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Jim_Kennedy

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Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #50 on: September 21, 2010, 11:17:37 AM »
Melyvn,
Of course GCA started on your home lands. As Fred Hawtree wrote in his "Aspects of Golf Course Architecture:   

ďIt is tempting to suggest that the first tiny seed of golf course architecture was sown in October, 1764. A meeting of the Gentlemen Golfers of St. Andrews expressed the view, ĎThat it would be for the improvement of the links that four first holes should be converted into two.í'

I don't believe any plan exists, or that one was drawn up, but it does exist as probably the very earliest written record of some sort of GCA.

"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

TEPaul

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2010, 11:36:26 AM »
George Bahto:

Are you aware of the existence of any PRE-construction topograpahical survey maps on any of the courses Macdonald was involved with following NGLA?

The ones I would be most interested in are the courses just following NGLA such as Piping Rock, Sleepy Hollow, Old White etc.

Thanks

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2010, 12:47:43 PM »
Can someone please specifically point out where CBM claims to have invented golf course architecture or where he claims to have been the first golf course architect?   He may have, but I don't recall him ever saying specifically that.

The term had been used plenty before NGLA, both overseas and in America.    For just one example, there was an article in April 1901 issue of Golfer, titled "Bunker Architecture" in which the author argues that the american system of Cops is better than the natural bunkers abroad " . . . the hazards on the American courses make golfing more enjoyable than abroad; that is, good golf is encouraged and poor play penalized more thoroughly through the judicious arrangement of bunkers."  He also describes their dimensions and placement in great detail, and goes into some other details about how to arrange a course.   Here is just a bit of his sage advice:

The ordinary bunker has a trap or pit two and one-half feet deep, eighteen feet wide, and thirty feet long. The cop at the back of the trap should be three feet high in front with a sloping back, its thickness depending entirely on the quantity of earth or other filler at hand. The tops of the cops are sometimes rounded, but are oftener flat for about twelve inches from the front, and then they slope gradually to the fair green. The front of the cop should be built in steps-of-stairs fashion, each sod being cut in a strip fifteen inches long, six inches wide, and allowed a hold of four inches. In order to prevent players or caddies from climbing over the cops, a pathway should be cut through the centre in such a manner that the ball cannot roll through it. The entrance to this passageway is generally three or four feet to the right or left of the exit, and it is desirable to sod its sides, with a long slope so as to have a fair opportunity of getting at the ball in case it should lodge there.
. . .
Judging from the lay-out of some of the best golf courses in the United States, the most judicious arrangement of hazards for such holes follows:
   Take a 150-yard hole, for instance, and if there are no natural hazards it is advisable to place two cop-bunkers 110 yards. from the tee, side by side clear across the course. About one-fourth of the bunker in front should overlap one fourth of the other, leaving a path running sideways and not straight for the hole, to prevent balls rolling through. Each of these bunkers should cover one half of the width of the course. The trap should be twenty feet wide and two and one-half feet deep, while the height of the cop should be three feet from the ground.
  In order to catch a sliced or a pulled ball, an oblong or half-moon shaped bunker, without cops, two feet deep with sloping sodded sides, should be placed on each side of the putting-green, about five yards from its edges.


Pretty good indication that calling it "architecture" doesn't mean too much in terms of quality.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 12:54:51 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)

Steve Lang

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Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2010, 01:25:17 PM »
 8) Bart, I don't need this topo data to tell me a good green site when I see it.. Yeh Ed, but the architect does to work in his office!

Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

George_Bahto

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Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2010, 05:43:51 PM »
"George Bahto:

Are you aware of the existence of any PRE-construction topographical survey maps on any of the courses Macdonald was involved with following NGLA?

The ones I would be most interested in are the courses just following NGLA such as Piping Rock, Sleepy Hollow, Old White etc"


I've seen just a few topos but PRE-CONSTRUCTION ??? .... The only one fitting that description was the "working" blueprint that the Tureski kid has

........ actually, Tom, come to think of it, I have - a great one of CC of Fairfield - so "PRE" that the holes were turned down by founder Oliver Gould Jennings - the drawing was "ink on off-white linen" (how master blueprint copies were made)

A similar on linen turned up for Fairyland (not that there is anything wrong with that - hah) - there, none of the fairway bunkers were ever built (a landmine full of bunkers)

I have numerous "concept drawings" (pre-construction - my favorite stuff) but not sure they had topos - just holes with their hazards
If a player insists on playing his maximum power on his tee-shot, it is not the architect's intention to allow him an overly wide target to hit to but rather should be allowed this privilege of maximum power except under conditions of exceptional skill.
   Wethered & Simpson

Peter Pallotta

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2010, 06:57:12 PM »
TE - thanks for your posts, and the corrections (to my post) therein. I realized later that, the way I wrote my post made is sound like I was definitive, when n actuality I'd just read/taken-in the previous posts and let the ideas roll around in my head and that's why came out.

Peter

Melvyn Morrow

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2010, 07:21:57 PM »

Mac

Sorry, my point with you was only to confirm that the courses you posted where late 19th century, I should have highlighted that.

TomP

I regret that the design process was not just a one day or two day visit, its incurred more depending upon the clients brief much as today. Generally we hear or see one report of a visit but never see that repeat visits unless we look to more local newspapers.

This one day visit was not the normal as it took as I have said on average 3 months to open a course. When I have time either in an article or in a book I will explain the process with supporting evidence to confirm my findings.  Stakes have their place and are used for a reason, but all will fit once you understand the general procedures used by both designers and clubs in the 19th Century.

I think if you looked at the second golden age you may note that James Braid was well known in the 1920ís for his half day designs, to his credit his attitude was if it was not broken donít try and fix it, although he did lengthen and adjust a few hazards. Just look at Brora, he was up and out of the town between the trains.

I just ask that you do not judge the 19th Century Guys until you understand how they went about their work.

Nevertheless IMHO they were very much designers in the true sense, Christ, Tom you imported many of their holes to the USA from course like Prestwick, North Berwick and TOC to name but three.

Melvyn.

TEPaul

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #57 on: September 22, 2010, 11:24:36 AM »
"Can someone please specifically point out where CBM claims to have invented golf course architecture or where he claims to have been the first golf course architect?   He may have, but I don't recall him ever saying specifically that."




I was intensely interested, and it was from this discussion I was urged to carry out the idea of building a classical golf course in America, one which would eventually compare favorably with the championship links abroad and serve as an incentive to the elevation of the game in America. I believe this was the first effort at establishing golfing architecture---at least there is no record I can find preceding it.
Scotland's Gift Golf, by Charles Blair Macdonald



David Moriarty:

Am I always going to have to do research for you you should have done yourself?


Sean_A

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Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #58 on: September 22, 2010, 12:55:28 PM »
"Can someone please specifically point out where CBM claims to have invented golf course architecture or where he claims to have been the first golf course architect?   He may have, but I don't recall him ever saying specifically that."




I was intensely interested, and it was from this discussion I was urged to carry out the idea of building a classical golf course in America, one which would eventually compare favorably with the championship links abroad and serve as an incentive to the elevation of the game in America. I believe this was the first effort at establishing golfing architecture---at least there is no record I can find preceding it.
Scotland's Gift Golf, by Charles Blair Macdonald



David Moriarty:

Am I always going to have to do research for you you should have done yourself?



Jeepers, CBM had an ego!  Fancy writing that last sentence.  Honestly, it makes me wonder how much the guy can be trusted on his other writings. 

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

Jud_T

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Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #59 on: September 22, 2010, 03:42:47 PM »
Talking the talk, and walking the walk....The Cassius Clay of GCA......
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

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #60 on: September 23, 2010, 04:53:41 PM »
Sean,

Given your past comments on CBM, I hardly think that this one sentence has much to do with whether you trust what he wrote or not.  

As for me, I don't agree that he was the first golf course architect, but then I don't really understand precisely how he is defining architecture and I suspect that we are not fully understanding what he meant.   At the end of his chapter on Architecture might give some indication, though . . .    

 I read a golf article not long since in which the writer called a "fetish" the copying of holes from the classical courses of Great Britain, holes which have the testimony of all the great golfers for more than a century or two past as being expressive of the best and noblest phases of the game.
  Architecture is one of the five fine arts.  If the critics contention is true, then architecture must be a "fetish," as the basis of it is the copying of Green and Roman architecture, Romanesque and Gothic, and in our own times among other forms, Georgian and Colonial architecutre.  Ome must have the gift of imaginantion to successfully apply the original to new situations. Surely there is nothing "fetish" about this.  
  I believe in reverencing anything in the life of man which has the testimony of the ages as being unexcelled, whether it be literature, paintings, poetry, tombs --even a golf hole.  


CBM had begun the chapter quoting Repton and he closes it with another landscape gardener . . .


Perhaps it may be apropos to close this chapter by qu9oting another great landscape architect, Prince Puckler:

Time is not able to bring forth new truths only an unfolding of timeless truths.
[/b]
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 05:20:29 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)

Sean_A

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Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2010, 03:13:53 AM »
Sean,

Given your past comments on CBM, I hardly think that this one sentence has much to do with whether you trust what he wrote or not.  

As for me, I don't agree that he was the first golf course architect, but then I don't really understand precisely how he is defining architecture and I suspect that we are not fully understanding what he meant.   At the end of his chapter on Architecture might give some indication, though . . .    

 I read a golf article not long since in which the writer called a "fetish" the copying of holes from the classical courses of Great Britain, holes which have the testimony of all the great golfers for more than a century or two past as being expressive of the best and noblest phases of the game.
  Architecture is one of the five fine arts.  If the critics contention is true, then architecture must be a "fetish," as the basis of it is the copying of Green and Roman architecture, Romanesque and Gothic, and in our own times among other forms, Georgian and Colonial architecutre.  Ome must have the gift of imaginantion to successfully apply the original to new situations. Surely there is nothing "fetish" about this.  
  I believe in reverencing anything in the life of man which has the testimony of the ages as being unexcelled, whether it be literature, paintings, poetry, tombs --even a golf hole.  


CBM had begun the chapter quoting Repton and he closes it with another landscape gardener . . .


Perhaps it may be apropos to close this chapter by qu9oting another great landscape architect, Prince Puckler:

Time is not able to bring forth new truths only an unfolding of timeless truths.
[/b]

David

Both of your points are lost on me.  If you mean by my previous comments that I don't kneel at the altar of CBM as the greatest shining light in architecture, then okay - I am guilty.  Even given your hint of what CBM's definiton of gca may be, he is a long way off being the first gca.  I am not even sure how he could ever believe otherwise..unless of course there is a super secret CBM definition created by him and applicable only to him lurking out there.  IMO, no matter how anyone construes it, CBM owes a huge debt to those who came before him and even in gthe big scheme of things, I cannot see how CBM was more important than Colt, Fowler, Dr Mac and Park Jr .- not just in design creation, but in when the designs occurred.  To me, CBM gets tagged on wiith this list as important, but not the master - damn high praise - no?

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 03:16:38 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

TEPaul

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #62 on: September 24, 2010, 10:41:08 AM »
Sean:

Whether any of us agree with Macdonald or not it is still quite interesting to consider from his remarks I quote why he seemed to think that NGLA was the first example on record of golfing architecture, don't you think?

Frankly, I even think there may be a flipside question to what he said-----eg If CBM had not bothered to copy any GB holes or any GB golf architectural principles at NGLA would he then have considered NGLA not to be golfing architecture?  ;)

In considering that question there may be some kernels of info to help us understand why Macdonald may've had some future problems with American architecture in the teens and 1920s that led him to remark in 1926 in his book, Scotland's Gift Golf, "It makes the very soul of golf shriek."
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 10:47:33 AM by TEPaul »

Melvyn Morrow

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #63 on: September 24, 2010, 01:01:27 PM »
Tom P

At Darien in Georgia there was a 9 hole course designed by Robert and John Hunter of Prestwick also related to Charlie Hunter (Prestwick). The course was built in the 1880's some 10 years before the NGLA, although today itís under a school. It would be great to see any records or a design of this course to see if any holes reflect anything from Prestwick or even St Andrews.

This is your golfing history, the real roots of the game but you spend a large amount of time talking of later events. The design and the concept of design on these earlier courses are what attracted people to play the game in the early days of golf. They like the ones in Scotland go to the heart of our game, be they in Scotland or America.

TOC is very important to us, but then it has history and centuries of age which the NGLA does not but courses like Darien are older, perhaps not that much older but still older and was part of the grass roots of the game certainly down South. This course was built before the Foulis, Campbell and co thought of going to The USA, even before CBM started looking at golf courses.

Itís your history too, yet you seem happy to ignore your own heritages for new courses - well thatís your choice, your history in golf may not be that old as ours in Scotland but here is a clear link with the Home of The Open - Prestwick and you are ignoring it.

Melvyn
 


DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #64 on: September 24, 2010, 02:26:53 PM »
David

Both of your points are lost on me.  If you mean by my previous comments that I don't kneel at the altar of CBM as the greatest shining light in architecture, then okay - I am guilty.  Even given your hint of what CBM's definiton of gca may be, he is a long way off being the first gca.  I am not even sure how he could ever believe otherwise..unless of course there is a super secret CBM definition created by him and applicable only to him lurking out there.  IMO, no matter how anyone construes it, CBM owes a huge debt to those who came before him and even in gthe big scheme of things, I cannot see how CBM was more important than Colt, Fowler, Dr Mac and Park Jr .- not just in design creation, but in when the designs occurred.  To me, CBM gets tagged on wiith this list as important, but not the master - damn high praise - no?


I forgot . . . have you played NGLA?

As I said, I don't view CBM as the first golf course architect either, but given his knowledge of the history of golf course design and creation, I merely suggested that perhaps his understanding of the term is different than ours.   Feel free to write it off as an empty boast of a untrustworthy egoist if you'd like, but given how just about everything the guy wrote checks out, I am left wondering if perhaps we are not quite understanding what he might have been talking about.

I am curious, to whom "who came before" does CBM "owe a huge debt?"  Given that much of the guy's design career was spent extolling and emulating the great links golf courses, I have trouble understanding how any such debt has not not been paid in full.  Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery, especially when it is done explicitly.  CBM readily acknowledged that all he was doing is applying old ideas to new situations, yet you act as if he claims to have invented the wheel.

As for where he stands among the likes of Colt, MacKenzie, and Fowler I'd say that is largely a matter of perspective.  

Internationally you may have a point, but looking at the history and timeline of golf design in the US, your claim falls flat.    All post-dated CBM's NGLA.   And according to MacKenzie, CBM and Charles Darwin helped launch his golf architecture career by awarding him first place in the Country Life design contest.   From Spirit of St. Andrews, the caption underneath the award-winning drawing:

"The ideal two shot hole that launched my golf architecture career.  C.B. Macdonald and Bernard Darwin awarded this design first place in Country Life magazine.  July 25, 1914."

Also from SoSA, Macdonald noted that CBM had the hole built at the Lido, and had this to say about American Golf and the influence of NGLA and Pine Valley:

North America is rapidly becoming a greater golf center than even the home of golf, Scotland.  The average American golf course is vastly superior to the average Scottish golf course, but I still think the best courses in Scotland, such as the Old Course at St. Andrews, are superior to any in the World.   In the East, the National and Pine Valley are outstanding, and the excellence of many other courses may be traced to their shining example.   My personal preference is for the National.   Although not so spectacular as Pine Valley, it has a greater resemblance to real links land than any course in the East.

As we have discussed before, I think you may overestimate the quality of golf course design in the US at the time CBM came forward with his plan to create NGLA.  America had no true links courses to emulate, and America's idea of quality golf courses was a far cry from what it became later.  Many even rejected the links as a role model and actually thought that a better approach was to systematize and standardize courses to make the game more fair.    They actually thought that the system of cops, etc. was a better approach to golf design.  As quoted above, from 1901 . . .

On the other hand, the hazards on the American courses make golfing more enjoyable than abroad; that is, good golf is encouraged and poor play penalized more thoroughly through the judicious arrangement of bunkers.

The comparison is not to inland courses overseas, but to the great links courses.   Once the grass grew in and matured, people actually thought these travesties of the dark ages would be better than the  great links courses!
 
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)

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #65 on: September 24, 2010, 06:50:01 PM »
David

Both of your points are lost on me.  If you mean by my previous comments that I don't kneel at the altar of CBM as the greatest shining light in architecture, then okay - I am guilty.  Even given your hint of what CBM's definiton of gca may be, he is a long way off being the first gca.  I am not even sure how he could ever believe otherwise..unless of course there is a super secret CBM definition created by him and applicable only to him lurking out there.  IMO, no matter how anyone construes it, CBM owes a huge debt to those who came before him and even in gthe big scheme of things, I cannot see how CBM was more important than Colt, Fowler, Dr Mac and Park Jr .- not just in design creation, but in when the designs occurred.  To me, CBM gets tagged on wiith this list as important, but not the master - damn high praise - no?


I forgot . . . have you played NGLA?

As I said, I don't view CBM as the first golf course architect either, but given his knowledge of the history of golf course design and creation, I merely suggested that perhaps his understanding of the term is different than ours.   Feel free to write it off as an empty boast of a untrustworthy egoist if you'd like, but given how just about everything the guy wrote checks out, I am left wondering if perhaps we are not quite understanding what he might have been talking about.

I am curious, to whom "who came before" does CBM "owe a huge debt?"  Given that much of the guy's design career was spent extolling and emulating the great links golf courses, I have trouble understanding how any such debt has not not been paid in full.  Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery, especially when it is done explicitly.  CBM readily acknowledged that all he was doing is applying old ideas to new situations, yet you act as if he claims to have invented the wheel.

As for where he stands among the likes of Colt, MacKenzie, and Fowler I'd say that is largely a matter of perspective.  

Internationally you may have a point, but looking at the history and timeline of golf design in the US, your claim falls flat.    All post-dated CBM's NGLA.   And according to MacKenzie, CBM and Charles Darwin helped launch his golf architecture career by awarding him first place in the Country Life design contest.   From Spirit of St. Andrews, the caption underneath the award-winning drawing:

"The ideal two shot hole that launched my golf architecture career.  C.B. Macdonald and Bernard Darwin awarded this design first place in Country Life magazine.  July 25, 1914."

Also from SoSA, Macdonald noted that CBM had the hole built at the Lido, and had this to say about American Golf and the influence of NGLA and Pine Valley:

North America is rapidly becoming a greater golf center than even the home of golf, Scotland.  The average American golf course is vastly superior to the average Scottish golf course, but I still think the best courses in Scotland, such as the Old Course at St. Andrews, are superior to any in the World.   In the East, the National and Pine Valley are outstanding, and the excellence of many other courses may be traced to their shining example.   My personal preference is for the National.   Although not so spectacular as Pine Valley, it has a greater resemblance to real links land than any course in the East.

As we have discussed before, I think you may overestimate the quality of golf course design in the US at the time CBM came forward with his plan to create NGLA.  America had no true links courses to emulate, and America's idea of quality golf courses was a far cry from what it became later.  Many even rejected the links as a role model and actually thought that a better approach was to systematize and standardize courses to make the game more fair.    They actually thought that the system of cops, etc. was a better approach to golf design.  As quoted above, from 1901 . . .

On the other hand, the hazards on the American courses make golfing more enjoyable than abroad; that is, good golf is encouraged and poor play penalized more thoroughly through the judicious arrangement of bunkers.

The comparison is not to inland courses overseas, but to the great links courses.   Once the grass grew in and matured, people actually thought these travesties of the dark ages would be better than the  great links courses!
 

David

I know you are a lawyer, but can you please stay on topic?  I am not Paul and Cirba and won't go chasing your bs droppings with fanatical diatribes.  Save that shit for your Merion threads.   

If this is a discussion about architectural boundaries, I am gonna go with the wider outlook and claim architecture has no boundaries. I think if anything, CBM proved this.  But if you get yer yas yas out with creating architectural boundaries based on political boundaries,  there isn't much I can say other than its a meaningless construct especially given your hero is an importer of the very concepts and ideas which are the building blocks of gca.  

Ciao  
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 06:59:22 PM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

TEPaul

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #66 on: September 24, 2010, 07:24:26 PM »
"Internationally you may have a point, but looking at the history and timeline of golf design in the US, your claim falls flat.    All post-dated CBM's NGLA."



Those are the thoughts and words of a man with limited experience and consequently a limited understanding of the history of early American golf architecture, if his remark above is intended to suggest that all real quality golf architecture in America post-dated CBM's NGLA. However, perhaps his remarks above only meant to suggest that the courses Sean Arble mentioned post-dated NGLA.

Many, including Macdonald himself, mentioned amongst the three best courses in America, Myopia and GCGC. There is no more reason to assume those courses have not stood the test of time as far as being respected than one would assume that of NGLA.

The man who made that remark above has never seen Myopia and GCGC and consequently does not have the requisite experience to analyze and evaluate this early era that prominently includes Myopia and GCGC. One does not analyze and evaluate these things by merely reading old magazines and newspapers; one does it by going to see these significant early courses and carefully studying and evaluating their architecture.  
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 07:28:59 PM by TEPaul »

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #67 on: September 24, 2010, 08:06:07 PM »
David

I know you are a lawyer, but can you please stay on topic?  I am not Paul and Cirba and won't go chasing your bs droppings with fanatical diatribes.  Save that shit for your Merion threads.

Come on Sean, this sort of gratuitous crap is beneath you.   All I did was address your post. You don't have to agree with me, but there is no need to get nasty.  

Quote
If this is a discussion about architectural boundaries, I am gonna go with the wider outlook and claim architecture has no boundaries. I think if anything, CBM proved this.  But if you get yer yas yas out with creating architectural boundaries based on political boundaries,  there isn't much I can say other than its a meaningless construct especially given your hero is an importer of the very concepts and ideas which are the building blocks of gca.  

Ciao  

I'd hardly characterize the Atlantic Ocean as only a political boundary.   That you think that it was a meaningless construct speaks directly to the success of his mission, because before CBM imported these concepts and ideas the construct was very real.

Again, will you remind me of whether or not you have played NGLA?  I can't recall.
_____________________________

TEPaul,

Nice try.  As is perfectly clear from the context I was referring to the work of MacKenzie, Colt, and Fowler in the US.  So far as I know, Colt's, Fowler's, and and MacKenzie's work all followed NGLA.



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)

Steve Lang

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #68 on: September 24, 2010, 10:27:33 PM »
 8) Boundaries, physical and political.. Things found while looking for other things file:

Looking for history of french topographers, noted to be first to make topo maps.. could they have been the first to make topos of golf courses?

... and just read an interesting paper on cartography in Switzerland in the mid-19th century and of a fellow named Dufour, where they we trying to match the french measurements in developing their own exact protocols, and topo of the country.. with a famous quote

The cartographic principle of measurability was an "effective" vehicle of the bourgeois mastery over nature in the 19th century.

from http://www.tg.ethz.ch/dokumente/pdf_files/dufour.pdf

sounds like something a engineerging type gca might say?
Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #69 on: September 25, 2010, 03:52:45 PM »
I was intensely interested, and it was from this discussion I was urged to carry out the idea of building a classical golf course in America, one which would eventually compare favorably with the championship links abroad and serve as an incentive to the elevation of the game in America. I believe this was the first effort at establishing golfing architecture---at least there is no record I can find preceding it.
Scotland's Gift Golf, by Charles Blair MacDonald.

Unless CBM really meant "the first effort at establishing golfing architecture in America"  did he regard the inland UK courses that he visited such as Sunningdale and Walton Heath as not being a product of  architecture?  He used a Sunningdale template so that would be a bit strange.
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

DMoriarty

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #70 on: September 25, 2010, 06:32:22 PM »
Unless CBM really meant "the first effort at establishing golfing architecture in America"  did he regard the inland UK courses that he visited such as Sunningdale and Walton Heath as not being a product of  architecture?  He used a Sunningdale template so that would be a bit strange.

I don't know if he only meant "in America" or not, but looking at the context and the rest of the quote, it may be.   He was writing about "the idea of building a classical golf course in America" one that would lead to "the elevation of the game in America."  

But even if he was only talking about America, the statement is confusing.  While most of what had been done in America might not have been very good, I have trouble seeing how it wasn't "architecture."   [Actually, I find it odd that we call any golf course "Architecture" but once we start using term, I have trouble understanding how one could be and another couldn't.]

As I suggested above, perhaps his other reference to the creation of golf courses as architecture helps to explain it.

"Architecture is one of the five fine arts.  . . . [T]he basis of [architecture] is the copying of Greek and Roman architecture, Romanesque and Gothic, and in our own times among other forms, Georgian and Colonial architecture. . . . One must have the gift of imagination to successfully apply the original to new situations.

Given that he believes the basis of architecture is the "copying" of what has come before, perhaps CBM understands golf architecture to be  the creation of a golf course based upon the "copying" of the underlying fundamental principles found in the classic, time-tested golf holes.  

This understanding seems to make sense not only in the context of what else he wrote about "architecture," but also in the context of what he was trying to accomplish at NGLA.  
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 06:36:15 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)

TEPaul

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #71 on: September 25, 2010, 09:37:01 PM »
Moriarty:

Your last post isn't bad. I guess it takes about four days and about two pages to have what I said (in Post #24) sink in with you before you  reiterate it as your own idea. But what the Hell, it's never a bad thing to be a good student if you have a good teacher! ;)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 09:39:21 PM by TEPaul »

Melvyn Morrow

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #72 on: September 26, 2010, 07:11:38 AM »

Tom P

Look on the bright side, at least David is showing you the courtesy of reading the older posts before making a comment. Thatís more than 50% of this site generally do, so I think we should give credit where credit is due.

I have a comment to make, this topic is titled ďThe Beginnings of GCAĒ not ĎThe Beginnings of GCA in Americaí, so could we please keep on topic. If you want to open your own topic to give credit to America for its contributions to the game, then please do so. I am certain I would be pleased to submit my own comments and no doubt agreements that we owe the cart, cart tracks, electronic distance aids, island Greens, etc. etc to  American intervention. I just wonder how the R&A were ever able to contemplate them on our golf courses, let alone making them legal, but perhaps thatís for another topic.

I expect many closed minded individuals will call this a rant against America, or carts, perhaps aids or whatever else, failing to note itís a DG with the sole purpose of debating GCA issues. Which bring me round full circle to my original point at least you are responding to someone who has bothered to read the topic before submitting his opinion.

Melvyn

TEPaul

Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #73 on: September 26, 2010, 08:38:07 AM »
Melvyn:

This thread was begun by J.C. Jones and I believe he started it shortly after we had a conversation on the telephone the other day about various things to do with the history and evolution of golf course architecture. One of those things was who was the first to use PRE-construction topographical contour maps to design golf holes on before building them. So I think the subject of this thread should concentrate on what he wants to discuss about the beginnings of golf course architecture, in what era and where.

As far as the point about the first use of PRE-construction contour survey maps to design holes on before constructing them the earliest documented reference I can find so far ironically seems to be Merion East in 1911 even though it does look like Macdonald may've done it first with Raynor with NGLA. It's also perhaps somewhat indicative that in 1910 in that letter Macdonald wrote to Horatio Gates Lloyd he did mention he could not tell them (MCC) much more about the Ardmore site without a contour map in front of him. I doubt he would've said such a thing if he had never tried to use one before with PRE-construction planning and designing! The use of a PRE-construction contour map would also make more sense if one is actually trying to copy pre-existing golf holes in various ways.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 08:45:00 AM by TEPaul »

Jim_Kennedy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Beginnings of Golf Course Architecture
« Reply #74 on: September 26, 2010, 09:16:31 AM »


"What do you think of or what is your definition of golf course architecture"? -JC Jones

JC left it up to each individual poster to present ideas. Seems he was open to discuss the beginnings of GCA, not just the concept of using  pre-construction topos/plasticine models. They are a step along the way, and part of the 'modern' concept of architecture, at least as far as anyone knows at this time. 
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

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