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Kyle Harris

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A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« on: February 28, 2015, 08:05:57 PM »
Perusing the Dallin Collection, I came across this hole at the far corner of one of Tillinghast's erstwhile efforts.



I had not yet heard mention of a Reef Hole being on this particular golf course, though it contains another noted Tillinghast "Template" Par 3, which happens to still exist.

The tee is out of the crop, but it's hole cutting the picture directly in half from the top edge.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 08:08:20 PM by Kyle Harris »
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Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

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mike_beene

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 01:03:39 AM »
Refresh me on what exactly a reef hole is. It seems like 16 at Brook Hollow is one but I am not sure of that since I can't remember what the features are of a Reef hole.

Jaeger Kovich

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 05:09:25 AM »
Kyle - Looks about right to me. Is there a way to measure the distance or figure out if the slope would kick the balls into the green if the bunkers were carried? What course is it?

Mike - It is a long par-3 with 3 lines of play. 1, direct at the green, and 2 indirect. Of the indirect lines, one should kick the ball into the green if the hazard is taken on, a reward. The other indirect line is a lay-up that puts one in a nice angle for a chip into the green.

RDecker

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 06:06:07 AM »
I remember reading the explanation of the Reef hole in "the Course Beautiful" and thinking that the par 3 5th at Berkshire Hills was  possibly one.  I don't know if it fits the mold completely but I do think it's close.  A nice strategic design for a one shot hole.

Kyle Harris

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 08:09:23 AM »
The course is the former course of the Old York Road Country Club in Abington, PA, of which a few greens/holes remain as The Abington Club. Based on Joe Bausch's archives, this hole was the 7th and played 200 yards.

The other template here is the noteworthy Tillinghast "Moat" Hole, which still exists.

I have driven past the tee for this hole a thousand times on my way to and from various jobs/apartments and the hole site is on the present-day athletic fields of the Abington Friends School. I felt compelled to start the thread because I know there are only theoretical mentions of the "Reef-type" concept and some speculation that Tillinghast built one at the present Bethpage Yellow.
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Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

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Kevin Lynch

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 08:34:48 AM »
Here's the excerpt from "The Course Beautiful"





Joe Bausch

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 10:11:26 AM »
@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

Joel_Stewart

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2015, 11:46:42 AM »
Yesterday I played out at San Francisco Golf Club and the 4th hole is closed.  Apparently Tom Doak and/or Phil Young are restoring the hole to the original reef hole.  Most of the work is on the tee which has been shifted to the right and has now been sodded.  The other change is the addition of a large bunker  to the left and short of the green by maybe 50 yards. 

MCirba

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2015, 12:43:24 PM »
Cool thread, thanks guys!
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Joel_Stewart

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2015, 01:27:21 PM »
BTW, here is an aerial of SFGC from the 1930's.  You can see the 4th on the left running along the property boarder.



Steve Lapper

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2015, 01:45:46 PM »
Yesterday I played out at San Francisco Golf Club and the 4th hole is closed.  Apparently Tom Doak and/or Phil Young are restoring the hole to the original reef hole.  Most of the work is on the tee which has been shifted to the right and has now been sodded.  The other change is the addition of a large bunker  to the left and short of the green by maybe 50 yards.


Joel, et.al:


  Although I don't know for sure, I'd venture a guess and say Jim Urbina is leading (or at least involved in) the restoration work. As many here know, Jim restored the 18th hole at Paramount CC to a authentic Tilly Reef hole. Paging Brian Chapin or Steve Scott for pix.


  From the tips, it can reach 195-200yds, but more commonly plays nearer to 180yds. It is, to the best of my knowledge (and I defer to Phil Young for confirmation) the only Reef hole of it's kind in the AWT-rich NY-CT-NJ region. It exists as a mirror image to the right-left version discussed in "The Course Beautiful," putting the reeflike-bunker down the left and the kick plate to the green behind it.


  Building it was primarily Jim's (and Phil) idea and I can confidently report that this hole has been enthusiastically and unanimously well-received by everyone, ranging from our members and guests to the competition committee of the MGA. It's a gem and I invite anyone interested to come take a look.
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."--John Kenneth Galbraith

Tom_Doak

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2015, 02:55:49 PM »
Yesterday I played out at San Francisco Golf Club and the 4th hole is closed.  Apparently Tom Doak and/or Phil Young are restoring the hole to the original reef hole.  Most of the work is on the tee which has been shifted to the right and has now been sodded.  The other change is the addition of a large bunker  to the left and short of the green by maybe 50 yards.


Joel, et.al:


  Although I don't know for sure, I'd venture a guess and say Jim Urbina is leading (or at least involved in) the restoration work. As many here know, Jim restored the 18th hole at Paramount CC to a authentic Tilly Reef hole. Paging Brian Chapin or Steve Scott for pix.


Steve [and Joel]:


Perhaps you guys should ask me if I'm involved before speculating.  I'm pretty easy to find here.


Eric Iverson did the work on the 4th hole at SFGC two weeks ago.  I was there in February and was surprised to hear that they wanted to do this work.  The 4th hole was definitely a version of the Reef hole in one iteration of Tillinghast's work there, but that was before all of the fairway bunkering was done in the late 1920's, and we had been using the later date [and a 1931 aerial photo] as our benchmark for restoring the course up to now.  However the new green chairman was intrigued by Phil Young's description of the hole for the club's new history book [I'm not sure it has been published yet], and asked if we could restore it.


I guess this is no different than restoring the front and middle parts of the Biarritz green at Mid Ocean, which I was overseeing while Eric was in San Francisco ... even though we really had no evidence that that was ever part of the green.  They just think it will be more fun to play if you can putt through the big swale, as they have seen elsewhere!

Phil Young

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 03:49:50 PM »
Kyle,

From the aerial you posted I would certainly believe that to be a variation of his Reef hole concept. In his 1926 article which included his now famous sketch he mentioned that he had constructed a number of "variations" on this in the past. I use the term variation because one of the main features would be mounding at the front green entrance on the opposite side of where the reef comes to an end up by the green. In this case I can't tell if there is any mounding on the front left side of the green.

Steve, there were two original Reef holes  on Long Island, one that still exists. The 4th hole of the original Blue course is the only par-4 version that he ever did. Besides the design of the hole, we know it was a Reef because it was called that in the April 1935 Farmingdale Post article which gave a hole-by-hole description of the course. This hole was actually drivable at 300 yards back then.  Today it is the 12th hole of the Yellow and all of the Reef features were removed when that course was built.

The other Reef hole is the 14th hole at Southward Ho CC on Long Island, an original 1926 Tilly design that his construction firm also built. Here is the hole enlarged from the original design drawing:
 

There is now another new Reef hole in the metropolitan area. It was designed for Tilly's Shackamaxon course by Steve Kay. It is the 13th hole. The course had to be changed as a result of the community telling the Club that the entrance road was no longer workable for regular street traffic and a new road in another area needed to be built. And so, with changes to the holes in this area, Steve designed a version of the Reef hole. Here's a photo of the finished hole:
 

The 1924 designed 4th hole at SFGC is a near perfect copy of the 1926 Reef hole design sketch from the Golf Illustrated article. Here is an enlargement from Tilly's original design drawing:


And this is what it looked like on opening day of the new course in 1925. In this group was Roger Lapham. Note where the players found themselves off the tee. Almost as if they purposely played per Tilly's sketch:
 

I'll be at the Club the end of August and am greatly looking forward to Tom's work and how it turned out. I've heard nothing but praise from all of the members I've spoken with!


MCirba

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 04:00:16 PM »
Thanks for all the additional info Tom and Phil.

The final hole at Paramount is also a beauty, Steve.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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Ronald Montesano

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2015, 04:10:39 PM »
Joel,


Along the left of what? I can't find it in the image you provided. Any help from anyone is appreciated.


R
Coming in 2024
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Phil Young

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2015, 04:30:48 PM »
Ron,

I believe he's referring to the top of the photo where isn't shown. The two halves of the fairway come down in a heart-shape with the two center bunkers and mounds on their back side making up the Reef structure. At least that was how I interpreted it in my comments to him...

Jeff Bergeron

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2015, 05:47:22 PM »
Phil, is the 7th at Orchard Lake Alison's version of a Reef Hole?

Kevin_Reilly

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2015, 12:46:13 AM »
Joel,

Along the left of what? I can't find it in the image you provided. Any help from anyone is appreciated.

The 4th hole is outlined, running "north-south" in the photo.  The tee is where the "X" is.

"GOLF COURSES SHOULD BE ENJOYED RATHER THAN RATED" - Tom Watson

Phil Young

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2015, 06:58:29 AM »
Jeff,

I don't believe so for several reasons. The Reef hole concept, in a sense, back on November 19th, 1645, the day that Tilly’s forebear, Pardon Tillinghast, stepped off the Boat from England and settled in Providence, Rhode Island. The Tillinghast family would grow quickly and mostly wealthy due to two businesses they became involved in. Tilly’s father would excel in both. B.C. Tillinghast established the Tillinghast Rubber Goods Co. in Philadelphia in 1871. This, though, was his second calling. His first was the sea. In 1862 at the age of 12 he joined the Merchant Marines. Promising young men of this age were able to do that. On July 3rd, 1866 he entered the U.S. Naval Academy at 16 years of age. Held back a year because of technical reasons most likely due to his age, he was scheduled to graduate in the class of 1874. Unfortunately, he came down with tuberculosis and was never able to graduate. Two years later he met Lavinia and they got married and opened up the Rubber Goods store. Yet the sea always called to him
      The young Tilly became used to ocean voyages with his father on commercial sailing ships and so he, too, loved the sea. It is no surprise then that Tilly would one day design a type of hole that was inspired by his sea-going experiences.
      The “REEF” hole concept is Tilly’s imagining a golf hole built from one a ship at sea (the tee) to the island (green) that sits in the ocean. It is only reachable by traversing the reef which surrounds it. Tilly’s concept is based upon how different ship captains would attempt the reef and thus gain entrance to the safe harbor and the island particularly during storms or when the sea was rough. For only the most experienced captains would attempt the challenge of the narrow passage through the reef, while the inexperienced one would lay up safely outside it until it was safe to make the passage through the opening. Hence, just as would happen on the ocean in real life, he imagined four distinct outcomes for playing this hole. That is why Tilly wrote that he, “named the type “The Reef” because of the diagonal spine which suggested treacherous reef water outside the harbor.’”
      If you take a look at the 1933 painting of the course that hang's on the wall outside of the pro shop of Orchard Lake (& this painting is a direct copy of the original Alison design drawing) you'll see that its is a straightforward par-3 with a fairway entrance into the green and no hazard of any type between tee and green creating two distinct fairway areas. In other words, there isn't any "reef" to challenge the player. Secondly the hole was only 135 yards in length. All of Tilly's Reef hole par-3s were long one-shotters. They needed to be as his concept purposely allowed for a planned play off the mounds just short of the green to slingshot the ball onto the green for someone who might not be able to quite reach it normally. The mounding is also missing in the design drawing.   


Ronald Montesano

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2015, 09:02:52 AM »
Kevin,
Thank you.


If that is so, how is that a reef hole? There is no obstacle between tee and green. There seem to be parallel bunkers, not the kind that Tillinghast would have reefed.
Coming in 2024
~Elmira Country Club
~Soaring Eagles
~Bonavista
~Indian Hills
~Maybe some more!!

JimB

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2015, 01:08:56 PM »
that was before all of the fairway bunkering was done in the late 1920's, and we had been using the later date [and a 1931 aerial photo] as our benchmark for restoring the course up to now.  However the new green chairman was intrigued by Phil Young's description of the hole for the club's new history book [I'm not sure it has been published yet], and asked if we could restore it.



Tom, sorry if this is a thread drift but I was looking at Joel's photo and noticed what looks like a HHA to me on 9. Is this from the same era of photos you have been using in your restoration work and has there been discussion of restoring that feature?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 01:25:05 PM by JimB »

Phil Young

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2015, 03:00:11 PM »
Jim,

Tilly made numerous changes to the course between his original 1924 design and his last visit in 1938. Every hole underwent major changes, some on more than one occasion including green  and tee relocations and almost every bunker being re-done. From that perspective SFGC was to Tilly what Pinehurst #2 was to Ross.

The 9th hole didn't have a Hell's Half Acre at any time. It did have an original large bunker as you can see in this enlargement from Tilly's original design drawing:


Notice how that bunker impacts the choices facing the player. A good drive down the right side might allow for the player to get home in two. With the two shorter bunkers pinching into the fairway well before the large bunker a player who either hits into these or otherwise doesn't hit a good drive is faced with a choice of laying up in front of the large bunker or attempting the gamble of a long carry over it. The worst option is to try to place it in the narrow fairway strip left of the bunker as this then takes away the angle of play into the green.

The large bunker was replaced with the three smaller ones in the early 30s and the three pot bunkers probably in the mid 30s. These pot bunkers actually allow for the hole to play as it was originally designed since the entire complex re-creates that same original scenario.

The pot bunkers (they would have been to the right of the three bunkers in the lower right corner) were taken out sometime after WW II and before October 24, 1949 when this aerial photograph was taken:


JimB

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2015, 05:34:33 PM »
Thanks for responding Phil as I had intended to address you as well in my post. I wasn't sure if that bunker complex should be called a HHA but it reminded me of one in the photo and a quick search showed some other references to one on 9 at SFGC. Anyway, you figured out what I which bunkers I was talking from that description. The strategy of the hole with the extra bunkers or larger bunker towards the left lays out nicely as you describe above and I was wondering if bringing back that aspect was discussed during the restoration work.




Phil Young

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2015, 07:59:00 PM »
Ron,

Yes, Kevin was correct as I was incorrect. I thought he was referring to the original aerial posted by Kyle. He circled the 4th hole as it stood in 1938. The Reef features were greatly softened, most likely in 1930-31, yet if you look carefully you can make out a centerline mound just above the top small bunker short of the green.

Jeff, thanks for pointing out that the 7th hole on the painting I referred to is today's 16th hole, with the nines having been flipped later on in your PM to me, something I had forgotten about. The original 16th hole, today's 7th, is an interesting design. Here it is enlarged from a photo of the painting:


Consider specific features that must be present for it to meet the requirements of Tilly's Reef hole concept. First the "reef" structure should be higher than the surrounding fairway with at least the backside being a downslope. The center portion can be either a mound or a combination mound with bunker/sand. The important aspect is that it continues from the lower end of the fairway at a diagonally cutting across the entire fairway and continuing into the greenside bunker, in this case from lower left to upper right. As a result two distinct and separate fairways are formed. OLCC"s 16th/7th has a bunker that extends into the fairway but it doesn't even go half-way no less at an angle up to the right side of the green complex. Also, there must be mounds just short and into the opposite side of the green from where the Reef ends so that a shorter hitter can bank it off the mounds and onto the green. There simply isn't any hint to a feature of this type.

Does that mean that Alison wasn't inspired by Tilly's Reef concept? There simply isn't anyway to tell as he never made mention to it in anything that I've ever found.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 08:22:38 PM by Phil Young »

Jeff Bergeron

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Re: A Tillinghast Reef Hole?
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2015, 09:22:50 PM »
Ron,

Yes, Kevin was correct as I was incorrect. I thought he was referring to the original aerial posted by Kyle. He circled the 4th hole as it stood in 1938. The Reef features were greatly softened, most likely in 1930-31, yet if you look carefully you can make out a centerline mound just above the top small bunker short of the green.

Jeff, thanks for pointing out that the 7th hole on the painting I referred to is today's 16th hole, with the nines having been flipped later on in your PM to me, something I had forgotten about. The original 16th hole, today's 7th, is an interesting design. Here it is enlarged from a photo of the painting:


Consider specific features that must be present for it to meet the requirements of Tilly's Reef hole concept. First the "reef" structure should be higher than the surrounding fairway with at least the backside being a downslope. The center portion can be either a mound or a combination mound with bunker/sand. The important aspect is that it continues from the lower end of the fairway at a diagonally cutting across the entire fairway and continuing into the greenside bunker, in this case from lower left to upper right. As a result two distinct and separate fairways are formed. OLCC"s 16th/7th has a bunker that extends into the fairway but it doesn't even go half-way no less at an angle up to the right side of the green complex. Also, there must be mounds just short and into the opposite side of the green from where the Reef ends so that a shorter hitter can bank it off the mounds and onto the green. There simply isn't any hint to a feature of this type.

Does that mean that Alison wasn't inspired by Tilly's Reef concept? There simply isn't anyway to tell as he never made mention to it in anything that I've ever found.

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I don't want this to be a discussion of the 7th at Orchard Lake but there is mounding short right of the green which I distinctly remember Keith Foster saying was there to allow balls to be banked onto the green. The drawing is too rudimentary to show that feature.

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