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Willie_Dow

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Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2007, 11:56:11 AM »
Eric, the 1914 article mentions expensive drainage systems put in by Merion.  I wonder if this refers to the skating rink in the quarry ?  Today the level of ground below the 17th in the quarry is above the stream, Cobbs Creek, so no drainage, or catch basin, is available.

TEPaul

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2007, 12:15:28 PM »
Willie:

The extensive drainage systems mentioned at Merion probably refers to the necessity to rebuild some of the original greens there simply because they just weren't working for the purpose of growing grass.

That kind of stuff shows up prevalently in all those so-called "Agronomy Letters" between Hugh Wilson and Piper and Oakley that eventually led to the creation of the USGA Green Section of which Piper, the former US Dept of Agriculture botanist, became the first chairman.

TEPaul

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2007, 01:44:35 PM »
"The wild thing that I just realized yesterday is that Cobbs Creek, built by Wilson, Crump, Smith, et.al., in 1915 has some of the most natural looking greensites around, and they are ALL still original (except for 3 which got rebuilt after flooding).  Many of them just flow out of the ground, which was much different given the earlier US models."

Mike:

That's an important point, particularly if it's undeniable true. That's also pretty much the subject that Wayne Morrisson fixates on always wondering why the Macdonald/Raynor style never followed that direction in construction and certainly in look.

But to test what you say it probably would be worthwhile to discuss some of the greens or whatever of various architects just to see if they really did try to use natural landforms for most greens and if not if they really tried to hide what they manufactured. I think what we will find is architects of even vastly differing styles this way commonly did both.

Even at NGLA there're a number of greens that appear to be preexisting natural landforms and on other courses like Merion or Pine Valley there are some that look pretty manufactured if you know where and how to look at them.

The other day I spent some time looking at Piping Rock's redan with this in mind. My God does the entire left half of that green look entirely manufactured and naturally it looks that way because it is. But then the manufacturing is such a large quantity of earth I started looking around to see if I could figure out where they did the cutting to produce that much fill and I found it basically off to the right.

It's just so ironic that the cuts look so natural while the fill (green) looks anything but.

The other cool thing is to try to determine if the cuts and fills match or balance and if you know how to look for this stuff  you can see it obviously almost always did in this old architecture.

Joe Bausch

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Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2007, 02:27:09 PM »
Here's an article about PV opening up all 18 holes.  No author is given.

Citation:

Headline: Pine Valley Course Open for Play in May; Article Type: News/Opinion
Paper: Philadelphia Inquirer, published as The Philadelphia Inquirer; Date: 03-28-1920; Volume: 182; Issue: 88; Page: 21; Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Note the credit for laying out the course is given to Colt.



@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:
https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Eric Pevoto

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Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2007, 10:25:19 PM »
Eric:

Actually the laying of all that black muck from the lake bottoms and such on the holes created something of an agronomic disaster.

Jeez, I whiffed on that one.  I now remember a mention of the early problems growing grass at PV.


   
There's no home cooking these days.  It's all microwave.Bill Kittleman

Golf doesn't work for those that don't know what golf can be...Mike Nuzzo

Mike_Cirba

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2007, 10:33:33 PM »
"The wild thing that I just realized yesterday is that Cobbs Creek, built by Wilson, Crump, Smith, et.al., in 1915 has some of the most natural looking greensites around, and they are ALL still original (except for 3 which got rebuilt after flooding).  Many of them just flow out of the ground, which was much different given the earlier US models."

Mike:

That's an important point, particularly if it's undeniable true. That's also pretty much the subject that Wayne Morrisson fixates on always wondering why the Macdonald/Raynor style never followed that direction in construction and certainly in look.

But to test what you say it probably would be worthwhile to discuss some of the greens or whatever of various architects just to see if they really did try to use natural landforms for most greens and if not if they really tried to hide what they manufactured. I think what we will find is architects of even vastly differing styles this way commonly did both.

The other cool thing is to try to determine if the cuts and fills match or balance and if you know how to look for this stuff  you can see it obviously almost always did in this old architecture.

Tom,

You're just going to have to join us over at Cobb's Creek and look at them with us.

I could tell you, but then I'd ruin your joy of discovery.  ;D

Eric Pevoto

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Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2007, 10:50:24 PM »
This ongoing debate for attribution is interesting.  I don't know Pine Valley well enough to notice, is/was there any marked difference in the construction and style of the "new" holes (12-15) opened in 1920?  Is it possible to see any evolution or wholesale changes (like the deletion of the alpinization at Merion)?

Mike,  I agree with you concerning the greens at Cobbs.  Most are leveled out of broader landforms; very economical.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2007, 10:58:50 PM by Eric Pevoto »
There's no home cooking these days.  It's all microwave.Bill Kittleman

Golf doesn't work for those that don't know what golf can be...Mike Nuzzo

Mike_Cirba

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2007, 11:51:06 PM »
Eric,

The evolution of Pine Valley between inception and the early 20s when it was finished included quite a bit of revision and tinkering and outright revamping in spots.  

In fact, it's interesting that you mention the Alpinization that was discarded at Merion because Tillinghast's description of the first holes on the course prior to 1915 stated that the 3rd hole had Alpinization, which also doesn't exist anymore.

Today, I would defy anyone who doesn't know to point out which holes were created/completed after Crump's death in 1918 because the look and stylings are consistent throughout.

If anything, I think it was always this way.   It seems that after Crump's death, great care was taken to build these holes as a tribute to what he did at Pine Valley, and to the memory of the man himself.   The fact that men who knew and revered Crump so well, like Hugh and Alan Wilson, were the men involved in the creation of the final holes, almost ensured this successful outcome.


p.s.   Hope you can join us next time our little group convenes at Cobbs.  
« Last Edit: December 22, 2007, 11:51:49 PM by MPCirba »

Mike_Cirba

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #58 on: December 23, 2007, 12:10:20 AM »
By the way...the following should be required reading for anyone interested even a little bit in golf course architectural history..

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/opinionmacwood7.html

TEPaul

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #59 on: December 23, 2007, 12:38:39 AM »
I believe holes #12-#15 were a lot more designed before Crump died than most have believed.

The record shows that Crump was attempting to make some minor alterations to the front left of green #12 which would lead one to believe it was basically done before he died.

Tillinghast's reporting of finding the green site on #13 around 1916 is also pretty interesting and various things the record shows Crump was planning to do with #13 indicate the tee and green on that hole was in place. Carr or Smith also reported that Crump had stripped away a ton of trees on the left that the green might be visible from the tee.

George Govan, the son of Jim Govan, Crump's pro/foreman gives his father the credit for the idea of #14.

Father Carr's "remembrances" say the last words he had with Crump was that he was not completely satisfied with #15 which leads me to believe the basic hole was in place and perhaps "rough shaped" but without the rest of the design in place.

And one cannot forget that most of the delay at that time was WW1 and there were no avaibable crews or labor around. Construction had basically been shut down at that time.

#12 fairway had been turned into a "Victory Garden" for God's Sake! ;)

TEPaul

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2007, 12:59:31 AM »
When the question comes to who these writers were who were using pseudonyms it is of course an interesting question and any of us would love to find out who they really were.

My sense is that the ones who used pseudonyms were probably people fairly well known back then and people we might recognize.

Others who used their own names were probably just newspaper reports. Newspaper articles with no bylines are the ones which over time don't seem so interesting or informative to me and don't report fresh facts for probably obvious reasons.

I was telling Wayne today that when I played tournament golf around here in the 1980s and 1990s the Philadelphia golf reporter for the Inquirer was Meyer Branschein and he knew all of us really well and we all who ever did anything knew him really well. Consequently the reporting about the tournaments and the courses and the players was informative and personal. Meyer was a pretty old guy in the 80s and 90s and when he died Inquirer reporting on golf and the players got a whole lot more indirect and consequently much less informative as a result.

The same was probably true back then about reporting and with newspaper writers.

Paul_Turner

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Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #61 on: December 23, 2007, 07:45:45 AM »
Joe

Who authored that 1/4/1914 article, the one with the plan.  I assumed it was this "Verdant Green" chap, but you haven't listed an author.

Thanks

Paul
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Joe Bausch

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Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #62 on: December 23, 2007, 08:00:18 AM »
Joe

Who authored that 1/4/1914 article, the one with the plan.  I assumed it was this "Verdant Green" chap, but you haven't listed an author.

Thanks

Paul

Paul, the article does not state the author.  However, the article is part of a page of the sports section that was almost completely dedicated to golf stories.  And just below this one was a typical "Golf Queries by Verdant Greene" article and just to the right of the drawing of the Colt plan was a "It Happened in Golfland" article by VG.  Hence, I'm >99% certain this article was Greene as well.
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:
https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Tony_Muldoon

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on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

wsmorrison

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #64 on: December 23, 2007, 08:58:32 AM »
Perhaps that Verdant Green was known in Philadelphia several decades later and inspired the name.  Though our correspondent spelled his last name Greene.

Joe Bausch

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Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #65 on: December 23, 2007, 12:10:16 PM »
This probably isn't news to you PV aficionados, but I uncovered this tidbit in a section called "Camden news" in this Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Headline: Camden News Delaware Ferry Co. to Erect New Dock; Article Type: News/Opinion
Paper: Philadelphia Inquirer, published as The Philadelphia Inquirer; Date: 04-09-1913; Volume: 168; Issue: 99; Page: 3; Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It states (note, in the first sentence that one word is 'county' and not 'country'!):  

     "With the object of establishing one of the finest golf links in the county, the Pine Valley Golf Club Company was incorporated yesterday in Camden.  The capital is $20,000, the incorporators being George A. Crump, Howard W. Perrin, Simon Carr, C. B. Buxton, Joseph S. Clark, J. Walter Zebley, Wirt L. Thompson, A. H. Smith and W. P. Smith.  
      It was stated that a fine tract of land has been secured at Clementon, a dozen miles below Camden, where the links will be laid out.  It was further asserted that golf tournaments on an international character will be played and that New York capitalists are backing the project."
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:
https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Peter Pallotta

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #66 on: December 23, 2007, 12:28:47 PM »
Gents - thanks for a great discussion. It's really striking how much was bubbling up all together say between 1910 and 1920 i.e. agronomy, designs principles, great courses etc.  

The mentions of Colt and Fowler (who with Perry Maxwell have become my favourite must sees) reminded me of this article from 1910:

"While talking with a member of the golf committee of a club, with considerable pretentions, near Boston, we observed that Mr. Herbert Fowler recently had said that a bunker was not something to be carried but was something to avoid. It was our intention to convey the idea or present a picture of a golf ball running on to a large green after a full shot and just avoiding a pot bunker cut into it, near which the flag stood in the hole. The man looked at us in astonishment. He had never heard of such a thing and instead of having courted a discussion as to whether Mr. Fowler were right in his dictum, for surely it is well to have something to carry occasionally as well as to have something to avoid, we were regarded as the opponent of the things that are - and right because they are -- and in fact as a very dangerous person or one very soon to become the inmate of a lunatic asylum. Except at one or two clubs in the Boston district the theories of such men as Mr. Herbert Fowler, Mr. H. S. Colt and the British professionals who have made a study of golf construction, especially in regard to bunkers, are utterly unknown and pride seems to be taken in this ignorance."

A lot of stuff 'in the air' back then.

Peter

Mike_Cirba

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #67 on: December 23, 2007, 12:29:58 PM »
Joe,

I'd just point out that the "A. H. Smith" from your article is the same guy who worked with Hugh Wilson, George Crump, and George Klauner on Cobb's Creek.

I've seen Smith referred to as Ab Smith, A. Haseltine Smith, as well, and he and his brother W.P. Smith were exceptional players.

Incidently, A.H. Smith won the first Philadelphia Amateur Championship in 1897, so there was very good reason that he would have been placed on a GAP-appointed team of experts.

He also gave up all his Sunday's for half-year or so to work on the construction of Cobb's Creek.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2007, 12:30:55 PM by MPCirba »

TEPaul

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #68 on: December 23, 2007, 10:11:31 PM »
One little tidbit from Verdant Greene's reporting on Pine Valley and Crump and his buddies and their interest in the plans and drawings and architectural philosophy of Herbert Fowler that should not be missed or glossed over was what Verdant Greene mentioned was their search for the "ideal" in golf architecture.

Greene set the stage for this in one article by couching the context of the article with the question of---Is golf too hard the way some of these guys are considering building courses?

Some on here and many in golf think the "Ideal" in architecture is to figure out some way of designing to accommodate all levels of golfers and apparently Colt felt that way even if it meant intentionally dropping a shot on a hole.

But it seems like Fowler wasn't of that mind philosophically (or at least Crump et al didn't think he was) and that may've been what appealed to Crump and his buddies at Pine Valley.

There can be no doubt at all that Crump was in no way trying to construct his course as something that could in any way accommodate the duff. He didn't even want that kind of player at Pine Valley and he joked about that fact.

What Crump wanted was a course that would be a training ground for champions and apparently he and his buddies considered THAT to be an "ideal" or THE "Ideal" in golf and architecture.

The message was clear---eg if you want to play this place bring a pretty fine game and if you ain't got it go find it somewhere first or stay away from Pine Valley.

Is this kind of thing and its apparent popularity some kind of fascination like trying to ring the bell at the State Fair or to see how far up the poll you can send the weight?

TEPaul

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #69 on: December 23, 2007, 11:12:07 PM »
Phil:

I've been reading over all my files from Pine Valley and I came across a reprint from the Tillinghast Society 12/13/04 that seems to be a compilation by Tillie of many of his articles that's entitled "The Development of Pine Valley". The inclusions from his old articles run from 1913 until 1919.

Can you tell me when Tillie wrote this? I seem to remember Tom MacWood or someone saying some years ago he wrote this compilation on Pine Valley as late as the early 1930s.

One of the reasons I ask is something Tillie said in that article, again, entitled "Number 14 The Development of Pine Valley"----and that is;

"In January of 1913, George Crump gave me permission to publish in my syndicated weekly golf column of that period, the first words of the new course. An excerpt from this read: "The Philadelphia section is to have a great new course---one which may eclipse all others. Although I have known  of the plans for more than a year, only recently have I been relieved from secrecy and the announcement appears in print for the first time."

Phil---what was that "weekly" syndicated column Tillie is referring to? I know he wrote as "Hazard" for American Golfer and for other golf magazines but weren't they all monthy periodicals? What newspapers did the "syndicated weekly" columns he referred to appear in or do you think he was mistaken when he said "weekly" perhaps meaning monthly?

I've certainly never been that aware of all the periodicals Tillie wrote for but do you think one of those newspapers that carried his column or perhaps columns was the Philadelphia Inquirer?

And if you are aware of this "weekly" syndicated column he referred to, did he write it under his own name or some pseudonym or perhaps a series of pseudonyms?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2007, 11:13:06 PM by TEPaul »

Phil_the_Author

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #70 on: December 24, 2007, 06:43:08 AM »
Tom,

The answer to the question of what was the weekly colmun Tilly wrote can be found in his column titled "Eastern Department" by "Hazard" in The American Golfer dated March 1919, Tilly wrote:

Mr. A.W. Tillinghast, who for may years contributed the golf column in each Sunday's edition of "The Philadelphia Record", has resigned from that publication's staff. His activities as a golf course architect prevent him from writing so much as of old."

Although since I haven't seen any of the articles I can't be definitive, I do believe, based upon his announcement that he wrote it under his own name.

I am certain that these columns contain a wealth of information but, unfortunately, that is one of the reasons I must make a research trip to Philadelphia so that I can look these articles up as I can't find them through the internet.  

though we know that he resigned this position in 1919, we are unaware of when he began writing for the Record. That would have precluded his writing for the competition at the Inquirer, but that doesn't mean that he hadn't before then, and there are reasons to believe that he had which is why the question of who "Joe Bunker" is has fascinated many.

The article about Pine Valley that you are refering to is titled "The Genius of Pine Valley" and was published in the May 1933 issue of Golf Illustrated. It is reprinted as chapter 33, pages 124-26 in "Reminiscences of the Links."

Sorry I missed your call last night. It wasn't too late at all. Unfortunately my son was tying up the line...
« Last Edit: December 24, 2007, 06:47:54 AM by Philip Young »

TEPaul

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #71 on: December 24, 2007, 08:41:50 AM »
Phil:

The main reason I was going through everything I have in the written word in newspapers and periodicals on Pine Valley including Tilly's writing about it over the years and including that article on Pine Valley you say he wrote in 1933 as well as everything Simon Carr and others including what Travis wrote about the creation of Pine Valley over the years is to try to figure out why almost all of them seemed to assign so much more credit for the desgin of the course to Harry Colt right around the end of 1914 and the beginning of 1915.

This was when the course formally opened for play (Nov. 7, 1914) although the course would not have a full 18 holes in play for over five more years.

What was written at that time does not seem to jibe logically with what was written by the same people both before and after that time perhaps even including what Verdant Greene wrote.

I'm trying to understand why that was and I certainly have an assumption on why that was.

Phil_the_Author

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #72 on: December 24, 2007, 09:03:49 AM »
Tom,

I agree. For a course that had more written about it during its creation than most any other and more people interested in its progress, it seems as if no one was getting the story straight.

From Joe Bunker on 9/20/1914: "The Pine Valley club has closed the course and it will not be open again for play until the Middle of October when fourteen holes will be ready. The entire course has been seeded..."

That certainly sounds ("entire course") as if all 18 were
finished...

Then he writes on 8/1/1915, nearly a year later: "Four new holes of the Pine Valley Golf Club will be opened this fall but the entire course will not be ready until next Spring..."

Well, if 14 holes were open for play 10 months before, and now 4 new holes are scheduled for opening in two months time, how can it be that the "entire course" will not be ready for play until next spring?

Then on 7/9/1916, he writes: "Three of the new holes at Pine Valley are now open for play so that fourteen of the eoghteen holes are now in play..."

These 3 reports spanning 2+ years in time makes one wonder exactly what was Crump & everyone else doing in the Clementon and, even more so, what 14 holes were they playing during all that time?

It also makes one reconsider exactly how "in the know" Joe Bunker really was about Pine Valley and his relationships with everyone involved...

Mike_Cirba

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #73 on: December 24, 2007, 09:20:10 AM »
Phil,

That's some really interesting stuff.   I'm thinking that some intrepid person is going to find the Philadelphia Bulletins sometime soon.  If we get there, of course we'll pass the on to you.

TEPaul

Re:January 4, 1914 drawing: Pine Valley
« Reply #74 on: December 24, 2007, 09:24:57 AM »
Phil:

That kind of thing and that kind of reporting is not what bothers me or interests me because I know exactly what was going on down there with the various holes. I have the ability of understanding the situation through hindsight while those men writing at the time about what would happen or what was expected to happen did not have that luxury.

When one speaks about new holes "opening" and then those same new holes being ready for play quite a while later they are simply referring to the approximately 10 months to a year it takes for those holes to "grow in".

But there was a lot more than just that going on down there.

First of all, Pine Valley is routed in such a way that when those fourteen holes came into play, the course both could and did play something like an 18 hole course simply because the golfers would play the first four holes over again and be right back at the clubhouse (#4).

So for that reason alone Crump may not have felt all that constrained to proceed that quickly with the last four holes (#12-15) that would make up a full 18 hole course.

And there were other reasons. WW1 hit for the USA at this time and he basically lost most of his construction manpower.

He also had some pretty severe agronomic problems during this time that had to be attended to as a priority with the holes that were in play.

What I'm interested in unraveling is why all those writers who apparently knew Crump and Pine Valley so well assigned so much credit to Colt for designing the course right around the end of 1914 when they did not do that in writing either before or afterwards.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2007, 09:27:02 AM by TEPaul »

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