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Ira Fishman

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Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« on: May 15, 2022, 04:58:58 PM »
Several sources repeat that Maxwell did work at Hope Valley sometime after Ross designed it. However, I not seen any details nor even newspaper references. Do any of you Maxwell experts have any information?


Thanks.




Sven Nilsen

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"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

Ira Fishman

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Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2022, 07:22:38 PM »
Sven,


I knew you would come through. Interestingly, the original Ross drawings show some very dramatic greens. I do not know if they were built to the drawings although presumably Ross oversaw the work in 1925/26. Does that mean that Maxwell made some of them less extreme particularly in terms of shape? Unfortunately, subsequent renovations have softened the contours (except for the false fronts) although you can see some of the Ross intent in them. It would be beneficial to know which greens Maxwell redid.


Ira

A.G._Crockett

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Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2022, 07:23:36 AM »
This is the first Iíve heard of the Maxwell work at HVCC; interesting, and thanks!


Ira, Iíll say this about the green contours there.  I donít think they are very different now than they were when I first played the course back in the 70ís, which was about 3 renovations ago.  But at the current green speeds, if they had much more contour than they do now, theyíd be almost unplayable. HVCC arguably has the most demanding set of greens in the Triangle.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Ira Fishman

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Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2022, 10:23:42 AM »
This is the first Iíve heard of the Maxwell work at HVCC; interesting, and thanks!


Ira, Iíll say this about the green contours there.  I donít think they are very different now than they were when I first played the course back in the 70ís, which was about 3 renovations ago.  But at the current green speeds, if they had much more contour than they do now, theyíd be almost unplayable. HVCC arguably has the most demanding set of greens in the Triangle.


A.G.,


Very interesting about the greens being similar in the 1970s. Maybe the original Ross design was not implemented or maybe Maxwell did soften them a bit. In any event, you are spot on about the challenge. There are few things more embarrassing than getting applause from the on lookers with a shot to the green on 18 only to putt off the front and back down the fairway. I have done it at 6 too, but fortunately only my wife was watching.


Ira

Kris Spence

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Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2022, 08:35:59 PM »
Ira,


I look at the old aerials I have from the mid/late 40ís.  The greens Maxwell remodeled are considerably smaller and rounder in shape. 


During one of my presentations to the membership, a well dressed elderly gentleman in the front row questioned my intention of returning the 3rd green to its original size and shape according to the Ross drawings.  His recollection of that green was much smaller and not square in shape.  He was remembering the green from the early 40ís which likely was the Maxwell work? 


The original drawings at HV remind me a lot of the wonderful green drawings at Sedgefield, the course would greatly benefit from not only the diversity and variety shown on the drawings but also returning them to a lower more appropriate elevation to the fairways.  Like many greens that have undergone multiple renovations, excess material has been shoved off the sides eliminating the fill pad definition as well as increased the height a foot or two. 


I will try and put a list of greens from the aerial that appear to have been worked on.




Ira Fishman

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Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2022, 07:07:00 AM »
Kris,


Thanks for posting. And it is too bad that we were not able to proceed with the restoration that you proposed. As you know, the routing is superb with no truly weak holes and many distinctive ones. I have spent enough time in the Ross Archives to know that the greens as originally designed were special. The current greens are still very good and challenging, but some do suffer from your point about build up.


Ira

Sean_A

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Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2022, 09:04:49 AM »
Kris,


Thanks for posting. And it is too bad that we were not able to proceed with the restoration that you proposed. As you know, the routing is superb with no truly weak holes and many distinctive ones. I have spent enough time in the Ross Archives to know that the greens as originally designed were special. The current greens are still very good and challenging, but some do suffer from your point about build up.


Ira

If the original Ross greens were good why did Maxwell alter so many? Additionally, why didn't Maxwell create more interesting greens? The situation of the greens has long stumped me considering both Ross and Maxwell were known for building highly creative, interesting and challenging greens.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 11:19:27 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2022, 09:50:37 AM »
Sean,


The more I play Hope Valley, the more I find the greens interesting and as A.G. noted challenging. They are difficult to read because there are both big and small spines plus they often run off in multiple directions. The original drawings had some dramatic shapes, including pronounced tongues, and the contouring looks more pronounced. I have not seen the details of what Maxwell did (hence the thread), but it sounds as if he made have changed the shapes. My best sense is that Brian Silva restored some of the shapes and perhaps a version of the original contours because they do approximate the original drawings but are not as dramatic. The Champion Bermuda appears to have been installed at the same time so he may have thought it would play too fast for the original contours.


In any event, I hope Kris Spence chimes back in because he certainly knows the history better than I.


Ira




A.G._Crockett

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Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2022, 04:26:16 PM »
Kris,


Thanks for posting. And it is too bad that we were not able to proceed with the restoration that you proposed. As you know, the routing is superb with no truly weak holes and many distinctive ones. I have spent enough time in the Ross Archives to know that the greens as originally designed were special. The current greens are still very good and challenging, but some do suffer from your point about build up.


Ira

If the original Ross greens were good why did Maxwell alter so many? Additionally, why didn't Maxwell create more interesting greens? The situation of the greens has long stumped me considering both Ross and Maxwell were known for building highly creative, interesting and challenging greens.

Ciao


Sean,
Do you really find the greens at HVCC to be lacking in creativity, interest, and challenge? 


Iím at a loss if thatís the case; to me, HVCC has all of that, plus perfect conditions and Tour level speeds.  In fact, I have a friend who is on the LPGA Tour; she requested and received playing privileges at HVCC several years ago because she believes those greens to be the closest thing to Tour quality and challenge that she can find anywhere in the area.


I donít find it surprising that the contours are perhaps ďsofterĒ than what Ross built in 1926. Iíd guess (and itís onlu that!) that Ross grassed those greens with common Bermuda; if thatís the case, then I also wouldnít find it surprising if it turned out that contours had to be softened when HVCC converted to bent.  And as Iíve already said, at current speeds, if there was any more contour, theyíd lose a lot of pin positions.


Itís a great golf course, arguably one of the most underrated in NC, if not the country. And the greens, IMO, are largely what elevate it to that level.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2022, 06:13:18 PM »
We joined our club in our primary residence because my wife wanted to do so given its convenience. We joined Hope Valley as non-resident members for all of the reasons that A.G. points out despite having one course almost in our backyard and another just across the road.


The only thing I would add is that the quality of the greens and green complexes provide a myriad of options/decisions when you miss them--lob, semi-lob, chip, hybrid, Texas Wedge. Kris Spence's point about build up does affect those options on some of the greens, but the green complexes are really good and the putting is truly pure (hence my woes when misreading the line).


Mr. Spence's proposed restoration probably would have meant that Hope Valley would no longer be underrated, but it definitely is underrated regardless.


Ira








« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 06:23:18 PM by Ira Fishman »

Sean_A

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Re: Perry Maxwell--Hope Valley
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2022, 04:14:38 AM »
Kris,


Thanks for posting. And it is too bad that we were not able to proceed with the restoration that you proposed. As you know, the routing is superb with no truly weak holes and many distinctive ones. I have spent enough time in the Ross Archives to know that the greens as originally designed were special. The current greens are still very good and challenging, but some do suffer from your point about build up.


Ira

If the original Ross greens were good why did Maxwell alter so many? Additionally, why didn't Maxwell create more interesting greens? The situation of the greens has long stumped me considering both Ross and Maxwell were known for building highly creative, interesting and challenging greens.

Ciao


Sean,
Do you really find the greens at HVCC to be lacking in creativity, interest, and challenge? 


Iím at a loss if thatís the case; to me, HVCC has all of that, plus perfect conditions and Tour level speeds.  In fact, I have a friend who is on the LPGA Tour; she requested and received playing privileges at HVCC several years ago because she believes those greens to be the closest thing to Tour quality and challenge that she can find anywhere in the area.


I donít find it surprising that the contours are perhaps ďsofterĒ than what Ross built in 1926. Iíd guess (and itís onlu that!) that Ross grassed those greens with common Bermuda; if thatís the case, then I also wouldnít find it surprising if it turned out that contours had to be softened when HVCC converted to bent.  And as Iíve already said, at current speeds, if there was any more contour, theyíd lose a lot of pin positions.


Itís a great golf course, arguably one of the most underrated in NC, if not the country. And the greens, IMO, are largely what elevate it to that level.

I am very surprised by the lack of contour considering the archies and age of the course.

If Maxwell changed the greens because of grass type, wouldn't he have done all the greens?

It seems quite odd to me that contour was taken out of the greens so early in the evolution of the course...before speed was an issue. Perhaps there was a member/VIP rebellion?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

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