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TEPaul

Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #50 on: August 22, 2010, 02:11:41 PM »
In my opinion, there were probably only three likely candidates that inspired the swale in a Biarritz greens that macdonald came up with;

1. The 16th green (I think it is) at North Berwick
2. The Valley of Sin (TOC's 18th)
3. Another green at the same course the famous Chasam Hole in Biarritz, France is on (Is it called Le Phare?). On this, last one I actually saw this mentoned in some old European newspaper and not that that green was Macdonald's inspiration, just that another green at Le Phare had a very large perpindicular swale in it or in front of it.

I have also never seen or have been aware of a biarritz rendition over here that has a real "hog's back" feature in the front fairway section before the swale.

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #51 on: August 22, 2010, 03:02:48 PM »

Of course if George Bahto is right...  the designer of the original Biarritz concept is Old Tom.
From Scott McPherson’s book

“Around 1866  Morris mover the 18th green back from Granny Clark’s Wynd possibly 50 or 60 yards to its current location.  Until that point, the green had been on broken ground in a hollow with the ground sloping down on both sides. The ground where the green sits today was a hollow in fornt of Morris’s shop.  To make the green, Morris filled the hollow up with a variety of materials including refuse from the town, tor the “formation of an artificial table land.”
CBM + OTM were friends. 

I want it to be so, but.......  110 years ago (and today) if you're going to Europe to play and study the great courses you don't go to Biarritz without a good reason.  Hutchinson was also a friend of CBM and he included the Biarritz course in both versions of the book. As someone mentioned above why not call it the valley of sin?  And Sean I’m pretty sure the original 18=6th at N Berwick had drainage ditches round it – an early island green?  I can’t find the thread where that was discussed.


It shows how little we know about the evolution of North Berwick. When did their current 18th evolve with the valley in front of the green?
Let's make GCA grate again!

DMoriarty

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #52 on: August 22, 2010, 03:50:42 PM »
David

Thank you!  That clears up things as I thought Naccers implied that Whigham was describing the Chasm Hole AT Biarritz.  So we are no closer to knowing what that hole was like.
. . .

Well there are a number of descriptions of the famous chasm hole, or at least one by Hutchinson that seems to have been repeated again and again.   I think there were others, but I'll have to dig through some old stuff.  There is also a painting and some photos.  I've never seen reference to the green having been like Macdonald described, and it  is hard to mention how a hog's back could run up the center with the giant chasm there.
_____________________________________

Jim Asked:
Quote
David and George: is there any question about which course inspired CBM then?  Sounds like the Biarritz.  Only question is, which hole.

I don't think there is any question as to the course. There was a famous course down the way Pau, but Whigham and CBM knew the difference (especially because they played with Arnoud Massey, from Biarritz, on their 1906 trip abroad.) The only question is to the hole.  

Quote
Whoever designed the Biarritz course probably saw TOC.  So he probaby knew the Valley of Sin as well.  If he put a swale before one of his greens, maybe the Valley inspired him.

Tom Dunn and Willie Dunn, Jr. (Sons of Musselburgh professional and money player, Willie Dunn, Sr.) are credited with designing the course at Biarritz.   In fact, I think the course opened in 1888 (12 holes, I think) and Tom Dunn, the professional at North Berwick, was brought in to redesign it 1989.   (An 1889 article noted that Tom Dunn and his son were brought in, but Willie was his brother, not his son.  Tom Dunn had sons and they too were in the golf business so it is a bit confusing.  However,  Willie Dunn, Jr. did serve as professional at Biarritz and may have also been involved.)

So yes it is safe to say that that the Dunn's saw St. Andrews, but they also knew North Berwick.  One of Tom Dunn's sons was born on the West Links!  Or at least in Tom Dunn's timber workshop and house.    Tom's unannounced trip to Biarritz in 1889 was likely a factor in him eventually getting fired at North Berwick, but that is another story.

There were a number of golfer's - professional and amateur - who seemed to have been connected to both North Berwick and Biarritz, so it is no surprise that they called North Berwick the Biarritz of the north.  

So it is a bit difficult to figure out which way the influence was going, but given that CBM was familiar with all these places, it may have been going every which way at once.  

___________________________________

Tony,  

I am glad to see you posting on this subject.  I was about to post a map of which I have two copies one of which came from you, I think.    I think yours was a photograph of the map, and not the one I am posting, but either way thank you for sharing the information and I hope you don't mind if I post it here (if it is yours.)

  

« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 04:19:51 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)

DMoriarty

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #53 on: August 22, 2010, 04:17:52 PM »
Here is a map which purportedly showed the course as redrawn by Tom Dunn.   I am not sure of the date, but if this is a map of the early Dunn course, then this ought to put to rest the notion of the Chasm hole as the singular influence for CBM's Biarritz.  



Note that the chasm hole (No. 3) is listed at only 90 yards and the green is located just beyond the "chasm."  (But perhaps with room for an interesting green further out)

The green I think may be a more likely candidate is down in "La Chambre de Amoure" which was the stretch of holes down by the actual beach.   CBM wrote that the model was the 12th hole and this was the 12th hole, at least at the date this map was drawn.  

Fortunately this plan has contour lines so one can see that there may be a  hog's back running along the line of play toward the green, and then ending about 30 yards short of the green.  

While this hole was 300 yards at the time it was drawn, we don't know how long it was when CBM saw it.   Also, he said his hole was "suggested by the 12th hole at Biarritz."   Very few of his holes were exact copies.  

(Another possibility is 13, which was a par three, and which also played over what looks like maybe it was a hog's back, but it played at more of an angle.)

So that is my theory.  I don't have any great photos of the hole, but I might have a few where it is barely visible.    I try to dig through some stuff when I get the chance.  

For perspective's sake, here is a rough overlay of this map on today's course.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 04:32:26 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)

Jim Nugent

Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #54 on: August 22, 2010, 05:15:32 PM »
David, cool photos and drawing.  Lots of holes criss-cross each other.  And some pretty long hikes between some greens and the following tees.  3 and 4 is one example.  Was that common for courses back then? 

Remarkable that the chasm hole is so short.  All the reports I saw before this put it at 165+, I think.

Are the distances in yards or meters? 

Bill Brightly

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #55 on: August 22, 2010, 05:16:45 PM »
David,
Why can it be that Macdonald took the Hole name Biarritz from the chasm hole and the green complex from TOC or North Berwick?  You doubt that he would adopt features from both and combine them into one long par 3?

Kyle Harris

Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #56 on: August 22, 2010, 05:38:19 PM »
I do not think the majority of these greens only have that 60% factor. I am more used to a 80 to 85% pinable area other than nonlegal locations.

I think you're biased toward biarritz holes for obvious reasons.

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #57 on: August 22, 2010, 05:47:42 PM »
Dave happy to have provided (any) help.

Can’t remember if I’ve posted this before but this is what the old 12th looks like now!!!!!!!!!


The way you describe the hole with the hogs back (but without the swale?) reminds meof the !st on the New.
 


Let’s see if we can find that old thread with George’s sketch. He saw it differently.
Let's make GCA grate again!

DMoriarty

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #58 on: August 22, 2010, 05:52:40 PM »
David,
Why can it be that Macdonald took the Hole name Biarritz from the chasm hole and the green complex from TOC or North Berwick?  You doubt that he would adopt features from both and combine them into one long par 3?

I think CBM did sometimes combine the features of the Chasm with features of what he called the Biarritz.  For example, he did so at Yale and in my opinion at Merion.   But he didn't do so at Piping Rock.    

Plus, I am going by how CBM and Whigham described the inspiration for the hole.  And there is no mention of a "Chasm" or anything like a Chasm.  

Plus, while the swale or dip may be similar to the Valley of Sin, it seems that the first plateau or "hog's back" was an integral element of the hole.   TOC's 18th doesn't have anything like that, does it?  

I haven't played St. Louis, but doesn't it have both a Chasm and a Biarritz?  

_____________________________

Tony,

Nice pics.  Perhaps that skinny hotel is a modern version of the hog's back.

I think there was a swale.  I may not have said it, but I think this green was a plateau green, so the swale or dip would have been between the end of the hog back and the beginning of the plateau green.   
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)

Jim Nugent

Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #59 on: August 22, 2010, 06:23:17 PM »

I haven't played St. Louis, but doesn't it have both a Chasm and a Biarritz?  


SLCC has a Biarritz.  Uphill, long, can't see the ball run through the swale.  No chasm there, though.  The next hole, the Eden, has a small pond in front of the tee that does not come into play, unless you totally mess up the shot.  The course does not have a real chasm on it. 

Bill Brightly

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #60 on: August 22, 2010, 06:35:31 PM »
Wouldn't The Creek Club be a perfect example of combining the chasm with the green complex?

Sean_A

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2010, 06:36:39 PM »

Of course if George Bahto is right...  the designer of the original Biarritz concept is Old Tom.
From Scott McPherson’s book

“Around 1866  Morris mover the 18th green back from Granny Clark’s Wynd possibly 50 or 60 yards to its current location.  Until that point, the green had been on broken ground in a hollow with the ground sloping down on both sides. The ground where the green sits today was a hollow in fornt of Morris’s shop.  To make the green, Morris filled the hollow up with a variety of materials including refuse from the town, tor the “formation of an artificial table land.”
CBM + OTM were friends. 

I want it to be so, but.......  110 years ago (and today) if you're going to Europe to play and study the great courses you don't go to Biarritz without a good reason.  Hutchinson was also a friend of CBM and he included the Biarritz course in both versions of the book. As someone mentioned above why not call it the valley of sin?  And Sean I’m pretty sure the original 18=6th at N Berwick had drainage ditches round it – an early island green?  I can’t find the thread where that was discussed.


It shows how little we know about the evolution of North Berwick. When did their current 18th evolve with the valley in front of the green?


Tony

I assume you are talking about NB's 16th.  Does a drainage ditch preclude the idea of a double plateaux existing?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mike Cirba

Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2010, 06:45:45 PM »
I seem to recall a thread as well that showed the 16th green double plateau at NB to be a relatively recent phenomenon, one that didn't exist at the time of the first Biarritz hole in the states, but can't recall the source either.

I also don't understand perhaps what a Biarritz is, is this is being termed one;






Hugh Wilson completely rebuilt and expanded this green for the 1916 US Amateur, adding bunkers, as well, and this 1916 version might be more "Biarritzy than his original but I still don't see it, honestly.   Here's William Flynn's drawing of the 1916 version.




« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 07:04:38 PM by MCirba »

Sean_A

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #63 on: August 22, 2010, 07:06:43 PM »
I think folks are misunderstanding me.  Yes, I am sure that the double plateaux green wasn't yet developed when CBM saw it.  Darwin and Hutchinson seem to confirm this.  That doesn't however mean that the double plateaux didn't exist, only that one plateau was used for green space.  As I said earlier, I can imagine the shorter plateau being larger than the green (Hutchinson states the green was on a lesser plateaux before 1900) and with a ditch separating the plateaux ala Alps style, but that most folks approached, as they do today, from the middle or left of the fairway taking the front plateau out of play as well as OOB down the right.  This could be an inspiration and indeed, I wonder if CBM's Biarritz wasn't then the inspiration for the double plateaux as a green at North Berwick.

Ciao   
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

DMoriarty

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2010, 07:16:35 PM »
Wouldn't The Creek Club be a perfect example of combining the chasm with the green complex?

Could be.  I don't know.  Someone else thought that Fisher's Island is another with a chasm.  But like I said I think these concepts were sometimes, but not always, combined.  

Here is a photo of  the plasticine of Lido's biarritz.  Notice the first plateau is far from a smooth green surface, and that the swale is quite wide.



Likewise, here is a photo of Piping Rock's Biarritz from 1913.   Notice in both of these there is no chasm.  


______________________________________________________

Mike Cirba,   I am not going to argue with you here about the 17th at Merion.  In my opinion there are many similarities to the general concept (especially when one considers CBM had never even built one of his own yet!)  In your mind there could never be any similarities.  But given your track record on everything else Merion, it is not as if you would come to the discussion with an open mind.  
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)

DMoriarty

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2010, 07:22:15 PM »
Here is another photo of the Biarritz at the Lido, from 1927

« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 08:15:09 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)

Bill Brightly

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2010, 08:31:00 PM »
Great picture of the Lido Club!  Here is Charles Banks first solo effort: Hackensack



Rob Peterson

Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #67 on: August 23, 2010, 02:33:16 PM »
Here are a couple pics I took of the 16th at N Berwick, in case anyone hasn't seen the hole before.  Interestingly, the day I took these the pin was up front and the hole played much easier than the previous day when it was in the back.  The green itself is pretty well elevated especially on the right side.  It is a tough shot from there whether the pin is in front or back.







shows the slopes off the right side of the green.


Bill Brightly

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #68 on: August 23, 2010, 03:41:51 PM »
Very cool photos of #16 at North Berwick, thanks for posting. If NB's was not always a double green, I am dying to know what course was the first to convert the front section to putting green.

I always guessed it was Yale, but perhaps it was MPCC as Bob Huntley suggests... I sure would love to see some 1925 evidence of a front pin placement.

I have little doubt that ALL Macdonald-Raynor-Banks courses had just the rear section as green. It makes PERFECT sense that the Biarritz is the template hole they would build to test players longest shots. It is one of four unique one-shotters. It would be completely out of character for them to would fool around with this template and throw a pin up front...and if they did, why not do it all all courses?

Does Macdonald seem like a playful architect? (Quite the contrary, IMHO.) Did Raynor freelance? (Hardly...) Banks was only in business for four years...he was scrambling to keep all the Raynor prospects and had VERY little experience outside of the templates, so no way I believe he put pins up front.


However, it seems COMPLETELY logical that later architects (or superintendents) would look at these holes and say: "Wow, we could cut down the grass in the front section and make THAT putting surface, as well." These architect's would have NO PROBLEM altering Biarritz holes, and MANY were butchered by taking out the bunkers that lined the approach.

In other words, it would be FAR easier for a non-MacRaynor architect to venture from the template. I think Macdonald would have screamed bloody murder if he saw a pin up front.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 05:20:51 PM by Bill Brightly »

Tim Pitner

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #69 on: August 23, 2010, 06:19:02 PM »
I apologize for the heresy but I wonder sometimes why so many worship at the altar of these templates.  The Biarritz at Hackensack, for example, looks awful (to me) in that photo.  It may be great fun to play but, aesthetically, it gets very low marks. 

Perhaps there wasn't much of a choice (the land being too good), but nevertheless, here's to those responsible for Old Macdonald for incorporating principles from these templates into the land and for not mechanically building the templates.

Bill Brightly

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #70 on: August 23, 2010, 08:04:47 PM »

What does "worship at the altar of the templates mean", Tim? 

Tim Pitner

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #71 on: August 23, 2010, 11:18:02 PM »

What does "worship at the altar of the templates mean", Tim?  

It means I took some poetic license.  

Bill, my comment was not directed specifically at you.  What I meant is that, IMHO, we here on GCA tend to overvalue these holes.  I'm certainly no expert on the subject and I'm sure there are iterations that are brilliant.  But the process of replicating these templates doesn't seem very artistic or clever to me, unless there are adaptations to the given land (which appears to be the case with Old Macdonald).  It reminds me of the saying that sometimes people think a proposition is true simply because they understand it.  Sometimes GCAers think a MacRaynor template-style hole is great simply because they recognize it.  
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 11:26:25 AM by Tim Pitner »

Bill Brightly

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #72 on: August 24, 2010, 02:23:31 AM »
Tim.

The title of the thread you are reading is "Biarritz Question" not "Biarritz, the most beautiful holes."

You are certainly not alone in your criticism of Hackensack's circa 1930's Biarritz. I concur that these were (and are) odd looking holes. So it is very easy to understand why architects , superintendents and/or grounds commiittee's, armed with your level of apprecation for template features :) would chop off the front bunkers and try to "fix" the look of this hole, to make it look like other holes. The Moderniztion Committees of the 1960's were right with you!

We have restored the front bunkers at Hackensack and I can't tell you how many members agree with you. Most of the women HATE the hole and a significant number of men tell me they think it looks dumb.  They tell me it does not look like any other par 3 holes they have played in their travels. They don't care about CB Macdonald and the history of the Biarritz, they "know" what a golf hole should look like. I went through the EXACT same emotions when I walked the course with George Bahto about ten years ago and the idea of restoring this hole was presented to me. In fact, researching the history of this hole is what led me to stumble upon this website.

I don't agree that templates are overvalued on GCA. In fact, Raynor and Banks have been ripped by GCA posters for years. Many feel these ODG's left a manufactured look. The "mimimalist" movement is, in part, a reaction to this look and to this routing approach .

Biarritz's are VERY hard holes to par, definitely par 3 1/2 holes. They are unique, clearly not everyone's cup of tee.  But the HISTORY of the hole is facinating, and still developing!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 07:13:54 AM by Bill Brightly »

V. Kmetz

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2010, 03:54:15 AM »
Well said BB...

I will add, in further reply to Tim, the many discussions of "Template" holes such as the "Biarritz" prompt such interest because for better or worse they were at the beginnings of American architecture, they provide a link - albeit engineered - to the architecture found in the venerated British/European courses, and they are often at odds with what is the norm today.

Just like any other micro-field discussion board with many knowledgeable participants, it is something of an obsession to understand the true foundations of the obsession.

I'm not positive - but on the "Building Architecture Discussion Group" somewhere...I'm fairly certain they posit different theories on "Who made the first Colonial style house?" and "Where did the first gabled house appear in America" and "Was FL Wright a meglomaniac?"

The Biarritz is but one of many fine points...where else can I discuss it with those who know a lot about it?

cheers

vk
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

Jud_T

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Re: Biarritz Question
« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2010, 04:29:24 AM »
It's an intersting hole in an American context as one cannot generally simply fly the ball all the way to the pin, but rather has to hit a running shot through the swale.  This combined with the difficulty of a routine par is what makes folks uncomfortable.  This is also why the pin should never be upfront IMHO.  Anything that forces a glimpse of the ground game into the America Flight Squadron is not overrated...
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 04:32:41 AM by Jud Tigerman »
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

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