Caneel? Obviously this is not the current era to re-build a golf course, but maybe someday. Regardless, thanks for posting and taking the time.

There is not room for 18, but I always thought Caneel had enough flat property to squeeze in a 9 hole course, but it would never fly these days even on golf starved St John.

PS. Bob Huntley - Enjoy the aerial!

(http://www.stjohnhistoricalsociety.org/Galleries/Photographs/Postcards/XLarge/AERIAL%20VIEW%20OF%20CANEEL%20BAY%20PLANTATION.jpg)
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Tom MacWood on October 18, 2010, 07:01:08 AM
Chris
That is fascinating. Do you know when the course was built, I've seen different dates associated it? Do you know if it was always 18 holes or was it originally nine and then expanded?
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Phil_the_Author on October 18, 2010, 07:19:48 AM
Chris,

WONDERFUL piece!

What I find the most fascinating is the list of yardages from the print... measured in TENTHS OF YARDS! I can't ever recall seeing a course measured that way. Has anyone else seen it or is this possibly the only time? Chris, do you know why it was measured to the tenth?
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: PCCraig on October 18, 2010, 09:20:02 AM
Chris:

GREAT post, thank you very much for sharing. Can't wait for more on what happened to the course...
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 18, 2010, 10:16:06 AM
Mike, that is interesting about Caneel.  I hadn't heard of that before.  I suppose they had estates all over the place.  Some of the family still live here in the area.

Tom, I did not find a specific date that the course was designed and constructed.  However, I did find a sketch that is dated 1916. The sketch is from the Overhills Maps Collection at the Fort Bragg Cultural Resources Center.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/1916.jpg)

Philip, thanks, and yes I noticed the ultra precise measurements as well.  I've never seen anything like that before.

Friday night I ran into one of the guys that does some uncommon work over there and he said it would be ok for me to visit.  I was going to go over there yesterday actually but it was so perfect out I couldn't resist the offer to play instead.  I will go over there very soon though and I'll let you know how it turns out.  Hopefully I won't be mistaken for some practice scenario and get inadvertently whisked off to some Robin Sage rough up deal!

You want a bit more ephemera from the place?
There was a strong Yale connection.  And Harriman was in Skull and Bones with Percy Rockefeller.

Like Augusta the place was a nursery before it was a golf course.  From the Oral History:
"A partial list of products includes: Oak trees, Texas Umbrella trees, Norway Maples, Southern Magnolias, grapevines, apple trees, and Pineapple blight proof pear trees, as well as English Laurel, Nandina, Border Forsythia, Japanese Privet, Deodara Cedar, Flowering Quince, Firethorn, and Amur River Privet."

G.H. Walker liked the course.  That would be the grandfather and great-grandfather of the Bush presidents.  Walker had a tournament named after him too I believe.

More from the Oral History:
"It would change over the years, being reduced in length, the back nine holes abandoned and then renovated and the layout altered. Few records related to the course or golf activity survive. A diary from 1923 indicates fairly informal play by some guests walking less than eighteen holes and shooting well above par. The only tournaments known to have been played were held by Overhills staff, at least a few of whom was quite skilled. In the 1920s, Fort Bragg soldiers and their lady friends were invited to play the course during summer months for a fee."

Hi Pat!
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Craig Disher on October 18, 2010, 10:17:24 AM
The course and surrounding property was sold by the Rockefellers to the US government in the late 90s so the chance of it ever reappearing as a golf destination is about nil. Military bases always seem to have a golf course or two but since Ft. Bragg already has one I doubt Overhills would ever be re-developed.

Ross built the first 9 in 1913; a second 9 was finished by 1917.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Scott_Burroughs on October 18, 2010, 10:59:57 AM
Here was the Aerial of the Day #423 of Overhills, almost exactly 7 years ago, the first shown during 'NLE week':

http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,6724.0/

Unfortunately, none of the links posted in the 'reveal post' still work.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Craig Disher on October 18, 2010, 11:13:57 AM
Reading through the oral history of Overhills gives this observation on the gca:

"And the other thing is: you probably noticed that on the golf course with the exception of a couple on the front nine, I‟m trying to think which ones, you're always hitting into a hill. I don't know if you noticed that. But you're hitting into a hill. Number six you still you were hitting into a hill. That was that lovely course. Number seven you didn't hit into a hill. Three, was a par 3 and you hit into a hill. And four was par 5 and there was a small hill. Five there was a par 3 and you hit up into a hill. Six was that beautiful one that you hit off but it was always into a hill. Seven wasn't into a hill. Eight was into a hill. And nine they made it into a par 3 but it should have been a par 4 and it was down in a hole and you'd have been hitting into a hill. But a big drive in those days was a 180-200 yards. Now people are hitting 300 yards, 400 yards, whatever it is. That's the difference."   

- Bob Model, a Rockefeller family member who spent a lot of time at Overhills in the 1950s and 1960s.

Ross never seemed to tire of using that feature to lengthen a short course.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 18, 2010, 07:13:47 PM
Yeah, Bob Model's observations that Craig pointed out above were included in my original post.  It would be easy to miss because there is a lot of information on the thread.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Bob_Huntley on October 18, 2010, 10:11:49 PM
Mike,

Thanks for the Caneel Bay shot, a little piece of heaven.

Bob
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Tom MacWood on October 19, 2010, 06:31:36 AM
Chris
Do you know when Rockefeller purchased the property?

What is Overhills Club Hotel Co.? From the sounds of that one gets the impression there may have been other plans for the golf course. The size and appearance of the clubhouse gives that impression too.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: TEPaul on October 19, 2010, 08:17:06 AM
Chris Buie:

The history of Overhills and the course is an interesting subject but allow me to plug you in to something slightly ancilliary to it that just might help explain the entire reason for the existence of something like that. It also just might blow your mind and a number of others on here----that is if there is truth to it!

What I'm referring to is a book by the title of "The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush." It was written in 1991 and it's about #41 and the world he came from. The book is by Webster Tarpley who I believe was a professor at Princeton. Someone sent me a link to one chapter of the book that was on Hobe Sound Florida, that Tarpley claimed was (is?) the winter community of a group of people going back generations who he says are arguably the creators of and the power behind the US Intelligence Community.

But it's more than that. Tarpley takes this thing I suppose one could call a cabal back over two hundreds years to the beginning of this country and a group that could probably be called "Royalists." Their spawning ground was very much around those so-called "secret societies" of the Ivy League colleges and particularly Yale's "Scull and Bones."

Tarpley refers to this group as the "ANGLO-AMERICAN MALTHUSIAN MONEYCRAT OLIGARGHY" (how about that one for a handle?  ??? ::) ;) ) and he claims their two hundred year old primary interests were two----eg population control and the intelligence community!

All the names that are connected to Overhills are there in that book---all of them and particularly including the likes of Averell Harriman and G.H. Walker.

Tarpley's point is that somewhere along the line these Anglo-Americans figured out that they were being out populated and over time that wasn't goint to work out well for them. So they proposed and inspired and funded early population control which believe me was definitely not pretty in concept, even though ironically it eventually morphed into Planned Parenthood which very ironically George Bush's mother was one of the founders of.

But the business and intelligence community side of it is something else. He say the American financial side of it was essentially Brown Brothers Harriman which eventually ended up funding the Third Reich until they were formally disabused of that by what was called the Enemy's Act in 1942.

Anyway there is more---lots more and I'm sorry but I don't even know how to link thngs onto this website and so if someone would go on Google and look up Webster Tarpley and this particular book they could link it onto this thread.

It's one helluva read and even though it seemed to me to be a real conspiracy theory book when one considers the bibliography in it and the fact that a whole lot of this classified material from back then is now beginning to be declassified it sure does give one pause and food for thought.

And for me personally, it really gave me pause as about 3/4 of the families mentioned in that book I grew up with in school, in New York, Boston, Florida (Hobe Sound) etc, etc, but little did I know that half my friends came from the families that made up the "ANGLO-AMERICAN MALTUSIAN MONEYCRAT OLIGARGHY!!"    ??? ::) :o :-[ :-X :-\ :'(

Apparently, Overhills was just one of their many playgrounds and meeting places. I wonder what they talked about when out there in the North Carolina woods with no one from the great oppressed outside world to see them or hear them?  ;)

Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: TEPaul on October 19, 2010, 08:30:12 AM
By the way, is it really any wonder that place was surrounded by a military base and eventually taken over by the US Government? ;)

Also, the works of the Rockefeller family with things like Caneel Bay, Williamsburg, and a whole host of others basically fell under the label of "Rock Resorts" eventually and were, I believe, inspired originally by John D. Rockefeller JR's lifelong ambition to rehabilitate the name and reputation of his father, the creator of it all, John D. Rockefeller, who for most of the latter half of his life just may've been the most hated man in the world!

I would say JDR JR did a pretty damn good job with his lifelong ambition, wouldn't you?!
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: PCCraig on October 19, 2010, 09:57:03 AM
Chris:

Sorry if I missed this in your first post, but where exactly is this in relation to Pinehurst? I was looking for it on Google Maps with no luck. I was just curious to see how far away it was from everything else in the area.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 19, 2010, 10:29:57 AM
Mr. Paul, that is interesting information.  There is a lot of interesting activity that goes on in various places to this day.  There are some people around that have resumes that read like fiction.  
Yes, I considered including a bit more about the side of Overhills that you are referring to.  I decided to just leave a few bread crumbs.  I enjoy the local color and adjunct stories that go along with the extra-ordinary places we discuss here.  I try to include only a judicious amount on my threads.  It can be overdone.  Considering the purpose of this website I try to make the golf course aspect the primary thing but will toss in a few piquant spices from time to time.

Back to Mr. Paul's topic.  I'll try to keep this very short.  Guys like Harriman, Chip Bohlen (Porcellian) and George Kennan were essentially very honorable men who could have been dilettantes but instead served the country very well.  I would say that although there were questionable elements, that to read this group as being sinister and of self interest is not accurate.  It was a very volatile time that could have spun off in a catastrophic direction had they not been so savvy and innovative in dealing with provocative and dangerous subjects.  Let's hope their contemporary iterations do as well as these guys did.

Pat, try the link below.  If that doesn't work type  - Thurman Dr. Spring Lake NC - into Google and you will see the course just on the left.  You can zoom out to see where it is in relation to Pinehurst.
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&expIds=17259,26637,26992,27139&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=thurman+dr+spring+lake+nc&cp=25&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Thurman+Dr,+Cameron,+NC+28326&gl=us&ei=wKy9TJHZDcK78gaC1q36Bg&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBMQ8gEwAA (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&expIds=17259,26637,26992,27139&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=thurman+dr+spring+lake+nc&cp=25&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Thurman+Dr,+Cameron,+NC+28326&gl=us&ei=wKy9TJHZDcK78gaC1q36Bg&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBMQ8gEwAA)
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Dean DiBerardino on October 19, 2010, 10:56:16 AM
Chris:

Sorry if I missed this in your first post, but where exactly is this in relation to Pinehurst? I was looking for it on Google Maps with no luck. I was just curious to see how far away it was from everything else in the area.

Thanks.

Chris:

Thanks for all of the interesting info about Overhills.  I had a friend in Pinehurst when I lived there who was in the military and once told me about the golf course.  He offered to take me out and see the property and I regret that I didn't take him up on the offer.

Pat:

Check out the image below of Overhills in relation to Fort Bragg and Fayetteville.  Hope it helps.  :)


(http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj36/no6pro/OverhillsonMap.jpg)
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Craig Disher on October 19, 2010, 11:00:11 AM
TEP,
That's another amazing story. Percy Rockefeller, JDR's nephew, was one of the original owners - primary Rockefeller ownership dated from the early 1920s - and after he died in the 1934 the Rockefeller majority ownership passed to his children and Avery, his son, became the manager. The material on the Ft. Bragg website shows a page from the 1933 guestbook - JDR III and wife are listed. If the AAMMO had any connection to Overhills, it might have been through Harriman who had built a cottage on the site early on. By the 1930s, it had become purely a Rockefeller property, perhaps similar to Pocantico Hills - primarily a family retreat with one branch taking main responsibility for running it.

The Ross golf course was planned as early as 1913. The drawing that Chris posted from 1916 is almost the same as one from 1913 which also shows a rough routing for 18 holes. It's interesting that one of the original owners of Overhills was Leonard Tufts. Perhaps he was the connection to Ross.




Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: TEPaul on October 19, 2010, 03:01:52 PM
"TEP,
That's another amazing story."


Craig:

Yeah, I suppose it could be; maybe a bit too amazing for some.  ;) I'll send you a link to the book. Read it, I'd be very interested to hear what you have to say about some of the material in it which seems to have been classified for quite some time.

Anyway, back to golf course architecture.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Mike Sweeney on October 19, 2010, 11:45:42 PM
By the way, is it really any wonder that place was surrounded by a military base and eventually taken over by the US Government? ;)

Also, the works of the Rockefeller family with things like Caneel Bay, Williamsburg, and a whole host of others basically fell under the label of "Rock Resorts" eventually and were, I believe, inspired originally by John D. Rockefeller JR's lifelong ambition to rehabilitate the name and reputation of his father, the creator of it all, John D. Rockefeller, who for most of the latter half of his life just may've been the most hated man in the world!

I would say JDR JR did a pretty damn good job with his lifelong ambition, wouldn't you?!

Tom,

Never understood that connection till your post. From Rock Resorts:

The RockResorts brand was originally created in 1956 by Laurance Rockefeller, with the development of Caneel Bay on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other resorts formerly branded under the RockResorts identity include Little Dix on Virgin Gorda; The Lodge at Koele, Manele Bay on the Hawaiian island of Lanai; The Mauna Kea on the Big Island; Kapalua Bay Hotel on Maui; The Hyatt Dorado Beach, Cerromar Beach in Puerto Rico; The Woodstock Inn in Vermont; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Wyoming.

The Rockefeller family sold the brand to CSX Corp. in 1986. CSX subsequently sold the brand to VMS Realty in 1989.  The properties were sold off and the brand remained dormant until its purchase by Olympus Hospitality in 1999.  Olympus then rebuilt the brand with five resort hotels: Cheeca Lodge & Spa, The Equinox Resort & Spa, La Posada de Santa Fe, Rosario Resort & Spa, and Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa.  When Vail Resorts acquired a majority interest in December 2001, five additional luxury properties were added to the RockResorts brand: The Lodge at Vail, Snake River Lodge & Spa, The Pines Lodge, Keystone Lodge, and The Lodge at Rancho Mirage. On May 3, 2005, The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning resort located in Colorado's Vail Valley, was added to RockResorts' collection of luxury resort destinations.



So the question is, why was Overhills different and NOT part of Rock Resorts?
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: TEPaul on October 20, 2010, 07:22:12 AM
"So the question is, why was Overhills different and NOT part of Rock Resorts?"


Mike:


To answer that I'd say we need to remember that the Rockefeller family was one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in American history and they had a whole lot going on throughout the family branches and generations.

Percy Rockefeller who apparently started Overhills was the nephew of John D. Rockefeller who is generally referred to as "Senior." As you know JDR was the primary partner of Standard Oil, one of the largest corporations in early American business history. Some of his partners in Standard Oil or the financiers of the company read like a Who's Who of the Industrial Revolution and the late 19th and early 20th century business engine of America. One was Henry Flager who ended up owning a swath of the entire East Coast of Florida through his creation of the Florida East Coast Railroad and the opening up of Florida from Jacksonville to Key West.

In the second and third generations of families like that most all went to Harvard, Yale and Princeton and the rest of the so-called Ivy League colleges and from there they began to inter-marry and get into all kinds of business connections that included the primary avenues of finance, oil, railroads and many of the raw matters they carried, as well as high-level state and national politics and certainly including very high-level international diplomacy for some. Another of those families was Harriman. Averell Harriman was the son of E.H. Harriman who controlled the Union Pacific Railroad and who was arguably one of the richest men in America. Averell's avenue was finance (Brown Brothers, Harriman) and politics and international diplomacy.

These guys were the early 20th century American titans, and their business and social and family lives became remarkably connected and intertwinned. One of the places one finds those remarkable business, social and family connections today is in the histories of some of the most significant American golf clubs, particularly the likes of NGLA, The Creek, Piping Rock, and other similiar clubs around the country.

One of the things many of those hugely powerful families did in the latter half of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century is buy up huge parcels of land throughout the south and the west.

Overhills was obvioiusly just one of many of those massive land holdings of those interconnected families that was originally used for personal and family reasons that lapped into places for all to get together for their favorite recreations, golf, polo, fox hunting, bird shooting etc and to talk over the things that interested those people which arguably included controlling or having a hand in what went on in business and politics and diplomacy all over the world.

If one were to do a business and family and social TREE of who these people were and how interconnected they were I feel it would be a real eye-opener to those on this site and it could even be stretched to include the clubs (including golf clubs) so many of them belonged to together.

I should note that between about 1837 and 1913 the United States did not have a central bank and essentially these were the people who stepped into that void and financed the burgeoning American nation and took control of many of its most essential goods and services (oil, raw materials, manufacturing, the railroads to transport them, banking and financial institutions and land---both private and resort!

RockResorts came later and I think that was just one of the interests of Laurence Rockefeller whose life was dedicated to venture capitalism, conservation of land and such. It may've been one of the later entities of what is known as The Rockefeller Brothers Trust (distinct from the Rockefeller Foundation) that was formed in 1940 by JDR's grandchildren (John, Nelson, Winthrop, Laurence and David).

Actually, a very good friend of my father's, Aldie Boyer, ran RockResorts and if I remember correctly he went to work in Rockefeller Center in mid-town Manhattan.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Tom MacWood on October 20, 2010, 08:23:35 AM
Did Tufts commission Ross to design the golf course?
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Craig Disher on October 20, 2010, 10:06:28 AM
Did Tufts commission Ross to design the golf course?

That's an interesting question. The answer might be somewhere in the Tufts Archives in Pinehurst; I'll stop by there next week and look around.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 20, 2010, 10:22:28 AM
Hi Tom.  I'm not sure if Tufts directly commissioned Ross to design the course.  Like Craig said perhaps there is a dusty note in the files of the basement of the Tufts Archives that has the answer to that question.  Maybe I'll ask that bright and congenial Audrey Moriarty over there about that.  

Craig was correct earlier about Leonard Tufts being one of the original owners.  He was the son of the founder of Pinehurst - James Walker Tufts.
In the original post I said there was much more to the story.  That was an understatement.  Before the land was bought by the Rockefellers et al. it went through other incarnations.  One was a hunting club called The Croatan.  Next to the Croatan was another hunting club owned by yet another titan:  R.J. Reynolds.  His estate was called Buckthorne Lodge.  Buckthorne ended up being absorbed into what later became Overhills.
Regarding Leonard's role at what was called Croatan at the time:

"Tufts, who managed a 40,000 acre shooting preserve in Pinehurst, apparently entertained the notion of connecting Croatan Club with Pinehurst and developing a game preserve and resort. His commitment was fleeting however, as he sold his interest only two months following his and Jordan’s acquisition proposal to the Croatan Club. Tufts was quickly replaced by William Kent, at the time a newly elected California congressman."
So a seemingly endless series of configurations took place among parcels of land and notable people.  Again, I refer you to the book to get the most complete story.

http://www.amazon.com/Overhills-Images-America-North-Carolina/dp/0738554332

OK, this one is for you Tom Paul:
William Kent was Skull and Bones too!

I just looked that up elsewhere - I didn't see that in the Oral History.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kent_%28U.S._Congressman%29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kent_%28U.S._Congressman%29)
And so...the plot thickens...
I was just writing a folklore piece about an obscure course for a wealthy family.  However, now that we have a whole nest of Skull and Bones running around beside a large special military facility and lurking the higher rungs of government...curious and curiouser...
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: TEPaul on October 20, 2010, 11:02:12 AM
"OK, this one is for you Tom Paul:
William Kent was Skull and Bones too!

I just looked that up elsewhere - I didn't see that in the Oral History.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kent_%28U.S._Congressman%29
And so...the plot thickens...
I was just writing a folklore piece about an obscure course for a wealthy family.  However, now that we have a whole nest of Skull and Bones running around beside a large special military facility and lurking the higher rungs of government...curious and curiouser..."



Chris Buie:

To me that kind of stuff is interesting----really interesting actually, because it just adds some pretty fascinating background tapestry to some of these clubs and courses. It basically puts them into the actual historical context in which and with which they emanated out of and had they not had that interweaving tapestry and context of people they may've never existed in the first place.

And perhaps you're thinking that some of what I said above is some attempt to criticize those people. It isn't that at all---it's just portraying them and given who they were their collective histories has a remarkably large and interesting way of weaving through the history of this country and even the world.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Bill Brightly on October 20, 2010, 11:16:36 AM
Ran,

I know how you must HATE the idea of policing the site. But please consider the impact if a rude poster got this message:

Your recent post has been deemed inappropriate. Your ability to post in the DG has been suspended for 30 days. You are welcome to try again in 30 days. If future posts do not meet the standards of politeness and civility that are expected, you will be permanantly removed from the site.

I think once the word got out, most people would THINK before they posted. I know this is a bit of work for you (or someone you would assign to the task) but obviously this site and its image is very important  to you. I think this would clean it up in a matter of months.

I think the Hatfields and the McCoys have a ton of valuable gca insight but they just can't stop themselves from fighting. The sad truth is that most men are just boys who need to know where the line is, and once punished, don't cross it again...
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 20, 2010, 11:41:49 AM
Mr. Paul, I am finding this interesting.  I'm usually only interested in conspiracy theories when I haven't been on my medication for a while. It's usually the province of, shall we say, people with special challenges.  However, as we peel back layer after layer something appears to be coming into a little more specific relief.
My only point earlier was that a lot of people seem to assume there are fiendish plans at work when people that hold the strings get together.  I was trying to point out that a lot of times they really are to a large degree holding things together and essentially working for the greater good.  I'm fairly well versed in the period of American History between the end of WWII and Vietnam.  Harriman and the other guys I mentioned earlier were most definitely doing all they could to keep things on an even keel and were not the chessmasters of subjugation.  I didn't mean to lump you in with those clods who prattle about the usual conspiracy plots.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: TEPaul on October 20, 2010, 12:14:18 PM
"Mr. Paul, I am finding this interesting.  I'm usually only interested in conspiracy theories when I haven't been on my medication for a while."


Chris:

I agree with you---I've never been into conspiracy theories and this book I mentioned----"The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush" sure seemed like that to me when I first saw it and began to read it. However, on further reflection the thing about it which really began to blow my mind was its bibliography of material which appears to have been declassified. I guess we need to remember that if it is a subject that deals with such things as the US Intelligence Community of a particular time some of these things do have particular schedules for declassification and the fact is with a lot of it around WW2 and before and even just after we have been at that declassifiction time in recent years.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Lester George on October 20, 2010, 06:09:10 PM

Gentlemen,

As a newly commsioned second lieutenant in 1978, I went to my Field Artillery Officer Basic training at Ft sill Oklahoma.  Right after that I was assigned to the 80th Infantry Training Division in Richmond.  Having taken up golf at Ft Sill for the second (and more serious) time, I was thrilled to find out that my mission for the next few years would be supporting the 82nd Airbourne Division at Ft Bragg. 

I spent approximately 20 of the next 25 years supporting the 82nd and going to Ft Bragg.  There were TWO golf courses at Ft Braff and one at Pope AFB that we frequented as well as all the others in the area.  One day an old codger at the Ft Bragg course told us that there was a privately owned course outside of Spring Lake that was abandoned and was the "playground for the rich" when he was growing up there. 

I guess we have now indentified what course that was.  Great stuff Chris!!!!!!

Lester
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 20, 2010, 07:01:36 PM
Guess who designed the Stryker golf course on Ft. Bragg in 1946?
Mr. Ross, of course. 
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Tom MacWood on October 21, 2010, 06:59:01 AM
Guess who designed the Stryker golf course on Ft. Bragg in 1946?
Mr. Ross, of course. 

Ross was actively involved in design in 1946? I wonder if that course was designed many years before it was built.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 21, 2010, 10:01:28 AM
Tom, he worked until he passed away in 1948.  Raleigh CC was his last course and that had to be finished by his protégé Ellis Maples.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Tom MacWood on October 21, 2010, 01:23:41 PM
Chris
You might want to double check that, I think he retired from active design in the 30's, which is why for example George Wright GC in Boston was finished by Walter Irving Johnson.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 21, 2010, 02:59:24 PM
Hi Tom - you can read about his last course here:

http://www.raleighcc.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=222930&ssid=69376&vnf=1 (http://www.raleighcc.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=222930&ssid=69376&vnf=1)

And his 1946 Ft. Bragg course here:

http://www.golflink.com/golf-courses/course.aspx?course=667945 (http://www.golflink.com/golf-courses/course.aspx?course=667945)
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Tom MacWood on October 22, 2010, 07:01:36 AM
Chris
That is interesting. Do you know if the Tufts archives has anything on Raleigh or Ft. Bragg or his design activities in the 40s? It is my impression Ross retired, more or less, in 1933-34, which is when his primary associates Walter Hatch, JB McGovern, and Walter Irving Johnson took new jobs or went out on their own. Pinehurst #2 became his primary focus at that point. I find it hard to believe he came out of retirement after WWII in his 70s, that is why I suspect those projects were likely designed earlier and delayed by Depression and War.
Title: Re: Overhills - The Private Course Ross built for the Rockefellers beside Pinehurst
Post by: Chris Buie on October 22, 2010, 02:01:45 PM
Hello Lads, I managed an intrepid little trip out to Overhills this A.M. and took some photos.  I'll post more later when I have time. 
My friend and I came away with the firm opinion that it should be restored as R&R for Vets.  It is too valuable as a unique piece of American history and Ross' work to be abandoned.  It only takes up a very small bit of the base and it would serve the military much better as a place for the soldiers to go for the same purpose it has always been used for: personal restoration.  I'll write more later.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/o18.jpg)

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/o8.jpg)

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/o99.jpg)

Mr. MacWood, I'll get back with you later on Ross in the 40's.  In the meantime, here is another link for you:

http://www.clickitgolf.com/course.php?courseId=48 (http://www.clickitgolf.com/course.php?courseId=48)
Title: Re: Overhills History w/ New Photos
Post by: TEPaul on October 22, 2010, 03:39:26 PM
Chris:

Looking at those photos of Ross' Overhills course growing over reminds me a lot of Ross' course on Fort George Island, the Ribault Club, north of Jacksonville that has been growing over for some years now. It's sort of spooking really to go out there and find the vestiges of the architecture under the overgrowth.
Title: Re: Overhills History w/ New Photos
Post by: Jim_Kennedy on October 22, 2010, 07:56:53 PM
While I was searching for someting about Ross I came across this from the June 17, 1916 NY Evening Post:
 
All points of the compass are covered by Ross, for during the summer and the coming winter he expects to go south to lay out a new nine hole course for the Overhills Country Club, North Carolina; to remodel and trap the Palmetto Country Club, South Carolina, and to go over to Palm Beach and St. Augustine.
Title: Re: Overhills History w/ New Photos
Post by: Chris Buie on October 23, 2010, 09:44:37 AM
Well, here is some more imagery for your consideration.  The first graphic is two looks (from slightly different angles) of the tee shot on the 360.5 yard 8th hole.  As you can see, the land cants significantly left to right.  There is a good amount of roll in the very sandy land of this course.  
In the new photo below you can just make out the Croatan building which is where the Rockefeller family stayed.
On the left side of the old photo is the first fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/main8.jpg)

Below is the 1st tee shot - aim straight ahead.  The Clubhouse and the Harriman Cottage would be behind you - the 9th green would be to your left.  As you can see the shot is mildly uphill.  The land of 1 and 8 is like the top of a sphere.  
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/main1.jpg)

The following is either the tee shot of the 10th or looking from the green of the 18th toward the fairway.  The former I think.  Again you can see the land has some nice movement going on.  The old graphic has an arrow showing the camera direction of the new photo.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/o18b.jpg)

The weeds out there now are chest high in places.  I'm sure it could be sorted out if they do the right thing and restore the place.  But it was the thickets and sandspurs which prevented us from touring the rest of the course.  I will definitely look at the rest of the front 9 soon.  The view from the 5th tee is supposed to be panoramic.  It is where they took tea most afternoons - in a gazebo built there.

Beyond that, we took some photos of what was left of the clubhouse area.  The clubhouse itself was razed in 1947.  The Harriman Cottage and the very wonderful Croatan Lodge still stand.
Harriman Cottage:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/oHarriman.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/mainHC.jpg)

Croatan Lodge:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/oCroatan.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/mainCroat2.jpg)

Ethel Peterson did little whimsical paintings in the childrens area of Croatan.  They are still there.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/oArt1.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/odogs.jpg)


Tom MacWood, it's my impression that he worked up until he passed away in the middle of the North and South Open that Harvie won in 1948.  They considered postponing the tournament but knew that he would have wanted them to play.  I don't think anybody doubts that was the right decision.
A man that prolific is a man who rarely finds retirement an appealing configuration - or even a viable one.  I doubt he would be able to walk among those pine hills and hollows without seeing what sort of design could be placed there.  Or perhaps he was more in accord with the Michelangelo view where he said the statue was already in the uncut stone - it was just a matter of removing what was around it.  You've seen the Russell Crowe film "A Beautiful Mind".  Remember when the character looks at ordinary items and sees mathematical equations superimposed over them?  Genius has the person much more than the person has genius.  It's not really a matter of choice.  I doubt he could give up design any more than a fish could give up swimming.  
Well, that's my impression anyway. I could be wrong.  I'd have to do some research to give you a more definitive answer.  Perhaps we can get Mr. Klein or some other Ross expert to give us their take.
Oh and by the way, he remodeled the recent GCA course Charlotte C.C. in 1942 and 1947.
Title: Re: Overhills History w/ New Photos
Post by: PCCraig on October 23, 2010, 11:27:20 AM
Chris:

This is just amazingly interesting. Thank you for the flow of information.

I suppose the good news is that with the natural sandy soil it looks like they could "rebuild" a course fairly easy on the land with minimal clearing. However, would the Army be willing to do so?

Does anyone at the base or within the army understand what they have there?
Title: Re: Overhills History w/ New Photos
Post by: Mike Sweeney on October 23, 2010, 08:40:51 PM
Chris,

Obviously many of us are history geeks. This is a great thread. Thanks.
Title: Re: Overhills History w/ New Photos
Post by: Paul Stephenson on October 23, 2010, 09:41:46 PM
What a great thread.  Thanks Chris.

I do have one question.  In the 1941 aerial there looks to be lines right down the centre-line of the abandoned holes that are not on the holes still in play.  Any ideas as to why?  I can't imagine the course was irrigated.

Here's the picture I'm referring to:
(http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l318/cadcaddo/ogc1941.jpg)
Title: Re: Overhills History w/ New Photos
Post by: TEPaul on October 24, 2010, 08:13:20 AM
"I can't imagine the course was irrigated."

Paul:

Why not?

Title: Re: Overhills
Post by: Tom MacWood on October 24, 2010, 10:17:35 AM
It looks like the nine holes that were in play in 1941 had sand within standard grass greens sand greens, very tiny sand greens that is.

Chris
If you have access to the Tufts archives I think could pretty easily determine what Ross was doing in the 1940s with those golf courses.
Title: Re: Overhills
Post by: Allan Long on October 24, 2010, 11:44:43 AM
This is a really great find, thanks for sharing. Before I moved from NC, I went down to see Stryker, but could not get close to where I thought the Overhills site was located. Seeing what has become of the course and seeing club's buildings is their current state is quite fascinating. The playing corridors just scream "restore me". 

In regard to Ross and Raleigh C.C., for what it's worth, Brad Klein in Discovering Donald Ross confirms Ross on-site at RCC.
Title: Re: Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on October 24, 2010, 06:37:31 PM
Quote
However, would the Army be willing to do so?
Does anyone at the base or within the army understand what they have there?
- Pat Craig

Pat, these are very good questions.  
Do they understand what they have there?
Yes.  
But only a small group within that mammoth organization realizes it. The group assigned to document the historic aspect have done an outstanding job. The rest of the Army is obviously focused on other things. I can't really be too critical of them with this complicated war going on.  That doesn't mean a restoration shouldn't happen.  I've looked at some information and haven't found a convincing case that the relatively minuscule parcel is uniquely necessary for training.  That doesn't mean a convincing case doesn't exist - just that I haven't seen it yet.  I'll ask some people I know about it and see what they say.

I'll give you some facts to consider:
Fort Bragg has 251 square miles of land.
The Overhills tract is 10,580.
I'm told the golf course and immediate area around it is about 150 acres.
Also, you can read a pertinent official document here:
http://www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2006-01-06-06-100 (http://www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2006-01-06-06-100)
The main statement I found in the document is this:
"Presently, the maneuver/training areas at Fort Bragg are so heavily utilized that the land to support training needs to be used to its fullest extent."

If the land is as heavily utilized as they say then they must need a huge amount of natural forest for their purposes because there is a lot of that on Ft. Bragg.
Like I said, I don't find their case persuasive.  Maybe they are correct, but it appears to me that the tract could be put to better use.  

Moving on, here is a bit more ephemera for you.
They used the style of hole marker in the photo until the late Twenties.  They switched to using red cloth flags after that.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/putting.jpg)
Title: Re: Overhills History w/ New Photos
Post by: Paul Stephenson on October 25, 2010, 11:40:08 AM
"I can't imagine the course was irrigated."

Paul:

Why not?



I just figured that with sand greens still being there in 1941 and reading about the "natural aesthetic" on the first page that they most likely would not have irrigated the fairways. 

I wasn't implying that it couldn't be done, I just don't think it was done.

Do you think those are irrigation lines down the middle of the fairways of the abandoned holes?
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: TEPaul on October 25, 2010, 03:12:32 PM
"Do you think those are irrigation lines down the middle of the fairways of the abandoned holes?"


That would be my first guess, but there is probably a very good way to find out.  ;)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Paul Stephenson on October 26, 2010, 09:50:50 AM
"Do you think those are irrigation lines down the middle of the fairways of the abandoned holes?"


That would be my first guess, but there is probably a very good way to find out.  ;)

I'd love to find out first hand, but unfortunately I'm just too far away.  However, there are "boots on the ground."
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on October 27, 2010, 07:44:24 PM
As you probably saw, the first journey out there was in the area of the 1st, 8th and 9th holes - as well as the buildings.  So the next trip will focus on the rest of the outward 9 - holes 2 through 7.  To make sure we don't wander around lost I've been looking at the maps and holes pretty closely.  I thought you might like to have a look as well.
Here is the area without any guiding points:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/overview900.jpg)

Based on old maps I was able to make sense of the vague green area in the first image:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/front9triptych.jpg)

In looking at these holes closely the 4th and the 6th seem to have the most character.  
The 4th was/is a winding 510 yard hole with a bunker to drive over and water to contend with.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4comp.jpg)
  
The antiquarian photo is from near the 3rd green looking back over the 4th hole and the sharp ridge that takes you to the 5th green/6th tee.  You can make out the dip in the 4th fairway where the natural stream is.  The bunker short right is on the 2nd hole.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4hx.jpg)

Google Earth is a remarkable program because not only can you get good aerials - you can flip back and forth between different times from the exact same vantage point.  The most amazingly aspect to me is that you can zoom down to ground level and look at the topography - which was done by NASA.  People seemed to be blasé about the imagery I've put up from the program before but I still find it stunning.  Oh well.
Here is an approximate look at the tee shot on the 4th.  It is (according to the Google program) exactly 135 to the front edge of the bunker and 168 to carry it.  That is a pretty good hit for 1915, isn't it?  
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4t.jpg)

From the far edge of the bunker to the front of the angled water is 170 yards - about 200 yards to carry it.  The dark area that just out from the left in front of the hazard is trees - so you would have to bend your shot around that if you were trying to get it over the hazard.  Note the hill to the right of the green.  It is higher than it appears here.  That where the 5th green/6th tee/gazebo was.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4f.jpg)

It is about 110 from the water to the green.  Probably you would lay up back then.  Your 3rd shot would look something like this:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4approach.jpg)

That is a curious line vertical line bunker elevated a bit and to the right of the green.  
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4b.jpg)

So that's the 4th hole.  I may post a similar examination of the 6th hole later but this will have to suffice for now.
I think I've got a pretty good idea what is going on out there.  I'll be out there very soon and will post the photos so you can have a look.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: TEPaul on October 28, 2010, 10:56:13 AM
Chris:

I missed your mention sometime ago of William Kent. It really is interesting when one begins to consider what some of the connections may be in some of these names.

Kent was obviously very closely connected to John Muir who probably can be considered to be the patron saint of the initial American environmental movement in the vehicle of state and national parks (see the Ken Burns documentary on American National Parks and its concentration on the likes of John Muir).

It probably isn't just a coincidence that the Rockefellers and particularly Laurence Rockefeller was one of America's most active and large-scale latter day environmentalists.

As "Deep Throat" said to the team of Woodward and Bernstein in their Watergate chronical, "Follow the money," it seems with this subject the most productive policy would be to "Follow the names and their connections."
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on October 28, 2010, 01:00:37 PM
Yes, Mr. Paul, I think we may have inadvertently stumbled upon a larger story with Overhills.  There are many cross-currents and dimensions that I wasn't aware of before looking into the history of the course.
To give it even more of an X-Files twist, Kent was associated with The Bohemian Club in Northern California.  As I said before, conspiracy theories don't interest me except for unintentional amusement.  But it is pretty clear that this was was an element of the Overhills story. 
Back to GCA, later today if I get the chance, I'll post a look at the hole that interests me the most out there: the 6th.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Lester George on October 28, 2010, 02:39:25 PM
Might the lines down the center of the abandoned holes be tracks where the caretaker travelled down the holes to maintain the property?  I have seen it before.

Lester
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: TEPaul on October 28, 2010, 03:12:25 PM
"As I said before, conspiracy theories don't interest me except for unintentional amusement.  But it is pretty clear that this was was an element of the Overhills story."


Chris:

I'm not sure I know what you're referring to when you mention conspiracy theories unless you're referring to the references I made to that 1991 book I mentioned entitled "The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush" by Webster Tarpley. When I read it the idea that it was some kind of a conspiracy theory book sure did cross my mind and that idea has not exactly crossed out of my mind either, despite the fact I sure was intriqued by some of it bibliography which apparently contains declassified material. My first thought, of course, was why would some of it have been classified in the first place?  ;)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Eric Pevoto on October 28, 2010, 03:16:23 PM
Strange that the property appears less treed in the later aerial than when it was a functioning golf course.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on October 28, 2010, 07:52:10 PM
The most intriguing hole on the course is the 6th. It is a 417.9 yard down and over hills gem. 
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6aerial.jpg)

The tee is located on the high point of the course next to the 5th green.  As was covered earlier, they loved this perch overlooking the property so much that they built a gazebo there.  We don't take afternoon tea or watch sunsets like they did there anymore and we are the lesser for it.  Obviously.
To give you an idea of the height, consider this photo of a gentleman who is apparently practicing his fox trot on that tee box.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/ft.jpg)

I'll be taking photos of the place very soon and very sotto voce but in the meantime I'm getting my bearings and having fun with the digital wizardry of Google Earth.  As you can see, the tee shot is considerably downhill.  Even more so than it appears in the old photo.  Photography sometimes doesn't quite seem to convey terrain with some drama to it.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6ta.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6old.jpg)

Looking back toward the tee from between the bunkers gives you something of an idea of the variation in height.  Do you suppose Ross walked the property found the hill and essentially arranged the front 9 according to that hill?
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6back.jpg)

Then the land rises again before going down once again to the green.  From this side angle view you can see how the land falls before cresting just past the bunkers.  The green is marked so you can see how the hole bends a bit to the right.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6fa.jpg)

This would be the approximate approach shot after a good drive.  The book (Overhills Oral History) said:
"A wiregrass mound on the left side of the fairway about 350 yards from the tee preceded two small bunkers flanking the green."
I can't make them out myself but I'm glad to know the description.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6a.jpg)

This side view shows how the land moves down from the fairway crest - then moves back up yet again.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6aside.jpg)

Finally, looking back from the green.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6green.jpg)

Quote
I'm not sure I know what you're referring to when you mention conspiracy theories
TEPaul

Mr. Paul there is a whole industry of conspiracy theories by delusional people regarding the JFK assassination, aliens, SPECTRE, fake moon landings, etc.  Buzz Aldrin actually punched out one guy that kept bugging him.  Many people actually believe all that.  It makes it a little difficult to look at anything close to their dubious realm.  This isn't to say that there aren't matters along those lines which aren't true.   
It could be very interesting if somebody that had credibility put together a nice exposition regarding the historic influence of secretive cabals.  Perhaps that is what happened with the Bush book you were referring to.   I wasn't denigrating you or the Bush book.  I'd have to look at it before I could render an opinion.  I'll take you at your word that it contains things that are true and provocative.  Again, I wasn't taking you to task in my commentary. 

Eric, I noticed that as well.  I'm not sure what could account for that.  Something or somebody did do a lot of tree removal though. 

Paul and Lester, I'll have a look at that in the future if I get the chance.  Nice observation on that Paul. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: PCCraig on October 29, 2010, 09:19:19 AM
Chris:

I'm loving the detailed hole descriptions and antique photos. When you first showed the overhead routing of the course I could tell #4 especially, and to an extent #6, would be somewhat interesting holes.

Seeing number six though in your detailed description shows that Ross made excellent use of the natural land contours and the two bunkers off the tee (excuse my blatent use of a modern GCA term) "frame" the tee shot perfectly.

The more you decribe the holes I keep thinking to myself "if this course was still around today, how would it play?" I keep thinking it wouldn't be the hardest or even the most interesting course in the area, but the idea that it would make for the perfect pleasant afternoon round....short and fun. Maybe almost like a Mid-Pines?
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on October 29, 2010, 03:05:39 PM
Just got back from the second trip out there.  I'll post more photos and comment later this evening.

The 6th tee is significantly more elevated than the photo shows.  There is a huge drop in height from tee to fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6tnew.jpg)

Looking back up to the 6th tee from the fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6fairway.jpg)

The pond on the long par-5 4th.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4pond.jpg)

Looking back from the pond area of the 4th.  More elevation change than I thought.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/z4fback.jpg)

Remnants of a bunker - a lot of those out there.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/bunker.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: PCCraig on October 29, 2010, 03:26:47 PM
Remnants of a bunker - a lot of those out there.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/bunker.jpg)

WOW! So neat...
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (2nd Trip Photos)
Post by: Jason Elwell on October 29, 2010, 03:49:37 PM
Chris, I am absolutely loving this topic. Please keep up the good work! It's fascinating to see the current state of the land and imagine what the course would have been like.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (2nd Trip Photos)
Post by: Chris Buie on October 29, 2010, 07:54:52 PM
Well lads, looks like I'm going to be busy tonight so I'll just post some photos now and bore you with the commentary later. 
Looking up to the 6th tee from the crest of the fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6fairway.jpg)

6th tee
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6tc.jpg)

The 5th hole is a very uphill 171 yards.  The 5th green is on the same high point as the 6th tee.  Looking down toward the 5th tee:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/5green.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/5fairway.jpg)

The 4th hole was particularly challenging to walk.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4walk.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/tall2.jpg)

Where once was a natural stream there are two ponds on the 4th fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4pond2.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4pond3.jpg)

Virginia found this empty turtle shell.  She was a great companion out there.  Her father is serving in Afghanistan right now.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/turtle.jpg)

Looking from the pond area back toward the 4th tee.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/z4fback.jpg)

Looking from the 4th fairway toward the green.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/4_2ndShot.jpg)

This is what wild wiregrass looks like.  It is on the edge of a bunker.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/wiregrass.jpg)

I'll post more later.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (2nd Trip Photos)
Post by: TEPaul on October 30, 2010, 12:24:36 AM
This NLE course is interesting but another I think is just as interesting or perhaps more so is Ross's course in Fort George Island Florida, the Ribault Club, which now looks almost completely similar in its state of obsolesence as Overhills. Its membership was once every bit as impressive as Overhills. The irony of the Ribault Club is their clubhouse which was of real building architectural significance has been restored in the last 2-3 years!
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (2nd Trip Photos)
Post by: Chris Buie on October 30, 2010, 02:00:19 PM
The area of holes 2-7 was quite overgrown and pretty rigorous to get through in places.  It made us appreciate the original efforts to clear the land by hand and mule.  That must have been quite an endeavor.  One thing to keep in mind about the course is that it was over 6500 yards.  This was in the 1910's mind you.
  
As I said before, photography (especially in the hands of amateurs) does not always communicate the contours of the land adequately. What is the first thing people say when they vistit Augusta in person?  Anyway, the land of Overhills has a great deal of character.  I expected the high point of 6 tee/5 green to have a considerable amount of drama.  It did.  The rest of the terrain exceeded my expectations.  The land bends this way and that, rises and falls - sometimes dramatically. I would estimate the elevation drop between the 6th tee and fairway to be about 120 feet.  
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6shortT.jpg)

I recently did a thread on a treeless Southern Pines GC.  One very knowledgable golf writer absolutely loved it but the vast majority of the responses on GCA were that people wanted to see the trees.  I disagree.  There would be more than enough trees on the perimeter and dotted here and there to know you are in the Sandhills of NC.  That plays into this view.  Or rather this very obstructed view.  Look at the difference between the photo and the image - from the same spot - looking the same way.  Which one do you prefer?  
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6view2.jpg)

The 375 yard 2nd hole decends more sharply than anticipated.  It originally had some interesting bunkering.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/2t.jpg)

Looking back toward 2 tee.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/2back.jpg)

The original 2nd hole.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/2old.jpg)

View from 6th fairway toward the green and the 7th tee.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/6fComparison.jpg)

We could discern where some of the bunkers were by the isolated clumps of pines.  The pines obviously found the bunkers a great place to sprout.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/bunker2.jpg)

As expected that gazebo was not there but there was the same sort of rain shelter that used to have on the Pinehurst courses.  
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/gazebo.jpg)

Florence Short:
"You know when I'd take friends down there was usually somebody that loved the golf course. And in earlier years, if you came earlier in the spring it would all be kind of purple with bluets growing. So you'd arrive and it would just be purple. So yeah, we liked the golf course."
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/purple.jpg)

More images:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/bulldog.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/nature.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/hunting.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/building.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/gang.jpg)
Title: A Closer Look at the First Hole
Post by: Chris Buie on November 02, 2010, 08:33:22 PM
A Closer Look at the First Hole

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/Hole1/1old.jpg)
The tee of the 451 yard par-5 1st hole was placed directly in front clubhouse.  Since the 9th green was right beside the 1st tee you would have a great view of the players coming in and going out while sitting on the veranda.  From the book about Overhills you can tell the tempo of the whole place was languid.  There was never any hurry - that was a major part of the ambiance.  
The tee shot goes up a gently rising hill.  Originally there was a rather fearsome, high banked bunker to catch the short right tee shot. Another bunker farther down on the left gave most players something to think about on their second shot.  The gentle hill crests some 200 yards off the tee and then the terrain descends gently - except on the left where it falls somewhat sharply into the 8th fairway.
So, as usual, Ross gave you a not terribly difficult hole to start out.  Remember, back in those days there was no practice tee.  You had to warm up on the course.  

Here is the view off the tee today.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/Hole1/main1.jpg)

The approach from approximately 220.  You can see the semi-famous hill of the 5th green/6th tee in the background.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/Hole1/1aB.jpg)

The following photo from the adjacent 8th tee shows how the land on the 1st crests then falls - sharply on the left side.  Note the clubhouse in the distance on the left.  The 1st actually played slightly at an angle - bending left to right.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/Hole1/1fside.jpg)

Looking back from the green.  You can make out where the hill crests.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/Hole1/1back.jpg)

The green area marks the tee.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/Hole1/1over.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on November 06, 2010, 12:21:39 PM
The back 9 hasn't really received a great deal of attention in the documents I've looked at.  A cursory glance is rather eye-brow raising for me though.  It was apparently over 3,500 yards in the 1910's.  That is extremely long is it not?  Hopefully, I'll have a look at this part of the estate soon.
Until then, happy golfing
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/scorecards.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/about.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on November 26, 2010, 12:03:04 PM
Things have been a bit too hectic lately to get out to the back nine - but I still definitely plan on visiting and photographing it soon.  In the meantime, I stumbled across the extraordinary story of a second artist - Percival Rousseau - that was part of the Overhills entourage.  (Paintings by the first artist, Ethel Peterson, were posted previously on this thread.)

Here is a passage from "Gray's Sporting Journal":
"Rosseau was already on the road to success, with patrons such as Clarence Mackay, president of the Postal Telegraph-Cable Co., and Percy Rockefeller, a director of Bethlehem Steel Corp., Remington Arms, and Western Union, to name a few. He traveled regularly from France to paint their favorite dogs at their private hunting clubs, such as Rockefeller’s Overhills Club in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where the magnate eventually built Rosseau a winter home, studio, and kennels."

Percival Rousseau's life is so interesting that it bears a brief mention here.  He was born into an aristocratic, slave holding family with a large plantation in Pointe Coupée Parish, Louisiana just before the Civil War.  His father, uncle, brothers and mother died in the conflict - and Sherman destroyed the plantation.  A slave saved him and he was raised in rural Kentucky. 
Another passage from Gray's Sporting Journal picks up his extremely circuitous route:

"At 17 he struck out on his own. For the first six years he worked as a cowboy, trading and driving cattle along the Chisholm Trail from Mexico to Kansas, shooting bison to feed his men. With his earnings he got into the lumber business, but lost his timber in an unrecoverable logjam while floating it down the Mississippi River. He then went to New Orleans and started a fruit import business that he moved to New York City. At 35 he’d amassed enough to retire on his investments.
In an amazing switch, the American entrepreneur set sail in 1894 for France to study art, traveling from San Francisco via Honolulu and Hong Kong. Onboard he met another orphan, Nancy Bidwell of Los Angeles—the first white child born in the Arizona Territory. They were married in 1897 and moved to France, where they raised two sons and many hunting dogs in their country home in Rolleboise, about 45 miles northwest of Paris along the Seine River, only a few miles from Giverny, where Claude Monet had lived since 1883.
Rosseau enrolled in the private art school, the Académie Julian, which was very progressive (it accepted women, foreign students, and serious amateurs), compared with the government-sanctioned École des Beaux-Arts."

After he matriculated at Académie Julian he eventually specialized in painting the beloved hunting dogs of various wealthy patrons.  Here is a painting he did called "Two Setters In A Cooling Stream On The Grounds Of Overhills":
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/rousseau.jpg)

That is actually not one of his better ones - but I'm posting this one because it has Overhills in the title.  His work is highly prized in certain circles.  If you can believe it, one of his dog paintings sold for 120K.
Every time I get a chance to look into this place another striking element comes up.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Tommy Williamsen on November 27, 2010, 10:57:11 AM
What happened to the pictures?  They seem to be lost.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Tommy Williamsen on November 27, 2010, 08:03:32 PM
SOmehow the pics returned.  Great stuff.  Too bad it is a lost course.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on November 28, 2010, 02:03:00 PM
Oh, I wouldn't say it was lost just yet.   ;)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on December 05, 2010, 06:36:27 AM
So I know where I am and what I'm looking at for my upcoming visit to the inward nine I've been looking quite closely at some maps and images. I thought some of you may enjoy having a look at the imagery as well. I'm also trying to determine the quality of the inward part. It is clear that the outward nine is a very fine piece of work.  Is the back a worthy companion? It is only in looking at this that I realized I haven't played a Ross where the two halves of the course didn't really go together. I've played a lot of Ross courses and not all were high quality - but even with those courses the two sides of the course always melded together quite well. That is not the case with all architects work.
The first thing to note about the inward half is that it was abandoned (probably in the late Thirties) and was modified as well as restored by Avery Rockefeller (who succeeded his father as estate squire) in the Fifties. There were three significant alterations: the 510 yard 11th hole was divided into two holes. It became a 372 yard par-4 (the 11th) and a 140 yard par-3 (the 12th). The second major change is that the original 146 yard 14th was abandoned. The third major change is that the gargantuan 585 yard 15th was seriously shortened to become a par-4. (That 585 yard hole was designed in 1913, mind you.) Other than the abandoned 14th there was apparently no change in the routing. The rest of the holes play pretty much the same as when Ross originally designed it.
If a restoration was going to take place and it was up to me I would without a doubt go back to the original version.
Let's have a look at the images and see if we can determine the quality of the inward nine.

Here we have an early photograph of how it originally played.  The 14th is just out of range at the top.  As you can see the 15th was practically joined to the polo field.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/routing.jpg)

Here is a look at the 423 yard 10th as it was - with the tee bottom right.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/10old.jpg)

10th tee today: As usual, photography doesn't convey the drama of the contours because I clearly remember being struck by the dip in the fairway being more striking than it appears here.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/10t.jpg)
(I didn't know what it was on my first visit - and it is the only photo of the back thus far.)

An old view of the 510 yard 11th.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/12.jpg)

Most of the interesting terrain of the 11th is short right of the green. That ground would catch the ball that rolls too closely and take it down the hill a ways.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/11a.jpg)

As you can see from this comparison of the original 411 yard 12th to the more modern version, it plays pretty much the same. That is, disregarding the unappealing tree growth.  That is largely the story of the entire back nine.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/12-13.jpg)

Here is a look at the 12th from a short distance in front of the tee. That land really moves.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/12a.jpg)

It is 264 yards from the tee to the front edge of the water on the 338 yard 13th. It is a straight away tee shot but the land falls sharply about 200 yards out.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/13o.jpg)

A view from off the left side gives you an idea of the land of the 13th moves.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/13s.jpg)

Looking back from the 13th green.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/13g.jpg)

From the original 1913 map below you can see where the 14th was in relation to the 13th. It seems uncharacteristic of Ross to have you walk a distance from the green to the next tee. The 14th was abandoned in the Fifties when they chopped the 11th into two holes. Note that as with the 4th hole it was originally a stream rather than a pond.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/1314.jpg)

At 585 yards the original 15th had to be one of the longest holes in the world for 1913 - perhaps even the longest? It doesn't appear that Ross put much serious challenge in the hole other than pure distance. Below is a view looking back from the 15th green. I bet the land moves more than it appears here. I'll find out soon.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/15g.jpg)

The 395 yard 16th hole. Modern view.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/16o.jpg)

Looking back from the 16th green you can see that there are yet more interesting twists and turns on the inward land.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/16b.jpg)

Modern aerial of the 371 yard 17th.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/17o.jpg)

Look how much more open it was originally. More fun, more strategy. Green bottom right.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/17oldA.jpg)

View from the 17th tee - seriously undulating land here.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/17t2.jpg)

Not only does the 17th cant dramatically right to left - it also goes up and down the hills. View from off the left side of fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/17s.jpg)

The 338 yard 18th - green at top.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/18o.jpg)

Early overview of the 18th.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/old18.jpg)

View from the 18th tee. Remarkable terrain. From the tee the land falls then rises - canting significantly right to left. An interesting hole to be sure.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/18t.jpg)

Looking back from the 18th green.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/18g.jpg)

And so...from looking at the above images it appears to me that the inward nine is a worthy companion to the outward half. The inward clearly does not have a lack of compelling terrain - and Ross appears to have fashioned an interesting loop from that land.
In reading about the course it was not apparent that the back had the merit that the front did. It seemed that if there was a restoration that it may perhaps be best just to save the celebrated front. However, after studying the inward nine closely I would have to recommend preserving that as well.
Title: The Story of Overhills (Feb. 2011 Back 9 Photos)
Post by: Chris Buie on February 14, 2011, 02:56:34 PM
Here are the photos from today's little trip out to see the Overhills back 9 for the first time.  I'll comment on it later when I have time.

12 fairway toward the green.  This is one of the two main areas I wanted to see due to the fact that the terrain looked particularly nice on the maps.  You can tell how the fairway dips down and to the left before reaching the green.  There were people working around the green with the prescribed burn - so I didn't go up there.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/12fToGreen.jpg)

The fairway of the 1913 hole that was 585 yards long - #15.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/15fToGreen.jpg)

15 green - it really drops off over the back.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/15green.jpg)

16 fairway.  The hole bends to the right then dips down to a pond with a green on the hill beyond.  Trees are in front of the pond in this photo.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/16dip.jpg)

16 bunker.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/16bunker.jpg)

16 pond.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/16pond.jpg)

About 80 yards in front of the 17 tee looking toward the green.  This was the other area I was interested in.  The fairway is fabulous.  This hole bends right to left and your tee shot finds terrain tilting right to left as well.  Nice routing with the last hole bending the opposite way.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/17f.jpg)

Looking back from 17 fairway toward the tee.  The terrain really turns so well out there.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/17back.jpg)

This was the biggest surprise.  With the exception of a few holes, most of the Overhills drama is in the fairways.  However, the 18th tee shot is quite something.  The photo doesn't convey the actual thing.  Hit over a pond to a seriously canting right to left fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/18t.jpg)

I really was impressed with the 18th tee shot.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/18tB.jpg)

The terrain of this course is most likely the best in the NC Sandhills.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (Feb. 2011 Back 9 Photos)
Post by: Ed Oden on February 14, 2011, 09:38:33 PM
Chris, very cool pictures.  The burn seems to have opened up some of the corridors so that you can really envision the holes.

By sheer coincidence, I was flipping through Wexler's "Missing Links" book tonight and noticed a reference to a 1917 Golf Illustrated article on Overhills.  I found the article in the USGA's archives.  Here is a link (it takes awhile to download)...  http://photoarchive.usga.org/mbwtemp/February%201917.pdf   I wasn't sure if this has been posted before so I thought I would do so just in case.  The article is on pages 19-20.

Ed
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (Feb. 2011 Back 9 Photos)
Post by: PCCraig on February 15, 2011, 08:24:17 AM
Very cool Chris! Thanks for the extra pictures... :)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (Feb. 2011 Back 9 Photos)
Post by: Chris Buie on February 15, 2011, 08:51:52 AM
Once again we have another valuable contribution from Ed Oden.  Although I'd come across references, I hadn't read that article before. So thanks again Ed.
Nice to hear from you as well Pat!
It is somewhat interesting because the photo above the title in the 1917 article is the same shot I took yesterday.  The antiquarian photo is much better though.  (BTW, what is that white area short left of the green?)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/16approach.jpg)
I was asked privately if the prescribed burn might have to do with possibly restoring the course.  The answer is: not yet. 
Overhills is clearly an upper tier Ross.  Could we put it in his top twenty?  Others on the board here would do a better job of assessing the matter along those lines. 
When you combine the unique historic nature of the estate with such a fabulous course it is a compelling case for restoration.  Would this course not be the dream course for a restoration expert?  You can't restore #1 or #3 Course exactly how they were because houses were plopped down on the handiwork.  That is not the case with Overhills.  It could be restored exactly as Ross had it.  If it was and you were out there one sunny afternoon you would be staggered.  Since it has hardwoods as well as pines there would be lovely hues going on in the autumn as well as the spring.
It is possible. 
You may be surprised.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (A Few More Photos)
Post by: Chris Buie on February 16, 2011, 01:15:19 PM
The approach to 7 is significantly uphill.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/7toGreen)

Looking up toward the 8th tee.  A seriously downhill tee shot followed by a seriously uphill approach.  The hole bends significantly to the left - with the terrain tilting left to right. 
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/8toGreen.jpg)

This angle from right of the 8th fairway give you an idea of the great contour of the hole.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/8sideToGreen.jpg)

The approach to 8 - with the Croatan Lodge in the background.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/8approach.jpg)

The 8th bunker and green.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/8bunk&Green.jpg)

If you were to slice your tee shot on the 10th, this is where you would be.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/10dip.jpg)

11th fairway.  The burn did a really good job of clearing the land.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/11fairway.jpg)

12th tee.  One of the best holes on the course.  As you can see, the land goes straight for about 240 yards before turning down and to the left.  So it is a bit of a speed slot if you could carry your tee shot to the descending area. 
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/12tee.jpg)

A closer look at the 12 fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/gca/12fL.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (A Few More Photos)
Post by: Andy Hughes on April 12, 2011, 02:30:59 PM
Missed this thread the first time around, and thought maybe others would want to see it.  What a fascinating series--thanks Chris.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (Streams and Ponds)
Post by: Chris Buie on April 13, 2011, 07:38:28 PM
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/kentMap1.jpg)

The most notable aspect of the Kent-Jordan map is the way the streams run across the course. Those streams were quite important in the way Ross chose to route the course. To explain why they were important lets have a look at a quote from the 1917 Golf Illustrated magazine by one of the original owners:

"Here, Mr. Ross, you have 3,500 acres of property to choose from.  I want a golf course that will have no superior - you are the doctor and do anything you want to - and do not consider expense when making your plans, you have an absolutely free hand."

With those marching orders you can be sure that Ross really thought through how this course would play.  The man from Dornoch would have undoubtedly given great consideration to each element. Hence the importance of how he worked with the natural streams there. They were an important strategic part of the course.
A totally free rein with 3,500 acres of ideal rolling, sandy loam golfing land - with cost not being an issue?  A very talented architect pointedly told to create the best course in the land?  That is a dream project is it not?  You can see why it turned out to be such a special course. Couple that with the fascinating historical dimension - the beautiful remaining buildings - and the fact that the land is entirely in tact...
I think you can see why I've been advocating a proper restoration.  
 
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/kentmap2.jpg)

Consider the 15th hole (above).  At 585 yards in 1913 it was easily one of the longest holes in the world - if not the longest. And originally it had a stream not too far from the green - perhaps 40 yards.  The stream running across the hole gave the 15th a significantly different complexion as far as strategy and aesthetics go than it later had without it.

On holes 4 and 13 there are ponds where the streams were. The strategy of the holes would remain essentially the same with either form of water.  So, here we are talking about aesthetics rather than strategy - native areas vs. areas not so artfully fashioned by the hands of man. The importance of golfers communing with native areas vs. unnatural man made elements is a very large topic but I will mercifully spare you my thoughts on that topic for now.

The 14th:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/14.jpg)

The 14th is an interesting topic for a few reasons. I don't ever recall seeing a hole with a stream running vertically up the middle from the tee all the way up to the green. Standing on the tee of this 146.3 yard hole the water would dominate your thinking.  And you would have to be artful with that stroke to keep the guttie dry. You couldn't really run it up to the green - you had to carry it the full distance - slightly uphill.  It wasn't a mere connecting hole before tackling (probably) the longest hole in the world.  
In fact, for a couple of reasons it is very likely Ross was particularly keen on 14. First, the tee is not right beside the 13th green.  You had to walk back (over a stream) a little more than Ross liked to have you do to reach the 14th tee.  The second reason is that the 15th may have ended up being such a mammoth hole to accommodate where he wanted #14.  A 585 yard hole was way out of character for that time. It may have ended up being such an unusually long hole so he could have the 14th as it was.  So for these two reasons I think he particularly liked the way 14 set up.  It appears he went out of his way to put it there.
A little before WWII the back 9 was shut down.  In the 1950's Percy Rockefeller decided to resurrect the back 9.  They made the long 11th hole into two holes - and got rid of the 14th altogether.  The 15th was seriously shortened, as well.  A proper restoration would absolutely need to put the original 14th back.
It would be much preferable to have it reinstated with a stream rather than one of those unnatural RTJ type bass fishing ponds.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/oldMap4.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (Streams and Ponds)
Post by: Chris Buie on April 22, 2011, 06:14:47 PM
The natural streams were not the only part of Overhills that changed a great deal over time.  The bunkers went through an even more radical transformation. Ross meticulously chose the placement of some rather fearsome hazards to give a real challenge for those attempting to play ambitious shots.  As with many of the great early courses these distinctive bunkers have not fared well at all over time.
The top right bunker in the photo of the first hole below is interesting for a couple of reasons.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/hole1defang.jpg)
First, you can see from the vintage photo that it was a truly formidable element to contend with.  Look how high it was mounded! If you put it in there you were going to have to do be quite artful to retain a par - or even bogey really.  The hole plays quite a bit differently in the 1993 satellite photo because - well, that bunker is not there at all!
The second aspect of that bunker that I find interesting is that Ross is very well known for allowing the golfer a chance to warm up a bit before giving him/her some really trying scenarios.  As you can see that was not the case with this course.  On your very first shot you had this sinister little monster leering at you. And that wasn't the only difficult element for the first shot to contend with.  The hole turns curiously to the right a bit - but the land slopes sharply down to the left just off the fairway.  
In other words, if you attempted to play safely left of the bunker and did not pull the shot off it would bound down the hill to a very troublesome position.  That is a very uncharacteristic opening hole for Ross.  Right away the player is informed that this particular 18 hole journey is going to be filled with all sorts of multi-faceted dramas.

Moving on, you can see another example of how Overhills bunkering changed greatly on the 8th fairway below.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/defang1.jpg)

The vintage photo above again shows a dramatic element for the golfer to contend with while the latter image shows this tepid little sandy affair with no personality or distinctive characteristics at all. Very bland.

Lets have a look at one more example.  Did you notice it in the first image?  In the foreground - beneath where the first fairway starts is the green of the 156 yard 9th hole.  As you can see it has a serious bunker short right (from the players perspective). And as with the fairway bunker on the first hole...it was entirely removed by the later custodians.  Obviously this is a major change in the architecture, strategy and emotion for the player facing such a hazard.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/9green.jpg)
We are all quite familiar with the theme of a master architects work being modified over time.  As I've said elsewhere I don't think there was any bad intent on the part of the custodians.  I think they didn't understand what they had on their hands.  In his day Bach was, to a large extent, viewed as a mere craftsman - not as a genius who was turning out transcendent works of profound lasting value.  I think perhaps there is something of a similarity with a few of the earlier golf architects.  In the eyes of the majority they were viewed as craftsmen - gifted perhaps - but the lofty art of some of the works were clearly not fully appreciated by the majority.  That is all too evident from the way so many of the major works have been blithely reworked.  There was little if any hesitation in changing some of the masterpieces - although I do think that has changed to a degree now.
In any case, as you can see from how this thread has evolved, the closer I've looked at this particular work the more I've come to really appreciate what a surprisingly wonderful exposition it is.  This is in large part due to the fact that Ross was given a huge amount of ideal golfing land to choose from - with no demands whatsoever except that it have no superior.  What came out of this scenario is one of the most compelling courses he ever designed.  The fairways in particular were brilliantly worked through those hills.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (That Diabolical 3rd Hole)
Post by: Chris Buie on April 27, 2011, 02:52:35 PM
See any magic in this aerial? No?

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/blank.jpg)

Well, lets have a closer look at this hole that hasn't been examined here yet - the 3rd.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/waste.jpg)

What exactly do we have going on here?
At the original distance of 207.7 yards (much later shortened) it was a pretty strong par-3. Except...it was not a par-3. Ross laid it out as a 2 shot hole. What par number is assigned to a hole doesn't really concern me - the way a hole plays is the real matter of interest. I bring up the fact that this 208 yard hole was deemed a par-4 simply because it indicates something uncommon.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/card.jpg)

Actually, what it really is is a drivable par-4 - or a half par hole. Yet another unexpectedly intriguing twist. Most architects would have just dialed in a standard linking hole - a pro forma 3-par - maybe cover their lack of vision and talent with some flowers or a nice bass fishing pond?
That is not what he went for. Why? Because when presented with a viable scenario (time, funds, terrain, etc.) this Scotsman was not content with mere competence. On a much earlier entry on this thread I said that genius has the person much more than the person has genius. In the case of Mr. Ross at Overhills his inherent nature propelled him to forge a set of holes with an unusually high caliber of playing interest. That Ross brought the entire weight of his creative powers to bear on this course is evident. That was not the case with all of his courses.
As you can see from the following image, with it's significant incline it played longer that 207.7 - and, of course, that was quite a distance in 1913.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/3contour.jpg)

The way the double incline plays on this hole is not something you often see - deliberately so. It is nice to see a well laid out hole that doesn't immediately remind you a a style you've seen a thousand times before. That can be good as well, but not as impressive. From the tee you could make out the rising terrain just in front of the green - but there was another hill directly in front of the teeing area - obscuring much of the hole.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhillsback/double.jpg)

As you can see, beyond this first hill the terrain drops down a considerable amount before a fairly sharp rise to the green. You weren't able to see what fiendish elements awaited the short or mis-hit effort. Even if you knew from previous playings or were bright enough to scope the hole while playing the 2nd (definitely a recommended practice for playing this course) - you were none-the-less vexed with the approaching tee shot. I've said on other threads that half-par holes tend to be more interesting than standard length holes. The player is required to exercise a measure of creativity. The way of playing is not entirely dictated to the player - a much more interesting proposition. As far as I'm concerned every course should have at least one half par hole.
So, what exactly did Mr. Ross have waiting for you in that short fairway? As you can see from the first image above the area was dominated by a sandy native area. That adds yet more interest to the little hole because you could not just poke it over the hill and end up with a nice little pitch. As you know, a sandy natural area is unpredictable. You may or may not get a good lie. Who wants golfing predictability all day long? What's interesting about that? But even a good lie on such an area requires more skill and nerve than a shot from the manicured fairway.

The majority of players at the time were not going to reach a 208 yard uphill hole in one shot. Most of them would simply attempt to drive it over the waste area - perhaps a 150 yard carry - which would be a pretty good stroke at the time. If your ball came to rest on that considerably uphill area between the sandy part and the green then you were left with a challenging pitch - a fairly blind one - especially with the short flagsticks they originally had. To complicate the hole a bit more there wasn't really any bail out room left or right. That is a little unusual. I'm surprised there wasn't more room left of the waste area - considering the challenge level of the hole. There was a tree right of the native area to complicate bailing right.

So, that is my take on the 3rd. A hole with no shortage of interest and certainly very worthy of being included on this exceptional course. Yet again I didn't expect to find something so intriguing. I just picked this hole at random to examine in my spare time. And looking very closely found yet more remarkable playability woven through those mysterious hills.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/putting.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (That Diabolical 3rd Hole)
Post by: DMoriarty on April 28, 2011, 02:21:39 AM
Chris,

I was looking at this excellent thread the earlier today and then just happened to stumble across the following article in the February 1917 Golf Illustrated.  You may already have it, but if not it may fill in some details on the early history and development of the course.   

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v249/dmoriarty/Golf%20Courses/Overhills191702GI.jpg?t=1303971095)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v249/dmoriarty/Golf%20Courses/Overhills191702G2.jpg?t=1303971381)

Sorry about the blur.  I can only guess who they had working the camera the day the USGA digitized those pages.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (That Diabolical 3rd Hole)
Post by: Chris Buie on April 28, 2011, 11:55:38 AM
Mr. Moriarty, nice to hear from you - and yes, that is a particularly illuminating article.  Ed Oden was kind enough to point it out to me a bit earlier but I'm glad to see it posted here - so thank you for taking the time to put that up for people to read. I have the magazine in a .pdf format and should be able to transpose it to regular text.  I'll try to get around to that soon.
By the way, I'm told that if a restoration were to take place it would have to be privately funded. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (That Diabolical 3rd Hole)
Post by: DMoriarty on April 28, 2011, 05:37:56 PM
Please call me David and I hope you don't mind if I continue to call you Chris.

Out of curiosity I took a look at some old newspaper articles which may shed some further light on the subject of the golf course and development.  I don't want to reinvent the wheel or step on your presentation, so I will provide a brief synopsis of what I could glean and post just one article relating to the golf course.

So far as I can tell, Mr. Jordan was the major driving force behind the project and I get the strong impression that, going back to 1911 or before, his interest was in developing the land.  He and another partner, Paul Lindley, reportedly had planned a model town ("Pinewild") on part of the land and agriculture on portions of the rest.  As you can see by the article below, it looks as if the clubhouse had been built in 1913 and the golf course was being built.  I also found a report of golfers who traveled to play the course if February 1914 but were snowed out.  

Around 1916 or before it looks as is Jordan was focused on making the project into a Pinehurst style resort, and their are reports of the golf course being build and/or improved during this time period, and multiple reports from the spring of 1916 that Mr. Jordan had a 200 room hotel planned for the property.  

The development was reportedly being backed by New York money, and this may be where Rockefeller and friends became involved.   On November 25, 1916 the Greensboro Daily News reported that Mr. and Mrs. Jordan were entertaining Percy Rockefeller,  V. Everett Macy, Frederick P. Delafield, Eugene Mawkins, Mr. Whitman, and Mr. Holter, and they they would spend their time hunting and golfing.   On March 31, 1917 the Greensboro Daily Record reported that, according to Mr. Jordan, he had bought out Kent's interest in the land and in Buckthorn Lodge Assn, Inc. and had taken on as partners Rockefeller, Macy, and Harriman, and others, but that Mr. Jordan had an interest equal to any of his partners and would continue to direct the projects.

Sorry if this is all review for you, but I don't recall seeing much on this early period in the thread although I could be misremembering.  

Here is one article concerning the development of the clubhouse, the golf course, and the change of name of the project.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v249/dmoriarty/Golf%20Courses/Overhills19130811GrnsbroDailyRecord.jpg?t=1304025288)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (That Diabolical 3rd Hole)
Post by: Chris Buie on April 28, 2011, 06:35:14 PM
David, I'm glad to have your input and feel free to put forth any facts you stumble upon.  And, of course, please do call me Chris.  What you are saying is correct - except it is even more complicated than that.  It is a very, very intricate story especially those early years when it was being formed - and even before that. In fact, Leonard Tufts - owner of Pinehurst and son of its founder was briefly attached. Apparently he considered connecting what was to become Overhills all the way over to Pinehurst! Here is a paragraph straight from OVERHILLS ORAL HISTORY by Jeffrey D. Irwin and Kaitlin O’Shea:

The Croatan Club began to transition to a new era in 1910. James Woodward died in 1910 and General John Gill’s interest in the estate seemed to have waned. Replacing the Croatan founders were proprietors James F. Jordan and, at least briefly, Leonard Tufts, owner of the nearby Pinehurst resort. Tufts, who managed a 40,000 acre shooting preserve in Pinehurst, apparently entertained the notion of connecting Croatan Club with Pinehurst and developing a game preserve and resort. His commitment was fleeting however, as he sold his interest only two months following his and Jordan’s acquisition proposal to the Croatan Club. Tufts was quickly replaced by William Kent, at the time a newly elected California congressman. By the spring of 1911, Kent and Jordan created the Kent-Jordan Company and acquired the Croatan Club.


I've been learning the details of the whole affair as I've gone along.  It has always been known in the area as the Rockefeller estate - and their family lived there for the better part of a century. But clearly it would be incorrect to say that they initiated it. 
David, I'll send you the information I have so you can have a look at that era if you care to.  As you can see I've been looking mainly at the playability of the course - but the business relationships are fascinating as well.  I just haven't gotten around to going through that material just yet.  I would be quite happy to have you do the analysis of that aspect if you are interested.
There are even more intricate dimensions to the story that would make worthy topics of study - like what went on when the Army purchased it - what they say they need it for.  A lot of information worth looking at there as well.  This entry has been a little rushed and I've got to run now but would enjoy discussing it further and seeing what you come up with.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (That Diabolical 3rd Hole)
Post by: DMoriarty on April 28, 2011, 07:35:32 PM
Chris,

I've emailed you a few of the articles for you to do with what you see fit.   

One thing I find interesting is that that course was apparently intended to be a resort course and before that perhaps part of a planned community. One of the articles I sent did reference the "Overhills Country Club" but I do not think it was unusual for resort courses to double as private country clubs.   In fact something about this whole scenario reminds me of ANGC's history, with the early intentions of development and a hotel, but with a drastically different ultimate outcome.  The course itself looks like it was very interesting.   I'd love to know what was there in 1913-1914 and what was added later. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (A Visit in the Month of May)
Post by: Chris Buie on May 15, 2011, 10:58:33 AM
I gave a friend that is knowledgable about GCA a tour out there last Saturday. Upon finishing a look at the whole course I asked him if I had been overstating the quality. He said 'no' rather definitively. After digesting the course for a day he said it was, in fact, "the real deal".

It was remarkable to see how quickly the turf (common bermuda) and other plant life has grown back since the prescribed burn a little less than 3 months ago. Looking toward the 1st green:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/1comp.jpg)

Another example of rapid regrowth from the 16th:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/16comp.jpg)

This visit gave me a chance to view the only corner of the course I had yet to visit: the 12th green area and the 13th hole. Looking from behind the 12th green toward the fairway:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/12back.jpg)

Here is an antiquarian photo (from Golf Illustrated) of the same area from the opposite perspective:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/12approach.jpg)

The 338 yard 13th is a solid hole with terrain that ascends mildly...
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/13t.jpg)

...then decends significantly to a pond (originally a stream). The green is perhaps 40 yards up another hill past the pond. Looking back from near the green:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/13lookBack.jpg)

As you can (sort of) see a good drive would leave a downhill lie - with a shot to an uphill green. Although 13 (which originally was something of a cape) is not the best hole on the course, it is a good example of the essential nature of Overhills. As you know, the original course featured sand greens - so there were no examples (to my knowledge) of that exquisite green contouring Ross later developed. The magic of this course is in the way the rolling land turns - and the precise way he chose to work with it. I don't think the Ross magic is the kind that is entirely obvious. Stand on, say, the 16th hole of Cypress Point and you won't have to have the keenest powers of perception to greatly appreciate the matter before you. Ross in general and Overhills in particular don't elicit that level of automatic wonderment. Although there is more than a measure of obvious charm you would have to spend a considerable amount of time on sight to properly absorb how the combination of elements play into an overall picture which ultimately recommend Overhills as a place somewhere in that group of courses which should be kept for succeeding generations of golfers to experience. It's not my contention that it is one of the worlds best courses - although, properly presented, it would be a very, very good course. But I would place it on a not entirely long list of American courses which do merit a special effort to be preserved by the golfing architecture community.  It almost seems like a duty - like it would not be ok to let this remarkable place just fade away.
Something along those lines.

Moving back from tangential thoughts, one of things that struck the my friend was the reddish plant which grows there naturally in abundance. It does add a nice dimension to the color pallet. (The color in the photo is not enhanced)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/sorghum.jpg)

I think it is called sorghum - could be wrong about that. I'm not sure if that has ever intentionally been included on a golf course - not to my knowledge. It is an appealing color and looks like a properly nettlesome element for the wayward drive to contend with. Does it not remind you of the heather adjacent to some of those storied GB/I links? Yet, native to the area. Seems like it could possibly be a good thing to incorporate one way or the other.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/sorghumClose.jpg)

The 15th and 16th fairways do not have an abundance of the highly compelling terrain which most of the course has. It seems possible the 16th fairway in particular was flattened at some point. (See the photo above) How can that deduction be drawn? The rumbling areas left and right of the fairway do not match up with how the terrain goes on the hole. That wasn't my insight. If the 15th and 16th fairways do not embody the fascinating turns of the rest of the course, this is more than made up for by the 371 yard 17th - which has a fabulously contouring fairway. "A 10 out of 10" according to my friend. The 18th, well, that hole has no flat area on the fairway. However, the farther you hit it the more level the lie. I didn't take any photos that would adequately convey 17 and 18. But in lieu of that I'll leave you with a photo which I think embodies the sort of F. Scott Fitzgerald spirit of the place at its height in the 1920's.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills/Golf/1920sB.jpg)

The above photo is courtsey of the North Carolina State Archives. The young ladies are both Rockefellers (Elmira and Faith). The name of the gentleman in the middle is lost to antiquity.
Title: The Story of Overhills (7th Hole)
Post by: Chris Buie on August 24, 2011, 11:02:48 AM
Ordinarily I wouldn't bother to take an even closer look at the details of this design. However, since Overhills is a special case - on many levels - continuing the analysis of this superior design does not appear to be entirely unwarranted.
So, lets have a look at the straight away 384 yard 7th hole.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/tee.jpg)

To start, it is perhaps best to look at it in the context of the holes it is placed between. The 6th and 8th are exceptionally crafted - especially the 6th. It is always interesting to see what goes on with the holes that link areas the designer is obviously keen on. Will the designer be able to conjure a worthy companion with what lies between?
The first thing that is evident about the 7th is that it is pretty sharply uphill. 384 uphill yards in the 1910's was a very formidable proposition.
Here are some images which give you an idea of how the terrain rises - and, of course, it is far more striking in person.
The first image is from below the 6th tee - with the 7th in the distance:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/7uphill.jpg)

This Google Earth image shows how the terrain rises sharply for about 200 yards - then levels off somewhat - then rises gently toward the green.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/7t.jpg)

As the 7th appears today:
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/7toGreen.jpg)

The golfer has just contended with a longish, severely uphill 3-par, and a long 4-par. Now they are faced with another demanding shot. Clearly, Overhills was intended as a full blooded affair all around - not just a nice little jaunt for the landed gentry. In fact, in my opinion, it may have been calibrated a little too highly on the difficulty level for the time. It would be fabulous now - and in the years following its Twenties hey day - but at the time...a very strenuous endeavor.
A bunker was placed in the middle of the fairway to challenge and guide the tee shot. It took perhaps 120 very uphill yards to carry this bunker. So, not an extreme challenge, but you can be sure more than a few mis-hit hickory drivers found the early hazard.
Moving on, the 2nd shot is by far the most interesting part of the hole. The features which come into play at this point are the ones that make the 7th worthy of this course.
A good drive - not too much farther than 200 uphill yards was most likely going to leave you with one of the more lofted woods (cleek, baffing spoon or bulldog) to gain the green. You would want to make a very solid strike because a wayward shot at this point was going to become entangled with some rather sinister elements.
This very early image has the tee at the bottom.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/7old.jpg)

As you can see in the image just above, Ross placed a second uncommon vertical bunker right in the middle of the fairway - with a very contentious native area covering the entirety of fairway right - for a considerable distance. It could possibly make for exquisite aesthetics as well as interesting playability if the naturalistic area was made up of the reddish plant which was discussed earlier. By the way I'm told that plant is most likely something commonly called "sour grass" aka Rumex Acetosella. I'm pretty sure this is the plant I saw a little bit of on Pinehurst #2 recently. I wonder if it would be a good idea to encourage that plant on #2? Picture a reddish sheen waving along in concert with the wiregrass, hillocks and towering pines...something to consider. Here is a photo of it on the 11th hole of #2 Course.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/rumex.jpg)

The typical American architect of the post war years would have never put in that centralized second bunker. They would probably bulldoze in one of those lovely Rees Jones bass fishing ponds where the native area was as well. Yawn. In fact, in later years that is exactly what they did - except they let huge trees grow where the wild area was. Honestly. This image below is a perfect example of how the custodians across the USA went so very far afield from from the intrinsic playing values many of the masterworks offered. The good news is the barbaric practices of these well meaning but very misguided chaps can be reversed - brilliantly - as we just saw with Overhills next door neighbor - in Pinehurst.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overback/7comp.jpg)

So, those two elements - the second vertical, centered bunker and the native area are what give this hole personality and elevated playing interest. This natural area reached all the way into the center of the fairway - not a common scenario. If these features were part of a USA members course in the post war golfing world you can be sure they would not last long at all.
In fact, that is exactly what happened to the most comparable hole I'm aware of - the original 8th on Pinehurst #3. (http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,44652.0.html). The hole on 3 Course had a much more artful bunker presentation than the one on Overhills. The 2nd fairway bunker on the 7th of Overhills could benefit from the efforts of one of those very talented shapers that are doing such fantastic work these days.

It's interesting to me because on here we occasionally talk about whether or not it takes time before one can fully appreciate a course. My intermittent looks into the logic behind the Overhills design has taught me that it does indeed take an in depth look to appreciate superior designs. You could breeze through and probably enjoy the ride - but you'd be missing much of the story. And a proper course does tell a story - like a book with 18 chapters.
Title: Photos
Post by: Chris Buie on November 14, 2011, 11:37:16 AM
Just some images that haven't been posted before that I thought some of you might like to look through.

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/1_pineAndOakWovenTogether.jpg)

Native wiregrass
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/2naturalWiregrass.jpg)

Croatan House
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/3IMG_0983.jpg)

A mural inside Croatan
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/4croatanbird.jpg)

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/5_DSCN0345.jpg)

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/6_flowers.jpg)

Rolling terrain on the 15th fairway.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/7_IMG_0089.jpg)

10th tee shot.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/8_10t.jpg)

Croatan porch
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/9_IMG_0987.jpg)

Croatan living room - with the 8th green a mere 20 yards outside the bay window.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/10_IMG_0990.jpg)

The greenside bunker of the 15th - with the remnants of that bunker in the photo below.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/15b.jpg)
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/15g.jpg)

The "sleeping porch" on Croatan overlooks 9 green and 1 fairway. Sleeping outside was thought to be health enhancing - and cooler in the summer.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/16a.jpg)

The fireplace in the Harriman living room.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/IMG_0978.jpg)

10th tee area - in front of where clubhouse was - looking toward Croatan.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/IMG_0973.jpg)

Croatan side
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/corSide.jpg)

Cactus being an indicator of the sandy loam soil.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/cactus.jpg)

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/overhills2/DSCN0331.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on April 06, 2012, 09:36:29 PM
So I was flipping around the TV the other evening and caught the latter part of this movie that could not help but put me in the mind of Overhills - quite unexpectedly. It's a slightly sappy movie but never the less does resonate on a level that movies aren't commonly crafted well enough to reach. And I had to laugh a little bit because there was some sort of sympatico with a guy going on and on about a little field in an obscure place he thought was magic on a profound level while most people could just literally walk right through without sensing much at all.

From the previous explorations which have taken place through this article you can see the exquisite convergence of elements which make up Overhills. However, there is - potentially - quite a bit more to this subject than that.

Follow along for a bit, if you would, and let me put a concept out their for your consideration.

The core of the concept is that we've been at war for about a decade. The longest in the nations history. And...not all of the guys came back ok. For several worthy individuals that went into the most extreme situations to keep your family safe it will truly require something extraordinary to help them make it all the way back. Personally, I'd find that something worth going to some lengths to do.
Maybe you think it worthwhile, as well.

I don't know a great deal of things but this is one area I do know whereof I speak. There were a few different areas I worked in during my decade as a social worker. One of them was with a special class of the most challenged men who - through no fault of their own - found themselves in a personal situation which required the services of certain state workers. A program was mandated by the court to make an effort to see what could be done with the individuals who fell within certain complex diagnostic parameters.

Frankly, given the severity of the clinical conditions with which these folks - and their loved ones - contended with every day I was not so sure that our intricate and highly specialized efforts could effect a scenario strong enough to help them progress to a quality of life that one would say was "good".

To make a long story somewhat shorter, it was eye opening to see the progress which could be made with the right sort of mufti-dimensional interaction. There were several aspects of their care which had to be calibrated very precisely, but one part which turned out to be of paramount importance was environment. There was, without a doubt, an essential correlation between their living/working environments and their progress. Some of them were able to move forward to the point where they had their own private businesses. Sure, not all of these guys attained levels far beyond where they started - but there were several who, in fact, did progress in a manner which far surpassed what I would have thought possible.

If handled properly the uniquely elevated atmosphere of the Overhills golfing and its immediately surrounding area possesses the capability to bring many wounded soldiers back to a real and proper quality of life. And let's remember that their families and loved ones often pay a very steep price for their sacrifice on the battlefield. They could also benefit enormously from progress made within this environment.
Do they not deserve that?

And that - could be - the true magic of Overhills.

Oh yeah, here's a bit of dialogue from the end of the film:

"It's so beautiful here. Well, for me, it's like a dream come true...can I ask you something?"
"Sure""
"Is this heaven?"
"It's Iowa."
"Iowa?"
"Yeah."
"I could have sworn it was heaven."
"Is there a heaven?"
"Oh yeah...it's the place dreams come true."

Overhills is the place where the dream of soldiers damaged in a way not so easy to heal can take place. One of the measures of any culture is the manner in which they respond to this sort of situation. There are not many places available for such efforts - and certainly not ones even close to the quality of the former Rockefeller estate. This one is gleaming in that field and practically handed to the military on a silver platter. There could be no better use for this land.

The army has a colossal amount of land for training. Adjacent to Fort Bragg is yet another large training area called Camp Mackall. The two of them combined are approximately 1/3 the size of Rhode Island.
The area necessary for Overhills is ~200 acres...
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (Library of Congress Images)
Post by: Chris Buie on April 22, 2012, 02:08:26 PM
The National Park Service (U.S. Department of the Interior) did a survey of Overhills in 2000 and here is the key quote from their report:

"The Overhills Historic District at Fort Bragg is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under criterion A) Historic Events and C) Architecture.
The Overhills Historic District and its subdivided areas are identified in the Historic Architectural Resources Survey Report, Overhills Tract, Fort Bragg, May 2000."

You can read that report here:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/nc/nc0500/nc0532/data/nc0532data.pdf (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/nc/nc0500/nc0532/data/nc0532data.pdf)

They spent a great amount of time and went into extraordinary detail during their survey. Consider these renderings they did:

(http://www.golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ohHCresized.jpg)

(http://www.golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/hCottageSmall2.jpg)

Here is what they said specifically about the house:
Significance: The Harriman Cottage on the Hill portion of the Overhills area at Fort Bragg is a contributing part of an eligible Fort Bragg
historic district for the National Register of Historic Places. The Harriman Cottage was constructed ca. 1918 for William Averell Harriman. The Harriman Cottage was an integral element of the original Overhills Country Club. The Hill area is at the southwest portion of the Overhills historic district as identified in the Historic Architectural Resources Survey Report, Overhills Tract, Fort Bragg, May 2000.

You can read that report here:
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/nc0559/ (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/nc0559/)

And here is a little visual reminder of who Averell Harriman was:

(http://www.golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/h2.jpg)

That's Molotov in the Churchill photo - and Queen Elizabeth in the limo. The fellow sitting next to Truman is Gen. Marshall. He was the supreme godfather of the Allied forces during that war. Eisenhower was his junior partner and the protégé he cultivated and put in charge of the European campaign. About Marshall, Truman said "he won the war". Equally important, he won the peace too. It was his name on the Marshall Plan - an incredibly visionary project which prevented the U.S. from being burdened with yet another catastrophic European war.

Marshall lived 20 miles from Overhills, by the way.
Harriman was probably the only one remotely close to being his peer. If you are interested in a full picture of Harriman the book to read would be this be the one:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Wise-Men-Friends-introduction/dp/1451683227/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334796855&sr=1-1 (http://www.amazon.com/The-Wise-Men-Friends-introduction/dp/1451683227/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334796855&sr=1-1)

It is a well done, credible work by Walter Issacson about the extraordinary coterie (Ivy League WASP scions) who prevented WWIII. Isaacson was the man who Steve Jobs picked to write his recent bio, by the way. A fitting writer for both subjects.

And this is how Harriman's house is being maintained today...

(http://www.golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/houseModern.jpg)

They said the exact same thing about the Croatan house as they did the Harriman cottage. That is, it is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It is in the same shape as that cottage. Also, here is an interesting quote from the report made when the military took possession of the exquisite Croatan house:

"Generally, Croatan is in good repair. The structure of steel, hollow terra cotta tile, and concrete is still strong and viable."

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/nc/nc0500/nc0562/data/nc0562data.pdf (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/nc/nc0500/nc0562/data/nc0562data.pdf)

Having looked closely at those buildings myself it is my unprofessional opinion that those buildings (which are the two I suggest saving) are
moving pretty close to the point of no return. And I would suggest pretty stridently that they do at least minimal maintenance ASAP. That is, cutting down the trees which are engulfing the Harriman Cottage and covering up the areas where the rain gets in the Croatan building.

Moving along, lets have a look at some very nice photographs from the Library of Congress. I believe they were taken by Lee Anne Romberg White and James R. Lockhart. I hope it's ok to post them here. If they object I will certainly take them down.

This photo is what they called "Pine Tree Allée"

(http://www.golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/allee.jpg)

(http://www.golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/pilars2.jpg)

(http://sandhillsinsider.com/pillars.jpg)

(http://www.golfclubatlas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/bridge.jpg)

I'll leave you with a quote from Churchill:

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing...after they've tried everything else."
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on May 10, 2013, 08:50:45 PM
I thought some of you might enjoy John Paul Newport's brand new article about the magic field.
I'm so delighted to have John Paul tell the story. He weaves together a wide variety of facts in a manner which rolls along and reads very well. To be able to do that while including so much information is really quite something.
I think Ran's quote is absolutely perfect, as well.
Well, here it is:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324744104578475230287959180.html (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324744104578475230287959180.html)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (New John Paul Newport Article)
Post by: Ed Oden on May 10, 2013, 09:50:47 PM
Chris, while this article has been a long time coming, it was well worth the wait.  Well done by John Paul, but even greater kudos to you for making it happen.  I would highly encourage everyone to read the article and post a comment on the WSJ site supporting the idea of restoring Overhills for wounded vets.

Best wishes,

Ed

 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (New John Paul Newport Article)
Post by: Colin Macqueen on May 11, 2013, 06:30:58 AM
Chris,

The WSJ article was a beauty. Well written and the idea of combining recovery of a Ross gem with the recovery of returned, damaged service men is second to none. Your constant and persistent attention to this project and the steadfast nature that you have shown in getting the idea this sort of profile is exemplary.

I can't really explain it (to myself never mind anybody else) but to pull (pool) together the idea of golf with helping lads who have sacrificed so much  is extraordinarily worthwhile. Credit to you and you're not even Bragging about it!!

It would be a wonderful full turn of the circle in regards to Overhills if philanthropy by the wealthy, historically so evident in the USA, were to come to the aid of this very, very worthwhile project.

Well done and cheers,

Colin
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (New John Paul Newport Article)
Post by: BCrosby on May 11, 2013, 01:23:32 PM
Chris -

A great cause. Let us know how we can help. I am delighted John Paul Newport did an article on the place. He is a terrific guy, an asset to the game.

Bob
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (New John Paul Newport Article)
Post by: ChipOat on May 12, 2013, 11:57:03 AM
Chris:

Excellent story; GCA at its best; even a quote from Ran.

JPN should probably have given you direct attribution for his story instead of just making you one of the key authorities on the subject.

I am going to request that this be designated a Sticky Topic - it's that good.

Chip Oat
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills (New John Paul Newport Article)
Post by: Brian Finn on May 13, 2013, 03:50:08 PM
I recently read through this entire thread and most of the linked materials, and thought I would bump it up top.  I will be following this story with great interest as it continues to develop.

From the perspective of a gca enthusiast, it would be wonderful to see the course uncovered and rebuilt.  To be able to do so while using Overhills as a recovery facility for brave folks that served our country puts it over the top in terms of worthy concepts.  
 
Really awesome stuff, Chris.  Well done.  
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on June 24, 2016, 01:01:55 PM
I did a couple of simulated tours of the Overhills course. It's amateur quality but some of you might find it interesting.

Outward Nine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zniPwBS46iw&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zniPwBS46iw&feature=youtu.be)

Inward Nine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htmX_gg4LSQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htmX_gg4LSQ)

(If you want to see it full screen there is a square bracket on the bottom right of the film you can click on.)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Kris Shreiner on June 25, 2016, 01:32:45 AM
Chris,
Thanks for putting that up. As a bit of a techno-dummy, the pace of the flyover made it difficult to assess what was on the visuals.
Any way to slow down the flyover feature?
Second, could the course be resurected? Is that plausable?
Cheers,
Kris  8)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Will Lozier on June 25, 2016, 09:54:41 AM
I did a couple of simulated tours of the Overhills course. It's amateur quality but some of you might find it interesting.

Outward Nine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zniPwBS46iw&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zniPwBS46iw&feature=youtu.be)

Inward Nine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htmX_gg4LSQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htmX_gg4LSQ)

(If you want to see it full screen there is a square bracket on the bottom right of the film you can click on.)


Chris,


VERY cool! Thanks!


Cheers
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Chris Buie on June 25, 2016, 09:10:17 PM
Thanks Chip, Brian and Will!
Hi Kris! When I have time I'll try to do a better version. For now, if you hover over the film you'll see three icons bottom right of the frame. The one that looks like a wheel is 'settings'. Click on that and you can change the film to 1/2 or 1/4 speed. Plus you can pause it at any point that interests you.
.......................................................................

***Update 6-27***

I had another go at it. Maybe these work a little better.

Outward:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hL2OSf2ht0Y&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hL2OSf2ht0Y&feature=youtu.be)

Inward:
https://youtu.be/0uyiZkDr3os (https://youtu.be/0uyiZkDr3os)
Title: Re: A Closer Look at the First Hole
Post by: Peter Flory on March 09, 2019, 02:12:02 AM

I traced the first hole over the Lidar tonight.  Didn't move any earth, just painted the sand, fairway, and green.  I used the original fairway lines from Ross and used the actual indentations for the bunkers.  I haven't made any effort to make the trees look like the actual site- that will be a bit tedious and will come later. 

To-dos still- add in the roads.  Possibly beef up the first bunker to match the early photos before it was neutered. 

Here is one of Chris's old posts- so I'll start with that in insert a couple pics from similar angles.



The tee of the 451 yard par-5 1st hole was placed directly in front clubhouse.  Since the 9th green was right beside the 1st tee you would have a great view of the players coming in and going out while sitting on the veranda.  From the book about Overhills you can tell the tempo of the whole place was languid.  There was never any hurry - that was a major part of the ambiance. 
The tee shot goes up a gently rising hill.  Originally there was a rather fearsome, high banked bunker to catch the short right tee shot. Another bunker farther down on the left gave most players something to think about on their second shot.  The gentle hill crests some 200 yards off the tee and then the terrain descends gently - except on the left where it falls somewhat sharply into the 8th fairway.
So, as usual, Ross gave you a not terribly difficult hole to start out.  Remember, back in those days there was no practice tee.  You had to warm up on the course. 

Here is the view off the tee today.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/Hole1/main1.jpg)

(pic deleted)

The approach from approximately 220.  You can see the semi-famous hill of the 5th green/6th tee in the background.
(http://sandhillsinsider.com/Hole1/1aB.jpg)

(pic deleted)



Here are a couple of other angles:


From behind the green looking back down the hole
(pic deleted)


(pic deleted)


Very gentle par 5 that would now be a stout par 4.  The angle in is very fair to accept a long shot, however the green site is very small and it wouldn't work very well hitting in from 200 yards.  If this course was restored and there isn't room to back up to 500 or so, then it should probably be shortened to give mid irons in. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on March 10, 2019, 02:21:21 PM
I explored the back nine in detail to try to overlay the holes with the features in the ground.  This is going to be a little more difficult than I originally thought.  I didn't realize that that back nine was ever revived and that the holes were reconfigured somewhat. 

The 10th hole is going to be a real beauty, but I couldn't quite track it all the way to the original green.  I ultimately decided to start with 18 and then I'll see if I can make my way backwards.  The location of the roads helps me pinpoint where everything was on this hole.  For the water hazard, I used the original 1910 condition as swamp/ wetlands. 

View looking over the clubhouse.  I added the roads, a lot of the trees, and you can see the 18th hole coming home on the right.  The 9th green is missing and I haven't built out the 10th hole yet.  The huge fw bunker on 10 is hitting in that grove of trees- it wasn't originally a right angle dogleg like the trees would make you believe. 



Here is the best that I could do for the Estate house.  It's a stock building, but the closest match.  It's just nice to have something there to give the feel of the view from different holes. 


For instance, here is the approach to 18 with the clubhouse in the background through the trees.  Note that the road runs across, even in 1910.  There is something sort of likable about that. 


Here is the view of the 18th from the tee.  I just need to tighten the chute more.  It was originally pretty narrow off the tee, but only 330 yards, so very fair.  The swamp area on the diagonal, even though it was easily carryable for us, still probably put bad thoughts in the mind of a 1910 golfer- or gave them a nice sense of accomplishment when they did carry it:


Down sun view to show what the lighting would look like when you're finishing a twilight round mid summer. 


Walking around the hazard, then back up to the fairway (morning sun in the fall)


These holes go pretty quickly once I identify exactly where the green sat.  But on some of the holes, it is either very subtle.  I hope that it will be like a puzzle where it gets easier and easier once the easy pieces are in place. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Ed Oden on March 11, 2019, 01:14:20 PM
Peter, this is really terrific!  I only have one suggestion:  I'd try and incorporate a rougher around the edges maintenance meld more consistent with its time and circumstance.  I doubt Overhills ever was that green, had first cuts or generally looked so well maintained.  Fantastic work!


Ed 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on March 11, 2019, 02:59:05 PM
Peter, this is really terrific!  I only have one suggestion:  I'd try and incorporate a rougher around the edges maintenance meld more consistent with its time and circumstance.  I doubt Overhills ever was that green, had first cuts or generally looked so well maintained.  Fantastic work!


Ed

I ultimately want to have 2 versions of these courses when I restore them.  One would be what the course would look like today if it remained in it's original routing and the other would be what it looked like then.  It is much easier to do the whole thing with today's maintenance and then rough it up when I'm done for the 2nd version.  i.e. that is easier than un-roughing it because of the tricks that I have to pull in the program.  The software maker didn't anticipate that anyone would want to make courses that have poor conditioning.  I have to go with hacks like planting trees underground to kill the grass above them for example. 

To really give the look, I would probably have to make the fairways rough and the greens fairways.  That wouldn't play well in the game or on a simulator, but it would be good for a photo shoot. 

Here are a couple of quick examples on the 18th hole with browner coloring and more burnt out rough.




And black and whiting them really gives the impression
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on March 13, 2019, 04:58:17 PM
Here are some updates on holes where I was able to trace out the original lines.  For now, they will show what a restoration would look like with no earth moving, but with modern playing surfaces. 

#4 from the general teeing area.  Today, this would be a pretty lengthy par 4.  Speed slot over the right fw bunker so that the shorter hitter can get a boost.  With modern equipment, a strong player would knock it down short of the water hazard and would have about 160-170 left.  With hickories, this would be a fun risk/reward par 5.  The closest comparable to this hole that I can think of would be #10 at Olympia Fields South. 


Long approach shot, or layup.  To the left is some swampy area.  The creek is dammed into little pools that step down and create a really attractive hazard to cross. 


Bird's eye view (the uphill 5th would be just out of view to the bottom of this image). 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on March 13, 2019, 05:14:13 PM
Here is #6 (#5 green in the foreground and the focal length adjusted- so 6 appears truncated).  There will be many more trees here on both sides of the fairway, but it's easier to show the bones of the hole with them removed.  So far, there are many spectacular downhill tee shots on the course and it seems like it would be a lot of fun with the driver. 



Angled side view to show the nice climb to the green on the approach.  the green site is carved out of that hill and remains fully in tact. 



Drone shot.  This green appears to be the most difficult on the course so far, unless the ground was disturbed since the course shut down.  The front half is steeply pitched and then it crests and the back slides slightly away from the player and feeds into a collection area that circles around the back of the green (probably to provide drainage since the green was cut into the hillside). 



Roller coast ride on this hole. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on March 13, 2019, 05:25:10 PM
And the last of the holes that I've completed so far- the 8th. 


Beauty off the tee.  The fairway slants hard left to right and climbs. 





The approach is semi blind- I raised up the camera view so that you can see where you're hitting.  You can drop the approach short and left to allow it to bounce onto the green.  The further you drive it to the right side of the fairway, the blinder your approach is due to the lip on the 2nd fairway bunker and the wire grass planted on the face and ridge of it:



Looking back on the hole w/ #1 off to the right. 



That's it for now.  This is actually going pretty quickly.  1, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 18 are basically complete.  Once all the holes are at this stage, I'll work on the overall feel of the place (the look of the woods and the turf and the buildings). 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Stephen Britton on March 14, 2019, 07:59:09 AM
I can't believe this place is just sitting rotting away. Next time in the area I'm going to walk it, the place looks so cool.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on March 17, 2019, 09:06:46 PM
All 18 holes have been placed by using Ross's sketches and matching them to the remnants in the ground and the photos/ aerials.  Just need to rough up all the edges to get it to look sandy and for the forests to look like the area. 

Chris Buie and Brian Ross have been incredibly helpful and have been giving me info and guidance.  The course went through a lot of changes over the years, so it wasn't always clear what I was seeing in the dirt.  The first version of this course represents exactly what is still left contour-wise.  After I complete this, I'll go back and try to replicate the more exaggerated Ross features based on his detailed specs.  Because it is sand based and was altered a lot, almost all the mounding and bunker lips are currently a fraction of their original heights/ depths.  I'll be taking a break for real work for a bit, but here is the current status-

#2



#1



And just to show how powerful the LIDAR is, here is a screenshot of what I found buried in the forest.  It is the original green for #14 (the hole that was abandoned even when the rest of the back nine was still in play).  All I did for this pic is paint the grasses over the terrain so that you could see the contours.  This hole had a stream that cut across it diagonally from short right to long left. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Mike Bodo on March 17, 2019, 09:23:53 PM
Wow. This hole and rendering looks amazing. Great job, Peter! I can't wait to see the finished 18.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 09:47:56 AM
I saw that my previous images died due to tinypic's paywall. 

I'll repost and add new images to give a complete tour of the front nine.  The back nine still needs some cosmetic work.

NOTE- for all of these renderings, I just used the lidar data and painted on the surfaces and trees.  i.e. I didn't sculpt anything, except for some of the sandy lumps on #7.  Some of the features were more dramatic than what I have.  I'm assuming that there was erosion after the course went fallow.  For a true restoration, you'd want to build the bunkers to Ross's specs and it would be even better than these images. 

#1:  Not a gentle handshake!  More of a slap in the face. (if it plays as a modern day par 4.  They considered it a par 5 though at the time). 

View from 2nd story of clubhouse.
(https://i.imgur.com/ysNYtwAh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/yVsa4Leh.jpg)

Elevated
(https://i.imgur.com/zuSTpoGh.jpg)

From left rough looking over cross bunker
(https://i.imgur.com/8HamH84h.jpg)

From behind the green looking back
(https://i.imgur.com/sszuhP9h.jpg)




Will post the rest of the holes later today. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: MCirba on May 28, 2020, 10:04:37 AM
Peter,   your work is astounding.  Thanks!
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: JC Jones on May 28, 2020, 10:40:55 AM
I wish resurrecting this course was as appealing as putting some templates in Thailand.
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 05:48:49 PM
OK, back to it. 

#2- strategic little par 4.  Very picturesque.  Feels Mid Pines like to me.  You can lay up off the tee, but it is visually difficult and will leave you a very tricky wedge shot in. 

If you hit driver, you risk leaving it in bunker #2 and having the dreaded 70 yard bunker shot in for the approach. 

From the tee
(https://i.imgur.com/pjOKq3oh.jpg)

Elevated from in front of the teeing ground:
(https://i.imgur.com/u6gRM3Vh.jpg)

The 4th hole is visible in the distance to the left.
(https://i.imgur.com/cpDR2ngh.jpg)

One of many postcard holes on the course. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 06:12:35 PM
#3.  Slightly uphill par 3 by modern standards, but was called a par 4 then.  This one turns back toward the clubhouse before the 4th continues the outward direction. 

View from tee.  Very difficult hole.  More room to run it up than it appears from the player's perspective.  Uphill, 200+ yards, small green, and some fall offs in every direction.  Bogey waiting to happen. 
(https://i.imgur.com/OZlNZW3h.jpg)

Zoomed in a bit:  The bunker/ waster area in the foreground is a spillover from #2. 
(https://i.imgur.com/k24w8LOh.jpg)

View from over the table top green
(https://i.imgur.com/l5vsPhch.jpg)

If you're even par so far, that is quite a start. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 07:15:56 PM
The majestic 4th.  Par 5- 509. 

From the tee area:
(https://i.imgur.com/KiEs759h.jpg)

From first bunker #1
(https://i.imgur.com/Y7NOkxph.jpg)

Approaching creek:  Possible angle of approach if you are trying to hit it in two... although you'd be a little ways behind this.
(https://i.imgur.com/b3EeBBTh.jpg)

Approach shot if you had to lay up.
(https://i.imgur.com/kJn9X1Th.jpg)

Approach shot if you cleared the creek in 2. 
(https://i.imgur.com/qTUX2nNh.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 07:25:09 PM
5th hole- severely uphill par 3.  Maybe a connector hole. 

From the tee- looking up to the green.  From here, you can only see a little bit of the fairway short of it.  This shot reminds me a little bit of the 8th hole at the U of M course, except that this shot is much more demanding.  Short and left is the only decent miss. 
(https://i.imgur.com/8rHrXDmh.jpg)

Side view- elevated.  You can see the little shelf on the fairway that matches the Ross diagram perfectly.  It's still sitting there under the weeds. 
(https://i.imgur.com/8WeUDHOh.jpg)

Being in the bunker would be no fun here. 
(https://i.imgur.com/LHoJhbxh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/pNlHak4h.jpg)


Nice view of the 6th hole in the distance.  This hole was a climb, but the reward is the big downhill tee shot coming up. 
(https://i.imgur.com/7IJcDauh.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 07:39:09 PM
Hole 6.  Big boy hole, but downhill and roomy.  The mound through the fairway is a strategic feature.  I didn't build it up to Ross's specs, but just left what was in the ground and added some long grass to it for now. 

Downhill tee shot. 
(https://i.imgur.com/N5YvN2ah.jpg)

From short of right FW bunker:
(https://i.imgur.com/OGlu8TTh.jpg)

The mound would be on the left here where I have the long grass.  Would give you a blind approach if you bail out left off the tee. 
(https://i.imgur.com/6S12fBlh.jpg)

Perched up green complex with sunken in bunkers. 
(https://i.imgur.com/AyOiMojh.jpg)

View from over green.
(https://i.imgur.com/CLgmrYLh.jpg)
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 07:55:35 PM
Hole 7.  This one changed quite a bit and was difficult to incorporate the changes. 

From the tee:  The #1 bunker is visible on the horizon. 
(https://i.imgur.com/TPDQfKPh.jpg)

Elevated view from the left side of the fairway to show the centerline hazard and the mounded waste area to the right of the green.  I don't show the swale in the fairway, but that is another feature of the hole- was just hard to see clearly in the screenshots. 
(https://i.imgur.com/pwotcHyh.jpg)

View from short of green.  #1 is in the background on the left heading towards you and #8 is in the background to the right headed away. 
(https://i.imgur.com/V6vxS7Ch.jpg)

From behind green looking down fairway.
(https://i.imgur.com/9LCpRlZh.jpg)
I like Ross's changes here.  Makes the hole very unique.  I'm always amazed at how willing GA architects were to change their own work and the work of others.  They had a lot of confidence. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 08:02:01 PM
Hole 8.  Another Mid Pines beauty.  This is my personal favorite on the front nine.  The beauty of the woods to the right and long with the pine needles is really something.

View from teeing ground:  Slanting fairway toward the pine needles. 
(https://i.imgur.com/nToScXdh.jpg)

Drone view of #1 on the left and #8 outbound on the right. 

(https://i.imgur.com/FQgNcL3h.jpg)


(https://i.imgur.com/tgCIHYmh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/97Nfvwch.jpg)
Elevated view of approach.  The bunker here blocked the view slightly from the right side of the fairway I believe if built up to Ross's specs.  This version is watered down due to erosion. 
(https://i.imgur.com/12t3rHKh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/pIUHtmnh.jpg)
Approach from the right rough- elevated
(https://i.imgur.com/GyJ6WBhh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/PQKnfpWh.jpg)

Sorry, couldn't help taking so many pics of this one
(https://i.imgur.com/QCB6w1mh.jpg)
Seems like a birdie hole, unless you lose your tee shot to the right.  Then, this bunker probably causes the punch out to be a lay up. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Peter Flory on May 28, 2020, 08:25:20 PM
Hole 9. Last one until I finish the back nine, which could be a while. 

This hole was the most difficult for me to do because the contours have been scraped and I couldn't import the lidar.  However, luckily there were some very good pictures of the green complex and Ross's diagrams were detailed, so I had enough information to recreate it. 

That's not really what the buildings looked like, but was as close as I could get.  It's representative. 
(https://i.imgur.com/h1AXDSZh.jpg)

Zoomed in a little- hard to see, but the road cuts in front of the green and then circles around it.  This has a bit of that 18th at the Old Course dynamic where it returns to civilization, it is flat, and there is a stadium effect. 
(https://i.imgur.com/y7x1YuQh.jpg)

View from behind the green.  The green is sort of a cradle, which is a welcome relief from all of the repelling greens on the front. 
(https://i.imgur.com/2BMzOnwh.jpg)

I would say that overall, it has a great mix of holes.  1, 3, 5, and 6 seem like they would be the most difficult with modern par conventions- with 1 being a par 4 and 3 being a par 3.  7 and 9 seem medium.  2, 4, and 8 would be potential birdies. 
Title: Re: The Story of Overhills
Post by: Brian Ross on May 28, 2020, 08:52:26 PM
This is awesome work, Peter!