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Matthew Petersen

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2019, 12:26:17 PM »
Was Augusta always considered to be the gold standard of golf course conditioning? I'm looking at the color photos from the ~70's, and I don't know what golf courses generally looked like at that point.


I don't know about "always" ... but I seem to recall reading in Palmer's autobiography that says he looked forward to going to Augusta because it was one of the best conditioned courses they played.


Now, there's a lot of context I suppose you have to put on that. For one, compared to what. Consider that Arnie won his first Masters in '58 after that famous controversy in which he played two balls after his tee shot plugged in mud between the green and back bunker on 12. I know that's a wet and shady spot on the course, but ... the concept is still unthinkable now. (And not just now but even within the 30+ years I have a memory of watching.)


The other context is that Arnie's a 4 time winner so by the time he's writing his legacy years later he's going to be predisposed to help polish the shine of the place.


There may well be contemporary accounts from the early days that Augusta had better overall conditioning than the average course the Tour played (that may not have been hard when you consider some of the places they played in those days, after all), but I'm not familiar with them.

Sven Nilsen

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2019, 01:44:37 PM »
There are no early reports that I've read that discuss the conditioning of the course being anything special.  If you search for old photos from the 1970's, the course doesn't have the refined look you see today, and there are even *gasp* brown patches visible in many of them.


Perhaps you can blame the advent of high-def television, but if I had to guess I'd say the ghost of Clifford Roberts resonates through those fairways. 
"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

Josh Tarble

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2019, 04:15:39 PM »
While I generally think the early version of Augusta looked fantastic, those images from the 60s/70s are horrible.  The bunkers and greens have lost their artistry, they look shallow and boring and the course generally looks extremely generic. 


While I think it would be interesting to see some of those early features re-incorporated, I'm really, really glad it evolved from what it was in the 70s to what it is now.

Thomas Dai

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #53 on: April 06, 2019, 05:50:00 AM »
This 1935 article has just appeared on social media. I hope whoever posted it doesn't mind it being reposted here.
Interesting article generally but the part that caught my eye is the section mentioning the reduction in scoring from the previous years event being due to the changes to the impossible approaches to some of the greens by the removal of the humps on the aprons.
atb



Steve Kline

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2019, 06:47:16 AM »
Iím watching the 1968 Masters broadcast on YouTube right now. Right near the beginning the announcer mentioned the immaculate condition of the course. However, even in low-def black and white, you can seem some sandy patches of grass on the course and even the back of the 18th tee. Also, some of the bunkers have long shaggy grass around the top edges.


Interesting how wide some of the fairways are, how small the Eisenhower tree was, and some of the mounds in the fairway like on 17.


Bob Goalby was rocking the mock turtleneck.


The greens were clearly much slower than they are today.


Goalby looked like he hit a five or six iron into 15.


The announcer said Divicenzo hit a 300 hundred yard drive on 17.


To show where players are on the course, the telecast used an actual model of the course.


Only 13 green on was shown.


Itís pretty cool that the Masters has made available every final round broadcast since 1968 on YouTube.

Mike Hendren

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2019, 01:32:32 PM »
Was Augusta always considered to be the gold standard of golf course conditioning? I'm looking at the color photos from the ~70's, and I don't know what golf courses generally looked like at that point.

I suspect the course's reputation for hyper-conditioning escalated with the advent of the over-seeding of the fairways with ryegrass.  I can't imagine the club is far enough south for the bermuda to have annually filled in fully by the first full week of April.  In fact, I have read somewhere that both Palmer and Nicklaus remembered that it was not unusual for balls to collect mud in the fairways after significant rain.
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Sven Nilsen

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2020, 01:45:50 PM »
Bittersweet.
"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

V. Kmetz

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2020, 04:53:34 PM »
I've added a few photos in to the earlier posts.  Here's another one of Bobby Jones on site in 1931.  By the way, there is one glaring mistake in the identification of the photos.  Kudos to whoever can find it.


The 18th fairway identified as the 9th?



"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." -

Mike Bodo

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2020, 05:02:20 PM »
Bittersweet.
Amen to that! I love this thread and never tire of looking and dissecting the photos depicting the changes to this venerable course over the years. Having viewed them for the umpteenth time, I've arrived at my conclusions regarding the original design features and elements I would like to see returned/restored per that below, based on much slower putting surface stimp speeds (9 or 10 compared to 13)


1. Hole #1: I would replace the current green complex with the more contoured putting surface of the original green, while retaining the fairway and greenside bunkers of the current hole.


2. Hole #4: Definitely redo the green and greenside bunkers according to the original Mackenzie layout. It's a much more interesting and daunting looking green compared to the present one. You may have to widen the front tongue to accommodate a pin position there, which would bring the bunkers on either side more into play, but that's the only modification to the original green I can potentially see making.


3. Hole #5: The original 5th green looks more contoured and intimidating than the current 5th green, which is pretty imposing in its current form. The false front and steeper drop-off's of the original green complex place even more emphasis on the accuracy of the approach shot. An approach missed short, far left, far right or long is sure to fall off the putting surface.


4. Hole #6: It's hard to tell from the two photos posted of the original green just how contoured it is and whether it's a more challenging/demanding putting surface than the current green. I prefer the original front bunker design to the bunker present now, but it's tough to know if the original green is an improvement over the existing green without better early year photos.


5. Hole #7: I would rebuild the original boomerang green on the current green site and place a lone front bunker along the the length of the left side, which would also catch a shot missed to the left on a front right pin position. I would also have mounds behind the green making a pitch to it from that position extremely difficult to keep on the putting surface.


6. Hole #8: I'd return to the original mounding flanking both sides of the green and restore the green complex to it's original design. I liked how the original green wrapped around the last mound on the left, creating a hard to access, back left pin position that's not present on the current green - which is narrow in the front and open in the back.


7. Hole #9: Not even close. The original #9 green is way more interesting and intimidating than the present one. I also prefer the lone bunker fronting it to the bunkers flanking the left side of the current green. The only modification I might make to the original green is widening the front right tongue to accommodate a pin position on that portion of the green. It's likely too narrow and perhaps to steep to have one from what I can tell from the first photo of it.


8. Hole #10: Had the large bunker flanking the left side of the original green been built closer to it (as depicted in the sketch) I'd probably prefer it to the current green complex. Unfortunately, there was such a large gap between the green and bunker that I can't see the bunker playing much of a factor in the players decision making process in how their drive was played. I suspect this partially explains why they moved and redid the entire green, as the hole likely played easiest on the course during the first few Masters.


9. Hole #11: The original green looks to have been larger than the current, crescent shaped green. Unfortunately, because the only photo of the original green is so bright it's hard to make out the details of the contours (the same problem exists with the first photo of the original 6th green). That said, from the details I can make out it appears to be a more contoured putting surface that offered more pin positions to the current green site. Also, rather than damming Rae's Creek to create a pond that bordered the left side of the green, I'd either leave the rough where the drop-off was or perhaps put a sand bunker in its place to create a tough up and down. Lastly, according to the sketch of this hole there's what appears to be a bunker placed in the middle of the fairway in the landing area for a drive. Does anyone know if that was actually constructed? I don't recall seeing photos of the original fairway for that hole with a bunker present, so I am guessing this design element was left out. It would have been interesting to have that hazard intact forcing players to pick a side of the fairway from which to play their approach shot from.


10. Hole #12. There's something about the rustic appearance of the original #12 green that I prefer visually-speaking to the current green complex. I definitely like the size, shape and contours of it better than the current 12th green. Perhaps the best of both worlds would be to combine the putting surface and contours of the original 12th green with the height, bunker styling and front drop-off of the current green complex?


I don't have any major gripes with the changes made to holes 13, 14 and 15 over the years. While the current 13th green is smaller than the original green site, it by and large plays, putts and receives shots the same. Little appears to have changed to 14 since it was originally built outside of it being lengthened over years and trees added to both sides of the fairway. The green complex looks relatively the same, thus the hole pretty much plays as it was originally intended. While the narrow right side of #15 green no longer exists, it's relatively the same green as it was in 1934 - with the only major differences being the increased size of the pond fronting the green and the addition of the bunker on the right side.


The 16th hole boils down to a matter of taste. The current hole is nothing like the original 16th hole. While I love the shape and contours of the original #16 green, the bunkers to the back left were useless and I question how much Rae's creek played a factor in club selection given the short length of the hole? If the pin was front right you could miss long and get up and down easier than you could on #12. I suspect these things came into play in Clifford Roberts and Bob Jones decision to completely redesign the hole to what it is now - one of the most dramatic finishing par 3's in golf.


I don't have a major issue with the current #17 green, but would love to see a return of the original large mound fronting the left side in place of the front left bunker. I think it's visually a much more intimidating obstacle or hazard and creates a blind approach if the pin is on the left side of the green. I'd also like to see Ike's tree back. I miss seeing it on the camera shot from behind the tee on television. Something seems off to me about the tee shot with it missing from view.


I prefer the original 18th green and Mackenzie bunkers to what we have now. There's more front to back slope and curvature to it and I like the rustic greenside bunker styling to the pristine round-shaped bunkers that protect the green now. I have no problem with the bunkers that were added to the left side of the fairway in the 70's and felt they were needed to better challenge the players drive and provide a more difficult approach to the green for an errant tee shot.


I'm sure others here have their preferences, likes and dislikes, which is what makes this such an engaging and entertaining topic. Even more so with this typically being Masters week. I would love to hear others thoughts and comments regarding ANGC course design changes they would make if they were in charge and see if we can arrive at a consensus on those that should be made to specific holes.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 05:19:09 PM by Mike Bodo »
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

Bryan Drennon

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2020, 05:10:01 PM »


These 2 pics are listed as number 6, but are actually number 12 looking back from across Rae's Creek. The wooden bridge would become the Hogan bridge. The small wooden ramp above it in the pic is the tributary that used to cut across the 13th fairway (it's now pumped under the fairway). You can see both bridges in one of your later pics of 12 (the 3rd pic). Awesome work.
















Thomas Dai

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #60 on: April 11, 2020, 05:33:54 PM »
Some cracking photos on this thread.
Here's a mosaic of the greens from the very early days of ANGC with some colour now added to the original b&w photos.
Enjoy.
atb




Mike Bodo

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #61 on: April 11, 2020, 05:39:33 PM »
Thomas, I love these photos! Problem is they're part of a collage, so you can't blow any of them up individually to more closely examine them. Do you know if larger, individual images of each hole from this collection or collage exist? That would be hugely valuable to this discussion.
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

Thomas Dai

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #62 on: April 11, 2020, 05:50:02 PM »

Thomas, I love these photos! Problem is they're part of a collage, so you can't blow any of them up individually to more closely examine them. Do you know if larger, individual images of each hole from this collection or collage exist? That would be hugely valuable to this discussion.

Mike,
If you scroll down from page 1 of this thread you'll see the same photos individually in large format (although not coloured). For large size with colour added see - http://alistermackenzie.org/articles/2020/3/16/plans-for-the-ideal-golf-course
atb

Mike Bodo

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #63 on: April 11, 2020, 05:59:50 PM »

Thomas, I love these photos! Problem is they're part of a collage, so you can't blow any of them up individually to more closely examine them. Do you know if larger, individual images of each hole from this collection or collage exist? That would be hugely valuable to this discussion.

Mike,
If you scroll down from page 1 of this thread you'll see the same photos individually in large format (although not coloured). For large size with colour added see - http://alistermackenzie.org/articles/2020/3/16/plans-for-the-ideal-golf-course
atb
Thanks for the link, Thomas. That's a huge help! That said, even with the color added to the photo of the 6th green it's impossible to make out any details outside of the original bunker. You can't even make out the fringe of the green let alone the contours of it. I am hoping one of the historians here have access to better quality photos of the original 6th green for posting. The colorized photo of the 11th green provides better detail of how the rough was in the drop-off area to the left of the green. It really looks more like a grass bunker, which is super cool, as I don't believe there were any other grass bunkers on the course when it opened.
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

archie_struthers

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #64 on: April 01, 2021, 09:44:06 PM »
 :o 8)


Sven that is so impressive tyvm!! ! ! !

Jeff Schley

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2021, 02:23:30 AM »
:o 8)


Sven that is so impressive tyvm!! ! ! !
Yes Archie I agree, thanks Sven for your efforts. It gets the juices flowing for the upcoming invitational.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Mark Mammel

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #66 on: April 03, 2021, 01:04:23 AM »
This the most amazing thread I have seen. Sven is clearly the Professor of GCA
So much golf to play, so little time....

Mark

Nigel Islam

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Re: ANGC - A Retro Photo Tour
« Reply #67 on: April 12, 2022, 10:10:00 AM »
Bumping this because I was searching all over for this the other night until Bret Lawrence found it for me. One of the greatest threads ever on Golfclubatlas.com. Hopefully a few people see this that have yet to see it.

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