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Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2010, 09:32:41 PM »
October 12, 1913? Are you sure? Isn't 10.12.1914 more likely?

Tom,

I'm 99.9% certain that the article was 1913, as the course was already open for member play early summer 1914, and a grand opening with Jerry Travers and other top players was held January 1915.

If the article was from October 1914, the course would have already been open, the clubhouse already built, and the projected date for course and clubhouse opening of May 1915 would have made no sense.

EDIT***  Tom, this Washington Post article shows the course was already open and being played in summer 1914.



In my last year's thread about Seaview, which compared the work that WIlson and Ross did respectively, Joe Bausch also posted the following;

I don't know exactly when Seaview was conceived, but I have a Sept 1913 article indicating they were rushing to complete the construction to be ready for an opening in 1914.  The formal opening did not occur until Jan 1915.  Here are a couple of neat full pages from the January 17, 1915 edition of the Public Ledger documenting the big event:






« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 09:41:21 PM by Mike Cirba »

TEPaul

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2010, 10:08:52 PM »
MikeC:

Regarding your Post #21, you're right---Wilson did first mention Seaview to P&O in a Nov. 21, 1913 letter. Well, don't I feel like a Silly Rabbit and to think I posted that letter myself on a thread of yours over a year ago?! I just checked back in my files and I guess I just missed it today (I've actually been going through the agronomy files for the last few days looking for evidence of something else entirely). I've got so much stuff in this office and on my computer I guess it overwhelms me from time to time.

Not to even mention the fact that one has to constantly deal with all the residual implication crap about Wilson and his Philadelphia kith at least one constantly throws on here. It gets confusing sometimes in a streaming conversation on here  ;) to separate the wheat from the chaff I guess. Sometimes this DG feels like an ongoing catechism.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 10:19:01 PM by TEPaul »

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2010, 10:25:30 PM »
~

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2010, 10:36:56 PM »
Tom MacWood,

Thanks for producing Wilson's original letter.  

It makes it easier than trying to retype or copy and paste from Tom P.'s post (see above) from about a year ago.

Now that we've taught you how to post pictures, we need to teach Tom next, don't you think?  ;)  ;D

Tom MacWood

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Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2010, 10:43:40 PM »
...and about whiteout.

TEPaul

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2010, 11:24:28 PM »
".......and about whiteout."


Mike Cirba:

Apparently that remark is supposed to imply I purposely distort history and historical documents!  

I'm sorry I don't know how to post actual documents so that one I took the time to transcribe. Shame on me! I'll try not to do that again. Or perhaps a better and more efficient policy would be if critics like that dude would just take the time to do the research himself like actually establishing personal relationships with clubs and going to them instead of constantly asking me to do it for him.  ;)

Do you want to have a good and productive conversation on this subject Mike? If so I suggest we do it without even acknowledging the poster of Reply #29 henceforth.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 11:48:07 PM by TEPaul »

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2010, 06:38:29 AM »
Here is the first mention of the project I've been able to find; it is from April 1913 in American Golfer. You combine this with Mike's article from the Washington Post that said construction began a little more than a year ago, and the article that stated Colt visited the site in May or June, and I think it is safe to conclude the course was staked out in the spring or early summer of 1913.

I've also noticed two or three articles that compare Seaview to GCGC; from what I understand Geist was an admirer of GCGC. After visiting the modernized GCGC he had a replica of the famous 12th hole @ GCGC incorporated at Whitemarsh. Has anyone been able to discover who carried out that work?

I believe there may be some kind of connection between Geist and Travis. Travis played in a number of the winter and spring events at Atlantic City, where Geist was very active too. Travis's associate Barker overhauled AC in 1909-10. Travis was also a regular at Palm Beach CC where Geist was prominent. HH Barker designed the new Palm Beach CC. Geist was the president of Whitemarsh and Seaview, and may have been the president of Palm Beach, although I'm not sure. At one time their was a Geist Cup, which involved three stages, one each at Whitemarsh, Seaview and Palm Beach.

The first greenkeeper at Seaview - William Connellan - was the greenkeeper at GCGC for a period around 1910.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 06:49:12 AM by Tom MacWood »

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2010, 07:08:38 AM »
Tom,

I thought that's where you might be going, but I have to ask you...how did Colt screw up the bunkering so badly that Ross had to come in and fix them??!  ;)  ;D

Seriously, Tom...I'd like to explore more about the Colt visit in 1913 because we know he came to both Merion and Seaview and if there is anything documented beyond the PV parts I'm sure it will turn up.   Perhaps a visit to Atlantic City as we had planned will unearth more information on the beginning of Seaview and when Wilson specifically got assigned, as well as any Colt role.

Still, there doesn't seem to be much there at present.   Even Colt, who's 1922 pamphlet you reproduced last night seems to fairly liberallly claim authorship of courses where their input is sketchy, doesn't claim any invovlement with Seaview.  And certainly Geist was no shrinking violet when it came to self-promotion;  if he had secured a design from Europe's greatest architect of the time I'm pretty sure he would have trumpeted it.   After all, he did promote the fact that Ross was coming to do bunkering, even if the thread I posted last year shows clearly that most of what Ross suggested was never implemented on the ground, probably because of WWI and waning interest and diminishing funds.

http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,38042.0/

I can tell you it wasn't ideal land, even if Geist liked the view.   Colt might not have wanted to get "bogged down" so to speak, on this foray to the US shores.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 07:17:03 AM by Mike Cirba »

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2010, 07:30:20 AM »
Mike
The C&A pamphlet was printed in July 1924, and to say he was claiming authorship is unfair imo. Those were a list of courses he either designed or re-designed or advised. I've been studying Colt for a long time and he was quite detailed and diligent about the courses he listed.

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2010, 07:54:27 AM »
Mike
The C&A pamphlet was printed in July 1924, and to say he was claiming authorship is unfair imo. Those were a list of courses he either designed or re-designed or advised. I've been studying Colt for a long time and he was quite detailed and diligent about the courses he listed.

Tom,

If Colt was very detailed and diligent about his course listings, then why would you suspect or suggest that Colt had any involvement with Seaview, a course he never listed?

Put another way, you've now had Wilson's Piper and Oakley letters for many months and I'm sure you read them through and through.   Does Wilson seem like the type of fellow who would be looking for self-promotion, or who would have taken undue credit when local papers for the next decade called hiim things like "the genius behind the two courses at Merion" and otherwise gave him clear architectural authorship for both courses at Merion as well as Seaview?

To me, he seemed very self-effacing.   I think he would have written a letter to the editor correcting things, saying, "all I did was help to build the golf course that Mr. Colt, or Mr. Macdonald graciously and thoughtfully planned for our club", , don't you?

He certainly greatly respected both men, and I'm also sure he hung onto every word of advice from them, but at a time when being an amateur architect meant possibly losing your cherished amateur status, I'm pretty sure Hugh Wilson wasn't seeking the architectural limelight that others seemingly foisted upon him.   I have articles back to the early part of that 10's decade where folks were arguing that anyone who designed a golf course should be deemed a "professional" based on that fact alone, so it's little wonder to me that most of these efforts took place with very little in the way of publicity generated from within the clubs, much less from the men directly involved themselves like Wilson and Crump and/or Smith.



« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 09:12:13 AM by Mike Cirba »

Joe Bausch

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2010, 08:09:33 AM »
October 12, 1913? Are you sure? Isn't 10.12.1914 more likely?

Tom,

I'll doublecheck.   I copied what was written on the old thread.

And I'll check my files in the morning.  I could have mistyped the year.


That date is correct.
@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

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2010, 08:28:06 AM »
Joe
Thanks for checking on that. There was an article from 1914 in the Phila Inquirer that spoke about Wilson working in conjunction with Will Robinson, who was the pro at Atlantic City. Have you seen it...I don't recall you posting it on any of these Seaview threads.

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2010, 08:55:03 AM »

Tom,

If Colt was very detailed and diligent about his course listings, then why would you suspect or suggest that Colt had any involvement with Seaview, a course he never listed?


I don't suspect Colt was involved, and never suggested he was. There was a report that Colt visited Seaview (along with Merion and PV)...I believe that came from the Ron Whitten's article on Seaview. By the way I don't believe Colt designed Merion either.

What I suggested was a possible connection with Travis and Seaview, and you were the first to suggest the Travis connection not me. 

Joe Bausch

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2010, 09:10:48 AM »
Joe
Thanks for checking on that. There was an article from 1914 in the Phila Inquirer that spoke about Wilson working in conjunction with Will Robinson, who was the pro at Atlantic City. Have you seen it...I don't recall you posting it on any of these Seaview threads.

I don't recall seeing that Tom, but I can't remember what I just had for breakfast.   ;)

Please post it!
@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

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2010, 09:29:44 AM »
Tom MacWood,

Were the changes to Whitemarsh in 1916?   I have an article that talks about changes to two par threes in 1916, the 9th and 12th.   The person given credit is member Lou Deming.   I would think the change you're talking about might have been earlier?

I do know that the photo of the 5th green at Seaview in George Thomas's book credits Wilson/Robinson and then Tillinghast, but that is the only mention I can recall directly associated with Seaview other than a 1939 story that Joe posted on the other thread right after Geist's death that mentioned that Robinson worked with Geist constructing the course.

Ironically, this article might have been the source of the misattribution of the course to Donald Ross years later, and the only recently found involvement of Hugh Wilson.



Speaking of amateurs architects, etc., here's another article from May 1916...the second section is really interesting.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 09:34:18 AM by Mike Cirba »

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2010, 09:43:16 AM »
Joe
Thanks for checking on that. There was an article from 1914 in the Phila Inquirer that spoke about Wilson working in conjunction with Will Robinson, who was the pro at Atlantic City. Have you seen it...I don't recall you posting it on any of these Seaview threads.

Tom,

I'm for you posting it as well, but the way these threads sometimes go, I suspect somewhere the late, departed ghost of Will Robinson might be suddenly sensing a troubling disturbance in the force.  ;)

« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 09:44:52 AM by Mike Cirba »

TEPaul

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2010, 10:13:03 AM »
"Those were a list of courses he either designed or re-designed or advised. I've been studying Colt for a long time and he was quite detailed and diligent about the courses he listed."

Yes, that (French? ;)) C&A list of courses really looked quite detailed and diligent as to what they designed or re-designed or advised on.  ??? For someone to determine from that list what they designed or re-designed or just advised on I guess it sure would require studying Colt for a very, very, very long time.  ;)


Mike:

I think it would be hard for anyone who has really read all those agronomy letters between the Wilson brothers and Piper and Oakley and carefully considered them not to get a pretty good feel for the various types of guys those men were, particularly Hugh Wilson and his brother Alan-----they actually seemed quite different to me in various ways---eg Hugh was clearly a lot less expostulatory about various issues that did not have to do with agronomy----eg amateur status et al. And Hughís sort of gentle and cordial  sense of humor, both self-deprecating and otherwise, is very evident throughout.

It seems a bit off the subject of this particular thread but since amateur status issues are being discussed regarding some of those men, I would say that Peter Putter article is very interesting on that particular subject. In my opinion, he gets most of the sentiment of the time correct but he pretty much misses the boat on the details of how the USGA technically looked at and dealt with that particular issue during those years Peter Putter mentions.

Essentially, some of those men were having their amateur status criticized and discussed in the press and that was definitely not how the USGA wanted to see it happen and play out and they constantly tried to discourage that approach with their developing policies and procedures on Amateur Status which in my opinion are still pretty generally misunderstood by the general public and even researchers.

Most people fail to realize that to have oneís amateur status questioned and removed by the USGA one had to fill some criteria first and one was that an amateur had to have first established a reputation as a player of skill and note to even be able to trade on it for remuneration in the eyes of the USGA. Technically that generally meant that an amateur player had to have competed at a fairly high level----eg national or state or regional championships of expert players. Amateur players such as Travis, Quimet, Tillinghast, Lockwood et al fell into that category in the eyes of the USGA and their amateur status was questioned and removed by the USGA for various reasons. Crump would have fallen into that category but Hugh Wilsonís reputation as an amateur of playing skill and note probably would have been far less clear in the eyes of the USGA.

Another interesting sort of irony right around the 1914-17 timeframe was that the man who actually wrote some of the central resolutions for the USGA on the developing and evolving subject of amateur status rules and regs and thinking appears to be none other than C.B. Macdonald. His resolution that was apparently adopted by the board of the USGA in 1915 was a real study in complex thinking and wording, the ultimate gist of which was to tell American amateurs that the USGA expected them to know what amateurism meant, and that the association was not going to create some laundry list of potential violations but if any amateur player of skill and note did violate amateur status in the opinion of the USGA that they would hear from the USGA about it. And in a number of cases thatís what happened---probably the most famous and controversial being the case of Quimet and two other players of note----all coincidentally from the Woodland GC.

The Woodland GC and even the Mass. Golf Association sort of got up in arms over that and actually sent a team of lawyers to the USGA in New York to defend Quimet and the two others. The USGA completely refused to hear them insisting that their procedure was solely that the players themselves must appear before them (that a club or regional golf association could not represent them) to discuss the individual merits of the case against them. Ultimately that is what Quimet and the two others did do and their amateur playing status was restored by the USGA.

And lastly, the USGA did not and I donít believe ever has actually declared any amateur player of skill and note to be a professional if they are viewed by the USGA to have violated their amateur status. As far as they go is to declare them to no longer be an amateur player and their ability to play in amateur tournaments is then consequently barred (or debarred as CBM used to call it).

So the upshot reality of all the foregoing is if say you or Joe Bausch decide to accept remuneration for your efforts on Cobbs Creek, the USGA will probably not be contacting you on some violation of your amateur status.  ;) But if I took even a red cent for something I've done in architecture since I've competed in the past in regional, state and national competitions of expert players I would fully expect the USGA's SS Gestapo to show up at my barn and throw me into the Golf Hoosegow for the remainder of my natural days. Of course my recourse would be to remind them thusly----"Don't you remember that around 1920 you Silly Rabbits created the "Architects Exception" to the USGA Amateur Status Rules and Regs?"
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 10:26:44 AM by TEPaul »

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2010, 11:30:07 AM »
Tom,

This February 1915 author certainly didn't think architects should get off the hook!   I believe it may have been "Joe Bunker", if memory serves.

I'd almost think the next paragraph would speak of tar and feathers!  ;)


Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2010, 02:46:59 PM »
~

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2010, 03:10:53 PM »
Thanks Tom....not sure it necessarily means they co-designed Seaview, as the other article said he worked with Geist and "supervised preliminary construction", but it certainly adds to the overall picture.   George Thomas at least figured he should get some credit.

Speaking of George C. Thomas, Jr., here's a June 1915 photo of Captain (Fantastic) and the Cobb's Creek Cowboy, Ab Smith.

Smith HATED being photographed in his golf clothing, and we thought we already had the only known published photo of him that was taken from behind during his address position, but voila!, just when you think you've seen it all!

I'd have loved to listen in on that conversation....



although they sure make an unlikely looking pair!  
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 04:25:29 PM by Mike Cirba »

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2010, 03:11:27 PM »

Were the changes to Whitemarsh in 1916?   I have an article that talks about changes to two par threes in 1916, the 9th and 12th.   The person given credit is member Lou Deming.   I would think the change you're talking about might have been earlier?


The changes I'm referring to were in 1909.

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2010, 04:49:05 PM »

Were the changes to Whitemarsh in 1916?   I have an article that talks about changes to two par threes in 1916, the 9th and 12th.   The person given credit is member Lou Deming.   I would think the change you're talking about might have been earlier?


The changes I'm referring to were in 1909.

Tom,

Whitemarsh might be a good course to research.   Many, many hands in the pot over time, and I'm not sure I've seen a contemporaneous record indicating George Thomas, although Joe Bausch may have something in that regard.

TEPaul

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2010, 04:53:35 PM »
I'd say probably the best source on the architecture of Whitemarsh and Thomas et al on it would be Geoff Shackleford. He covers it pretty well in his book although there are probably one or two on here who will claim both it and he are wrong too.

Mike Cirba

Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2010, 09:53:44 PM »
Tom,

Yes, re-read the pertinent sections in Geoff's book tonite about Whitemarsh.

I had forgotten Thomas must have known Ab Smith well from PV and that Thomas said he spent a lot of time studying what Wilson (and presumably Smith and others) did during the laying out and construction of Cobb's Creek.

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Seaview: Wilson laid out the course, Ross did the trapping
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2010, 09:56:03 PM »
Its my impression the unsung person at Whitemarsh is Sam Heebner, and then later Donald Ross.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 09:58:09 PM by Tom MacWood »

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