From Tom Paul:
I asked you through Joe Bausch a few posts ago to use your supreme research capabilities to look deeper into the apparent relationship between Travis and Macdonald between say 1910 and 1920 (I might just back that up some to say 1908 when Travis started American Golfer), and, in my opinion, you are definitely off to a great start with what you just produced from Travis (American Golfer) in 1912! (the article "Too Severe" about NGLA).
Between the USGA library, LA84 and some private club collections (exs: PV, Piping Rock etc), I thought I had pretty much read everything of that ilk via the full runs of the likes of American Golfer and Golf Illustrated (arguably the most informed and prominent golf magazines of that era). But I do not recall reading the one you just produced. I find it rather stunning given the widespread and general praise for NGLA in that time frame.
Given all things considered in American golf (including architecture, Rules, agronomy, golf administration, tournament fame etc) in the first and second decade of the 20th century, those two men may've been the most prominent and generally recognizable of all, it is just so interesting and probably significant to discover more, hopefully a lot more, about whatever adversarial dynamics existed between them and certainly why! I think it has pretty well be documented and therefore recognized that Macdonald and Travis probably developed issues with one another over the Schenectady Putter and probably amateur status issues but it looks from the article you just produced that it lapsed out into one with architecture as well, and to no less than the crown jewel of Macdonald's career. I have read some criticisms of NGLA before but I only recall it coming from some on the other side such as J.H. Taylor (for being too difficult), and really only via what Tilly wrote about criticism of American architecture coming from the other side.
It may even be true to say that we tend to unthinkingly create "legends" out of some of those men by our inclination to idolize them and their achievements. It occurs to me that perhaps an inordinate amount of those men (viz Leeds, Travis, Macdonald, Tillinghast, Crump etc) just may've been so interesting and perhaps great BECAUSE they were complex and complicated men with ideas and opinions that reflected their personalities. If so, it is better for us to get into the truth of their lives and times and perhaps dynamic relationships with one another, including warts and fights and all, and if we do we should understand far more about what the entire tapestry of it all was really about in that fascinating seminal evolving time in American golf and architecture..
You're a fantastic researcher and analyst, Jimbo, so keep it going on this subject and this good thread begun by Frank Giordano on the impact of Travis, and it just might turn into one for the ages! We praised Mark Bourgeois the other day in that conference call for some of the awesome previously unknown fascinating stuff he has found and is putting together on some other things to do with Macdonald's life and career (ex: that call loan info from Henry Frick) and he actually sloughed it off by say he couldn't have done some of it without you.
Keep up your good research, and thanks for it!