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Tommy_Naccarato

Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2006, 01:07:45 PM »
Uncle George,
I'll send you the entire article(s) here in a bit.

Also, I actually had these Biarritz green images all set-up on my scanner especially for you when Geoff came-up and had more stuff to scan and we were short on time. (as it was late in the day) I will get them at the next visit for sure.

Tony,
A period aerial is probably not going to exist, but stranger things have been found, that's for sure!

Unfortunately I don't thave the time to scan the image in BGL. But will try to get to it in the next few days.

Yannick Pilon

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Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2006, 09:08:14 PM »
George,

Thanks for your reply to Tom Doak's question.  Very interesting.

But that brings me to my question: what makes Macdonald's  Biarritz such a great hole? I have never played one myself but I have always wondered about what makes this concept so great?  Is it just the perticular and odd shape/ondulation of the green, or is there a strategy involved that I just don't grasp?

Other question.  Although my idea of the concept is a deep linear green bisected by a deep swale or chasm, I have read in a couple of books and magazines that the Biarritz hole often has that first part of green area (before the swale) maintained as fairway.  Which one of these two options is more representative of Macdonald's originals?

Thanks for the input.  This is a very interesting thread....
www.yannickpilongolf.com - Golf Course Architecture, Quebec, Canada

Sean_Tully

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Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2006, 08:59:18 PM »
Piling on at this point...

Kicking the tires on SEGL I came across a nice little piece on the course. Sme of this may be common knowledge for some but I always put it out there as you never know.

1888 9 holes
1892 18 holes

Some time later another nine holes was built and reserved exclusively.

Gives some insight into its early years of the course and some names of people and organizations that were involved.

Picture of Clubhouse and golfers.

Golf Illustrated February 1927 page 42

George_Bahto

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Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2006, 12:31:39 AM »
Yannick Pilon (replied)Thanks for your reply to Tom Doak's question. Very interesting.

But that brings me to my question: what makes Macdonald's Biarritz such a great hole? I have never played one myself but I have always wondered about what makes this concept so great? Is it just the perticular and odd shape/ondulation of the green, or is there a strategy involved that I just don't grasp?

Other question. Although my idea of the concept is a deep linear green bisected by a deep swale or chasm, I have read in a couple of books and magazines that the Biarritz hole often has that first part of green area (before the swale) maintained as fairway. Which one of these two options is more representative of Macdonald's originals?

Thanks for the input. This is a very interesting thread....

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Yannick,

Personally I don’t think I consider a Biarritz a “great” hole at all  -  I would consider it more of an “interesting” concept for a hole and if set in an interesting site, very picturesque.

I think it was overly long for its day and certainly perhaps way too hard.

I have one on my home course and it is the purest of the remaining Biarritz’s and the falloffs on either side are very severe. I’ve been a member there for over 30 years and have played it countless times. We have a great green with the full compliment of original features and, to me, on this particular hole, the story is the putting surface not the tee-ball. Early on, until I explained the concept of the hole and where it came from, most of the members hated the hole (even from the middle tees) - many of them hate it today ‘cause the can’t par it (like, so what?)

These hole were original built with a single tee with yardage varying from 210 to 245 (average 235 on the old scorecards)

Macdonald had this penchant for having the varied lengths of par-3s on his courses, featuring: a short iron, a middle iron, a long iron and the longest club, played to the beastly Biarritz.

In the teens and 20's the hole was unreachable unless you bounded thru the swale and on to the green (rear section) (hopefully). These holes are difficult today with our modern equipment - imagine playing it with a wooden shaft and perhaps even a gutty ball.

To replicate the original difficulty in today’s world, what would you have for appropriate yardage?     280 to 300 yards (figuring you can’t reach the green on the fly).

Biarritz holes were designed for a single green (we’ve been thru this a ga-zillion times before) and the front sections were later converted into putting surface on many clubs, were an evolution. When I first began my research I think there were only 2 fully Biarritz holes with full putting surface (double-green, if you will). Yale was one - the other was either Chicago or Mid Ocean, probably Chicago.

I personably liked the concept of a full double green and began telling clubs about it and the idea spread quickly and look at where we are today - nearly half are stunning double-green versions (lots of bragging rights for clubs on this hole).

Macdonald described the hole as a green fronted by a swale the a hog’s back approach (that would be the front section). There is supposed to be two deflection spines in the front section that could deflect you off into the long, side strip bunkers - this is the way the holes were all drawn so I must presume this is the way there were built. They almost always had a horseshoe-type feature (at least, usually more) on the putting surface, most of which have been removed one way or another, over the years.
If a player insists on playing his maximum power on his tee-shot, it is not the architect's intention to allow him an overly wide target to hit to but rather should be allowed this privilege of maximum power except under conditions of exceptional skill.
   Wethered & Simpson

Yannick Pilon

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Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2006, 04:20:18 PM »
Thanks George, great explanation!

By the way, I'm in the middle of The Evangelist of Golf.  It is a great book that I recommend to anybody interested in golf course architecture.

Can't wait for your next books.  Anything along the way?

Yannick
www.yannickpilongolf.com - Golf Course Architecture, Quebec, Canada

George_Bahto

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Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2006, 11:09:22 PM »
thanks Yannick

yes I'm "supposed" to be working on the follow-up, the story of Seth Raynor and Charles Bank, who later became his partner, their detailed bios and reviews and stories of all the courses they built - in some cases the stores are more interesting that the courses.

The Evangelist of Golf, aside from the story of Macdonald, only encompasses the courses he is credited for being  associated with.

The publisher originally wanted all this in one book but it would have been either too huge or the text and graphics would have to have been cut dramatically - I rebelled, and here we are.

.........  so, much of the "second book" is already done but I've been busy with a lot of other projects and the "Raynor” book has not been worked on for quite a while

I should finish it and let it augment the first book

Most of the time I have this choice to make:   would I rather write or work on golf course restorations and such

You might want to answer that one for me - -  :P

 .........  and besides, I need Gib P to get back into action again - but that’s just another excuse

we'll get it done
If a player insists on playing his maximum power on his tee-shot, it is not the architect's intention to allow him an overly wide target to hit to but rather should be allowed this privilege of maximum power except under conditions of exceptional skill.
   Wethered & Simpson

Tom_Doak

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Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2006, 12:25:18 AM »
George B:  When I was going around the country in the early 1980's, the only "full-length" Biarritz greens were at Yale and at St. Louis CC.  

Chicago Golf's Biarritz wasn't and still isn't the full length; and though I didn't see Mid Ocean until 1988 I don't think it was anytime in recent memory, either.

George_Bahto

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Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2006, 04:39:10 PM »
Tom thanks for your input

I didn't get to St Louis until the mid 90s

I do have an old photo of the Biarritz at Mid Ocean that might predate the 80's that looks as though it was full green but who knows - obviously, you didn't get any info on that when you were working there

It really doesn't matter who or where, my main point is that they were not really designed as full putting surface in the original concept, although I like these later versions better for the dart-board golf that is played today

If, today, they were unreachable on the fly (at whatever length that may be) and the ground was kept firm, I think it would be a "funner" golf hole
If a player insists on playing his maximum power on his tee-shot, it is not the architect's intention to allow him an overly wide target to hit to but rather should be allowed this privilege of maximum power except under conditions of exceptional skill.
   Wethered & Simpson

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2008, 06:21:42 AM »
Tony, Anyone,

I am currently planning next year's trip to Biarritz... Three rounds so was planning Chiberta, Hossegor and Seignosse... Sound like the right choices?

But was looking at the Biarritz le Phare website where there appears to be a little bit of history of the course and a very small picture of the Chasm hole that hasn't been posted in this thread... The photo seems to support the angle that the hole was played from low to high...

http://www.golfbiarritz.com/uk/01_presentation/presentation.php


Jim Nugent

Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2008, 08:17:13 AM »
Tom thanks for your input

I didn't get to St Louis until the mid 90s


Saint Louis CC had a full-length Biarritz as of the late 1960's.  Don't know when they started that, though. 

Pete_Pittock

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2008, 06:48:40 PM »
Ally,
Nosed through the upcoming auction at Old Golf Auctions http://www.oldgolfauctions.com/oga/
and they have a Biarritz club history up for sale. It may be of some help.
The current home page of the website still has the previous auction, but the new one starts "next weekend". Probably about 300 items in according to the email announcement.

Bryan Izatt

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2013, 03:47:17 PM »
In reading the latest Biarritz thread, I looked again at this older Biarritz thread.  I was taken by the old routing map and thought I'd see how it overlaid on the current aerial.  Surprisingly some of the roads mapped exactly to the current roads.  Other roads, of course, NLE.  So, here is Tony's routing map with the contrast goosed to make it more readable.




Then, here is the course mapped from the routing onto the current Google Earth aerial.  For the holes that I checked, the yardages indicated on the routing are pretty much the same as they are from the Google aerial.




It puts where the Biarritz hole, hole 3,  was in the context of the coastline.  Looks also like the old holes 10, 17 and 18 had greens near where there are greens  on the present routing.

I also transcribed the tee locations from George's sketch to the Bing aerial.  If the green was in the same place, it seems obvious that the 220 yard tee was probably not all carry across the chasm as depicted in the paintings or on George's sketch.  It also appears that the Bay of Biscay doesn't cut in quite so squarely as indicated in the sketch.







Here's a modern picture from the lighthouse with an arrow indicating where the green likely was.  The house in the foreground is probably the same house as the one in the old picture previously posted.







Here's a modern picture from where the old 220 yard tee likely was.




And finally, here is a modern picture of what the cliff face looks like on the par 3 14th coming out of the Chambre D'Amour.





Patrick_Mucci

Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2013, 09:33:13 PM »
Bryan,

I think the green was to the left of the red circle in the modern photo, as the hole indicates an extensive area short of the green, presumably, fairway.

That would alter the location of the tee somewhat.

It would also seem unlikely that the green would be right on the edge of the cliff.

But, those are nice photo interpretations


Jim Nugent

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2013, 05:07:31 AM »
Bryan, are you sure the green was where you place it in the photo?  I ask because it doesn't look like there's anywhere near enough room for the green and approach we see in George's drawing.  But if you put the tee where you have the green, and hit across the next inlet, it looks like there is plenty of room.  

Overall, George's drawing looks different from the land forms I see in the photo.  

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2013, 12:15:56 PM »
Did we (Tom MacWood most likely?) not work out somewhere that the chasm hole (3rd) was not responsible for the green inspiration which may have come from the 12th down in the chamber d'amour?

i.e. MacDonald's concept was a mix of two holes...


Bryan Izatt

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2013, 01:38:09 PM »
Patrick,

Tony's map overlaid very well on the Google aerial so to the extent that the routing map is accurate that's where the green was, although I have no other proof.  I'm not sure George's sketch is to scale.  It looks like a sketch rather than a scaled engineering drawing.  It's also possible the cliffs have eroded in a century.

Jim,

I'm not sure, but the routing map overlaid very well, so I'm inclined to go with the location shown. If it was on the next promontory it would be tough to find a 220 yard  tee.

Ally,

I must have missed the previous thread.  I'll have to look for it when I get home.



Tony_Muldoon

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2013, 02:05:20 PM »
Outstanding work Brian, I’m most impressed.  Thank you.

My original photo was taken from the other side of the fence you show.


I can only add one bit of speculation.  The postcard is approx. a century old as is the painting, my  photo is from 2005 and your google earth image is from the last couple of years.  Each show evidence of rockfall from the back of the green.  This is the famously stormy Bay of Biscay. My gut feeling is that land has been lost from the back of the green and in fact it's probable the land the green sat on, no longer exists.   If you look at where holes played on the lower level, it’s unlikely that was grassed a century ago. Perhaps the sea has encroached there as well? Having said that when I make it back I look forward to knocking on the door of that house with all this in my hands. Stranger discoveries have been made.


Ally your memory is correct in that there was another thread but I think the ideas you recall were put forward by David Moriarty.


Tommy N if you see this thread, I’ve always thought you were of the opinion that the green was the other way and that those players in the painting are putting out and not teeing off?  Did you ever find that article?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 02:18:26 PM by Tony_Muldoon »
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Patrick_Mucci

Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2013, 02:33:17 PM »
Bryan,

One of the things that leads me to believe that the green was further left is the inherent danger associated with the green being right on the edge of the cliff.  It would be far too easy for a golfer stepping back to line up a putt, to fall down that cliff, resulting in a fatality.

What also leads me to believe that the green was further left is the position of the lighthouse in the painting of the golfers playing the Biarritz.  The lighthouse is to the right of the green.

In addition, if the painting is a correct representation of the hole, it would seem that the second gorge, the one behind the red circle you represented as the green, would be where the hole was played over, with the tee being behind the red circle and the green being on the other side of the gorge.

Take a look at the painting on page 148 in "The Evangelist of Golf" and let me know your thought.

The angle you portray at 220 doesn't match up with the terrain.
But, it does if play was over the second gorge/chasm.

You thoughts

Dónal Ó Ceallaigh

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2013, 04:25:42 PM »
Sorry for this sidetrack, but it's interesting to note that this was the residence of Lord Dudley, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who was also an avid golfer. I had come across this interesting character when doing some research on golf in Donegal. A fellow by the name of Gallagher - who held the course record in Portsalon - accompanied Lord Dudley to Australia when he became Governor General of Australia. Gallagher was a professional and may have set himself up in Melbourne. There's an interesting article on the Irish Golfing Archive on a match the Lord organised in Dublin in 1903.

http://www.irishgolfarchive.com/Events/Dudley's%20Party.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Humble_Ward,_2nd_Earl_of_Dudley



This picture appears to have been captured during his Lieutenantship between 1902 and 1905.

Bryan Izatt

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2013, 08:04:08 PM »
Tony,

Agreed that there likely has been some fair erosion over the last century.

Re whether the players are putting out or teeing off, I'd go with teeing off.  In the picture there are two people in the foreground walking to the left - presumably to the green - and one person on the tee(?) who seems to be pointing to the left - presumably toward the green.  If the hole was reversed and it was the green then it wouldn't fit witht the routing map you photographed.  It would be playing away from where the 4th tee was.  But, perhaps there was a different routing in the 1890's when that photo and painting were made.





Patrick,

It doesn't seem that safety on the cliff was that pressing a concern in those days.  In the picture above, whether it's tee or green, the people are evidently playing on the edge of the cliff.

The position of the lighthouse in the picture is odd.  It looks to be at right angles to the line of play.  I don't see any land form there that could create that angle.  George's sketch and the routing map both seem to present the green as being on a foot shaped promontory jutting into the bay.  It seems to me that the first promontory fits that description better, although it appears the toes of the foot have fallen off.

If the green was on the second promontory and the hole was 220 yards, then either the tee was in the first chasm or on the very edge.  If on the very edge then two chasms would have had to be carried.  I haven't heard anybody describe it as a two chasm carry.


Bryan Izatt

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2013, 08:22:18 PM »
To add clarity or maybe just more mystery here are some more snippets that I found in an 1897 book description of the course.

First the 1897 version of the picture that was posted above.




Second, a description of "alterations" to the chasm hole.  Not sure what to make of the description, especially as it relates to the 14th hole.  Anybody want to try to interpret it.  The hole is described as being only 100 yards, but with cliffs short and long.  No mention of any swales, or runup areas around the green, just cliffs short and long.




And, thirdly, a picture of the hole.  From the caption I would interpret it to be a picture from the green towards the tee.  No lighthouse in the background suggest to me that it is looking back at the tee.




Finally, a modern picture looking toward the 11th green site which mimics Tommy's old picture.  According to ht erouting map the 3rd tee would be on top of the cliff in the left foreground.







Patrick_Mucci

Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2013, 10:40:40 PM »
Bryan,

It would be helpful if you could introduce the compass points on the photos you've posted.

That could help us recreate the angle of the view from the early photo/painting and relate it to the google earth images.

George Bahto's rendering illustrates flanking bunkers at the green.
Due to the nature of the precipice, that would make sense to me.
I don't think they were as cavalier about instant death with a mis-step as you are.

In addition, George's rendering may or may not be a precise depiction of the hole.

In any event, the early photo/painting seems to reflect a more daunting carry.

I can also understand placing the tee in relatively close proximity to the cliff, more so than a putting surface since the golfer is restricted or rather, forced to playing within the tee markers, whereas, once he plays away, his ball is free to roam anywhere.

Anyone who's played the 8th at Pebble Beach understands the inherent danger of placing a putting green on the edge of a cliff, it's an accident waiting to happen.

As to the description, the photos/painting seem to contradict it, other than the tee being described as being on the precipice of the cliff.

I think this is a very interesting topic and I think, with more info, we can probably site the green reasonably well.

It would seem, from the description that the green sat between the two chasms.

I just believe that it sat further to the left of the red circle

Bryan Izatt

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2013, 12:08:23 AM »
Tony,

Re cliff erosion, see the pic below.  It must have made a racket when those pieces of the erstwhile green site broke away.  It looks recent.  No doubt there has been other erosion over the years.




Bryan Izatt

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2013, 12:30:13 AM »
Patrick,

Sounds too much like work to put compass points on all the pics.  Suffice to say the coast line of the Chambre d'Amour runs more or less NNE while the 3rd hole runs a little bit south of due west.  The others should be obvious if you want to work off those directions.  In the erosion picture above the top is north, more or less.

I didn't mean to say they were cavalier about the danger.  I suppose they expected golfers to exercise some caution.  It's safe to say that even today there are golf courses with precipitous cliffs that can be dangerous  - Pacific Dunes #4 and #13 and the 14th at Mahogany Run come to mind.

Agreed about George's sketch.

No doubt the carry was daunting from a depth of chasm point of view, even if the carry was only 100 yards.

Here is another picture of the erosion with a green superimposed.  It is about 30 yards deep and 20 yards wide.  The line of play is from the right. From the edge of the cliff (pre-erosion) to the edge of the front driveway is about 60 yards, so there isn't a whole lot of room to move it inland and still keep a carry over the chasm.  And, there was a road restricting movement inland, although the routing shows they had no problem crossing roads or even having holes cross over each other.




Bryan Izatt

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #49 on: December 05, 2013, 03:15:18 AM »
And, one more reference to the chasm hole in an article from 1932 about the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club designed by Charles Banks which states:

Quote
Number five, for instance, is like the famous number one hole at Biarritz

Well, not surprisingly,today it looks like the prototypical CBM Biarritz with no chasm.




And, a further article written by Willie Dunn in 1934 who describes the hole that he built as being 225 yards long and no mention of swales.  By the time of the routing plan above it was down to 90 yards.






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