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Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #250 on: December 29, 2013, 11:49:38 AM »
David:

A couple of followup questions before I dive into a detailed response:

1.  Do we know who "Piscator" was?

2.  Which photo are you referring to when you note that it looks like the Cliff hole played over a road?

3.  What are you basing the time periods for Hutchinson's large gap between visits?

Thanks,

Sven
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #251 on: December 29, 2013, 12:02:15 PM »
I think it makes sense to lay out a basic history of the holes down in the Chambre D'Amour, which will also cover the Cliff Hole.

The first account I've seen is taken from the Club's website (http://golfbiarritz1888.ovh.org/Pres1897cadets.htm) which gives the article a date of 1897, but mistakenly cites Cornish & Whitten as the source (the article quotes an extract from "The Golfing Annual").  Here is the text:

""This course of eighteen holes is in the process of some alteration..."

The "alterations" mentioned in the above extract from the "Golfing Annual include, unfortunately, the loss of the "chasm," or third-hole - which is really the principal feature both of the course and of our illustrations....To make up for this slice stolen by the builder, the golfer is annexing ground below the cliff which the fourteenth hole of the old course approaches, as may be remembered by those who have golfed thereon, and found trouble in the "punch-bowl" that guards the fourteenth green.  Just across the road to Bayonne, the cliff slopes down steeply to the sea, but between its foot and the fore-shore is a stretch of golfable land, on which golf will now be played."


The article contains two photos of the Chasm hole, but no photos of the Chambre D'Amour.  No specifics are given as to any holes down in the Chambre.

"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #252 on: December 29, 2013, 12:40:46 PM »
The next reporting of the Chambre is from a March 10, 1899 article in "Golf" (http://golfbiarritz1888.ovh.org/Pres10mars1899.html).

"There have been so many inquiries lately, both in "Golf" and other papers, about the state of the Biarritz Golf course, that perhaps a short description by one who has seen it in most of its successive phases may be of some interest.  A great feature of the old course used to be the "Chasm" hole.  That particular hole is taken away.  At one time there used to be a particular hole out to the Phare, the lighthouse.  That ground too, has been used by the builder....Ground has since been taken into play which gives an area many acres larger than the area of the course when the "Chasm" and the "Lighthouse" holes were in use....It is made up, and much more than made up by the new ground that has been taken into golfing use below the cliff....

[The article describes the first holes on the course, including the new version of the Chasm Hole.]

[Following a description of the ten hole which includes the "punch bowl feature"] And from there we come to quite new ground, to the under cliff holes.  Teeing almost on the summit of the precipitous cliff and facing the lighthouse, we drive down to where there is a narrow course of green between the cliff road and the sand.  A second, with full iron may put the ball on the green in the western angle of the great stretch of sandy stuff that the sea not so very long ago must have covered.  Back from here, eastward again, with a long drive to carry a small stream, we may come within a three-quarter iron approach of a narrow green between the sand wastes, and after that a drive may reach the next green, again a narrow one, between the sand waste and the actual shore.  Now we are back in the eastern corner of the undercliff, and if we are ever going to reach the upper air of the cliff top...we must mount the cliff.  So there is a hole within easy iron shot range on the cliff head, on a green upon a promontory, so that if your are short you come tumbling down the cliff again on this side, and if you are strong you will go over the farther cliff beyond....

The hole after the up-cliff hole is only a cleek shot to a narrowly guarded green; and then the course resumes the old tenour of its way, only that the short old sixteenth is left out."


The article includes one photo, captioned "Tee For Eleventh Hole, Down The Cliff."

Earlier in the thread I provided descriptions of the routings leading up to this point in time.  

This being the first description of the holes in the Chambre, I think it makes sense to layout the details:

10th Hole - the hole leading us to the cliff top hole, playing over the "punch-bowl"
11th Hole - the cliff top hole, playing down to a fairway next to the road and then on towards a green in the corner
12th Hole - plays back in the opposite direction
13th Hole - continues in the same general direction of the 12th to a green hard against the shore
14th Hole - the "Cliff Hole" playing to a green set on a promontory with fall-offs both front and back
15th Hole - a "cleek shot to a narrowly guarded green"

The description in this article matches the routing displayed in this map, including the numbering of the holes and the names given on the map to the 10th and the 14th (it is important to note that the numbers are marked at the tees, not the greens for each hole):

« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 12:43:41 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #253 on: December 29, 2013, 01:19:14 PM »
Again in 1899, we get an article from Horace Hutchinson printed in the December 8, 1899 edition of Golf Illustrated (found here:  http://golfbiarritz1888.ovh.org/Presgi1899.htm).

The key points:

"In the last few years there has been an alteration in the disposition of the course, so that there are now three holes on that lower ground known as the chambre d'amour....The first of the illustrations shows a very well-known player on the Biarritz green [note this is not a reference to a CBM Biarritz Green, but rather to the Biarritz golf course] preparing to drive down the cliff into this lower ground of the chambre d'amour.

[This is that picture.]



There is a delightful uncertainty about the spot at which a ball driven from such a height will touch the gound below that adds an element of excitement to the stroke.  Unfortunately it always seems to land not quite so far away as it had promised....

And finally, the third picture gives a view of one of the strongest of the Biarritz players watching his ball in its flight to the ground below the cliff.

[Here is that "third picture."]



This little series of illustrations, it will be seen, gives a good idea of what the new holes at Biarritz are.  The rest of the course is much as the visitor of three years ago and previously will remember it."

While this article doesn't provide much in the way of details on the holes in the Chambre, the pictures match my understanding of the what was described in my last post as the 11th hole.  At the very least, we can date this two photos as being from 1899 or earlier.
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #254 on: December 29, 2013, 01:28:10 PM »
Before we get to the series of articles that David marked above, there's one more piece being a 1903 article in Pearson's Magazine by Hutchinson entitled "Bunkers I Have Visited."  (http://books.google.com/books?id=PbERAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA79&dq=biarritz+golf+chasm&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KwKyUpatL-mQyAGblYDgCQ&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAjgK#v=onepage&q=biarritz%20golf%20chasm&f=false)

"A little further on in the present Biarritz course there is a hazard of unusual nature.  This is a cliff face opposing you, up which you have to loft the ball sixty odd feet in the air, with a full mashie shot, or something of that kind.  There are many Biarritz golfers who have played there steadily yet never have ascended that giddy height that is, never have persuaded their golf ball to mount it and it is certain there are many who never will.
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #255 on: December 29, 2013, 02:10:09 PM »
The first of the articles posted by David above is the November 4, 1904 Golf Illustrated piece by "Piscator."

Relevant text:

"The eigth, 200 yards, all carry, has its green guarded by an enormous natural crater, called the "Punchbowl," now lined with a carpet of wild croci and other flowers.

The ninth is 333 yards.  This tee is on the top of the cliff, and the drive has to be far and straight to land in safety on the Chambre d'Amour beneath - a pulled shot is fatal against the cliff and a rocky path at its base.  The green is close to the sea.

The fourteenth is the famous "Cliff" hole (see photo), an iron or mashie shot up a cliff 80 feet high, once there the green is large and good.

The fifteenth, 186 yards, presents the most difficult tee shot on the course.  A full shot with wooden club or cleek, according to the wind, lands one on the green, which is long and narrow, but a pull takes you out of bounds and a slice goes over the cliff or into the coastguard's hut shown in the photo."


In this description, what were the 10th and 11th holes have become the 8th and 9th (the 9th being the hole playing down into the Chambre).  The Cliff Hole remains the 14th, meaning two holes were added somewhere between 9 and 14.  More on this in the next post.

Here are enlarged versions of the photos (with captions), each of which we can give a date of 1904 or earlier:














« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 02:12:00 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

BCrosby

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #256 on: December 29, 2013, 02:25:35 PM »
Sven -

I don't know who used the nom de plume 'Piscator' in the Biarritz articles, but Izaac Walton named his angler 'Piscator' in his book The Compleat Angler or The Contemplative Man's Recreation. Piscator was the voice of Walton in that famous book.

Possibly Piscator was someone known to enjoy angling? Maybe Hutchinson?

Bob

DMoriarty

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #257 on: December 29, 2013, 02:46:03 PM »
Sven,

The photo with the possible road near the cliff hole tee is the third to last one you posted above. Either a road or a path (in those days there wasn't much difference) runs from behind the tee and off the left side of the photo.  

I don't know who Piscator ("fisherman") was.  The pen names golf magazines seem to have been very fluid.

It is just a hunch on my part but when I read these various articles about Biarritz I get the sense that many of them were written by the same pen.  A similarity of description, repeat similar references, etc.  As for the gap in Hutchinson's visits, it is again probably more of a hunch on my part related to the fact that the author of the 1908 article (who I assume is Hutchinson, but I may be mistaken) mentions he hasn't been there in 14 years.   At one point a few years ago, I went through competition listings in Golf for Biarritz trying to track Hutchinson's visits, and I think he only shows up for that first season.  I'd have to take another look at the real magazines to verify though.

I could easily be wrong about all this, though, but even if I am I still don't get a strong sense of confidence in the possible routing in the Chambre for early 1906, possibly outside of the hole down (9) and the hole out (14.)  And I don't have sense of where the tee for the Cliff was, and that seems important in determining the locations of the other four holes ( probably 10-13.)

Note that in the 1908 article, one photo calls the hole down the 8th tee but in another photo calls it the 9th (and the green is called the 9th.)  The text refers to the hole down as the 8th hole, and the Cliff hole as the 13th.  And the article says there are five holes in the chambre.   Note also that the 1909 article identifies the hole along the wall of the Chambre as the 13th tee, but the caption says it is the tee for the cliff hole.

[Thanks for linking to that french website.  I had gotten much of my information off that site a few years ago, but thought it was in NLE.]
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 02:51:20 PM by DMoriarty »
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #258 on: December 29, 2013, 03:13:48 PM »
So in 1904, two years prior to the date we are working with for CBM's visit, the configuration of the holes in the Chambre D'Amour changed from how it had been reported in 1899.

What were the 10th and 11th holes had become the 8th and 9th.  This matches up with descriptions of holes being removed from the front portion of the course, specifically in the Grouse Moor (see earlier in this thread).

So what and where were the two new holes added between the entrance to the Chambre and the Cliff Hole?

I have proposed that these two holes lay on the land in the middle of the Chambre, with one hole (the new 12th) playing from near the green of the old 13th hole (now the 11th) to a green that lay just inland and across the road from the green for the old 12th hole (the new 10th).  The next hole (the new 13th) played back again towards what was described as the eastern portion of the Chambre, or to an area below the cliffs on which the green for the "Cliff Hole" was perched.

Unfortunately, we do not have a contemporaneous version of a routing map.  We do, however, have two later versions of routing maps that depict the layout of holes in the Chambre.  While these two maps are in no way definitive proof, they give us an idea of how the holes in the Chambre were arranged at a later date (at a time when the routing and numbering of the holes for the course had changed so that the holes in the Chambre were included in the front nine).





As I did earlier in the thread, I've marked the early version of the routing map to indicate a possible layout of the holes in 1904 (I've tried to note any doglegs in the play of the holes by angling the connecting lines between the tees and greens).  Note the location of the 12th hole on this marked map and how it matches the location of the holes marked as 5 (on the first map) and 6 (on the second) in the images above.



I've marked this routing on one of the 1904 images of the Chambre:





"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #259 on: December 29, 2013, 03:30:40 PM »
Sven,

The photo with the possible road near the cliff hole tee is the third to last one you posted above. Either a road or a path (in those days there wasn't much difference) runs from behind the tee and off the left side of the photo.  

I don't know who Piscator ("fisherman") was.  The pen names golf magazines seem to have been very fluid.

It is just a hunch on my part but when I read these various articles about Biarritz I get the sense that many of them were written by the same pen.  A similarity of description, repeat similar references, etc.  As for the gap in Hutchinson's visits, it is again probably more of a hunch on my part related to the fact that the author of the 1908 article (who I assume is Hutchinson, but I may be mistaken) mentions he hasn't been there in 14 years.   At one point a few years ago, I went through competition listings in Golf for Biarritz trying to track Hutchinson's visits, and I think he only shows up for that first season.  I'd have to take another look at the real magazines to verify though.

I could easily be wrong about all this, though, but even if I am I still don't get a strong sense of confidence in the possible routing in the Chambre for early 1906, possibly outside of the hole down (9) and the hole out (14.)  And I don't have sense of where the tee for the Cliff was, and that seems important in determining the locations of the other four holes ( probably 10-13.)

Note that in the 1908 article, one photo calls the hole down the 8th tee but in another photo calls it the 9th (and the green is called the 9th.)  The text refers to the hole down as the 8th hole, and the Cliff hole as the 13th.  And the article says there are five holes in the chambre.   Note also that the 1909 article identifies the hole along the wall of the Chambre as the 13th tee, but the caption says it is the tee for the cliff hole.

[Thanks for linking to that french website.  I had gotten much of my information off that site a few years ago, but thought it was in NLE.]

David:

My guess is the road/path is a path, the one used by golfers to exit the tee and to start their ascent up to the green of the Cliff Hole.  You can make out similar stretches of a sandy path in other photos depicting that corner of the Chambre.  (Bryan did a great job of pinning down the location and angle of this photo earlier in the thread.)

I agree with you that many of the articles have the same tone and a similar use of language, with certain phrases often being repeated.  The March 1899 article, however, seems to suggest that the author was intimately familiar with the various iterations of the course up to that date (see the underlined text).  Whether that was Hutchinson, or someone else, the suggestion is clear.

A lot of this retroactive routing recreation is an exercise in the interpretation of photos and written word, but some of it is simple common sense.  For example, if the 9th hole played towards the western corner of the Chambre, the lay of the land only allows for one escape from that area for the next hole (that being along the water back towards the bathhouse).  As with most research of this kind, I think we're sitting in that grey area between pure conjecture and absolutely definitive evidence.

I plan to address the 1908 and 1909 articles, as well as a couple other points of confusion.  Hopefully the photos will speak for themselves.

Sven
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

DMoriarty

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #260 on: December 29, 2013, 03:46:30 PM »
David:

My guess is the road/path is a path, the one used by golfers to exit the tee and to start their ascent up to the green of the Cliff Hole.  You can make out similar stretches of a sandy path in other photos depicting that corner of the Chambre.  (Bryan did a great job of pinning down the location and angle of this photo earlier in the thread.)

Looks like more than just a simple walking path to me.  Look at the ground just beyond the road/path and just short of it (next to the tee) and it looks like the road/path has been cut into the side hill, with some fill just past the tee.  Wouldn't happen with a walking path, I don't think.  Plus there is a the fact that in at least one of the photos there is clearly a tee visible on the other side of the road.  



See the tee just beyond the green? To where did this tee play, if not up the cliff?

Quote
A lot of this retroactive routing recreation is an exercise in the interpretation of photos and written word, but some of it is simple common sense.  For example, if the 9th hole played towards the western corner of the Chambre, the lay of the land only allows for one escape from that area for the next hole (that being along the water back towards the bathhouse).  As with most research of this kind, I think we're sitting in that grey area between pure conjecture and absolutely definitive evidence.

I understand what you are saying but in at least one of the photos it looks like the 9th hole has been shortened so that the green is actually short of the road.  If this was the case then there is more than one way about out of the that corner.  Or even if the hole hadn't yet been shortened, there is more than one way out with a very short walk back across the road.  It seems like if we assume 9 in and 14 out then there are two basic possibilities after the 9th.  The first is to play as you've drawn with 10 and 11 along the water then 12 and 13 down and back inside of those first two.  The other possibility is basically with the  two inside holes first, with 9 down, 10 along the cliff, 11 back, then 12 and 13 along the water.  Neither of these possibilities account for many of the features visible in the various photos, so I don't have tremendous confidence in either one of them.   Yours may be the best, but I am far from completely convinced by either of them.  

Sometimes with this type of research there just isn't enough information to draw definite conclusions.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 03:50:07 PM by DMoriarty »
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #261 on: December 29, 2013, 03:56:00 PM »
The group of photos in the 1904 article were reprinted in the February 1906 Golf Illustrated one pager posted by David.  There are a few key points to take away from these pictures that have not yet been addressed.

1.  The photo of the Fifteenth Hole and the "coastguard's hut" depicts golfers on the way from the tee to the green of that hole (which linked the Cliff Hole Green with the closing holes for the course).  As noted in the 1904 article, and in the caption of the 1906 article, the hut was in a position where it might be hit by a sliced tee shot.  Here is an undated shot of the hut, most likely taken after the 15th hole was taken out of play:



2.  The photo of the Ninth Green (with the lighthouse in the distance) shows the wall at the back of the green that is evident in many photos of this green.

3.  This photo of the Ninth Tee gives us another look at the land in the middle of the Chambre.  I've marked the photo to include the holes that can be identified.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 05:39:36 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

DMoriarty

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #262 on: December 29, 2013, 04:02:39 PM »
Tony Muldoon,

Sven's link to that french Biarritz website helped me refresh my memory why I thought Tom Dunn was responsible for the original 9 holes.


« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 04:04:12 PM by DMoriarty »
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #263 on: December 29, 2013, 04:09:32 PM »
David:

The house in that photo, Villa Zipa, wasn't built until 1919 at the earliest.  I suggest we leave that photo out of any conversation regarding the layout of the course at any time prior to WWI.  I'm also not convinced that the dark area is a tee box.  If it is, its entirely possible that its line of play was back over the green in the picture, something not uncommon back then.

The location of the tee box in the 1904 photo of the Cliff Hole would be somewhere in the lower right hand corner of that photo, or perhaps off the image to the right.

Can you show me the photo showing the 9th hole green short of the road?  I've seen a few that appear that way, but my read was that they actually were showing part of the fairway for the 9th.

Also be happy to look at how your proposed alternative routing works on a map.  And I'll keep it in mind as more photos are examined.

Sven
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #264 on: December 29, 2013, 04:45:24 PM »
The next contemporaneous account of the holes in the Chambre is the February 14, 1908 Golf Illustrated article posted by David above (also found here:  http://golfbiarritz1888.ovh.org/Pres14fevrier1908.html).  This is the article in which the author notes his last visit to Biarritz was fourteen years ago.  The byline notes "By Gari..." with the bulk of the name being cut off.  Perhaps this was Hutchinson, perhaps not.

As David noted, the article notes the hole that enters the Chambre as being the 8th, and one of the photos depicting that hole has the caption "Tee Box for the Eighth Hole Down the Cliff."  Confusing matters, there are two other photos noting the same hole with their captions stating that it is the 9th Hole.  

I think I see the issue.  The two photos with the captions of the "9th hole" are two of the same photos that appeared in the 1904 and 1906 articles, with the same captions contained therein.  Sloppy editing, as the captions should have been updated to reflect the new number of the hole, the 8th, as noted in the text of the article and in the one new photo of that hole.

As David pointed out, the article notes that the Cliff Hole was now numbered as the 13th.  This makes sense if the old 9th became the 8th.  The change suggests an elimination of one hole early on in the course, but doesn't necessarily lead us to think that the configuration of the holes in the Chambre changed leading up to the publishing of this article in 1908.

However...
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #265 on: December 29, 2013, 05:28:41 PM »
A year later, another Golf Illustrated article appeared on February 26, 1909, this time including several new photos of the course.  The author of the piece is not identified in the link from the club's website (http://golfbiarritz1888.ovh.org/Pres26fevrier1909.html).

The text of the article includes the following:

"Mr. A.F. Macfie (sp?), the well-known amateur, is a frequent visitor, and uses his camera on the course with as much skill as his cleek, as the illustrations on these pages show....

Two striking features of the course are the tee shot down [text cut off] to the eighth hole, and the approach up to the thirteenth; these [down] and up shots are rendered necessary by the fact that the [?] from eight to twelve are on the shore level, the others being [?] top of the cliff."


The article contains the following photos (two having captions, with the other two captions having been cutoff by the scanned page):



The caption on the above photo is very confusing.  My best guess is that the intention was to show a long range shot of the Cliff Hole (the 13th), which would have been located at "the top of the cliff."  It appears that the photo also captures the hole preceding the Cliff Hole, and that is the tee on which the golfer's in the foreground are standing.



Based on the location of the lighthouse in the background and the direction the observer on the tee is looking, this appears to be a shot of the tee of the 9th hole (as numbered at this time, the hole following the hole that plays down the cliff into the Chambre).  The photo may also depict that sandy paths that David brought up with regards to the location of the tee for the Cliff Hole.



Any thoughts on this one?



A shot we've seen before, that being the teeing area for the entrance into the Chambre.

One other important item to note is the reference in the article to the Hotel Regina, which was opened in 1907.  This places the date of (a) the Colt routing map above and (b) the routing map below each as post-1907, as the hotel is noted thereon.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 05:54:55 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

DMoriarty

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #266 on: December 29, 2013, 09:55:36 PM »
David:

The house in that photo, Villa Zipa, wasn't built until 1919 at the earliest.  I suggest we leave that photo out of any conversation regarding the layout of the course at any time prior to WWI.  I'm also not convinced that the dark area is a tee box.  If it is, its entirely possible that its line of play was back over the green in the picture, something not uncommon back then.

I am not sure so we should disregard this photo. If the original Cliff green still existed at this point, then finding the Cliff hole tee even in 1919 or later might be helpful in terms of figuring out the earlier routing.  And I think it is a pretty good fit for the early photos we have of the tee location, including the one with the possible road.  

And, realistically, we don't have dates for most of the postcard shots including the one where you have identified the green surface which you believe was the 12th.  If all those are good enough to use, I am not sure it makes sense to throw out this one.  At least this one appears to predate the Colt changes.

As for the theory that the  the tee played right back over the top of the previous green, I have my doubts, especially since there appears to be another green or something right on the other side of the road.  To where would this tee have played?

By the way I am not looking at the dark area but rather the white, squared off area on top of the dune.  Look at all the various walking paths from the green.  They go up to the squared off white area.  To where did this tee play if not up the cliff?

Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #267 on: December 29, 2013, 10:46:40 PM »
David:

I don't see a tee where you are looking, I see an area of sand, most likely an extension of the beach.  In addition, I have not seen any other evidence, either written or in photos, that would suggest that the Cliff Hole played from a tee located on the beach side of that green.

As for using the other photo, its the best we have right now with regards to what the 12th hole might have looked like (I actually acknowledged the issue of its date back on Dec. 22nd).  It doesn't have the Villa Zipa in it, and thus predates the photo you've copied in your post.  Things get pretty interesting down in the Chambre D'Amour around WWI (including its use as an airfield), so I'm inclined to disregard photos that we know are dated after that time.

If you'll indulge the exercise a little further, perhaps we can start to connect some of the dots in the undated photos and postcards by using some of the benchmarks identified so far, and others to come.  

If it helps you understand where I'm coming from with this, just the process of going through all of the various photos and reports in some sort of organized manner, whether it be chronologically or by focusing on groups of photos of particular holes, is raising and answering questions.  I was just about to put up a post noting that the information in the 1908 and 1909 articles has me considering a second hole as a possibility for the location of our mythical 12th hole.  Let's just say the thesis is still evolving.

Sven
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #268 on: December 29, 2013, 11:26:14 PM »
While we're on the subject, here's another photo of the Villa Zipa.  I don't see any evidence of a beach side tee box in this photo (not that this one photo is conclusive on whether one ever existed).



And as this as good a place as any, here are two old photos of what the land in the Chambre D'Amour looked like.  Best I can tell, both of these pictures are from before there were golf holes on this land.



"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

DMoriarty

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #269 on: December 30, 2013, 12:22:28 AM »
David:
As for using the other photo, its the best we have right now with regards to what the 12th hole might have looked like (I actually acknowledged the issue of its date back on Dec. 22nd).  It doesn't have the Villa Zipa in it, and thus predates the photo you've copied in your post.

Not necessarily.  The Villa Zipa had a fairly short lifespan down in the chambre.  It was deconstructed and moved up into the town around 1930.  So the photo could have been before 1919 or after 1930.  It is convenient to assume that the photo must have been from the time period in question, but frankly there is a lot in that photo that doesn't seem to match.  It seems there are too many golf holes, for one thing.

As for the mystery tee, it sure looks like a tee to me, especially given the paths off the green.  And while the latest photo isn't clear either way, it certainly doesn't preclude the existence of the tee in the exact same spot, near the white marker.  It is tough to say.  

The photo of the "dunes" is interesting.  I'd guess the buildings in the background are in the same location as the buildings throughout.  Those uniformed men are reclining against the side of the Cliff tee, aren't they?
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

DMoriarty

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #270 on: December 30, 2013, 01:07:03 AM »
Another undated photo:


And a real head scratcher:


Both purportedly from the Chambre.  http://v2.adala-asso.com/modules/myalbum/viewcat.php?num=9&cid=6
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #271 on: December 30, 2013, 01:30:57 AM »
David:

I'm starting to think that you are seeing tees everywhere.

Clearly, the men are lying along a built up road or path.  The ladies are sensibly walking along that path.  Where exactly in the Chambre this scene takes place I'm not quite sure.

We'll agree to disagree on the presence of a tee on the beach side of the hole in your photo, my stance being that without clear or corroborating evidence I'm not going to wander into conjecture.  What I do know is that your photo depicts the course at some point after 1919, and since I'm only up to 1909 in my analysis, I don't care to muddy the waters (in a very Muccian way) by discussing it now.  Before moving on, if it helps your analysis, here's a closeup of the area in question.



As for the date of the following photo, I believe it predates the Villa Zipa, but I really don't care one way or the other.  When I used it earlier in the thread it was to note two possible locations for CBM's 12th hole, as it was the only photo I'd found at that time that covered the central portion of the Chambre (much the same way that Bryan used modern photos to note the location of the Cliff Hole).  Keep in mind that I've never claimed a specific date for the photo (clearly indicating that I did not have a date for the photo), and would not state that it is definitive evidence of how the land lay when CBM saw the course.  



Sven
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 02:02:32 AM by Sven Nilsen »
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #272 on: December 30, 2013, 01:37:12 AM »
Another undated photo:


And a real head scratcher:


Both purportedly from the Chambre.  http://v2.adala-asso.com/modules/myalbum/viewcat.php?num=9&cid=6

The first photo is a much more recent picture than either of the previously discussed photos, as the bathhouse has been moved inland from its prior location (and Villa Zipa has been moved and replaced by a concrete terrace).

I've seen the second photo, and am not quite sure what to make of it.  It certainly doesn't look like any other image I've seen of the holes in the Chambre, and the bunkering, background and terrain do not match up at all.
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Bryan Izatt

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Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #273 on: December 30, 2013, 01:38:45 AM »
David, Sven,

Thanks for all the pictures and quotes.  I see nothing conclusive so far as to the intermediate routings around the time of CBM's visit.  There are certainly some likely candidate areas but I think the search will have top continue.  And, we may not recognize it even if we find it because we are not seeing it with CBM's eyes.

Here's another postcard, presumably post 1930 since the villa Zipa is gone, that maybe shows the site of the revised Cliff green. There looks like a flat place part way up the cliff on the right. And, maybe a square former tee area directly below in the sand.




Sven,

The Pins and Dunes picture must be from a bit further north up the coast or much later in time.  There are no pines in any of the many photos of the Chambre where the course was.



David,

That last picture is a head scratcher.  The topography doesn't look like the Chambre at all.  Maybe they mislabeled it and it's really from Pau.



Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The original Biarritz
« Reply #274 on: December 30, 2013, 01:55:47 AM »
Bryan:

The green you note is what I've been calling the "new version" of the cliff hole.  Earlier in the thread Pat was confusing other photos of play to this hole with your descriptions and photos of the location of the "old version," thus creating a bit of confusion.  I posted a screencap of what the area of that green looks like today a page or two back.

Haven't pinned down just yet when the switch from old to new occurred.

Sven
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

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