> Golf Course Architecture

Belvedere GC, Charlevoix, MI

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Agreed.   I very much appreciate Tom MacWood's research, as well.  ;D

And, from theToledo Country Club web page:

"The Toledo Country Club is one of the oldest and finest Country Clubs in the Midwest, established in 1897 with the purchase of approximately thirty acres of land along the Maumee River. A nine-hole golf course was constructed almost immediately while today’s Clubhouse was completed by 1901. The course was originally designed by British Open Champion Willie Park Jr. and was later redesigned by Arthur Hills. "

What dates did Watson and Park work?  Did Park redo and then expand the 9 holes?

Just asking. Like Tom, I do find all this history interesting.  And it appears that architectural attributions just weren't considered quite as important to make in those days.

Garland Bayley:
Interesting. Advertisements as evidence. With that standard we would all be smoking for the health benefits.

Tom MacWood:
The current 18 at Toledo was built in 1911. Willie Park, Jr moved permanently to the US in 1916 (after a couple visits in the mid-90s). When I pointed this out to the club they had little interest. I knew it wasn't Park in 1911, but Watson was not someone I suspected. Willie Park did redesign the course later, and listed it, my guess that was around 1919 around the time he built Sylvania.  

Ross did not include White Bear Yacht as a course he designed or redesigned on his master list of 1930. White Bear YC had no direct evidence Ross was involved. The Tufts Archives had nothing on White Bear either, no articles and no plans. Watson was the preeminent man in Minnesota at the time, which is why I suspected it was more likely he was responsible for the course and mentioned it a few times in the past (prior to finding the article)

Watson was very active in the 1910s and 1920s, and fairly active in the 1900s. A couple of interesting tidbits from the LA the way I did not include either Lakeside or Riviera in the 45 courses:

"George Eastman, LA McCray and Harry Facuett have joined with JB Irsfield, FK Callaway, RG Bury, GC Greenwood and Charles Christie in the directorship of the newly organized Lakeside Golf Club which recently purchased 125 acres of beautiful rolling land including 500 feet of lake frontage on Toluca Lake, from Hoffron-McCray-St.John subdividers for a consideration of $400,000. The organization's plan of the new club is unique in that its membership will consist of 650 members, 600 of which will be participating members and will own and control the club's property and assets. The remaining fifty will be life members. It is said that the work is to start immediately and $150,000 is to be expended for laying out the course. Another $100,000 will be spent in building a modern clubhouse near Toluca Lake which will have all modern conveniences including boat landings and bathing facilities. William Watson, golf course architect, who constructed Anandale, Flintridge and Hillcrest, has started preliminary work on laying out the course." (4/27/1924)

"The course [Riviera] has been ably studied by William Watson, the well-known and conservative golf architect, who has perhaps laid out more golf courses than any other man in the West. In order to overlook no bets, the club has engaged 'Billy' Bell, the rising young golf architect who studied under Watson, to make an independent layout so that every possibility would be considered. And then as though this was not making assurance doubly sure, the club has enlisted the interest of George C. Thomas Jr., to supervise the entire show and when Mr. Thomas supervises anything, he only puts in twenty-six hours a day at it....Mr. Thomas has walked over the land several times, made two or three maps of it, studied its possibilities, and announced that he wouldn't have anything to with it if he didn't think it could be made different and better than anything he had ever seen." (1/24/1926)

JC Jones:
This is fascinating.  My understanding is that he also did Interlachen, which was subsequently completely re-done by Ross.

Should we move all of these posts to a Willie Watson thread?


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