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MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #150 on: January 08, 2023, 12:16:30 PM »
One also needs to consider that Walter Travis at this time was the greatest amateur golfer in the world


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Niall,


Thanks for checking me.   I should have written that in the first decade of the 20th century Walter Travis was the greatest amateur golfer in the United States, including his 3 US Amateur wins and shockingly unexpected victory in the 1904 British Amateur.   
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #151 on: January 09, 2023, 04:22:16 PM »
Atlantic City CC -

I'm guessing here that Barker was involved when mentions of the changes started appearing in the press in early 1909.  Although I have seen no mention of Travis being connected with the actual work, it would make sense.

Jan. 1909 Golf Magazine -





Sept. 1909 American Golfer -






Sven,


I'm going to try to add things systematically in the order you posted in an effort to fill in any gaps.   I'm not sure I'll go much past 1911 or 1912 and will skip Garden City as I think we have the relationship between the two there covered well enough.   The reason for skipping past 1912 is that most of the work where both names are mentioned happened while they still had a seeming cooperative relationship and before Barker left Rumson and headed South for reported health issues.   Here again is Atlantic City from the Brooklyn Times Union 4/26/1910 listing Travis is recommending the changes with Barker onsite doing the work.


"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #152 on: January 09, 2023, 04:53:15 PM »
I know I said I'd skip Garden City but this is probably a good place to locate a Brooklyn Times Union article from March 6th, 1909 related to the perception of the relationship between the men in the earliest years after Barker arrived in the United States.








"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #153 on: January 09, 2023, 07:10:34 PM »
Waverley CC -

How Barker received this commission from across the country remains a matter of speculation, but I'd doubt that Travis had anything to do with the work that actually done while Barker was in Portland.

May 1909 American Golfer -





[Also see the Sept. 1909 American Golfer article above.]




The "Portland Country Club" attribution seems misleading and as close as I've been able to tell it was actually the "Waverly Country Club" where Barker proposed plans (estimated at a cost of $40k) for "improvements" to the existing links.   There was eventually a "Portland Golf Club" laid out by George Turnbull that opened in 1914.   I've been unable to reconcile the supposed new course for "Portland Country Club" with the work at Waverly proposed by Barker or verify if Barker's proposed recommendations were ever implemented.


In any case, it seems his trip to the Northwest for both Waverly and Spokane seems to have been the result of a recommendation from Walter Travis, as seen below;


Spokane Chronicle - 02/27/1909





Spokane Spokesman Review - 03/06/1909

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #154 on: January 09, 2023, 07:18:37 PM »
Spokane CC -

A similar story to Waverley.

March 6, 1909 Spokane Press -




Spokane Country Club


I came across a seemingly well-researched history of the Spokane (now Kalispell) Country Club that included the following;


The new course opened for play on July 8, 1911 as a nine-hole course. It is not entirely clear who designed the latest layout. While the club has attributed Jim Barnes as its golf architect, original documentary evidence is scarce. No less a personage than the famous golf architect Tom Bendelow was purported to have visited the club in 1909, and then later by H. H. Barker, a noted golf professional and architect. Barker drew up a plan for the course, and some have credited the design to him. However, it turns out the plan was for a location that the Club was considering at the time but later abandoned.


The entire article can be found at [size=78%]Spokane-Country-Club-History-v3.pdf (nwhickoryplayers.org)[/size]



"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #155 on: January 09, 2023, 07:30:48 PM »
CC of Virginia -

Another one where I have seen no Travis involvement.

March 1909 American Golfer -



April 1909 Golf Magazine -





April 25, 1909 The Times Dispatch -




Country Club of Virginia (Westhampton Course)


Country Club of Virginia (aka Richmond CC) seems to be the first of Barker's designs from the period of 1909 that was eventually a completed 18 hole course, opening in June, 1910.   To date, I have not found a Walter Travis connection with this effort.   From the club's website;


Westhampton is the oldest of our three golf courses, having opened on June 18, 1910. Originally designed by Herbert Barker, renowned golf course architect Donald Ross redesigned the layout in 1920. The third nine, known as the "Goat Course," was named for its hilly layout. The "Goat Course" was later replaced by what is now the practice range and first hole. Notable golfers such as Harry Vardon, Ted Ray, Bobby Jones and others have enjoyed this challenging layout. Westhampton possesses gently rolling fairways carved out of majestic pine and oak forests. The small, sloping greens can make putting difficult, especially from above the pin. Westhampton provides a challenge for the expert player and an enjoyable experience for golfers of any skill level. A dramatic renovation was completed by Lester George in 2005 that has restored many Donald Ross features as well as provided for improved playing conditions and an upgraded practice facility. Each fall the Westhampton Course is the host site for the Senior Open of Virginia.











« Last Edit: January 10, 2023, 09:18:38 AM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #156 on: January 09, 2023, 08:58:28 PM »
Regarding Waverley and Spokane, there's a bit more to the story.


At Spokane, Barker came in after Bendelow, and the club had every intention to proceed with his plans.  Shortly after his visit, part of the land that the new course was going to be built on became the subject of a lawsuit to set aside the conveyance to the club.  The law suit became somewhat of a non-issue, as it was soon learned that the land was going to be condemned by the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway for its access to the city.  The club was forced to look for a new site, and in the spring of 1910 they settled on the Little Spokane River location.


We'll never know what Barker's course here might have turned into.  But we do know the reasons behind why the site was abandoned, and it has nothing to do with any issues with Barker's work.


With respect to the "Portland Country Club" (this kind of phrasing often occurred when a course was the only one in town even though it had a different name), I too have not seen anything that affirmatively notes that Barker's plans were carried out.  But something happened to the club between 1908 and 1916 when the course went from 5,862 to 6,211 yards.  In any case, there should be no doubt that any references to Barker in Portland are in connection with Waverley.
"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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #157 on: January 10, 2023, 08:20:34 AM »
Sven,


Thanks for filling in the rest of the story.   Please do not read any proposed work by Barker that was never done as being negative unless it was expressly stated by those in charge at the time and I've never seen evidence of that.  Bad grammar, I know but haven't had my coffee yet.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #158 on: January 10, 2023, 09:09:51 AM »
Rumson CC -


Rumson is a bit of a confusing story.  If anyone has additional source material here (or on any of the other courses), please feel free to add it in.  At first, the course was to be laid out by Willie Norton.


Dec. 1908 Golf Magazine -




By the Spring of 1909, Barker was noted as the architect.

May 1909 American Golfer -



Reports from a couple of years later muddy the waters a bit.

Feb. 25, 1911 Brooklyn Times-Union -



March 25, 1911 Brooklyn Life -



April 23, 1911 Washington Post -




Rumson Country Club - Sven, yes I have the 1911 Travis attribution with Barker going there to add pits, as well, but also two from July 1910 listed below.   


New York Times - 7/1/1910




Long Branch (NJ) Record - 7/8/1910

« Last Edit: January 10, 2023, 09:11:51 AM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #159 on: January 10, 2023, 04:02:22 PM »
Columbia CC -

I'm not going to delve into this one too much as the history of Columbia has been covered in great detail around here.  The early press reports from Aug. 1909 on note (a) a Barker layout or (b) a Barker and Ross layout with Travis involved later on.

By the sounds of the article below, it doesn't appear that Travis had seen the land prior to the layout being completed.

Oct. 26, 1909 Washington Times -






Columbia Country Club - While I'm still digging a bit deeper, it does seem the close friendship between Travis and Dr. Walter Harban, as well as his close relationships with Barker and Donald Ross makes this a natural collaborative effort.   Why else would it be news that Travis stopped by to survey the property for two days seeing what had been done to date in the fall of 1909 (likely simply a staked out and/or mapped out course at that point as the course didn't open until it did in stages during the summer of 1911) if not to provide his design input and blessing?


Another article I'm in possession of that I'm still trying to source states the following;


"Dr. L. Lee Harban, a prominent player of the Columbia Country Club, has the following to say of the work that has been done and is being done at the club.  "The Columbia Country Club, when completed, will be one of the finest in this part of the country.   The work of laying out the links has been approved by W. S. (sic) Travis and other prominent authorities on golf."
« Last Edit: January 10, 2023, 04:04:12 PM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #160 on: January 10, 2023, 10:46:23 PM »
For Rumson, here's a third July 1910 article, this one noting that J. Prentice Kellogg laid out the course with the advice of several amateur and professional experts.

July 3, 1903 New York Tribune -

« Last Edit: January 10, 2023, 10:54:48 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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #161 on: January 10, 2023, 10:54:18 PM »
Why else would it be news that Travis stopped by to survey the property for two days seeing what had been done to date in the fall of 1909 ... if not to provide his design input and blessing?



There are over 4,000 hit on newspapers.com for "Walter Travis" and "W. J. Travis" in 1909.  Pretty sure they would have reported on the color of his underwear if the information was available.
"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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #162 on: January 11, 2023, 08:43:56 AM »
Why else would it be news that Travis stopped by to survey the property for two days seeing what had been done to date in the fall of 1909 ... if not to provide his design input and blessing?



There are over 4,000 hit on newspapers.com for "Walter Travis" and "W. J. Travis" in 1909.  Pretty sure they would have reported on the color of his underwear if the information was available.


Sven,


The vast majority are tournament results repeated in various papees across the country. Can't say I've seen underwear.  ;)
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #163 on: January 11, 2023, 08:50:31 AM »


The vast majority are tournament results repeated in various papees across the country. Can't say I've seen underwear.  ;)


Travis had quite the playing schedule (and travel to play) during the first decade of the last century.  It is a wonder how he was able to run a magazine, make all of those renovations at Garden City, contribute to the development of NGLA and still have time to fit in some advising on the work being done by H. H. Barker.


Its exercises like these that would make a timeline similar to the Mackenzie timeline very valuable for guys like Travis.
"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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #164 on: January 11, 2023, 09:48:10 AM »
Sven,


Great idea, thanks!


One of our officers has recently put together a comprehensive Travis tournament chronology.   Let me get ahold of it and see if it's possible to put it in a form that's readable here over the next few days.



"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #165 on: January 11, 2023, 10:31:31 AM »
With respect to Columbia, it should be noted that Travis, when advertising his resume later on, included this course as a remodel.  There could be an argument that this listing pertained to work done after he made the shift to a full time architect around 1916, but the inclusion of Garden City as a new course suggests this wasn't the case.

March 1924 Golf Illustrated -

"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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #166 on: January 11, 2023, 11:01:32 AM »
Sven,


That would refer to Garden City Country Club, not Golf Club.   Thanks
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Stewart Abramson

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #167 on: January 11, 2023, 11:57:11 AM »

March 1924 Golf Illustrated -




The list notes two courses as being "reversible". Is that in the same sense as the Loop and TOC? I don't recall discussion here about that.


Is Westchester Biltmore the current Westchester CC?

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #168 on: January 11, 2023, 12:07:17 PM »
Stewart,


Yes, both East Potomac and Westchester were designed as reversible.   That is indeed today's Westchester. 
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #169 on: January 11, 2023, 12:56:32 PM »
Sven,


That would refer to Garden City Country Club, not Golf Club.   Thanks


My bad.


The point remains that he listed Columbia as a remodel.
"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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #170 on: January 11, 2023, 01:31:12 PM »
Sven,


That would refer to Garden City Country Club, not Golf Club.   Thanks


My bad.


The point remains that he listed Columbia as a remodel.


All good and point taken, thanks!
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #171 on: January 12, 2023, 12:40:47 PM »
Arcola CC -

Barker was undoubtedly referred to Arcola by Travis, and it appears that Travis held a supervisory role on this project.  How involved he was remains unclear.

Sept. 11, 1909 The Record -



Dec. 18, 1909 Brooklyn Times-Union -



Jan. 28, 1911 Brooklyn Times-Union -




Arcola -


This one really gets to the heart of questions about what the working, professional relationship actually was between the two men at that time and why Travis had "supervisory" authority over Barker in their arrangement, whether in the initial planning, the "review" of the work once in progress and or completed, and so forth.   Were the men working from topographical maps?   If Travis had been informed by his involvement at NGLA, as he should have been, then topos would be invaluable.  Certainly some of the specific details of the Arcola property listed in the article would indicate they did.


Barker's work began in late 1909 and it wasn't until the late autumn of 1911 that the course had what was likely a "soft opening", probably with only certain holes open.   This indicates to me a lengthy process and in one article I came across the club officials indicated getting additional viewpoints during construction, such that the course ended up being about 400 yards longer than Barker/Travis's initial plans.   


One thing that strikes me in many of these articles, including Travis's American Golfer, is how Barker was being promoted as "the best man in the country" for the work of laying out courses as early as 1909.   From my understanding, other than the changes they implemented together (under Travis's direction) at Garden City, not a single golf course "laid out" by Barker was even open by that time.   
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

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Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #172 on: January 12, 2023, 01:52:51 PM »


Arcola -


This one really gets to the heart of questions about what the working, professional relationship actually was between the two men at that time and why Travis had "supervisory" authority over Barker in their arrangement, whether in the initial planning, the "review" of the work once in progress and or completed, and so forth.

I agree, it shows, similar to Columbia and other projects, a simple process.  Travis recommends Barker, Barker does the work, Travis reviews when completed giving his blessing.  As the Dec. 18, 1909 article spells out, the actual work on site was being done by Barker.  I'm sure the two men discussed the projects that Barker took on, but Barker was always the guy in the field figuring out what the land was going to allow.


Were the men working from topographical maps?   If Travis had been informed by his involvement at NGLA, as he should have been, then topos would be invaluable.  Certainly some of the specific details of the Arcola property listed in the article would indicate they did.


Until we have anything that says that Travis actually participated in the planning of the course, can we try to avoid language that insinuates that he did. 

Barker's work began in late 1909 and it wasn't until the late autumn of 1911 that the course had what was likely a "soft opening", probably with only certain holes open.   This indicates to me a lengthy process and in one article I came across the club officials indicated getting additional viewpoints during construction, such that the course ended up being about 400 yards longer than Barker/Travis's initial plans.   

Arcola was not a simple build.  There were acres of forests that had to be cleared, and swamps and bogs that had to be filled in.  Most of the clearing, plowing and seeding was done in the summer and fall of 1910.  It is no surprise that it took a while.  The lengthening of certain holes was done by the club's committee, as reported in 1910.  From the get go, the club viewed the initial lay out as somewhat temporary, as they had the idea of developing additional holes in the unimproved portions of their property at a later date.

One thing that strikes me in many of these articles, including Travis's American Golfer, is how Barker was being promoted as "the best man in the country" for the work of laying out courses as early as 1909.   From my understanding, other than the changes they implemented together (under Travis's direction) at Garden City, not a single golf course "laid out" by Barker was even open by that time.


This is an interesting point, and it says something that Barker was able to produce work that lived up to those lofty claims.  I doubt Travis (and perhaps CBM and HW and others) would have been recommending Barker for projects if they themselves didn't believe those claims.  And it makes you wonder who else (other than Bendelow, Ross and perhaps a couple of other guys) were positioned to do what Barker was doing.  There were very few "professional" architects in the U.S. at this time and many of them were hamstrung to a certain region.  Barker really seems to have capitalized on a void that existed, and with his advertising and willingness to travel put himself (with perhaps a good bit of assistance from others) on the map at a speed that seems hard to comprehend.


There's a ton of Golf Club Atlas history wrapped up in what we're talking about here, and its hard not for me to sense the biases that stem from the positions taken in those old debates.  It would be comforting to feel that the conversation here wasn't tainted by those preconceptions.
"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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #173 on: January 12, 2023, 04:59:45 PM »
Sven,


Please allow me to reiterate that I'm not here to in any way diminish Barker but to try and understand his working relationship and need to have Walter Travis...an amateur...involved on any level.


There are any number of articles/courses in those early years where design attribution was given to both men and I'm not sure how one "supervises" a design process without agreeing with or participating in the actual design process whether it is through site visits or topographic map study and plotting.


Right now I'm just trying to get everything on the table so we can collectively review and where possible ask questions or make educated determinations.  I have no axe to grind here.  Thanks.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #174 on: January 12, 2023, 06:52:21 PM »
Hey Walt, remember telling me about that Brit doing great work with you at your club.  Think hed be willing to pop on over and help us figure out what to do with the piece of property we just bought.  I know youre plenty busy with playing and helping Chuck out there on the Island.  Wed love to have you involved, but no pressure.


Sure thing J.P., H.H. would[size=78%] be all over that and Im sure hed do a bang up job.  Not really my thing right now, what with the magazine and all and still trying to keep the game up to beat Travers.  Be happy to stop by at some point down the line and take a gander at what H. H. comes up with.[/size]


It could have been as easy as that.
"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

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