News:

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


Mike Bodo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Bridge Architects
« on: March 04, 2023, 11:07:18 PM »
I'd be curious to know from our esteemed and knowelgeable contributors thoughts and opinions on what I'm going to label as "bridge architects." These are famous course designers that overlapped and transcended eras who passed the torch to the next era or generation of architects that proceeded them.


For example, there were notable pre-1900 architects that designed/built great courses in the early stages of the golden age that had a huge influence on the trailblazers that followed them. Same, too, architects that burst on the scene during the latter years of the Golden Age that were either mentors or played an instrumental role on the design ethos of those that followed in their footsteps. Then you have influential architects from the 80's and 90's whose work inspired many of today's contemporary architects.


To that end, I've compiled a list of architects that fit the bill I'm describing.


1. Devereux Emmet (pre-1900 to earlly Golden Age)
2. Perry Maxwell (late Golden Age to early length and difficulty age)
3. Pete Dye (late length and difficulty age to modern age)


These may not be the best examples, but they're examples nevertheless. Hopefully, you get my drift.  ;)


To that end, who would you describe as being the most influential/impactful "bridge architects" and why and note this is not limited to U.S. architects only. Also, if you wish to go back even further, by all means do so.
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

Charlie Goerges

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2023, 01:26:24 AM »
Maybe Stanley Thompson would fit. Certainly golden age (and extremely accomplished), but also Robert Trent Jones worked for him. You could say he was a bridge to the most prolific designer in the postwar years. Not an area I know much about, but it popped into my head.
Severally on the occasion of everything that thou doest, pause and ask thyself, if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives thee of this. - Marcus Aurelius

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2023, 05:07:40 AM »
The firm which immediately came to mind is Hawtree. I mean, they have been going for something for over 100 years.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2023, 07:07:06 AM »
I've always felt that Willie Park was a transitional architect, as he bridged the gap between the Victorian era and the Golden Age. Sunningdale and Huntercombe prove that he understood design in a way that would not have been possible even five years earlier, but the look and feel of both courses (Sunningdale hidden under Colt's changes) shows that he hadn't made the transition to the natural style that would dominate from then on. Burhill Old, which dates from 1907, is an interesting case study in this regard too.
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.

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2023, 10:09:49 AM »
Adam -


Agreed about Park. His chapter on gca in The Game of Golf (1896) is almost pure Victorian orthodoxy. Huntercombe breaks from that orthodoxy in limited ways. It has more 'diagonal' features (as opposed to 'carry' features) than you would see on a typical Victorian course, but it is not 'strategic' in the sense we usually attribute to courses designed by Colt and others.


As for Sunningdale, what do we know about the Park iteration? Other than before and after photos of the 10th hole (Park's version is clearly more Victorian), I have seen little about it. I have always thought it odd that the original architect's work on a course that opened to such fanfare has been lost to history. Or am I not looking in the right places?


Bob


 

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2023, 10:28:44 AM »
I've always felt that Willie Park was a transitional architect, as he bridged the gap between the Victorian era and the Golden Age. Sunningdale and Huntercombe prove that he understood design in a way that would not have been possible even five years earlier, but the look and feel of both courses (Sunningdale hidden under Colt's changes) shows that he hadn't made the transition to the natural style that would dominate from then on. Burhill Old, which dates from 1907, is an interesting case study in this regard too.


I think of Fowler as a guy who had a foot each in Victorian and Classical architecture. Not necessarily transitional in the way Park Jr was, but more forging his own way and not reluctant to use Victorian features.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2023, 10:51:57 AM »
Adam -


Agreed about Park. His chapter on gca in The Game of Golf (1896) is almost pure Victorian orthodoxy. Huntercombe breaks from that orthodoxy in limited ways. It has more 'diagonal' features (as opposed to 'carry' features) than you would see on a typical Victorian course, but it is not 'strategic' in the sense we usually attribute to courses designed by Colt and others.


As for Sunningdale, what do we know about the Park iteration? Other than before and after photos of the 10th hole (Park's version is clearly more Victorian), I have seen little about it. I have always thought it odd that the original architect's work on a course that opened to such fanfare has been lost to history. Or am I not looking in the right places?


Bob


There were a number of steeplechase type features. for example on the first, which Colt opened up (there is still evidence of it across the fairway perhaps a hundred yards short of the green). The par threes were not strong, something Darwin remarked on in 'The Golf Courses of the British Isles' -- in particular the thirteenth was a completely blind one shotter played over the top of King's Hill. The seventh was a double blind two shotter with the green well left of and below the current, Colt green. Lots of writers said that the seventeenth was not a good hole: Colt built a new green in wild country in 1908, creating a hole that Arthur Croome said was "nearly all that so crucial a hole should be." The eleventh and twelfth are basically Colt holes too.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2023, 10:53:53 AM by Adam Lawrence »
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.

Brian Ross

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2023, 12:37:36 PM »
Think you have to include William Langford on this list. He designed courses well into the 1950s and while some of his later work was a bit less inspiring than his 1910s-20s work with Theodore Moreau, he was still quite active for the first 10 years of the post-war era and twice served as ASGCA President, no doubt impacting many of the architects that came after him.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2023, 01:50:25 PM »
Mike:


I don't know that many of your examples actually connected one generation to the next.


Pete Dye activelyTRANSFORMED the business into a new generation . . . arguably Willie Park had the same influence.  I don't think your other examples had nearly the effect on what came after them.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2023, 02:53:20 PM »
Surely RTJ also bridged and transformed the business. Willie Park, RTJ, Pete Dye seem the most obvious.

Jeff_Mingay

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2023, 03:54:39 PM »
Mike:


I don't know that many of your examples actually connected one generation to the next.


Pete Dye activelyTRANSFORMED the business into a new generation . . . arguably Willie Park had the same influence.  I don't think your other examples had nearly the effect on what came after them.


As Charlie suggests, Thompson might've. Especially through the RTJ connection. He also mentored Cornish, Robbie Robinson, Howard Watson and a couple others who were busy for decades following WW2.
jeffmingay.com

Wayne_Kozun

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2023, 06:35:23 PM »
Mike:


I don't know that many of your examples actually connected one generation to the next.


Pete Dye activelyTRANSFORMED the business into a new generation . . . arguably Willie Park had the same influence.  I don't think your other examples had nearly the effect on what came after them.


As Charlie suggests, Thompson might've. Especially through the RTJ connection. He also mentored Cornish, Robbie Robinson, Howard Watson and a couple others who were busy for decades following WW2.
I would add George Cumming as a Canadian architect who did many early Canadian courses in the pre-Golden Age era prior to 1920 or so.  He was the pro at Toronto Golf Club from 1900-1950 and did work at Mississauga, Scarboro and a few others.

BCrosby

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2023, 08:20:12 PM »
There were a number of steeplechase type features. for example on the first, which Colt opened up (there is still evidence of it across the fairway perhaps a hundred yards short of the green). The par threes were not strong, something Darwin remarked on in 'The Golf Courses of the British Isles' -- in particular the thirteenth was a completely blind one shotter played over the top of King's Hill. The seventh was a double blind two shotter with the green well left of and below the current, Colt green. Lots of writers said that the seventeenth was not a good hole: Colt built a new green in wild country in 1908, creating a hole that Arthur Croome said was "nearly all that so crucial a hole should be." The eleventh and twelfth are basically Colt holes too.


Colt made more changes to the Park version of Sunningdale than I would have thought, particularly in light of Colt's own insistence that his role should be downplayed.


Bob 

John Challenger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2023, 07:56:20 AM »
From 1901 to 1908, Sunningdale was Colt's laboratory. From 1906 to 1911, Garden City was Walter Travis' lab. MacKenzie spent six months poring over every inch of St. Andrews. Probably Alwoodley too. C.B. made three trips to the UK in 1902, 1904, and 1906 scrutinizing and surveying the topography and strategy of the ideal holes. They tinkered and experimented with new designs, looked at the data from golfer play, and thought carefully through what worked and why. 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2023, 07:33:48 AM by John Challenger »

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2023, 09:51:44 AM »
John


That's a good point. A lot of these guys did have courses that were their testing or proving ground. Tom Simpson's was probably Cruden Bay. In fact I'd put it stronger than that and say it definitely was. WH Fowlers was presumably Walton Heath ? The question is though, how did their design ideas change over the period ?


Niall

Mike Bodo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2023, 10:16:38 AM »
Pete Dye activelyTRANSFORMED the business into a new generation . . . arguably Willie Park had the same influence.  I don't think your other examples had nearly the effect on what came after them.
Thanks for chiming in! I agree Pete Dye was "transformational" to golf architecture and a pioneer in many ways. However, I'd argue his earliest works were little more progressive takes on what RTJ had done prior to him. Radrick Farms is perfect example of this. It wasn't until the 70's and 80's and early 90's where you saw his most profilic and state of the art designs take shape. These, in turn, influenced architects such as yourself, Bill Coore, Bobby Weed, Rod Whitman, Jim Urbina, etc. Thus he and arguably Tom Fazio served as a conduit to your generation. You and others may disagree, which is well and good and why it's fun debating the subject.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2023, 10:45:38 AM by Mike Bodo »
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

Mike Bodo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2023, 10:20:55 AM »
I've always felt that Willie Park was a transitional architect, as he bridged the gap between the Victorian era and the Golden Age. Sunningdale and Huntercombe prove that he understood design in a way that would not have been possible even five years earlier, but the look and feel of both courses (Sunningdale hidden under Colt's changes) shows that he hadn't made the transition to the natural style that would dominate from then on. Burhill Old, which dates from 1907, is an interesting case study in this regard too.
WPJ is a great example given the work done in the U.K. during the latter part of the Victorian age, combined with the courses built in the U.S. and elswhere during the Golden Age.
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2023, 10:40:41 AM »
Pete Dye activelyTRANSFORMED the business into a new generation . . . arguably Willie Park had the same influence.  I don't think your other examples had nearly the effect on what came after them.
Thanks for chiming in! I agree Pete Dye was "transformational" to golf architecture and a pioneer in many ways. However, I'd argue his earliest works were little more progressive takes on what RTJ had done prior to him. Radrick Farms is perfect example of this. It wasn't until the 70's and 80's and early 90's where you saw his most profilic and state of the art designs take shape. These, in turn, influenced architects such as yourself, Bill Coore, Bobby Weed, Rod Whitman, Jim Urbina, etc. Thus he and arguably Tom Fazio served as a conduit to your generation. You and others may disagree, which well and good and why it's fun to debat the subject.


Pete himself told me that Roderick Farms was something of a mirror of RTJ's work.  But it was certainly Crooked Stick and The Golf Club where he broke away from that, in the mid-60s.  The only thing was, those were private clubs, so not too many people noticed his work on them.  It was Harbour Town, in 1969, that was the game-changer as far as the public and the magazines were concerned.

Mike Bodo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2023, 10:42:47 AM »
Surely RTJ also bridged and transformed the business. Willie Park, RTJ, Pete Dye seem the most obvious.
RTJ's a good one, Allly. I almost put him in place of Perry Maxwell. That said, there can be more than one correct answer or multiple answers for each period. For example, where does Tom Simpson fit in the equation? He designed courses in two eras as well.
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

Mike Bodo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2023, 10:44:19 AM »
It was Harbour Town, in 1969, that was the game-changer as far as the public and the magazines were concerned.
Agree 110%! Harbor Town was P.D.'s launching pad to even greater heights.
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

Phil Burr

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2023, 12:35:42 PM »
My uncle was a bridge architect.  Anyone who has seen the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan or the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge in Lisbon would recognize his work.

mike_beene

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2023, 11:16:06 PM »
The title confused me. I thought back to McCulloughs (sp) excellent historical work on the Brooklyn Bridge and the designers of that era. One prolific designer lost every bridge( Cincinnati, Niagara Falls).Is there a well known bridge designer? Not to threadjack so if there is something to this please start new thread and I will shut up.

Phil Burr

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2023, 09:02:47 AM »
My reference to my uncle as a bridge architect was meant to be a bit cheeky, not to divert this thread.  But since you asked, David McCollough's book "The Great Bridge" documents the work of John Roebling and his son, Washington Roebling, to build the Brooklyn Bridge.  The project was started by John, who died from gangrene after his foot was crushed in an unloading accident on a pier and for which he refused treatment.  His son took over the project, even though he was largely incapacitated by the bends through repeated immersion underwater when the effects of pressurization/depressurization were not understood.  The Roebling prize is civil engineering's equivalent to the Oscars; I am proud that my uncle was a recipient.


In an attempt to tie this back to GCA, I'll ask about great bridges in golf.  Bel Air's suspension bridge between the 10th tee & green, which also serves as a backdrop to the 18th green, is iconic.  My home club, Davenport CC, has a similar bridge linking 10th tee & green, also serving as the background to the 18th hole.  Are there other bridges on golf courses worthy of mention?  The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe obviously comes to mind; Pasatiempo has some pretty good ones; TOC obviously has one on the 18th hole.

Chris Clouser

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2023, 09:14:42 AM »
I wouldn't put Maxwell into this category.  His principles remained in line with the golden age where he started, but he lasted just a little longer than his contemporaries and had a short stint after WWII.  If he had lived another ten years perhaps, but those courses he completed in the late 1940s/early 1950s were very similar in style with what he did earlier in his career. 


Now, if you wanted to include his son Press into this category I could completely see that. 

JNagle

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bridge Architects
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2023, 09:55:31 AM »
I've often thought the architects coming from William Flynn's stable as bridge architects, specifically William Gordon and Dick Wilson.  These two along with RTJ Sr. seemed to fill the gap post WWII as many of the "Golden Age" were no longer alive or practicing.  Course like Peachtree, Saucon Valley Grace Course, and Pine Tree seemed to place an emphasis on length and an aerial attack into the green.  The design intent was steeped in strategic elements from the Golden Age, but more modern influences seemed to permeate the designs.  Gordon was not a prevalent on a national scale like RTJ or Wilson but the Grace course is a great study in the transitional period until Pete Dye came onto the scene at a time when Wilson passed away and RTJ became more commercial.
It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; .....  "The Critic"

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back