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MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #200 on: January 18, 2023, 04:16:30 PM »
It might be helpful to line up what is likely the Barker routing with the course as it exists today.   It appears, as I'll show later, that the idea/upkeep of the 18 hole course quickly went by the wayside and after orienting the routing with my understanding of the property after a few visits I have a few ideas why that might be.





"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 #201 on: January 18, 2023, 05:00:47 PM »
It appears that the 18 hole course (presumed to be Barker's) opened in 1912, was advertised as 18 holes in 1913, but by 1914 I'm no longer seeing anything but a vague "golf" on their ads.


By August 1915, as shown in this syndicated news article printed in the Wilmington (DE) News Journal, the course was back to 9 holes where it remained until Donald Ross arrived in 1922, making changes and additions that opened in 1924.   Whether it was Tillinghast (1915 would make more sense for it to be Tilly) who consolidated down to 9 holes is the probable source.


"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 #202 on: January 18, 2023, 06:07:54 PM »
Here's a summer 1914 ad noting 18 holes.  It would appear the contraction of the course to 9 holes took place between then and the 1915 season.

June 28, 1914 Washington Post -

"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 #203 on: January 18, 2023, 06:47:54 PM »
Here's a summer 1914 ad noting 18 holes.  It would appear the contraction of the course to 9 holes took place between then and the 1915 season.

June 28, 1914 Washington Post -




Thanks, Sven.   


Today's course runs through a valley where a wide stream runs through the length of it.   Once you get out of the flatland plains surrounding the waterway, things get steep pretty fast.   I suspect that may have contributed to the early abandonment.
"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 #204 on: January 18, 2023, 07:35:22 PM »
There was massive flooding in Pennsylvania in the summer of 1915, called the worst flood on record.  Perhaps it was the low lying holes that went out of service, and the higher ones remained in play.  Who knows.
"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 #205 on: January 19, 2023, 08:54:53 AM »
There was massive flooding in Pennsylvania in the summer of 1915, called the worst flood on record.  Perhaps it was the low lying holes that went out of service, and the higher ones remained in play.  Who knows.


Sven,


I'm basing my guess on the land that Donald Ross used when he expanded the course back to 18 holes in 1922, opening in 1924, as he abandoned the holes drawn on that map in the Northeast Corner (as the map is oriented).


Incidentally, this 1924 article I earlier posted to your "Reunderstanding Ross" thread mentions the par threes and if one is not careful it might be interpreted that the 14th (aka "Little Tilly") is a new Ross hole.  However, I'm understanding that Tillinghast wrote a promotional pamphlet published in 1917 called "Planning A Golf Course" that included drawings and descriptions of holes he created and/or reconstructed that includes a drawing of the "2nd Hole" at Bedford Springs that has been named "Little Tilly" over the years so I think we've filled in the pieces here.


The only other thing I'd mention that I find interesting to our dialogue here is that if that's Barker's 18-hole routing, which I think we both now believe, is that it was done on a topographical map as I suspected, although the topo lines on our copy from the club's website are virtually invisible.






« Last Edit: January 19, 2023, 09:24:49 AM by MCirba »
"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 #206 on: January 19, 2023, 09:15:18 AM »
Here is the aforementioned 1917 Tillinghast sketch of "Little Tilly" that Phil Young sent me some time ago.   I'm not sure I ever read the caption but it all now makes sense.


"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 #207 on: January 19, 2023, 09:45:02 AM »
Mike:


There's no evidence that Barker drew that map or used a topographical map to design the course.  Bedford Springs used a guy named Martin Roudabush to survey the site in connection with the construction of the course.  Roudabush was hired in 1910, after Barker was there to design the course.  The map may be entirely his creation.


Let's not jump to conclusions here, again.


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 #208 on: January 19, 2023, 09:55:33 AM »
Mike:


There's no evidence that Barker drew that map or used a topographical map to design the course.  Bedford Springs used a guy named Martin Roudabush to survey the site in connection with the construction of the course.  Roudabush was hired in 1910, after Barker was there to design the course.  The map may be entirely his creation.


Let's not jump to conclusions here, again.


Sven


Sven,


Fair enough.   I may be taking the word "PLAN" on the map too literally although from a practical standpoint it seems a topo would have been very useful to navigate the thickly wooded hillsides the routing ventured into.
"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 #209 on: January 19, 2023, 11:10:53 AM »
We know that Ross' eventual decision was to build the current course down on the valley floor. A lot of this area was repeatedly flooded leading to the need for Forse to fill/lift the entire valley floor in the rebuild (a few feet at least based on his telling when I played there with him). You could make a case that the routing up into the higher ground on the other side of the road was the right decision for a sustainable course on the available land.

Ian Andrew

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #210 on: January 19, 2023, 11:57:54 AM »
Rumson CC


-

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #211 on: January 19, 2023, 12:22:18 PM »
Thanks for those photos of Rumson, Ian.   Do you know what year they are from?
Both Rumson and Arcola are courses that have long intrigued me.   I'm hoping to get to both sometime this year.
"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 #212 on: January 20, 2023, 02:54:17 PM »
This might be a nice place to drop a photo of "Little Tilly" I took a few years ago during a visit to Bedford Springs.   


Now at least I know for certain that it's actually a Tillinghast hole!   ;D


"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 #213 on: January 27, 2023, 04:00:40 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."


In May of 1909 Walter Travis was in Maryland playing at Chevy Chase and the original Columbia golf course from 5/14 through 5/17, returning again to Chevy Chase on 6/13.   Given his close friendship with Dr. Harban, it seems unlikely that he was viewing the property of the new course for Columbia in October as the article above implies.

"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 #214 on: January 27, 2023, 04:09:56 PM »
Show me when Travis was in Cleveland and Youngstown and we can start to have that conversation.


Sven,


I've been looking at the Tournament schedule of Travis and the last time he played in Cleveland was at Euclid (the forerunner of Mayfield) in 1907.   However, in 1909 he traveled to Chicago (which would have passed in the proximity of both Youngstown and Cleveland (as well as Detroit & Skokie traveling west) where he played from 9/6 through 9/9.   


Other trips that same year had him at Columbia & Chevy Chase in May (5/14 - 5/17) & June 13 as mentioned, Philmont in July 7/18/ and 7/19 as mentioned, Atlantic City from 11/5 thru 11/7 and he basically wintered at Pinehurst what seems months at a time and would have certainly been accessible to Richmond, VA.   


In 1910 he was also in Chicago from 7/31 through 8/6.


In 1911 he was at East Lake in Atlanta 3/4 & 3/5 playing with George Adair and then spent 5/10 thru 5/13 at Chevy Chase.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2023, 04:14:08 PM by MCirba »
"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 #215 on: January 27, 2023, 04:17:49 PM »
It seems much more likely that Walter Travis rather than Jerome Travers was the person who brought Herbert Barker to Garden City because Travis was essentially in charge of the golf club, at that time.   10 days prior to reports of Barker coming to Garden City the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in July 1907 reported that Ben Sayres (sp), jr. had turned Travis down for the job.   That rejection had been previously reported in British papers in February of that year.


« Last Edit: January 27, 2023, 04:21:53 PM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Bret Lawrence

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #216 on: January 28, 2023, 10:08:52 AM »
Mike,


I am including an article from 1918 which highlights Dr. Harban and Columbia, but it mentions Barker laid out the Columbia course and much of what he laid out still stands, with improvements.


Evening Star., June 14, 1918



Here is a link to the full article.  Loc.gov has so many articles on Columbia, Travis and Harban.  Any change that was made to the course in the teens was recorded in the DC newspapers.


https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1918-06-14/ed-1/seq-9/


Bret




Bret Lawrence

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #217 on: January 28, 2023, 10:27:47 AM »
These pictures have been posted before, but I always enjoy looking at them. I think these pictures of Columbiaís 16th green gives us a clear picture of  the evolution of the Columbia course through the teens.


1911-1912 After Barker:




1918 During the Red Cross tournament. One day after the article I posted above. This is what the 16th looked like after Travis and Connellan worked together:



1921- This is what 16 looked like for the US Open after Travis and White worked together. The green lost its artificial features and became more refined as the years went on.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2023, 10:30:14 AM by Bret Lawrence »

Sven Nilsen

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #218 on: January 28, 2023, 11:19:11 AM »


In May of 1909 Walter Travis was in Maryland playing at Chevy Chase and the original Columbia golf course from 5/14 through 5/17, returning again to Chevy Chase on 6/13.   Given his close friendship with Dr. Harban, it seems unlikely that he was viewing the property of the new course for Columbia in October as the article above implies.

Your dates are slightly off, but that probably isn't really important.

What is important is that Columbia was in the process of deciding where to move in May and June of 1909, and the club didn't make a decision until the end of June.  A select committee, of which I can find no record of Harban being a member, recommended two sites to the club (the first meeting regarding site selection occurred on June 16th).  On June 30th the club elected to go with the new site in Chevy Chase.  By all accounts, Harban became more involved with the club and its new course after it was decided to build the new course, so no matter how close he and Travis were that friendship proves nothing absent evidence of his involvement with the actual initial design of the new CCC.

Is it possible that Travis saw the Chevy Chase site?  Yes, but that doesn't mean he had anything to do with its design, which didn't start until after the decision to procure the land.  And there is nothing I've read that would lead me to be convinced that he had seen the land prior to his visit as described in the Oct. 1909 article above.

I think we're getting bogged down in the minutiae of circumstantial evidence and the mind games of speculation.  Words such as "unlikely," "essentially" and "seems" being thrown around don't help.  It is what you do when you're stretching to support a preconception.  The thought that just because Travis was in Pinehurst he was "accessible" to Richmond carries no weight to me.  If Travis visited Richmond it would have been reported.  Just about everything the man did received press coverage at that time.

What we do know is pretty basic.

1.  Travis had written that the best practice for a club building a new course or updating an old one was to seek out the advice of a professional.

2.  Travis was encouraging Barker to pursue his career in architecture and was recommending him for work.

3.  Travis was highly focused on his playing career during the 1908 to 1911 time period (your 1909 playing dates miss a number of tournaments he participated in, both in the Met area and elsewhere including again in Atlantic City in April).

4.  Barker played a small amount of tournament golf, and was traveling extensively to visit club's where work was being proposed or was to take place.

I have no doubt that Travis was involved in some way in the work Barker was doing, whether it be on the recommendation side or actually offering advice on design concepts (aka supervising).  But he wasn't the guy on the ground, walking the sites, staking out the courses.  There is plenty of evidence that this was Barker, on his own. 

I keep going back to the idea of Travis hiding any design work.  It just doesn't make any sense.  There are instances from this time period of design suggestions he made being covered in the press, his Fall 1908 visit to Essex County being one example.  Why would he have to hide anything.  No club was going to pay him, and he certainly wasn't going to accept any money.  So if he did offer advice or was even more involved in any work, what was the harm in having that story told?
"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 #219 on: January 28, 2023, 11:25:18 AM »
However, in 1909 he traveled to Chicago (which would have passed in the proximity of both Youngstown and Cleveland (as well as Detroit & Skokie traveling west) where he played from 9/6 through 9/9.   


One of the primary train routes between New York and Chicago passed through Buffalo, the north side of Lake Erie and then Detroit.  Unless you know for sure how he got to Chicago, this means nothing with respect to Youngstown and Cleveland. 


As for Detroit and Skokie, he was there for the U.S. Amateur, the biggest playing event of the year for him.  Despite the fact that his was more than a year prior to the work by Barker at those courses being reported, I highly doubt his focus was on design work at that time.
"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 #220 on: January 30, 2023, 11:03:34 AM »
I've been off the grid for a month, but now back and working on a piece on Barker and Colt at Indian Hill, which I hope to post soon. Wondering if we know what kind of material Barker would leave with a club after working on a plan for its golf course. Are there any routings, drawings or notes that we can attribute to him? At Indian Hill, it seems like his work was translated into a drawing for the club by O.C. Simonds, a brilliant Chicago-based landscape architect. Just wanted to make sure. I think Barker worked out his ideas on the grounds like most architects of this day. Later, a surveyor or a landscape architect would put the golf architect's ideas on paper. Has anyone written a book or paper on the evolution of golf course design in terms of when and how the early architects started to put their ideas down on paper for the person in charge of the construction? In the beginning, there were all of the stick-like drawings showing the routing. When did golf architects start to make more complicated course and hole-by-hole drawings and how did it evolve? Is it another data point that helps identify the earliest days of the Golden Age?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 07:36:00 AM by John Challenger »

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #221 on: January 31, 2023, 07:58:43 AM »
John C.,


We know that the NGLA blueprint was on a topographical map showing detail and that CBM told Merion in 1910 that he couldn't tell if they had enough land for a course without having a topo.  Travis, who was with the NGLA design committee through the entire 4 year process would have understood the value of a topo.


Barker's sketch for the Merion developer Joseph Connell may have been on a topo but we don't know.  We do know the sketch was the result of a single day's visit.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Bret Lawrence

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #222 on: January 31, 2023, 09:11:22 AM »
Mike,


I should mention one of the reasons Macdonald hired an engineer (Raynor) for NGLA was because no one else knew how to read a topographic map and all of Macdonaldís plans from overseas were drawn on topo maps by surveyors.  If Travis knew how to read a topo map in 1906 they probably wouldnít have needed to hire Raynor?


I think all of these guys knew the value of a topographic map, but they didnít necessarily know how to read them, including Macdonald.


Bret

MCirba

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #223 on: January 31, 2023, 09:39:03 AM »
Mike,


I should mention one of the reasons Macdonald hired an engineer (Raynor) for NGLA was because no one else knew how to read a topographic map and all of Macdonaldís plans from overseas were drawn on topo maps by surveyors.  If Travis knew how to read a topo map in 1906 they probably wouldnít have needed to hire Raynor?


I think all of these guys knew the value of a topographic map, but they didnít necessarily know how to read them, including Macdonald.


Bret


Great point, Bret and I had no idea CBM didn't know how to read one...assumed none of these guys knew how to survey/create one so therefore hired Raynor who evidently also worked on the 3D plasticene hole models.


If CBM, Travis, Emmett, etc. didn't know how to read one by 1906 I'm betting they knew by 1908 or thereabouts, would you agree?  Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 09:44:16 AM by MCirba »
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Bret Lawrence

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Re: Walter Travis and his Impact on H.H. Barker and Donald Ross
« Reply #224 on: January 31, 2023, 09:58:20 AM »
Mike,


Yes, I agree itís possible they knew how to read one by 1908-1910, but guys like Travis and Macdonald usually had others build their courses, so they likely didnít need to. 


I just thought it was kind of funny that Macdonald asked for one, knowing that heís going to hand it over to Seth Raynor as soon as he gets it.


Bret

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