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TEPaul

Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #425 on: July 11, 2010, 11:25:09 AM »
"Peter
I am sitting on a wealth of contemporaneous reports, photographs, maps, aerials, etc."


Tom MacWood:

Then where is it?

I think you either missed or perhaps intentionally avoided a very important qualifier in Peter Pallotta's statement that you even quoted in your post just above. And that is the word and qualifier----RELEVANT!  ;)


"But NEITHER do I think that Tom Macwood, unless he is sitting on a wealth of relevant contemporary reports about each of the courses on the long list he's compiled, has provided much if any evidence to suggest that ANY OTHER municipal course was considered the finest in the land."
Peter Pallotta
 

« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 11:27:36 AM by TEPaul »

Mike Cirba

Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #426 on: July 11, 2010, 11:37:19 AM »
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 04:47:32 PM by MCirba »

TEPaul

Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #427 on: July 11, 2010, 11:52:01 AM »
"If it wasn't obvious to everyone before it certainly is obvious now CC was no where close to being the best, most difficult public course in America."


The trouble with MacWood, and generally Moriarty too, is they too often tend to make statements like the one by MacWood (from this morining) above. They seem to try to make those statements on here look like facts in that they KNOW there is a total consensus of opinion that EVERYONE agrees on and apparently agrees with them on.

At least I don't see that you have done THAT on here, Mike Cirba; and thankfully so. 



Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #428 on: July 11, 2010, 12:55:54 PM »
I found this in the Chicago Tribune. I get the impression they probably would have disputed Mike's claim.

TEPaul

Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #429 on: July 11, 2010, 01:05:27 PM »
I fail to see how that article has much value at all in comparing the quality of Cobbs Creek to any other good municipal course in America in 1928. As I read it that article certainly didn't do that or try to but maybe you see something in it that others don't.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #430 on: July 11, 2010, 01:17:36 PM »
Yet another trainwreck of a thread with seemingly no purpose or point.  One thing is clear, if this list is the "best of", public courses weren't very good 80 years ago.  This is something I never really thought of before.  It makes me wonder how good the privates were.  I know Mike Young bangs on the cage every once in a while with his thoughts on how few very good courses there were from the Golden Age.  Maybe there is something there.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mike Cirba

Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #431 on: July 11, 2010, 01:28:31 PM »
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 04:47:51 PM by MCirba »

TEPaul

Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #432 on: July 11, 2010, 01:41:36 PM »
Mike:

I think this kind of thing is increasingly underscoring the unreliablity of some, perhaps most newspaper articles and even contemporaneous ones as a reliable research and analysis tool for the purposes many have on this subject of golf architecture and its history. Unfortunately for Tom MacWood it seems to be the only golf course architecture research and analysis tool he uses and has ever used.

And I must say in defense of Moriarty, he doesn't really do that or at least nowhere near the extent MacWood does. I think his research avenues on Merion of determining Hugh Wilson went abroad in 1912 by apparently plying old ship manifests or even his discovery of the so-called "Sayers Scrapbook" apparently on the website of the Pa Historical Society is far better and far more impressive research. It's too bad he didn't just come to Merion first though, as the latter and far, far more resides there and in essentially one place.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 01:50:49 PM by TEPaul »

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru Bethpage
« Reply #433 on: July 12, 2010, 06:36:21 AM »
Here is an interesting article on public golf in Chicago. It appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1924.

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hugh Wilson's "other" Muni?
« Reply #434 on: July 12, 2010, 06:42:26 AM »
I've added the Wilson course in LA and Pickwick in Chicago. I've taken off Deerpath (Chicago) and Hyde Park (Buffalo).

Harding Park (1925) - W.Watson & S.Whiting
Haggins Oak (1932) - A.Mackenzie
Sharp Park (1931) - A.Mackenzie
Griffith Park-Wilson (1915/1923) - T.Bendelow & G.Thomas
Griffith Park-Harding (1915/1925) - T. Bendelow & G.Thomas
Lake Chabot (1923) - W.Locke
Brookside Muni (1928) - B.Bell
Sunset Fields-South (1927) - B.Bell
Sunset Fields-North (1928) - B.Bell
Patty Jewett (1898/1917) - W.Campbell & W.Watson
Cleveland Heights (1925) - W.Flynn
Jacksonville Muni (1923) - D.Ross
Mount Plymouth (1925) - W.Clark
Opa Locka (1927) - W.Flynn
Pasadena (1925) - W.Stiles, J.VanKleek & W.Hagen
Savannah Muni (1926) - D.Ross
Big Run (1930) - H.Smead
Glencoe (1921) - G.O'Neil
Palos Park (1919) - T.Bendelow
Pickwick (1927) - J.Roseman
St. Andrews (1926) - E.Dearie
Sandy Hollow (1930) - C.Wagstaff
Duck Creek (1920) - W.Langford
Waveland (1901) - W.Dickinson
Beechwood (1931) - W.Diddell
Coffin (1920) - W.Diddell
Erskine Park (1925) - G.O'Neil
Armour Park (1925) - W.Clark
Keller (1929) - P.Coates
Meadowbrook (1926) - J.Foulis
Seneca (1935) - A.McKay
Riverside Muni (1931) - W.Stiles
Mount Pleasant (1933) - G.Hook
Belvedere (1925) - W.Watson
Rackham (1924) - D.Ross
Gulf Hills (1927) - J.Daray
Swope Park (1915/1934) - J.Dagleish & A.Tillinghast
Forest Park (1912) - R.Foulis
Bayside (1930) - A. Mackernzie
Salisbury Links (1908) - D.Emmet
La Tourette (1929/1934) - D.Rees & J.VanKleek
Split Rock (1935) - J.VanKleek
Durand-Eastman (1934) - RT.Jones
Bethpage-Red (1935) - A.Tillinghast
Bethpage-Blue (1935) - A.Tillinghast
Asheville Muni (1927) - D.Ross
Starmount Forest (1930) - W.Stiles & J.VanKleek
Community (1912) - W.Hoare
Mill Creek (1928) - D.Ross
Highland Park-New (1928) - S.Alves
Metropolitan Parks (1926) - S.Thompson
Ridgewood (1924) - S.Alves
Tam O'Shanter-Dales (1928) - L.Macomber
Eastmoreland (1918) - H.Egan
Hershey Park (1931) - M.McCarthy
North Park (1933) - E.Loeffler & J.McGlynn
Tam O'Shanter, Pa (1929) - E.Loeffler
Beaver Tail (1925) - A.Tillinghast
Triggs Memorial (1933) - D.Ross
Stevens Park (1924)
Tenison Park (1924) - S.Cooper & J.Burke
Brackenridge Park (1916) - A.Tillinghast
Memorial Park (1935) - J.Bredemus
Brown Deer (1929) - G.Hansen
Indian Canyon (1935) - H.Egan
Jackson Park (1930) - W.Tucker & F.James
Janesville Muni (1924) - RB.Harris
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 01:50:40 PM by Tom MacWood »

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #435 on: July 12, 2010, 07:45:44 AM »
TMac,

Thank you very much for sharing that Chicago article. It reminds me that when I left there 25 years ago, they still made a similar claim in terms of numbers of public courses.

It also reminds me that in the early days, golf courses were laid out near the rail lines for easy access.  For me, that would be a perfect day - round of golf and a train ride!

BTW, I would still be interested in the background of those two pubic golf guides from the 50's.  I googled the authors and titles and came up with some related stuff, but no concrete mention of the actual books, or qualifications of the authors.  One seemed to have been involved in the commerical mowing tractor biz and it would seem like a natural extension of his interests.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #436 on: July 12, 2010, 09:49:41 AM »
Tom MacWood - Hyde Park is in Niagara Falls, NY - not Buffalo.

And I still think your list would be 100x more valuable if it included the location of the course.

(PS - you sure you want to say that Duck Creek is better than Cobb's Creek?  The Duck Creek in Hobart, IN?  Have you researched Duck Creek?)

OK - I'm headed back to Far Hills now.

Mike Cirba

Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #437 on: July 12, 2010, 10:51:07 AM »
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 04:48:14 PM by MCirba »

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #438 on: July 12, 2010, 01:46:06 PM »
TMac,

Thank you very much for sharing that Chicago article. It reminds me that when I left there 25 years ago, they still made a similar claim in terms of numbers of public courses.

It also reminds me that in the early days, golf courses were laid out near the rail lines for easy access.  For me, that would be a perfect day - round of golf and a train ride!

BTW, I would still be interested in the background of those two pubic golf guides from the 50's.  I googled the authors and titles and came up with some related stuff, but no concrete mention of the actual books, or qualifications of the authors.  One seemed to have been involved in the commerical mowing tractor biz and it would seem like a natural extension of his interests.

Jeff
I don't know what their qualifications were other than they were obvious enthusiasts. They were exposed to a hell of a lot of golf courses from coast to coast, not unlike Ralph Kennedy. I imagine they had sales jobs. In my judgment they had pretty good taste and a good understanding of golf architecture (and golf architects). I don't rely on them exclusively, they are just part of the equation. By the way those guides are for all golf courses...private, resort, daily fee and municipal.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 09:10:33 PM by Tom MacWood »

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #439 on: July 12, 2010, 01:48:02 PM »
Tom MacWood - Hyde Park is in Niagara Falls, NY - not Buffalo.

And I still think your list would be 100x more valuable if it included the location of the course.

(PS - you sure you want to say that Duck Creek is better than Cobb's Creek?  The Duck Creek in Hobart, IN?  Have you researched Duck Creek?)

OK - I'm headed back to Far Hills now.

I don't know if Duck Creek was better than CC or not. As I've said before I believe CC would fit somewhere in the middle of the pack on this list. Duck Creek is in Davenport, Iowa.

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #440 on: July 12, 2010, 03:06:30 PM »
Mike,

You put forth those blurbs above as some sort of conclusive, conversation ending proof of Cobbs' nationwide superiority?   Really?   This says more about your analytical skill and interest-driven reasoning than I ever could.  
-- You might want to do some actual research on how much the term "famed" is thrown around.   You might be surprised with the result.  
-- You might also want to consider how a blurb like this generally gets in a paper like those you listed. You don't actually think they sent a reporter, do you?  

You and TEPaul try to mock MacWood for posting the description of Cobbs from the Chicago paper above.   What in the article was grossly inaccurate?    
-- The course originally relied mostly on natural hazards, did it not?  
-- My understanding is that Cobbs Creek was always on the short side, was it not? , listed at the opening at around 6070 yards.  The way they measured in the Philly area at the time, it was likely significantly shorter than that.  
-- The course did contain a number of drive and pitch par fours, did it not?   (And by the way, early in the thread weren't you dissing courses you hadn't played for containing too many short par fours on the scorecard? Cobbs was not much longer than these courses, was it?)
--  About the only thing I can take issue with was the articles apparent reliance on the hole distances to judge the difficulty of the par 5s, but that is about it.    
-- You say they increased the distance of the holes for the tournament.  Did the listed yardage reflect that, or had it been lengthened multiple times?  If it had, why would such a great course have to be lengthened twice in its first dozen years of existence?  
In short, your mockery aside, it sounds like the article had it about right, didn't it?

As for your comments to me about Griffith Park, you are all wet.   I cite California Courses because that is what I know.   Call me a homer all you like, but I have made no outrageous proclamations about the superiority of any California public over all others.   I understand why you are confused; even without making such claim, I've made a better case than you have for Cobbs.  Still, though, I make no such claim because I don't believe it, and couldn't back it up.   We certainly have different understandings of what constitutes proof.     What is unfair about bringing up Wexler?  He is more an expert than you, is he not?  

Your continued reliance on who hosted the Publinks isn't genuine and is hypocritical.  You cannot trash the quality of the other hosting courses then hold out hosting as some sort of prerequisite for quality.   Were all those courses better than the California courses that never hosted?  If not, then how come you assume that hosting means that Cobbs was better?  
As TEPaul said somewhere, hosting was at least in part a function of a course coming to the USGA and wanting to host.   I've no reason to believe Los Angeles Griffith Park would have bothered, their municipal championship drew a much higher quality golfer, as did the Los Angeles Open.  That some of California's public courses were considered along with California's best privates ought to tell you something about their quality.  

As for my reminders that I've played Cobbs and am familiar with its history it is because I know first-hand the outrageous nature your claim.   I have no interest in knocking Cobbs, but you've overstepped reason, and in fine Philly fashion have done so in a way that puts down everything else.   Had it been enough for you to say Cobbs was one of the best, or even one of the very best before 1920, there would be little room to argue and a more reasonable discussion, but by putting it above every other course in the country?  Too much.
___________________________________

Tom MacWood,  

I'll have to do some checking, but I think Griffith Park Harding (originally but briefly called Riverside) was not a redo of a previous Bendelow course.  I think that the Wilson course may have been built over the old Bendelow Course, but will confirm when I get the chance.  

Have you considered Long Beach Recreation Park or San Diego Balboa Park?   I don't know too much about either one, but I believe that at least Rec Park still contains some pretty cool stuff.     I think these courses are a bit older than some of the other California publics, and might be more in line with where I was thinking Cobbs might fit.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 03:46:09 PM by DMoriarty »
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #441 on: July 12, 2010, 03:41:02 PM »
David,
Help me out - you're stating that if the original claim was, "Cobbs was one of the best, or even one of the very best before 1920" that you'd have been OK with the claim?

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #442 on: July 12, 2010, 04:14:51 PM »
David,
Help me out - you're stating that if the original claim was, "Cobbs was one of the best, or even one of the very best before 1920" that you'd have been OK with the claim?

I'd may not have agreed with it, but I definitely would have been okay with it.  It is at least arguable, meaning that enough information existed so that a reasonable case could be made, even if it was ultimately just an opinion.   It might have promoted a more reasonable and productive discussion.    As it is, Mike could not possible make his case, and his claim amounted to just more puffery and building his favorites up by knocking everyone else down.

I view public golf as sort of an evolution, and think we really need to consider who the public golfer was at the time these courses came into existence.   Cobbs' place in that evolution is sort of interesting, in that Philadelphia was reportedly relatively late in coming to public golf, especially for East Coast cities and cities were golf was already well established.   That being said, it was built during an era where public golfers were still considered much less capable (often for good reason,) and their golf courses generally reflected that.  It was also built during an era where there was still much hostility  toward (or at least a lack of acceptance of) public golfing from public officials, and this impacted the decisions about the makeup of the courses and how resources expended upon them.  

For example, when Cobbs first opened, an article reported that Cobbs was thought to be a course ultimatley for those who shot in the 120s or higher, and presumably that more challenging public courses would eventually have to take its place for the better golfers.  For another example, while local commentators were always careful to praise Cobbs in relation to mostly unnamed public courses elsewhere,  there was generally no confusion as to where Cobbs stood in relation to the areas' private courses.  

I recall reading about a dispute that arose when the club pro (I think) at Cobbs (possibly a relative of Mike Cirba's?) supposedly claimed something like that Cobbs was every bit as good and as difficult as Pine Valley.  One of the very same writers who had been a big advocate of public golf and had declared Cobbs to be a top public course absolutely ripped the guy, going through numerous reasons (I remember some of them, but don't want to risk getting them wrong in this crowd) why Cobbs couldn't possibly compare to Pine Valley, or even to a whole list of other area Clubs, some of which I don't think were considered to be all that great at the time.  I think this set off the Cirbian-like Cobbs supporters and they went back and forth a bit, but I don't think the commentator budged much.  I'll try to dig up the articles later, if you are interested.  

My point is that, in Philadelphia, Cobbs was apparently considered very good for a public, but that is about it. And in their minds that wasn't necessarily saying that much during this early wave of public courses.   As time went on and golf became more popular and public golfers gained skill and respect, the public courses changed accordingly, and in some cases it became less necessary to compare the publics only to the other publics.  See the article above, where the American Golf commentator places the best California publics up there with the best privates in the state (Remember that California has some very good privates.)  

So in sum, in my opinion it is not as if Bethpage Black just appeared from a void with this novel idea that a public golf course could be comparable in quality to the best and most difficult privates;  this was something that public golf courses had been heading toward for quite some time, and some of the publics built later in the era were actually very good on by any standard, public or private.

That is why Mike's arbitrary 1930 switcharoo is so annoying.   It doesn't create the division he claims to want to create, and it ignores the culmination of what seems to have been a progression of quality throughout the pre WWII era.  
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 04:58:32 PM by DMoriarty »
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #443 on: July 12, 2010, 04:43:55 PM »
I think everybody's made their points now.  Perhaps it's time to move on?

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #444 on: July 12, 2010, 04:55:33 PM »
I think everybody's made their points now.  Perhaps it's time to move on?

I take it you aren't interested in my finding the articles where the merits of Cobbs are compared to some of the private courses in the area?

That aside, I thought we had moved on until Mike pulled the thread up for a few more articles that didn't address his claim.  But I do think Mike has had plenty of opportunity to prove up his claim, and since he hasn't yet I don't expect that he can.  I remain interested to see Tom's list continue to evolve, and at some point I may put it into chronological order as that may be a more telling way to look at the evolution of public golf in America.

Also, I never have quite understood why Tom has excluded private courses that became public during the relevant era.  I am curious as to how these compared to those courses built as publics from the beginning.
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #445 on: July 12, 2010, 07:11:20 PM »
David,
Your last sentence is quite interesting...  There's an exhibit at Golf House on public golf, especially those courses built as part of the New Deal.  Fascinating stuff that's beyond this thread, but deserves study.


DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #446 on: July 12, 2010, 08:34:54 PM »
David,
Your last sentence is quite interesting...  There's an exhibit at Golf House on public golf, especially those courses built as part of the New Deal.  Fascinating stuff that's beyond this thread, but deserves study.

Sounds interesting.  I'll be sure to take a look if I ever make it out there.  

If the exhibit only covers courses truly built as part of the New Deal, then most or all of the courses must have opened in the mid-1030's or likely later.   Roosevelt was elected in 1932, began serving in 1933, and if my memory serves he signed legislation creating the WPA in 1934 or 1935.  Some state programs may have started slightly earlier, but not much earlier, as they needed new deal money to survive

This is why Mike's dates are so preposterous.  He insists of a cut-off in 1930 supposedly because New Deal government programs allowed for the creation of so many courses, but it is impossible for these courses to have come on line until the middle of the decade!  It is not as if the market crashed on October of 1929 and by 1930 "new deal" courses had been designed, built, and were opening up.  

If he doesn't want to include New Deal courses in his analysis it is easy enough to exclude those built on the New Deal dole without falsely and artificially interrupting the evolution of public golf up until that point.  
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #447 on: July 12, 2010, 08:38:01 PM »
David,
Pluheeze - I'm trying to facilitate a movement to a topic that we could all learn from together.  Let's lay off negativity and move forward :)  (Myself included)

Mike Cirba

Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #448 on: July 12, 2010, 08:50:57 PM »
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 04:48:39 PM by MCirba »

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Tom MacWood's List of Public Golf Course thru 1936
« Reply #449 on: July 12, 2010, 09:00:12 PM »
Mike,
When are we gonna get out there to see the hidden architectural relics?

I'm starting to get the itch again after visiting Valley Forge and seeing the Revolutionary War-era earthworks.

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