Historical research involves gathering information from a number of different sources: club documents, personal journals, personal letters, personal documents, historical archives, census information, business records, land records, legal documents, immigration information, military records, newspaper articles, magazine articles, etc, etc. There is no reason to ignore or exclude any of this information, and anyone who would is only stifling their own efforts to discover what happened, which is what historical research is all about. The more information the better, and never has there been so much information available for anyone who is interested and has the desire. And just about all the sources I just mentioned are now digitized, that is a major breakthrough, not just for golf architecture historians, but for all historians."
I could not agree more with that statement of yours above----eg historical research and competent historical analysis involves gathering information from all sources----from newspapers and periodicals to contemporaneous club administrative records and everything else between the spectrum of those two types of source information and material.
And that is precisely why I have always found it so ironic, and frankly contradictory, that you would make statements like that one above, that again, I could not agree with more. I say that because you so constantly either refuse or just fail to establish any personal relationships with clubs you make the subjects of your historical GCA interest. And I also say that, as Phil Young just did as well above, because you could far better actually see and carefully consider their extremely important contemporaneous administrative, albeit it private, material and records.
I personally and actually look at, carefully consider, and analyze it all with the subject courses of my interest, including all the newspaper and periodical articles about them, but it seems all you ever actually do or look at and seriously consider is the latter. To me that is doing less than half a proper and competent job of research and analysis. And that has been your constant MO on this website as long as you've been on it which is a pretty long time now.