News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Reunderstanding Ross
« on: January 24, 2018, 11:25:23 PM »
The current thread on the 100 best Ross courses had me revisiting the Donald Ross Society list (found here - http://rosssociety.org/Resources/Documents/DRSList_Rev_July_2014.pdf).  I'm not sure if the latest revision is from 2011 as it says on page 1 or from 2014 as is noted in the url, but in any case the list is due for an update, as well as a bit of critical analysis.  There have been a number of recent storylines in the Ross world that have come to light, many of them highlighted in Chris Buie's excellent book on the master.

I'm going to attack this chronologically, along the way highlighting Ross' involvement with each project, as well as trying to pin down who he worked with on each.  Hopefully, looking at the magnitude of his work in one place will help all of us to understand a bit more about his practices, and that perhaps we've hung on a bit too long to the fallacy that he was not an on the ground architect. 

For each course, I plan to start with the information provided by the DRS (noted in blue) and provide any source information that might illuminate, advance or correct their rather cryptic annotations.  If anyone has any additional information or insights to add at any point along the way, please do so.  I'd only ask that you endeavor to fit the posts into the appropriate spots in the chronological order.

First Up -

1899

Oakley CC (Watertown, MA) - 18 holes, New in 1899/1910, Still in Existence

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 18 Holes.

Oakley was the impetus for Ross coming to America and the story has been told elsewhere in great detail.  When Ross arrived at Oakley in April of 1899 he took over the reigns of an existing 18 hole course that had been laid out in 1898 by Willie Campbell.  Ross set to work immediately on reworking the course, an endeavor that would continue even after his 1910 departure from the club.

1900 Harper's Guide -




March 3, 1900 Boston Globe -



Oct. 1900 Golf Magazine -



1900 Plan of Ross Course (a clearer version can be found on the Given Memorial Library site here - http://givenmemoriallibrary.net/vex/vex1/images/DEF8953B-608B-4768-9FE7-327651276181.jpg)



1901 Harper's Guide -



1902 Official Golf Guide -



1905 Spalding Official Golf Guide -




June 23, 1907 Boston Globe -



March 11, 1908 Boston Globe -





March 30, 1910 Boston Globe -





Aug. 18, 1911 Boston Globe -



Undated Early Photo -



« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 09:31:45 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 11:48:42 PM »
1900

Pinehurst Country Club #1 (Pinehurst, NC) - 18 holes, New in 1900-1948, Still in Existence

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 72 Holes.

Like Oakley, Ross inherited an existing 18 hole course that he would go on to rework over a number of years.  Not going to go into too many details here but did want to include some early photos.

May 1901 Golf Magazine -



Dec. 1905 Golf Magazine -



Dec. 1916 Golf Illustrated -



Undated -



« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 10:14:56 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 08:12:39 AM »
Reading the fine print, I loved the detail that Oakley was 5902 yards ... and a bogey of 81 !

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 05:48:48 PM »
1903

Pinehurst Country Club #2 (Pinehurst, NC) - 18 holes, New in 1903 - 1948, Still in Existence

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 72 Holes.

Irregardless of what #2 turned into, it holds a special place in the Ross continuum as his first "blank slate" design effort.  Like the contemporaneous efforts of Ross' acquaintances at Oakmont, Pinehurst #2 would become a life-long labor of love.  Golf was just at the tail end of its early boom in the United States, yet the practice of the golf course architect had not yet been formalized.  The general model of design was for the local expert to lay out a course that would be improved by the members or resident pro over a number of years.  A few of those experts, like Bendelow, Willie Dunn and Findlay, had a broader reach, but for the most part much of the post-layout molding of a course was done in house.  It would take a few years before it became de rigeur for a new club to hire a "name architect," but by this time the roots of the ideals that would fuel the Golden Age of design were being laid, including early work and musings by Travis, MacDonald, Emmet and others.

The #2 course would follow its own gradual evolution, with an expansion to 18 holes following in due course, alterations to the layout taking place and years down the line a conversion to grass greens.  Like Oakmont, #2 did not become the course we think of today until years later, and as the photos above and in this post indicate, it was a bit more rough around the edges than most would think.  But the popularity of the Pinehurst resort and its courses would put Ross on the map as an architect.

It is also of interest to note the involvement of Walter Travis in the development of the #2 course.  The two men had a great deal of professional respect for each other, both as players and as designers.  Their relationship of collaboration and inspiration would continue throughout their careers.

May 1903 The Golfer -



1904 Photo -



Jan. 1916 Golf Magazine -



Undated Photo -



Jan. 30, 1914 New York Sun -



Oct. 27, 1935 The Tennessean -



Jan. 1937 Golfdom -

« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 08:57:45 AM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2018, 05:54:38 PM »
Here's what Ross looked like in 1905, at around the height of his playing career.  It is of interest to note that he gave up any aspirations of being a professional golfer to focus full time as an architect, one of the great what-ifs in the history of GCA, both for what might have been gained and what certainly would have been lost.

1905 Spalding Official Golf Guide -



June 18, 1905 Boston Globe -



A few shots of his swing from 1901.

Aug. 4, 1901 Boston Globe -



Aug. 11, 1901 Boston Globe -



Aug. 18, 1901 Boston Globe -

« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 10:01:55 AM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Derek_Duncan

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2018, 08:54:57 AM »
One of the all-time great mustaches. A dapper fellow as well.
www.feedtheball.com -- a podcast about golf architecture and design
@feedtheball

Brad Tufts

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2018, 09:45:16 AM »
I find it amazing and cool that 14 of the 1900 Oakley holes are still going today.

1 (same today), 3 (#2 today), 4 (#3 today), 5 (#4 today), 6 (#5 today), 8 (#10 today), 9 (#11 today), 10 (#12 today), 11 (#13 today), 12 (#14 today), 14 (#15 today, though 40y shorter now), 15 (#16 today, 50y longer now), 16 (#17 today, now 80y shorter), and 18 (same today, but now 80y shorter) are all in play today at Oakley.  Today's course has been stretched to about 6100 yards par 70.

Looks like the original #2 became the current 175y-long driving range, and the property containing the original 16th green, original 17th hole, and original 18th tee was sold at some point, as there are houses right behind the 16th green (380y hole) and 18th tee (395y hole) today.  The original 13th is now the parking lot, although today's wild practice green may have been the original 13th green.  The original 7th is the last hole doesn't exist today, but the current 9th green is likely the original 7th green, now played from 90 degrees to the left.  Today's 6/7/8/most of 9 play on land acquired sometime after 1900.

In our Met League in the Boston area, a lot of guys grouse about playing Oakley, as it doesn't enjoy the seemingly vast property size of Winchester/Salem/Charles River, and the quirkiness gives the home team quite an advantage.  I've always enjoyed it for the history, and the off-chance of shooting in the 60s if you remember the quirks.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 09:57:29 AM by Brad Tufts »
So I jump ship in Hong Kong....

PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2018, 10:09:50 AM »
Sven,


I may not be of huge assistance on this thread, but I want to let you know that I will be following intently. Should be a fascinating exercise.
H.P.S.

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2018, 10:48:42 AM »
Sven,


I may not be of huge assistance on this thread, but I want to let you know that I will be following intently. Should be a fascinating exercise.


Ditto on your very ambitious undertaking here, Sven.



"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 03:52:17 PM »
We'll revisit Pinehurst a bit later when we address the other courses Ross built on site, but I wanted to include this Aug. 1927 Golfdom article on the sand used on the greens that was forwarded by Jim Kennedy.



"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

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2018, 04:04:17 PM »
The DRS List notes Woodland GC in Auburndale, MA as a 1928 remodel.  They fail to mention Ross' involvement with the extension of the course from 9 to 18 holes in 1903.

DRS 2018 Update - 9 Holes New in 1903 added to the listing.

June 1904 Golf Magazine -
















« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 09:41:29 AM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2018, 10:32:41 PM »
Hard to understand how they missed Woodland.   It was one of the most well documented of the early good courses.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2018, 11:22:57 PM »
Mike:


It seems like the DRS List only mentions projects where Ross had significant involvement (although I think they oversell that involvement in a few cases).  There are quite a few "consultations" or "advisory" situations that they do not mention.  I guess it is hard to quantify the influence Ross had on those courses, but I feel they at least deserve mention when you're presenting the body of the architect's work.


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

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2018, 11:37:42 AM »
1906


Merrimack (Valley) GC (Methuen, MA) - 18 holes, New in 1906, Still in Existence

Not noted in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

Merrimack Valley is a bit of a mystery, as is the note "See Dunn" included in the DRS listing. 

The club got its start in 1898 when the original 9 hole course was laid out by Alex Findlay.  I can find no mention of the course being extended to 18 holes until the 1927 Annual Guide, except for the Jan. 1911 Golf Magazine article copied below which mentions that a new course has been laid out by A. G. Lockwood.  It would appear that this course was never built.

So what did Ross do, and if he did anything, when?

1900 Harper's Guide -



Feb. 1901 Golf Magazine -



Jan. 1911 Golf Magazine -




March 1914 American Golfer -




Update:  The article below indicates that the club did not go forward with Lockwood's plans, and instead hired Ross to lay out an 18 hole course in 1911.  However, the March 1914 article above suggests that any expansion of the course did not immediately take place.

Oct. 26, 1911 Boston Globe -




Southern Pines County Club - Elks (Southern Pines, NC) - 18 holes, New in 1906-1912, 9 holes, Remodel in 1928, Still in Existence

2018 DRS Update - Listing changed to reflect the #1 course as 18 Holes New in 1906-1913 and the #2 course as 18 Holes New in 1924-28

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 36 Holes.

It would be impossible to improve on Chris Buie's history of Southern Pines (found here - http://golfclubatlas.com/a-history-of-southern-pines-golf-club-page-3/).  For this exercise it makes sense to point out that Ross really wasn't involved with the course until 1914, and although his revisions essentially formulated the course we know of today, it is disingenuous to describe his involvement as a "New Course" with the dates ascribed above.

Jan. 1907 Golf Magazine -




Jan. 1913 Golf Magazine -










1939 Plan -




1907

Pinehurst Country Club #3 (Pinehurst, NC) - 18 holes, New in 1906-1948, Still in Existence

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 72 Holes.

Pinehurst #3, on the other hand, is an open and shut case.  Another labor of love course that Ross would work on throughout his career.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 11:55:27 AM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2018, 12:14:30 PM »
1908

Belmont Country Club (f/k/a Belmont Springs CC) (Belmont, MA) -  18 Holes, New in 1918, Still in Existence

2018 DRS Update - Listing updated to show 18 Holes New c. 1910 and 18 Holes Remodel in 1920

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 18 Holes.

The 1918 date given in the listing is only off by about a decade.  Ross did come back in 1918, but the work he did then did not amount to a new course.

June 30, 1908 Brooklyn Daily Eagle -



Aug. 2, 1908 Boston Globe -



The March 1909 American Golfer notes suggestions on the layout of the course were made by D. Ross, A. Ross,  A. Findlay and members of the committee while the May 1910 edition of Golf Magazine notes the course was laid out by Donald Ross. 

June 1918 American Golfer -




Oct. 1916 Golf Illustrated -





Feb. 8, 1920 The Sun -



1918 Ross Layouts -



« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 11:28:09 AM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2018, 01:07:30 PM »
1909

Jekyll Island Golf Club (Jekyll Island, GA) - 18 Holes, New in 1909, NLE in 1960

Not noted in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

While Jekyll Island is more known in these parts for its Travis course, Ross did do work here in 1909 on a new course.  While I can find no contemporaneous accounts of Ross' involvement, there are reports of the opening of the course.

Feb. 14, 1910 New York Tribune -



Ed Homsey provided a very concise history of the activities, which I've copied below from another thread:

"There has been some mention Jekyll Island, and an aerial posted that purports to show the location of the Travis and Ross courses.  Because one of our members resides year-round at Jekyll, and has spent many hours researching the history of Jekyll Island golf, the Travis Society's Jekyll Island file is significantly larger than any other Travis course.  Here's what I have gleaned from our materials:  In 1909-1910, Ross created an 18 hole design approximately in the area of the current Oleander Course.  Though records are not conclusive, it is believed that 9 holes of the Ross plan were built and that the Jekyll Island golf pro, Karl Keffer designed some seaside holes that joined part of the Ross course.  Though Travis had been to Jekyll earlier, it wasn't until 1926 (not 1898 as stated in a previous post) that Walter Travis was commissioned to design the 18 hole Great Dunes course.  There are early aerials and photos that show the entire Travis Great Dunes course, with the oceanside 9 holes as well as the current Great Dunes 9-hole course.  Records indicate that the oceanside 9 was not re-opened after the Jekyll Island Club was closed in 1942.  From all appearances, it would have been one of the great oceanside 9 holes around."

The Given Memorial Library has a map of the course (copied below) that was prepared from the notes of Ross which outlines an 18 and a 9 hole course.  With only 9 holes being built, the DRS listing is a bit misleading when it notes there were 18 new holes.






Essex County Club (Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA) - 18 Holes, New in 1909, Still in Existence

2018 DRS Update - 18 Holes Remodel in 1910-1917

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 18 Holes.

Essex County dates back to 1893 as one of the earliest golf courses in the country.  Ross became the pro here around 1910, moving over from Oakley and for a while lived on the course.  Like Oakley, the story goes that he reworked the course over a number of years.  Although I can find little documentation of his work during his tenure, today Essex County is considered to be all Ross.

Nov. 1908 American Golfer -




Aug. 19, 1910 Boston Globe -



The Nov. 10, 1910 Boston Post noted that Ross was to reconstruct the links. 

Dec. 13, 1910 Boston Globe -



July 16, 1911 Boston Globe -



Aug. 18, 1911 Boston Globe -



Essex County represents a number of courses on the DRS List where he is given credit for creating a new course when the work essentially entailed reworking an existing layout.  Without a more in depth critical analysis of exactly what was done, it is hard for me to dismiss the work of those that came before him.  The Ross name carries a lot of weight in the golf world today, but without explicit evidence that what he left on the ground was so far removed from what was there originally to bear no resemblance, I have a hard time describing this type of work as "New."


Lu Lu Country Club (o/k/a Lu Lu Temple CC) (North Hills, PA) - 9 Holes, New in 1909, 9 Holes, New in 1918, Still in Existence

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 18 Holes.

Credit for dissecting the complex history of Lu Lu belongs to Joe Bausch and the plethora of other Philadelphia area golf history enthusiasts.  Ross is largely responsible for the course, but he did not work there in 1909.   The first 9 holes of the course opened in 1912, designed by J. Franklin Meehan and W. Webb.  Ross was hired in 1918 to design a new course on existing and newly acquired land, as reported in the Jan. 1919 edition of American Golfer.  However, to add a bit of mystery to the story, a subsequent article noted that 9 new holes were created by Francis James.

Dec. 3, 1919 Philadelphia Inquirer -



Edit:  Adding in this Aug. 16, 1918 Evening Public Ledger article discussing the origins of the club and the plans to have Ross extend the course to 18 holes.




Addition to the List:

Columbia Country Club (Chevy Chase, MD)

Not included in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

The initial design of Columbia CC has always been credited to H. H. Barker, but there is evidence that Ross played a role in the first layout.  The combination of Barker and Ross makes sense, if you consider they were both guys Travis would recommend for a project.

Oct. 26, 1909 Washington Times -

« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 12:31:35 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2018, 01:36:23 PM »
Sven,


I'm really enjoying this thread, thanks.


In the case of Lulu, we are very confident that Frank James constructed the course to Ross' plans.


We also know that Ross retained the routing of 7 of the 9 Meehan/Webb holes in his 18 hole plan.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2018, 10:52:19 AM »
1910

Dedham Country and Polo Club (Dedham, MA) - 9 Holes, New in 1910?, NLE?

2018 DRS Update - Date changed to 1915

Not noted in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

The DRS might want to update this to 1915.

Feb. 1, 1914 Boston Globe -



May 28, 1915 Boston Daily Globe -



May 30, 1915 Boston Daily Globe -




A 1923 "Confidential" letter from Ross to Leonard Tufts describing why he turned down doing any subsequent work at Dedham.




Wellesley Country Club (Wellesley, MA) - 9 Holes, New in 1910, Still in Existence

Not noted in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

I have no contemporaneous reports of Ross at Wellesley, and would love to see some.  The timing and location make sense, but it would be nice to see something concrete to lock this one down.


Chevy Chase Club (Chevy Chase, MD) - 18 Holes, Remodel in 1910, Still in Existence

Not included in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

I'm not sure if describing this as an 18 hole remodel is entirely accurate, as it would seem that Ross added a number of new holes.  The date here should probably be 1909, although Ross did return in 1910 to add bunkers. 

May 10, 1909 Evening Star -



Sept. 12, 1909 Evening Star -




May 1910 Golf Magazine -





Hillandale Country Club (o/k/a Durham CC) (Durham, NC) - 9 Holes, New in 1910, NLE in 1961

Not included in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

I can find no information on Ross working here in 1910, and that date is probably off as a Jan. 1912 American Golfer article notes the planned opening of the first 9 holes of the course.  The 1928 article below notes plans for a new course by Ross (although the Annual Guides from 1916 - 1921 noted an 18 hole course under construction).  Hillandale, like quite a few other early Ross courses with little to no source materials, does not have an entry on the Given Memorial Library website.

Feb. 2, 1928 The Daily Tarheel -




Overhills Golf Club (Overhills, NC) - 9 Holes, New in 1910, 9 Holes, New in 1918, NLE

Not included in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

Other than some possible discrepancies over the date (the course having most likely been laid out after 1910, an important date in the Ross timeline which we'll discuss later), this listing is fairly accurate.  Overhills was covered in detail by Chris Buie in an earlier thread, one that should stand out as a benchmark for historical analysis -

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,46197.0.html

Feb. 1917 Golf Illustrated -









Course Plan (the notes indicate that this was prepared after 1910) -




Bethlehem Country Club (Bethlehem, NH) - 13 or 14 Holes, New in 1910, 4 or 5 Holes, Remodel in 1910, Still in Existence

Not included in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

Date should be 1909.  In addition to the articles below, please see the May 1910 Golf Magazine article posted above under Chevy Chase and the June 17, 1916 The Evening Post article in post #47 below.

July 4, 1909 New York Tribune -



June 1910 Golf Magazine -




June 25, 1911 Washington Herald -




Cherokee Country Club (Knoxville, TN) - 18 Holes, New in 1910, 18 Holes, New in 1925, Still in Existence

2018 DRS Update - Now just an 18 Hole Remodel in 1919-22

Not included in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

Another mystery, especially with regards to the 1910 date.  The April 1908 edition of Golf Magazine noted that a 9 hole course had been laid out by Bernard Nicholls, with plans to add 9 more holes later.  There are reports of those plans in 1910, and later in 1914 the Spalding Official Golf Guide noted they had been carried out.  What adds a wrinkle to any Ross involvement at that time is the H. H. Barker activity covered in the article below.  As for any subsequent work on an entirely new 18 hole course in 1925, I have yet to find any confirmation.  Like Hillandale above, the Given Memorial Library has no information on any activity at Cherokee.

June 29, 1916 Daily Arkansas Gazette -



Update:  Ross showed up in 1919 to remodel the existing course.

Dec. 22, 1919 Journal and Tribune -




Addition:

Essex Fells CC (Essex Fells, NJ)

Not included in the 1930 Ross Booklet.

Essex Fells is one of those cases where Ross' involvement has been reported so much that it seems like it must be fact.  But again, I can find no reports of him doing work at any time.  I wanted to include this in the listing as a possibility, one that merits more research.  The 1910 date is included as that is the date several sources give for when he added 9 holes to the existing course.  Seeing as the extension to 18 was covered in the papers in 1916, that time frame would be a more likely candidate.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 12:28:27 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2018, 01:25:42 PM »
Sven-I know Raynor gets the credit now for Essex Fells and remember reading that some felt Banks might have actually been the lead. Was it originally a Ross?

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2018, 11:50:58 PM »
By the end of 1910, Ross had gained a toe hold in the realm of American golf course architecture.  Unlike Bendelow, Findlay and the other big names, Ross was not linked with a larger concern like Spalding.  Rather, his work seemed to be derived by referral. 

In the May 1910 Golf Magazine article copied above we learned of his plans to travel to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to study those countries' courses and their construction.  The timing of this trip, right at the start of his career and shortly after the publicized pilgrimages of other big names in the industry, makes a lot of sense.  Ross intended to pursue a career in the business, and he had the wherewithal to know that he needed to expand his base of knowledge.  A rather astute observation for someone who probably could have lauded his roots in Dornoch and St. Andrews as education enough. 

It would make sense that Ross' benefactors encouraged not only the trip, but also his longterm plans.  Taking three months off of work from the busy Boston golf season only made sense if it was a precursor to larger moves to come.  It isn't spelled out explicitly, but you have to imagine that Ross already envisioned what his design business would become.  Part of the vision entailed a faith that there would be plenty of work.  It is no stretch to link the imminent opening of MacDonald's National Golf Links into this train of thought.  Those in tune knew that a new era of golf course construction was about to begin in America.  And they were right.

Upon his return, Ross made sure the whole country knew what he had learned.

Nov. 10, 1910 Brooklyn Daily Eagle -



Dec. 17, 1910 Pinehurst Outlook -









June 25, 1910 Christian Science Monitor -

« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 02:04:29 PM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2018, 09:33:32 AM »
1911

Country Club of Havana (Havana, Cuba) - 18 Holes, New in 1911, NLE

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 18 Holes.

April 22, 1911 Pinehurst Outlook -



Dec. 19, 1912 Brooklyn Times Union -



Dec. 26, 1912 Chattanooga Daily Times -




Rhode Island Country Club (West Barrington, RI) - 18 Holes, New in 1911, Still in Existence

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 18 Holes.

A Feb. 16, 1913 Wilmington Morning Star article which will be included later notes Ross discussing his work here.  The club acquired its land in 1912, so it is likely that Ross' work started around the same time.

May 1913 American Golfer -





Agawam Hunt (Rumford, RI) - 18 Holes, Remodel in 1911, Still in Existence

The 1930 Ross Booklet notes 18 Holes Remodelled.

In 1911, Agawam Hunt was playing golf on its original 9 hole Willie Park design laid out in 1895.  The club would move to a new site in 1917 when it took over the lease of Metacomet's 9 hole course.  It was at that time that Ross was brought in to revamp the course and expand it to 18 holes.  The following November 1920 Providence Magazine article was forwarded to me by Chris Buie, and lays out the entire story.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 11:33:38 AM by Sven Nilsen »
"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

Bret Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2018, 10:17:36 AM »
Sven,


I am enjoying this thread, great work.


Regarding Dedham NLE?. I believe there are still 4 holes left from the original Ross routing.  The 1st, 4th, 5th and 16th holes in the current course appear to follow the Ross routing. 


Ross' original 1st and 9th holes were removed when the club moved their club house.  Ross' original 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes are today's 4th, 5th and 16th holes, respectively (still in existence).  His original 5th and 6th holes were combined and slightly rerouted to make a new hole. The original 7th hole is today's 1st hole (still exists) and the original 8th green was removed and rebuilt by Cornish in a different location. The body of the 8th hole still exists, but the approach is from a different angle and to this newer green.  The original 8th is today's 2nd hole.


Here is a photo of today's 4th hole:



The club hired Brian Silva to do a significant renovation this past Fall.  Brian's plans were to gear the holes more towards a Raynor look than a Ross look, so I don't know how much Ross will be left after the renovation.


Bret

Bill Crane

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2018, 01:29:05 PM »
Sven-I know Raynor gets the credit now for Essex Fells and remember reading that some felt Banks might have actually been the lead. Was it originally a Ross?


Perhaps you are thinking of Essex County ( and Francis Byrne public course next door, formerly an asset of Essex Co.).   Essex Co, NJ  is a fine under-rated Raynor.


It is only 3.2 miles from Essex Fells, and there are other courses nearby, too, including Crestmont, and Montclair CC.  Probably twenty other courses within 12 miles in Essex, Union and Morris Counties.


Being a Crane from NJ I should know this stuff !



_________________________________________________________________
( s k a Wm Flynnfan }

Bill Crane

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2018, 01:34:04 PM »
Guess I stand corrected, there is a mention on Raynor on Essex FELLS CC website.


Not previously aware of that.
_________________________________________________________________
( s k a Wm Flynnfan }

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Reunderstanding Ross
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2018, 09:11:01 PM »
Sven-I know Raynor gets the credit now for Essex Fells and remember reading that some felt Banks might have actually been the lead. Was it originally a Ross?


Perhaps you are thinking of Essex County ( and Francis Byrne public course next door, formerly an asset of Essex Co.).   Essex Co, NJ  is a fine under-rated Raynor.


It is only 3.2 miles from Essex Fells, and there are other courses nearby, too, including Crestmont, and Montclair CC.  Probably twenty other courses within 12 miles in Essex, Union and Morris Counties.


Being a Crane from NJ I should know this stuff !


I wasn't thinking of Essex County and Francis Bryne is a Banks course and not a Raynor. What do Crestmont and Montclair have to do with Essex Fells or other courses in neighboring counties? Oh and thanks for the geography lesson. ;)

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back