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Rich Goodale (Guest)

Willie Park Jr.
« on: November 22, 2002, 06:25:47 AM »
I have just joined a club whose present course was laid out by Willie in the late 19th century.  While I've played these (sortof) links many times in the past, those were the days before I discovered GCA, and so I was completely ignorant about the provenance of the holes that I was (very enjoyedly) playing.  In the little research I have done I find that despite some tinkering by Braid in the 20's and Steele in the 80's the course is pretty much what wee Willie left behind when he took the ferry back to Musselburgh.

My question to youse all is:  what should I look for if I want to find Parks' "signature" on the course?  I've not played another of his layouts (to my knowledge) and haven't really read much about him, in a substantive sense, on this site.  What's in the "courses by Architect" section is tantalizing, but I'd like to know more.

Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tom MacWood (Guest)

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2002, 08:09:42 AM »
Rich
I'm not a Willie Park-Jr expert, but from what I understand (and the few courses I've seen) his greens would probably be his signature. He seem to place significant importance in placing them in a variety of natural locations (not unlike many of that era, but perhaps more emphasis on variety). On ledges and plateaus, in hollows and some level with fairway -- again usually with a lot of variety. He was also known to create a few volcano-like greens here in the states, I'm not sure about the UK. He supposedly created at least one 'Table' green with every course - based on the green of the same name at Musselburgh. A distinctive two level green with a relatively narrow table near the back of the green. He also seemed to favour a more free-form natural-looking bunker to the more regular pot. Musselburgh was a significant influence upon him.

What year was the course built?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Rihc Goodale

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2002, 08:57:19 AM »
Thanks Tom

The course was built in 1896.  Originally they wanted to build 15 holes, as that was the routing of their previous course, but Old Tom Morris convinced them to go to the St. Andrews stereotype, as so 18 holes were built.  Quite frankly, given the slightly cramped nature of the site, 15 could have been better, but who was gopingto argue with OTM in those days?

That two tier, narrow top table green describes exactly the 7th at this course.  There is also a lot of variety in terms of plateau greens, sunken greens and punchbowls.  No real "volcano" greens that I can think of.  The average green size is 8000 square feet.

Do you want me to tell you the name of the course, or do you want to guess?  Your choice!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

rpurd

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2002, 10:01:54 AM »
Willie is known for his greens.  I am a member of one of his NE courses (built in 1898).  The size of our greens give several great hole locations.  Slope also plays a big part on some greens.....get above the hole and you are in BIG trouble.  Having played several Park courses (in MN, Penn, Mich, NY, and CT), he seems to be very good sculpting 18 holes onto small pieces of land......Maidstone, Minneapolis Golf Club and Woodway good examples.  I am going up to Canada next year to check out some of his north of the border clubs (mount bruno, etc).  I suspect the same type of layout as his US courses........I haven't been to the UK yet, but I figure those are his best works.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2002, 11:59:01 AM »
I wonder how much work Mr Park did at Montrose in Scotland ?. It has a very good par three with a shot across a gully to a large plateau green , called "Table"
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

JakaB

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2002, 01:13:07 PM »
Sounds like Formby Golf Club to me...though I don't know how its local relates to your current status.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Rich Goodale (Guest)

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2002, 07:48:41 PM »
JakaB

I wasn't running a guessing game here, just trying to find out a bit more about oor Willie.  It seems that there is some knowledge of his work in the US (viz. rpurd's post), but very little (at least that is codified) about his work at home (per Brian's question about Montrose).  From what I've seen he has a very interesting portfolio (as well as probably being--along with OTM--one of the first golf archies).

As for my club, you among all people should know that I would never join Formby, which is so misogynist that it has it's own ladies course, plus the fact that it is about a 6 hour drive from my house.....

Burntisland, it is.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Evan Fleisher

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Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2002, 08:47:50 AM »
Didn't Park Jr. do Gullane #1 near Edinburgh?

Oddly enough as well...I am working on a project in Battle Creek, MI and the Battle Creek Country Club is also listed as one of his works.  I have yet to have the time to pop over and take a looksy, but it seemed to be an unusual place for his design work.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Born Rochester, MN. Grew up Miami, FL. Live Cleveland, OH. Handicap 13.4. Have 22 & 19 year old girls and wife of 25 years. I'm a Senior Supply Chain Business Analyst for Vitamix. Diehard walker, but tolerate cart riders! Love to travel, always have my sticks with me. Mollydooker for life!

newtoneagle

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2002, 10:00:21 AM »
I'd like to know more about Park Jr. as well, he designed the course where I play, you're right, there does not seem to be much writing on his architecture. Possibly his style is considered too bland in this age of dramatic visuals.

Speaking of my course, it could be due to very economical and  low-profile style of his, which may or may not have a lot to do with the limitations of the times when it came to moving earth and shaping the ground.

His strength at my course would be his clever routing and placing of greens, making use of all the natural land formations, introducing few that required much earth-moving. The bunkers are not penal, and placed sparely but thoughtfully.

Most creative license seems to have been taken in designing the greens, there are many steeply canted flat ones (always back to front) or two-tiered ones with nasty putts. A constant rule seems to be never be above the hole, and don't even think about air-mailing the green, the pitch back will be impossible to get close. Always open-fronted greens (except for fiercely defended par-3s) where the smart play is often to under-club, going right at the pin ends up being a sucker's play often.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:11 PM by -1 »

Matt Kardash

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2002, 10:21:15 AM »
rpurd,

good luck finding Mont Bruno, let alone getting into it!..haha...needless to say it's easier to split an atom than to find the entrance to that course....

i think WIllie also designed Laval sur le Lac, which is also in the Montreal area. I think there are others but i can't remember...I know Royal Montreal used to be designed by Willie, but they then torn it down years later and let Dick Wilson come in and have a crack at it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
the interviewer asked beck how he felt "being the bob dylan of the 90's" and beck quitely responded "i actually feel more like the bon jovi of the 60's"

rpurd

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2002, 02:37:38 PM »
I know of the "secrecy" and private nature of Bruno.  Fortunately I have secured an invite from one of my fellow members in S Carolina.  Also going to Quebec Golf Club and Ottawa Hunt Club.  Thomas McBroom has re-designed a few of these.

Cya north of the border next year!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Paul_Turner

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2002, 09:56:03 PM »
Like Rich, I played Park's UK courses without really considering these were by the same architect.  And I find it quite difficult to see a common style:  i.e. there's no clear similarity between Sunningdale, Notts, Formby and Maidstone; I need to take another look.

As for a lesser Park course, I'd like to play Stoneham which is near to Southampton.

PS

Are the Formby women golfers restricted to the Ladies course?  I always thought these were separate clubs and women could be members for either course?  Whereas men couldn't be members of the Ladies course.  An unusual case of women getting the better deal?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

ian

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2002, 11:39:40 PM »
Royal moved....again and again. Dick Wilson is the listed as the designer, but Joe Lee actually did it.

There are quite a few clubs by Willie Park Jr. in Montreal.
Beaconsfield
Laval-green
Islesmere-blue/white
Mt. Bruno
and another I can't remember.

The courses are all worth playing. French is an asset at Laval and Islesmere.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tom MacWood (Guest)

Re: Willie Park Jr.
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2002, 09:05:23 PM »
I'm not sure if there is a common architectural style with Park's European designs - I suspect there was at one time. Part of the confusion may be due to his father's work in the late 1800's - some of which young Willie collaborated on. If I were to study his courses in Europe I'd look to the designs he listed as his greatest accomplishments, all after his father's death and between 1900 and 1913: Sunningdale, Huntercombe, Worplesdon, La Boulie (Paris), Montrose, Coombe Hill, Lombardzyde (Belgium-NLE), Formby, Knebworth, Stoneham and West Hill.

In Canada he seemed most proud of Mt.Bruno, Summerlea, Royal Montreal and Beaconsfield.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

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