News:

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


Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2022, 11:47:20 PM »
Barker's reputation is going up and down wildly in this thread!


Has it?  I hold him in the same regard I did two weeks ago.  He was an excellent player who migrated to a career, albeit short, in course design and remodeling.  I have read nothing to suggest he wasnít accomplished in both realms.


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

John Challenger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #51 on: December 24, 2022, 06:27:40 AM »
Well, I did say "up and down" in the thread, and more of the "warts and all" was coming from me. I am probably too cynical. Instead of being Travis' surrogate, it is an equally plausible theory that Barker was a native genius of golf course design who learned from one of the great masters, Walter Travis, as he transformed Garden City into one of the Golden Age's first masterpieces. Barker could and perhaps should be seen as the acolyte who might have surpassed his master if he had more time. We all approach history with our own biases and perspectives and interpret it through the lens of the current day. It's an honorable quest to shine a light on and restore the work and the reputations of the lesser-known architects of the late 19th and early 20th century, and upon Walter Travis.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2022, 08:13:37 AM by John Challenger »

Bret Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #52 on: December 24, 2022, 09:57:51 AM »
Interesting thread.  Here is a photo of H. H. Barker  from
The Golfing Annual-1906-1907:



Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #53 on: December 24, 2022, 10:07:32 AM »
Well, I did say "up and down" in the thread, and more of the "warts and all" was coming from me. I am probably too cynical. Instead of being Travis' surrogate, it is an equally plausible theory that Barker was a native genius of golf course design who learned from one of the great masters, Walter Travis, as he transformed Garden City into one of the Golden Age's first masterpieces. Barker could and perhaps should be seen as the acolyte who might have surpassed his master if he had more time. We all approach history with our own biases and perspectives and interpret it through the lens of the current day. It's an honorable quest to shine a light on and restore the work and the reputations of the lesser-known architects of the late 19th and early 20th century, and upon Walter Travis.


John,


Barker saw a lot of courses during his playing career. Isnít it plausible that he had a knack for translating what he saw and learned into his own work even without formal training? Youth does not mean inability. I will await Mike Cirbaís research, but maybe Barker taught Travis a one or two things which is why Travis became a champion of Barkerís.


Ira

John Challenger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2022, 11:31:39 AM »
Ira, Yes I do think it is plausible that H.H. Barker had a knack for designing golf courses. I was just reading over Robert Calton's book on him. Barker's childhood home was just off the 6th green at Huddersfield also known as Fixby GC in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Sandy Herd, the Open Champion of 1902, was the golf professional. They may have designed a course together at Bradley Hall before Barker came to Garden City. Glad Mike is going to do an essay on him and look forward to it!

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2022, 12:26:13 PM »
Ira, Yes I do think it is plausible that H.H. Barker had a knack for designing golf courses. I was just reading over Robert Calton's book on him. Barker's childhood home was just off the 6th green at Huddersfield also known as Fixby GC in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Sandy Herd, the Open Champion of 1902, was the golf professional. They may have designed a course together at Bradley Hall before Barker came to Garden City. Glad Mike is going to do an essay on him and look forward to it!


Bradley Hall was my Dad's club when I was a kid. Moorland course with some enormous greens. I remember he and I went to play there after his father (my grandad's) funeral. A huge storm appeared over the moors and moved down the valley, dumping a load of rain on us. And then, damn me, if it didn't stop at the bottom of the valley and come back up and dump on us again!
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #56 on: December 25, 2022, 05:07:37 AM »
Well, I did say "up and down" in the thread, and more of the "warts and all" was coming from me. I am probably too cynical. Instead of being Travis' surrogate, it is an equally plausible theory that Barker was a native genius of golf course design who learned from one of the great masters, Walter Travis, as he transformed Garden City into one of the Golden Age's first masterpieces. Barker could and perhaps should be seen as the acolyte who might have surpassed his master if he had more time. We all approach history with our own biases and perspectives and interpret it through the lens of the current day. It's an honorable quest to shine a light on and restore the work and the reputations of the lesser-known architects of the late 19th and early 20th century, and upon Walter Travis.


John,


Barker saw a lot of courses during his playing career. Isnít it plausible that he had a knack for translating what he saw and learned into his own work even without formal training? Youth does not mean inability. I will await Mike Cirbaís research, but maybe Barker taught Travis a one or two things which is why Travis became a champion of Barkerís.


Ira


Ira


Spot on. Barker was an educated guy, educated to a high enough standard that he could write magazine articles, run his own business and with a fair amount of experience of working outdoors on the land.


As noted he had also become a well known golfer by the time he left the UK and even though he was still an amateur he played in a number of exhibition matches with professionals. He would have been exposed to all sorts of ideas on golf course design and construction just by speaking to the likes of Sandy Herd and fellow golfers on a daily basis as well as reading what was being said in the press and golfing magazines.


The idea that he was some sort of blank canvas that Travis was able to impress with is own ideas is far fetched to my mind. It seems to me that Barker was a young man looking to use his talents and experience to get ahead. He likely saw great opportunity in the US and perhaps went with golf course design and construction as one of the main avenues he was looking to explore.


Niall 

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #57 on: December 25, 2022, 09:14:41 AM »
At this rate I won't need to research and write anything as minds seem to be made up already.   ::)


Merry Christmas, GCA maniacs.   ;D
« Last Edit: December 25, 2022, 10:20:55 AM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #58 on: December 25, 2022, 03:39:04 PM »
Sorry Mike, I wasn't aware that you were the definitive voice on all things golf history. I'll bear that in mind for future threads.


Merry Christmas.



Niall

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #59 on: December 25, 2022, 05:47:15 PM »
I've always been a little cynical as to how we "research,create,hype and record" GCA history.  I think there were between 1500-2000 courses in the USA by 1910 and Golf was just a game and not much of a business then. 
I can't believe some of these ODGs gave it the time many of the modern GCA researchers give as to the "why" in what they did. 
Impact on another archie??-  Do y'all realize how many guys will say they worked for Pete Dye when they just picked up some sticks one summer? Or dudes that will come around telling you they have worked for some of the top names today when reality is they often ( not always)did the same.   

I often consider golf of those days as I do polo today.  And if polo were to take off as a mainline sport tomorrow the players abilities of the past would not equate to the new players abilities today because there would be a bigger pool.  Same for any sport.  But that's not to say there was not an impact.  I'm convinced Bobby Jones may not have been the star of his era if golf was as popular as baseball.  But yet he had an impact on JN and TW and all of us.    I see GCA the same way...Ross was here at the right time and of course they had some impact but the details of the drawings from that era can't really tell you much...
What's on the ground is what matters and so often that is created over the early years of these clubs by supts and $$$..We are all just fortunate there was no heavy equipment to IMPACT all of these dudes...JMO   

« Last Edit: December 25, 2022, 07:26:18 PM by Mike_Young »
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #60 on: December 25, 2022, 08:10:04 PM »
Mike Y


If you are suggesting that in the early days golf design/construction was a relatively simple affair compared to today and that you didn't need to be a design genius to practice it then I agree with you.


Niall

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #61 on: December 25, 2022, 09:21:03 PM »
Mike Y


If you are suggesting that in the early days golf design/construction was a relatively simple affair compared to today and that you didn't need to be a design genius to practice it then I agree with you.


Niall
Niall,I'm not saying they were any better or worse than today.  I'm saying so many of the GCA junkies complicate it more than it was or is....
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #62 on: December 26, 2022, 10:59:38 AM »
Sorry Mike, I wasn't aware that you were the definitive voice on all things golf history. I'll bear that in mind for future threads.


Merry Christmas.



Niall


Niall,


Sorry if that comment came off as snarky but we certainly are an opinionated bunch.  Not many shy, retiring wallflowers around here!


There are a number of courses where Travis and Barker are intertwined and credit given to each at different times so I'm intrigued to research more and try to understand the nature of their ongoing relationship.  Certainly the whole amateur/professional questions loomed large during those years, as well.


Hope that helps explain my interest in the topic until I learn more.  Best regards.

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

SL_Solow

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #63 on: December 26, 2022, 12:28:43 PM »
Mike, your cynicism is one of your most attractive features.  More seriously, I think that you undersell the pioneers in the field.  We should remember that prior to the golden age, there were  no "rules" regarding building courses.  While there existed marvelous natural courses, the best example being the Old Course, too many were formulaic with cops, cross bunkers and the like.  But a variety of new thinkers arose who spent considerable time and thought trying to figure out what made a course great.  At or near the same time, the Haskell ball rendered many older designs obsolete thereby creating greater opportunities to experiment.  So architects like Park, Colt, Simpson, Abercrombie. MacKenzie. Alison etc. came to the fore in the British Isles while MacDonald/Raynor, Ross. Thomas, Behr, Flynn, Wilson, Emmet, Langford/Moreau etc. were active in the USA and Canada.  Not only were they changing the nature of design, each bringing their own perspective, but they collaborated and exchanged ideas, sometimes on site and more often in writing.  The numerous books and magazines were more than marketing devices, there was real thought and debate.  Examine the views of Joshua Crane and the responses.  Compare the views of the naturalists versus the "template architects".  Many of the issues raised persist today.  I note that there has been a revival of thought provoking literature in recent years as exemplified by Tom Doak's output, but I suggest that the most fertile time occurred in the Golden Age.  That does not denigrate today's work, nor do I suggest that all of the architecture of the Golden Age was truly "golden".  But I think in your attempt to make our view of that era more realistic, you tend to underrate its importance.

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #64 on: December 26, 2022, 12:35:18 PM »
Shel,


Was that for me, Mike Young, or both?   ;) ;D
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #65 on: December 26, 2022, 01:20:40 PM »
One quick addition to the list of courses noted earlier in the thread.

The Pre-Raynor version of Greenwich CC had recently been expanded to 18 holes by 1911.  I don't have a record of who did that work.  In 1911, it was reported that Barker was to bunker the course.  The work at Arcola and Rumson at this time is also of note.

Feb. 28, 1911 Brooklyn Times Union -

« Last Edit: December 26, 2022, 01:22:16 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

SL_Solow

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #66 on: December 26, 2022, 01:43:46 PM »
For Mike Young but I hope that you can visit too.


  Shel

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #67 on: December 26, 2022, 03:01:19 PM »
It would be very interesting to know if Travis found a way to take a cut on Barker's golf course routing work. My guess is yes. He just seems too tenacious to give Barker all that work altruistically.


I keep going back to this quote from earlier in the thread. 


Essentially, we're asked to imagine that Walter Travis was using H. H. Barker as a professional shield in order to obtain remuneration for design projects that came his way.  The same Walter Travis that we are being told by another poster was highly concerned about jeopardizing his amateur status.


Today, this assertion of an amateur working around the rules associated with receiving payment for work might not raise too many eyebrows.  But back around 1910 it would have been scandalous. 


An interesting side note is that it was in 1910 that MacDonald and Whigham recommended none other than H. H. Barker to Merion to lay out their new course.  There is no way that MacDonald would have done so if he in anyway considered Barker as simply the face of Travis' design work.  And he wasn't going to recommend someone who he didn't think was up for the job. 


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

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #68 on: December 26, 2022, 03:11:27 PM »
Sven,


I don''t recall either CBM or Whigham recommending Barker to Merion although there's no doubt Barker would have been aware of the outreach from Merion 's Griscom to CBM and Whigham at GCGC.

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Sven Nilsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #69 on: December 26, 2022, 03:45:28 PM »
Mike: 


It was reported in the papers in late 1910.  When Iím home I can post the articles.


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

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #70 on: December 26, 2022, 05:46:16 PM »
Mike: 


It was reported in the papers in late 1910.  When Iím home I can post the articles.


Sven


Thanks, Sven.  Don''t believe I've seen prior
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #71 on: December 26, 2022, 06:53:59 PM »
Shel,


Was that for me, Mike Young, or both?   ;) ;D
Shel,If you want a real treat  Cirba and I can hit town at the same time.... ;D ;D
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #72 on: December 26, 2022, 07:21:30 PM »
Shel,


Was that for me, Mike Young, or both?   ;) ;D
Shel,If you want a real treat  Cirba and I can hit town at the same time.... ;D ;D


Now you're talking, Mr. Young!
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #73 on: December 26, 2022, 07:32:44 PM »
Mike, your cynicism is one of your most attractive features.  More seriously, I think that you undersell the pioneers in the field.  We should remember that prior to the golden age, there were  no "rules" regarding building courses.  While there existed marvelous natural courses, the best example being the Old Course, too many were formulaic with cops, cross bunkers and the like.  But a variety of new thinkers arose who spent considerable time and thought trying to figure out what made a course great.  At or near the same time, the Haskell ball rendered many older designs obsolete thereby creating greater opportunities to experiment.  So architects like Park, Colt, Simpson, Abercrombie. MacKenzie. Alison etc. came to the fore in the British Isles while MacDonald/Raynor, Ross. Thomas, Behr, Flynn, Wilson, Emmet, Langford/Moreau etc. were active in the USA and Canada.  Not only were they changing the nature of design, each bringing their own perspective, but they collaborated and exchanged ideas, sometimes on site and more often in writing.  The numerous books and magazines were more than marketing devices, there was real thought and debate.  Examine the views of Joshua Crane and the responses.  Compare the views of the naturalists versus the "template architects".  Many of the issues raised persist today.  I note that there has been a revival of thought provoking literature in recent years as exemplified by Tom Doak's output, but I suggest that the most fertile time occurred in the Golden Age.  That does not denigrate today's work, nor do I suggest that all of the architecture of the Golden Age was truly "golden".  But I think in your attempt to make our view of that era more realistic, you tend to underrate its importance.
Shel,Sorry if I come off as underselling the pioneers.  I don't see it as that at all.  I'm not a wordsmith but let me take a brief stab at this one more time.  I'm trying to say more fluff is added than fact...not by these "pioneers" but by the dudes trying to record a history.  I believe in the 10,000 rule...not many were getting it then and definitely not now...the fundamentals and basics were simple and so much has been added to hype it all...JMO but definitely not a slam at the ODGs.   I'll find you this Summer when I come thru there...
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #74 on: December 26, 2022, 07:33:44 PM »
Shel,


Was that for me, Mike Young, or both?   ;) ;D
Shel,If you want a real treat  Cirba and I can hit town at the same time.... ;D ;D


Now you're talking, Mr. Young!
;D ;D ;D
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back