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Tom & Neil,Thanks very much for the kind words. As you both know, doing this kind of research can be very rewarding but it can also be frustrating (in terms of inconsistencies) and yes, at times "maddening".John,Yes, when Joe and I were there a few years back the pro verbally shared with us the plans by Kyle and Tyler to bring the course into a more consistent look and feel as the newer nine with lots of earth moving was pretty incongruous and given that the holes are interspersed on both nines it's no longer possible to just play the original. While great in concept, and we really liked the idea of (re)creating a greensite down in the excavation, I think we both blanched a bit at the idea of combining the first two holes (a short, downhill par four with a pitch to a raised green beyond a creekbed and the 2nd being a par three to a tiny green surrounded by bunkers) into a single par five starter. They are both very talented and I'm sure the overall course will be improved but as a historian I always feel sad seeing something of antiquity changed...that's just a gut reaction thing on my part.
Mike,Did Dorset have golf in 1886? I think they may have, but I donít know for sure. Did they always play golf on the same property every year since? No one alive today really knows the answer to that question and that is what makes it a mystery we may never solve.Bret