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Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2014, 03:50:24 PM »
Patrick:

What would be really helpful is a map of what the course looked like before Travis redid it.

Sven
"As much as we have learned about the history of golf architecture in the last ten plus years, I'm convinced we have only scratched the surface."  A GCA Poster

"There's the golf hole; play it any way you please." Donald Ross

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2014, 04:13:34 PM »
Patrick:

What would be really helpful is a map of what the course looked like before Travis redid it.

Sven,

I'll try to get a copy of the map

If I recall correctly Tom MacWood had an abundance of material on Hollywood.
Maybe there's an old thread on it.
I remember battling with Tommy Naccarato about Hollywood



Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2014, 05:52:48 PM »
From Tom Paul:

Walter Travis never won a US or British Open but he sure did shock the British in 1904 by winning the British Amateur (the first American to do so).

But as a far as being under appreciated as the first American to win the US Open, that distinction would have to go to Philadelphia's John J. McDermott who won the US Open in 1911 and 1912 (and in 1911 as the youngest in history). For some reason that fame seems to go to Francis Ouimet who won the US Open in 1913. Why is that? It could be because Ouimet was an amateur and McDermott was a pro.


Duly noted.  :-[ Rookie mistake.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 05:55:07 PM by Jim_Kennedy »
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Ed Homsey

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2014, 06:56:29 PM »
The aerial posted is terrific.  And, it is amazing to me how closely the map I referred to earlier depicts what is present in the aerial.  Difficult to find any differences.  And, I would like for someone to point out the kind of cross-bunkering that Travis opposed in this aerial.  I'm referring to cross-bunkering of the old-style, that essentially consisted of a trench dug across the fairway at predicatable intervals.  Guess it boils down to definition of cross-bunkering.
In reference to Sven's earlier post, it is my understanding that the Travis remodeling of HGC in 1917 was a complete rebuild of greens and bunkers.  The routing was essentially the same as Mackie's.

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2014, 10:07:16 AM »
From Tom Paul:

Walter Travis never won a US or British Open but he sure did shock the British in 1904 by winning the British Amateur (the first American to do so).

But as a far as being under appreciated as the first American to win the US Open, that distinction would have to go to Philadelphia's John J. McDermott who won the US Open in 1911 and 1912 (and in 1911 as the youngest in history). For some reason that fame seems to go to Francis Ouimet who won the US Open in 1913. Why is that? It could be because Ouimet was an amateur and McDermott was a pro.


And also because JM was a hothead and FO epitomized the gentleman-golfer archetype so desired by the USGA. And perhaps because JM kinda sorta went nuts and lived in and out of institutions his remaining years, while FO never kinda sorta went nuts.

Then there's that Buffalo vs. Boston thing...
Coming in 2024
~Elmira Country Club
~Soaring Eagles
~Bonavista
~Indian Hills
~Maybe some more!!

Blake Conant

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2014, 10:30:58 AM »
You folks should go take look at the restoration of Hollywood.  Ed has some pics of the new work on his website, but it's hard to appreciate the scale in those photos.     

Joe Bausch

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2014, 12:42:47 PM »
From Tom Paul:

"Jimbo:

Don't apologize for any 'rookie mistakes' because I'm not gonna apologize for my mistakes with starting out goofy and getting goofier fast. But, I tell you what---with your supreme research ability I would just love to see you do some deep research on the relationship between Travis and Macdonald, say in the timeframe of maybe 1910 to 1920. Being interested in golf and golf architecture history, I  would just love to have been a fly on the wall when those two guys ran into one another alone in some room somewhere during that timeframe! (what were their issues with one another? ! would have to say an ongoing misunderstanding over the entire Schenectady Putter issue, as well as tension on USGA Amateur States Rules and Regs which Macdonald apparently had a strong hand in drafting in the teens.").
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:  https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2014, 06:52:10 PM »
Joe,

Both were fellow members of GCGC

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2014, 07:28:02 PM »
From Tom Paul:

"Jimbo:

Don't apologize for any 'rookie mistakes' because I'm not gonna apologize for my mistakes with starting out goofy and getting goofier fast. But, I tell you what---with your supreme research ability I would just love to see you do some deep research on the relationship between Travis and Macdonald, say in the timeframe of maybe 1910 to 1920. Being interested in golf and golf architecture history, I  would just love to have been a fly on the wall when those two guys ran into one another alone in some room somewhere during that timeframe! (what were their issues with one another? ! would have to say an ongoing misunderstanding over the entire Schenectady Putter issue, as well as tension on USGA Amateur States Rules and Regs which Macdonald apparently had a strong hand in drafting in the teens.").


For starters, I'm pretty sure that Travis raised a few Southampton eyebrows and caused at least one moustache to twitch when he penned this* in October of 1912:
 


* found at LA84 Foundation

...and even though they 'fell out' prior to '12, Travis may have expressed a strong opinion that NGLA was going to be 'too hard' early on. That, and his apparent disdain for 'copied' holes wouldn't be overly appreciated by another gentleman with equally strong opinions (you know who  ;D ).
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:02:21 PM by Jim_Kennedy »
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

DMoriarty

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2014, 08:13:36 PM »
Jim,  that makes for nice, juicy gossip, but I am not sure the record supports the theory that Travis's comments/feelings about NGLA lead to the apparent falling out.  It seems much more likely that it was the opposite. Travis had been effusive in his praise for NGLA during the process and at its completion.  And as for his supposed distain for copied holes, what about his 18th at GCGC, which was very much a copy of the Eden?  Also there were reports of plans to build a Redan there too, but I don't think that happened.

I think there had long been tension between Travis and a certain element of the US golf establishment (not necessarily CBM).  I recall seeing articles as early as 1904 where certain figures disparaged Travis for pushing the bounds of  Amatuerism.  

ADDED:  Actually the accusations of professionalism go back to the first year or two of the new century. 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 09:47:58 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)

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2014, 09:49:19 PM »
David,

There may have been additional frictions created by the "Schenectady Putter".

CBM could be considered an influential member of the USGA.

In 1910 the R&A banned the putter, but, the USGA did not follow suit.

However, it could be that CBM was in favor of having the USGA ban it.

That would certainly lead to bad feelings, especially considering their relationship prior to 1910.

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2014, 09:50:21 PM »
True David, but I don't believe that I suggested that this article was the situation changer in their relationship, only one more piece.
 
Like you, I don't think there is a definitive moment that changed their relationship, probably more like some little digs, or failures to have the other's back, or taking unbending positions that have an impact on ones supposed friends which caused a drifting apart over time.

Travis is still effusive in the article, but it isn't with praise for NGLA...and it seems pretty plain to me that he's taking a jab at the idea of copying holes, even if he resorted to using them himself. Perhaps he had his doubts about NGLA early on, but felt that it would be more wise in many ways to wait a few years until the club and course established themselves before leveling any criticism. I don't know, I'm only speculating, but I don't feel that I've gone OOB.  ;D
 


 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 09:54:40 PM by Jim_Kennedy »
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Ed Homsey

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2014, 10:32:49 PM »
I hope this discussion will lead to a clearer understanding of the relationship between Macdonald and Travis.  It is clear that there was a period of time when they had a decent relationship, i.e. when Travis was engaged by Macdonald in the development of the NGLA concept.  The R&A ban on mallet headed putters, including the Schenectady, may have been the start of the deteriorating relationship between the two.  Travis did not respect Macdonald's position on the R&A committee.  He wrote openly about his opinion that Macdonald had no official voice as an American representative.  Later, Macdonald wrote a letter, published in The American Golfer, disputing Travis' opinions (I need to find that letter and post it here).

As TPaul suggests, the Schenectady controversy was probably the start of their declining relationship, though earlier, there may have been the questions about Travis's amateur status.  Though the whole amateur status question probably riled Travis, it seems to me that his later criticisms of NGLA might have sealed the deal in his relationship with Macdonald.

Both were strong minded individuals.  Macdonald was the voice of the USGA, against which Travis often protested about issues concerning competition formats,and qualification procedures for the Amateur, etc.  Travis did not present as a friend of the USGA.  It does not appear that either was an individual who would compromise. 

With all of Travis very early involvement in the development of the NGLA, I wonder what he did to get himself eliminated from the team, and why he eventually became a harsh critic of the course.

There is a lot to be learned about the relationship of two of the most powerful figures in golf in the early 1900s.  I look forward to learning more about it.

Ed
www.travissociety.com 

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2014, 10:50:36 PM »
Ed,

When the dust settles, I think you'll find "EGO" at the center of their falling out.

Ed Homsey

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2014, 10:55:05 PM »
Patrick--I agree completely.  The questions in my mind is, what was the breaking point in their relationship.  Afterall, as members of GCGC, they often played with, or against, each other, and early on, they seemed to have a good working relationship.  They were both of strong "egos".

Ed

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2014, 05:31:25 AM »
Cross Bunkering to me means that a single bunker (# 10 at GCGC) or series of bunkers extend from one side of the fairway across more than the mid-point of the fairway and in most cases to the other side of the fairway.

Cross bunkering is not confined to a "single" bunker.

How many holes at Hollywood fit each type of cross bunkering, singular or serial ?

[/URL]
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 05:36:41 AM by Patrick_Mucci »

Joe Bausch

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2014, 08:53:14 AM »
From Tom Paul:

Jim:

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!
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:  https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2014, 10:31:32 AM »
 :-[

Travis' criticism of NGLA made the 'real' news a month after the magazine article appeared, prompting a tit-for-tat response from "a prominent golfer".   
The snip also includes a few paragraphs by Behr on foursomes/fourball play.
 
Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Friday -  November 15 - 1912   


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

DMoriarty

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2014, 01:32:47 PM »
Patrick,  CBM was most definitely a key player in the Schenectady Putter controversy, and (not surprisingly) he actively tried to broker a solution that would preserve a single set of rules for all of golf.  It is a bit of an oversimplification, though, to say that he was "in favor of having the USGA ban it."   His position was actually pretty nuanced and I don't think it was well understood (then or now) and it probably created quite a bit of bad blood.  This was a tumultuous time in the US regarding golf administration and there was lots of ill will toward the R&A and the foreign influence on the game in the US. 
__________________________________________________________

Jim,

While I appreciate you posting these articles again, it might be worth noting that this ground (and those articles) have been covered many times before.   The second article you posted is summarizes a letter that appears in Max Behr's Golf, which seems to have been somewhat of a rival magazine to Travis's American Golfer.   Here is the complete letter from Nov. 1912 edition:



The letter prompted a response in AG the following month, in which Colt was quoted at great length to support further criticism of NGLA.  Ironically, Colt wasn't directly addressing NGLA in the quotes, as I don't think he had seen the course at the time he wrote the book from which the quotes came.
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: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2014, 01:36:45 PM »
Here is the AG reply I mentioned, from Dec. 1912:







(The bit on foursomes comes from the same issue.)
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)

Joe Bausch

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2014, 01:41:37 PM »
From Tom Paul:

Jim:

That Brooklyn Eagle article is another marvelous addition on your part to this fascinating discussion on Travis and his impact, and, including his evolving/devolving (first good then apparently deteriorating) relationship with C.B. Macdonald. It's a crying shame that the author of that article does not identify who the 'prominent golfer' is he was referring to in the first column of that article. What do you suppose the chances are the "prominent golfer" was Charles Blair Macdonald?

By the way, the Schenectady Putter issue and perhaps how it may have affected their relationship is covered in incredible detail and depth in Macdonald's book (Scotland's Gift Golf) that was written close to twenty years after the most seminal events of the Schenectady Putter issue (1909-1911).* In that book Macdonald makes available a massive amount of contemporaneous correspondence. To say it is complicated is a real understatement. However, in that correspondence of that time there is the following piece from Macdonald's pen to the R&A Rules Committee------"There are a few people in this country stupid enough to think, owing to Travis's uncalled for and undignified criticism of his treatment at Sandwich, that this is in the line of retaliation. That can be dismissed without thought. Travis is now putting with a Braid Aluminum, and, if anything, putting better than ever."

Obviously, if Travis got wind of that correspondence around the time it was written (1910) he probably would've gone ballistic on Macdonald, at least privately if not publicly.


*It should certainly be noted that at no time did Macdonald seem to agree with the R&A Rules Committee that the Schenectady Putter should be banned. On the other hand, it very well may've seemed that way to Travis as Macdonald was an absolute master at the art of complex "parliamentary process." Basically he could and did wrap any controversial issue in the most complex and labrynthine process and language imaginable. Because of that most probably had little idea what he was agreeing with or disagreeing with. In a real sense that was a fairly common tactic of the autocratic elite of that time to obfuscate from the Hoi Polloi what exactly they were doing or thinking about. To make it even more confusing and perverse there certainly were those of that time who felt that technique was perhaps the best and most intelligent application of the art of "compromise." Macdonald was completely brilliant at it. Travis seemed to be far more straight forward in how he said what he felt and meant.
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:  https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

DMoriarty

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Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #46 on: May 09, 2014, 01:47:42 PM »
As for the substance of the issue, I keep coming back to the fact that prior to these articles (and prior to the Schenectady Putter issue) Travis and his magazine were resoundingly singing the praises of NGLA, both during the creation and when it was essentially finished. And given that Travis was there for at least part of the the process of its creation, he was in a good position to speak to the merits of the course then.

And, Jim, while I understand the theory, I think it is too much for you to speculate that, "Perhaps he had his doubts about NGLA early on, but felt that it would be more wise in many ways to wait a few years until the club and course established themselves before leveling any criticism."   To believe this you have to discount and disregard all of what he had written up to this point!   We owe him more respect than that, don't we? 

The fact is, Travis was all over the place with NGLA. Remember that the next year he changed directions again and took credit as one of those principally responsible for the layout!  I could be mistaken, but I get the sense that his comments were being driven as much by personal animosity than by anything else.
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: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #47 on: May 09, 2014, 02:10:54 PM »
Anyway, the second AG (presumably by Travis) critique (above) prompted a few responses which were published in the January 1913 edition of Golf:










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)

Peter Pallotta

Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2014, 02:46:04 PM »
Fascinating nuances - thanks for all the old articles posted and new thoughts expressed.

The early understanding of the relationship between soil/climate/turf and architecture was more in depth than I would've imagined, as were the theories/competing approaches to designing for the average golfer while challenging the world's best.

The architects, golfers, critics, and club members  quoted in those old articles are strikingly articulate in their points-counterpoints, and in some cases very 'modern' in their suggestions (e.g. play the appropriate set of tees).

It struck me that a course like TPC Sawgrass (when it first opened) might've engendered a reaction closest to the one that the (much different) NGLA recieved, i.e. questioning the architect re what he was trying to do, challenging him on how he tried to do it, critiquing him on the end result , and theorizing on why it worked/didn't work for the average golfer and pro alike. 

Peter Pallotta

Re: Walter Travis' Impact on the game of Golf
« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2014, 02:58:57 PM »
P.S. check out this line from one of the editorials. You sure don't read this kind of writing anymore, at least not in Golf Digest/ Magazine/World/Week/Club Atlas. Our loss. The writing is very good; the concepts/ideas actually worthy of adults even better.

"If the ideals of man were to be forever weighted down with the imperfections of the masses, where would it be possible to create those object-lessons which compel that enlargement of perspective with its consequent advance?"

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