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Joe Bausch

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2022, 06:30:09 PM »
Mike, I think your theory is quite plausible!


Indeed.
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https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Ira Fishman

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2022, 06:52:35 PM »
The disconnect for me is that if Travis and his magazine led to offers pouring in for Barker to design courses, why are such a relatively few courses attributed to Barker? Are there that many NLEs? It otherwise doesn’t add up.


Thanks.

John Challenger

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2022, 07:21:18 PM »
Ira, You make a good point. My sense is that there are more courses that Barker touched than are known, perhaps because he created basic or clumsy routings that were later discarded or modified.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2022, 10:03:48 PM by John Challenger »

Tim Martin

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2022, 07:48:36 PM »
Ira, You make a good point. My sense is that there are more courses that Barker touched than are known, perhaps by creating basic or clumsy routings that were later discarded or modified.


I would think it’s comparable to the fate suffered by much of Tom Bendelow’s portfolio despite Barker operating on a seemingly much smaller scale as to the amount of courses he was involved with.

John Challenger

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2022, 10:32:11 PM »
Another course that Barker may have had a hand in laying out: Cherokee CC in Knoxville, TN. I found reference to it in one Sven's posts in GCA about courses with uncertain attributions. He attaches an article in the Daily Arkansas Gazette from June 29, 1916, which is after H.H. Barker left the United States for good, that says, "the club has recently opened a new course of regulation length, which was laid out by H.H. Barker, the English golf architect."

Also, in May 1909, American Golfer reprinted an item from "The Golfer" a London publication. It appeared only two months after Travis and American Golfer featured Barker in several places throughout the magazine, including Barker's and American Golfer's first advertisement for a golf course designer.

In the item in The Golfer, it says "His association with the Garden City Club, which may fairly be said to be the premier club of America, (music to Travis' ears) has proved mutually (they must have talked with Travis) satisfactory, and he has established for himself a strong position in American golf. In particular he has given deep study (!!) to questions of course architecture, and come to be regarded as one of the best authorities in the States concerning it: his services being in eager demand for the laying-out of courses and the improvement of existing ones." It seems like a product placement by Travis.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2022, 10:51:38 PM by John Challenger »

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2022, 12:46:06 AM »
Another course that Barker may have had a hand in laying out: Cherokee CC in Knoxville, TN. I found reference to it in one Sven's posts in GCA about courses with uncertain attributions. He attaches an article in the Daily Arkansas Gazette from June 29, 1916, which is after H.H. Barker left the United States for good, that says, "the club has recently opened a new course of regulation length, which was laid out by H.H. Barker, the English golf architect."


Cherokee was a Barker.


https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,65168.msg1614634.html#msg1614634
"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 #31 on: December 23, 2022, 01:28:34 AM »
Since someone asked for it earlier in the thread, here's a list of Barker's work.  If anyone has any additions or corrections, please let me know.

1907 -

Garden City GC (Garden City, NY) - renovated the course with Travis, work continued a few years

1909 -

Columbia CC (Chevy Chase, MD) - with others
Arcola CC (Paramus, NJ)
Atlantic City CC (Atlantic City, NJ) - improvement
Rumson CC (Rumson, NJ)
Mayfield CC (Cleveland, OH)
Waverley CC (Portland, OR) - new layout
Bedford Springs GC (Bedford, PA) - new layout
Philmont CC (Huntingdon Valley, PA) - added 9 holes
Springhaven CC (Wallingford, PA) - rebunkering
Williamsport CC (Williamsport, PA)
Newport CC (Newport, RI) - improvement
CC of Virginia (Richmond, VA) - also visited in 1913 to discuss changes
Spokane CC (Spokane, WA)

1910 -

East Lake GC (Atlanta, GA) - noted as giving advice on the development of the course, date unsure
Skokie CC (Glencoe, IL) - redesigned 4 holes in connection with the acquisition of new land
Detroit GC (Detroit, MI) - planned 60 new bunkers
Merion GC (Ardmore, PA) - oft discussed around these parts

1911 -

Roebuck Springs Club (Birmingham, AL)
Capital City CC (Atlanta, GA) - also assisted in the layout of the second 9 holes in 1913
Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC) - extended the course from 9 to 18 holes
Raritan Valley CC (Somerville) - did the new course and suggested improvements two years later
Pocono Manor GC (Pocono Manor, PA)

1912 -

Druid Hills GC (Atlanta, GA)
Charlotte CC (Charlotte, NC) - consulted the club on potentially moving to a new site
Youngstown CC (Youngstown, OH)

1913 -

Palm Beach Club (Palm Beach, FL)
Indian Hill Club (Winnetka, IL)

1914 -

Tallahassee GC (Tallahassee, FL)
Idle Hour Club (Macon, GA) - rearranged the existing 9 holes and made plans to extend the course to 18
New Orleans CC (New Orleans, LA) - Barker's design built by Turpie
Westhampton CC (Westhampton, NY) - Raynor was also here at the same time

Belle Meade CC (Nashville, TN)
Chattanooga G&CC (Chattanooga, TN) - remodel
Cherokee CC (Knoxville, TN)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2023, 12:02:29 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

John Challenger

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2022, 07:26:21 AM »
Thank you VERY much, Sven! When one sees Newport CC on Sven's list and reflects on the fact that the club allowed Barker to work on its historic course, and in 1909 when Barker was just starting, it's hard not to believe that it was really Travis who did the work in one way or another. The world will probably not ever attribute it to Travis but if the changes were anything other than simple ones, then just like Mike Cirba has proved for NGLA, Walter Travis should really get the credit he is due. I wonder if it was an open secret in 1909 that it was really Travis doing the work?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2022, 07:35:33 AM by John Challenger »

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2022, 07:44:31 AM »
Sven,


Are those the years that Barker was engaged or the years those courses opened?  Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2022, 07:54:21 AM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

John Challenger

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2022, 08:22:55 AM »
Mike, I know in the case of Indian Hill Club that it was in early 1913 when Barker took the train into Chicago to do his work. The club was just beginning to clear its ground when Barker arrived and it didn't open until July 1914, which was still really only a soft opening. It took until the summer of 1915 for the course to be ready for regular play.

Ira Fishman

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2022, 08:54:32 AM »
Sven,


Thanks. I was the one looking for the list which is more extensive than easily accessed ones from the internet.


Sven, John, and Mike,


The Donald Ross Society lists Indian Hill as a Ross remodel in 1914. Thoughts?


Thanks.

John Challenger

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2022, 09:22:16 AM »
Ira, I hope you don't mind if I do a separate more substantial post later on about Indian Hill. Donald Ross came to Indian Hill in the fall of 1914/winter of 1915. He designed a 100 bunker plan and by early 1916, 65 of those bunkers were built. He also apparently came back in 1921 or 1922. I have a 1921 newspaper article about his plans to visit Indian Hill in May 1921, but it may have been postponed. In Ross' book "Golf Has Never Failed Me," it indicates that he was at Indian Hill for a remodel in 1922 (and 1914), but I can't find any record of what he did during that second stint.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2022, 09:24:52 AM by John Challenger »

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2022, 09:43:03 AM »
Sven,


Are those the years that Barker was engaged or the years those courses opened?  Thanks!


Mike:


I always try to note the date of when work was done.  But as you know, sometimes its more like a rough guesstimate.


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

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2022, 10:21:12 AM »
Thanks Sven...I'll try to provide what I find in an IMO over the winter.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Jim Sherma

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2022, 10:47:28 AM »
Williamsport is a very cool case study in the evolution of GCA in early 20th century America. The original 9 is HH Barker and based on what's on the ground I would guess it is still quite true to what he left behind. The second 9 was done by Tillinghast and is very distinctly of his style. The routing goes 2 Barker -> 9 Tillinghast -> 7 Barker. There appears to have been no significant attempt at any point to make the two sets of holes appear to be cut from the same cloth and the course is better for it in my opinion. Strong recommendation to anyone interested in the GCA evolution from 1900's-10's to the 1920's-30's to spend some time at Williamsport CC.

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2022, 11:30:39 AM »
Ira, You make a good point. My sense is that there are more courses that Barker touched than are known, perhaps because he created basic or clumsy routings that were later discarded or modified.

John:

I doubt that this is the case.  Barker was a big name, and if he did any work it was covered in the papers.  In addition, his body of work doesn't readily suggest that there was much that he did that you could label as basic or clumsy.


The tenor of this thread is that Barker was merely a pawn of Travis, brought on to take on the design work that the old man didn't want to or didn't have the time to take on himself.  It has also been asserted that Barker may have been just a front for Travis, and didn't actually do anything on some of the projects credited to him. 


No thought has been given to the idea that Barker, despite not having much of a resume, may have actually had talent in this field.  Instead, we're asked to assume that because Barker had little to no design experience before coming to the U.S., it was only the machinations of Travis that put him on the map.  Prior to Garden City, Barker had been an accomplished player, a business owner and by all accounts rather accomplished in every endeavor he took on (Barker turned his business over to his father who could no longer work his prior job).  In a few short years in this country he had the reputation as the preeminent professional in the design field.  Undoubtedly any promotion by Travis (I'm in no way arguing this didn't happen) would have helped build this reputation, but one doesn't maintain their standing without producing results.


There seems to be a good bit of trying to make the narrative match the thesis going on in here.  Take for example John's statement about Barker and Newport, and that it must have been Travis that did the work due to the "historic" nature of the club.  Newport had just gone through a period of struggles as a club.  This was not some temple of golf course architecture, some sacred ground that only the anointed could touch.  It was a club trying to adapt its outdated course to the times, and whether it was Barker alone, Barker with the support of Travis or something else, there are a bunch of plausible scenarios for how Barker ended up working there.

Sven
« Last Edit: December 23, 2022, 11:33:31 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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2022, 01:12:17 PM »
Sven,


Please keep your powder dry until I research and write the damn thing.  I'll follow where the facts lead as I've done in prior pieces.  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 #42 on: December 23, 2022, 01:50:40 PM »
Sven,


Please keep your powder dry until I research and write the damn thing.  I'll follow where the facts lead as I've done in prior pieces.  Thanks.


That's great Mike.  Looking forward to reading it.


I guess I get a bit wary whenever someone presents their theory prior to having examined all of the facts.


Sven


It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"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 #43 on: December 23, 2022, 02:04:36 PM »
Sven,


Please keep your powder dry until I research and write the damn thing.  I'll follow where the facts lead as I've done in prior pieces.  Thanks.


That's great Mike.  Looking forward to reading it.


I guess I get a bit wary whenever someone presents their theory prior to having examined all of the facts.


Sven


It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Sven,


Thanks.   Sir Doyle aside, all.of us have theories that cause us to investigate further.  I have great respect for Barker based on what I've learned to date and am looking to better understand what seems to have been a very close relationship between Travis and Barker.


Happy Holidays to you and yours.
"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 #44 on: December 23, 2022, 02:05:02 PM »
I do have one question at this point.


Working with the assertion that Barker was Travis' puppet, and that Travis was trying to shield the work he did from the light of day, why are their a number of projects that were covered in the press as work that was being done by Barker under the supervision of Travis. 


Were these slip ups? 


Or was it the case that (a) there were projects that Travis referred to Barker for H. H. to handle on his own, (b) there were projects where Travis was more personally involved and (c) there were jobs that Barker procured on his own.  Whatever the case, and especially during the early years of Barker's short career, I'm sure the two men discussed all of the work going on, just like many others in the field did back then.


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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #45 on: December 23, 2022, 02:15:35 PM »
Sir Doyle aside, all.of us have theories that cause us to investigate further.

Ah, the subtle distinction between hypotheses and theories.

Happy Holidays Mike.
"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

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #46 on: December 23, 2022, 02:35:26 PM »

Thanks for the kind words about the Travis/NGLA series of essays.   Your point about Barker learning under Travis's tutelage while Travis implemented changes to toughen the golf course at Garden City is noted, and this May 1908 New York Tribune article suggests that both Travis and Barker were out on the course with shovels digging bunkers!   


Garden City has a pretty good history of that . . . at one time, Gil Hanse and I were out there doing the very same thing!


Mr. Tillinghast made a couple of changes there, too, but that was later in his career so I doubt he was on the shovel.

John Challenger

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2022, 04:21:43 PM »
We are using picks and shovels too as we look through old newspapers, musty drawers, and digital archives. It is a fine line between hypothesis and fact. In some ways, we are always making hypotheses about the truth of what happened in the past because historical data is by definition limited. We are proposing explanations for distant events. Our current perspectives and values influence our interpretations. The written records and other sources of the past may be incomplete or biased too. It's most important to be aware of our biases and keep an open mind. We're probably never going to quite get to established truth here. I appreciate your perspective, Sven, and look forward to Mike's new hypotheses as he gathers more data.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2022, 05:06:43 PM by John Challenger »

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2022, 05:11:58 PM »
I do have one question at this point.


Working with the assertion that Barker was Travis' puppet, and that Travis was trying to shield the work he did from the light of day, why are their a number of projects that were covered in the press as work that was being done by Barker under the supervision of Travis. 


Were these slip ups? 


Or was it the case that (a) there were projects that Travis referred to Barker for H. H. to handle on his own, (b) there were projects where Travis was more personally involved and (c) there were jobs that Barker procured on his own.  Whatever the case, and especially during the early years of Barker's short career, I'm sure the two men discussed all of the work going on, just like many others in the field did back then.


Sven


Sven,


I don't know.   I'm imagining it may be sort of like CBM and Raynor in their early years but I'm still digging up materials.  Great questions!
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

John Challenger

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2022, 08:02:13 PM »
Another MacDonald/Raynor duo is what Tom Doak suggested. Raynor brought extraordinary civil engineering skills to the table and created some of the greatest golf courses of the Golden Age. Barker's reputation is going up and down wildly in this thread!
 

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