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Jerry Rossi

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Blue Mound - Leven hole
« on: May 06, 2023, 10:24:50 AM »
The Leven at Blue Mound....our 16th...originally the 7th. 


1924 Raynor drawing:

2020 picture:
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 04:26:43 PM by Jerry Rossi »
Instagram: @putt4dough24

John_Cullum

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2023, 10:43:05 AM »
Brilliant! A sterling example of Raynor's genius.
Raynor was a hack

Marty Bonnar

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2023, 11:36:14 AM »
From the photo, there doesn't really seem to be much 'Leven' left in the hole?
Cheers,
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2023, 12:16:03 PM »
From the photo, there doesn't really seem to be much 'Leven' left in the hole?
Cheers,
F.




Is it "unlevened"?
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

J_ Crisham

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2023, 02:09:40 PM »
From the photo, there doesn't really seem to be much 'Leven' left in the hole?
Cheers,
F.
Please explain what isn't left.

Dan_Callahan

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2023, 02:46:21 PM »
ďLeven is a short par 4, usually 330 to 360 yards. Fairway bunker or waste area challenges golfer to make a heroic carry for an open approach to the green. Less courageous line from the tee leaves golfer with a semi-blind approach over a high bunker or sand hill to the short side of the green. Usually a moderately undulating surface with least accessible cup placement behind sand hill.Ē

Where is the heroic carry on this hole? Is it that little fairway bunker? And the less "courageous line" looks like it would be down the left, and that leaves the easier, more open approach to the green?

J_ Crisham

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2023, 05:58:48 PM »
ďLeven is a short par 4, usually 330 to 360 yards. Fairway bunker or waste area challenges golfer to make a heroic carry for an open approach to the green. Less courageous line from the tee leaves golfer with a semi-blind approach over a high bunker or sand hill to the short side of the green. Usually a moderately undulating surface with least accessible cup placement behind sand hill.Ē

Where is the heroic carry on this hole? Is it that little fairway bunker? And the less "courageous line" looks like it would be down the left, and that leaves the easier, more open approach to the green?
Dan,      Curious as to how many times if any that you have played 16 at Blue Mound? The little bunker on the right is about 25 yards long and pinches an already very tight landing area. The rough on the left side of the landing area is generally pretty gnarly. The right greenside mound right is about  8 ft high. Jerry's stunning picture may not reveal this. If the pin is behind the mound the approach is quite difficult. Collectively the greens at Blue Mound are as sophisticated as you will see anywhere. This is not an easy hole despite the short length.

Joe Zucker

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2023, 08:06:51 PM »
At the risk of asking a dumb question, is the bunker on the wrong side of the hole?  Wouldn't it make more sense to have it guard the left side of the fairway since that is the preferable angle to avoid the mound J_Crisham notes?

Marty Bonnar

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2023, 08:54:18 AM »
Here's the flyover of the original:


https://youtu.be/ERH9XB8IG5A


This version seems to be completely devoid of the diagonal carry from the tee. Would be nice to see how much the bunker face replicates the large mound of the original.
F.
PS also shouldn't this one be a 'Nevel', like a reversed Redan/Nader?  ;D
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2023, 09:00:18 AM »
Judging by the original plan, there was supposed to have been a diagonal carry. Can anyone tell us whether it was built?
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

Bret Lawrence

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2023, 09:49:02 AM »
Charlie,


The left fairway bunker did exist in the 1937 aerial of the golf course.  The bunkering behind the green was also built, which no longer exists. 


Bret


I think the strategy of the hole is dictated by the green with the mound and bunker in front.  Whether there is a carry bunker or not, the green determines that the best angle of attack is from the left.  Two holes earlier there is a Garden City hole with a mirror image of this strategy.  The Garden City green and left fronting bunker determines the best angle of attack is from the right. If you come in from the left, the green slopes away from you and itís very difficult to hold the green from that angle.  If you come in from the right, the slope on the left of the Garden City green can actually help you. The best strategic features can be reversed and the hole still holds your interest.  Raynor wasnít trying to duplicate the Leven hole at Blue Mound, he was just trying to create strategy and interest with the holes most important features.  When we compare a 2023 hole to another 2023 hole, it may not be accurate. Some of these original holes may have been changed in the last 117 years too?  Raynor created variety in his courses with these famous and infamous features.  The strategy of the Garden City Hole and Leven hole (only two holes apart from each other in the routing) are virtually the same concept or strategy, but the greens, bunkers and mounds gives the golfer a different look and a variety of hazards to overcome or avoid.  By reversing one of theses concepts, you have created two completely different holes.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2023, 08:51:05 AM by Bret Lawrence »

Dan_Callahan

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2023, 10:26:20 AM »
Dan,      Curious as to how many times if any that you have played 16 at Blue Mound? The little bunker on the right is about 25 yards long and pinches an already very tight landing area. The rough on the left side of the landing area is generally pretty gnarly. The right greenside mound right is about  8 ft high. Jerry's stunning picture may not reveal this. If the pin is behind the mound the approach is quite difficult. Collectively the greens at Blue Mound are as sophisticated as you will see anywhere. This is not an easy hole despite the short length.


I haven't played it. That's why I was asking those questions. From the picture, it doesn't seem to have the elements Macdonald included in his description of the Leven. But perhaps on the ground it looks different?

Jason Thurman

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2023, 10:48:51 AM »
The current hole looks nothing like a Leven template. That doesn't mean it's a bad hole, devoid of strategy, or would be better if it had the features of a Leven. But if someone thinks this hole actually matches the Leven template, I'd like to hear more about how. I see it in the original drawing, but not in what's photographed on the ground today.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Josh Bills

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2023, 12:21:20 PM »
Here is the 1937 aerial for comparison.  Appears taking on the bunker on the left would give a better approach. 



Bret Lawrence

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2023, 09:22:08 AM »
The current hole looks nothing like a Leven template. That doesn't mean it's a bad hole, devoid of strategy, or would be better if it had the features of a Leven. But if someone thinks this hole actually matches the Leven template, I'd like to hear more about how. I see it in the original drawing, but not in what's photographed on the ground today.


Jason,


I think if we are going to use the word ďtemplateĒ then the 16th hole at Blue Mound fits the template.  It has all the features of a Leven hole, but the club removed one of the features on the tee shot.  By definition, you can add or remove features to a template, you can exchange sand for water or high grass or a road.  A template is not set in stone, itís meant to have flexibility based on the site you are working on.  The 5th hole at Chicago is a mirror image of this hole, but the carry bunker still remains. Does this make the Leven hole at Chicago a better example or just a different example? 


Iím not sure why the club removed the hazard on the left, but if it was still there today, a 160-yard carry isnít exactly heroic for a good player.  The left hazard likely would have acted more as a guide to the better player and a very penal hazard for the high handicapper.  The bunker didnít exactly stretch across the fairway to give you four options off of the tee, like the original.  After removing the fairway bunker, the hole is still dictated by the Mound fronting the green, which to me exemplifies the Leven hole.  The Mound is the most important feature of the hole and itís the feature that differentiates the hole from others on the course. 


There is a course close to me that has a river running on a diagonal across the fairway and much like the original Leven it gives you four options off of the tee based on your playing ability.  However, the green is flat and virtually unprotected in the front.  By not protecting the green, there is no preferred side to come in from, so the strategy of the tee shot is somewhat lost. 


Combining these two features makes the hole strategic.  Perhaps the hole at Blue Mound is less strategic than the original, but it still borrows features from the original that dictates the play of the hole and hold the playerís interest.  The hole becomes strategic when you get in the wrong position off of the tee.  That is when you have to decide whether you are going to take on a bad angle or play it to the left of the mound and take your medicine.  It seems to fit in perfectly with the other holes at Blue Mound which does a terrific job at keeping the golfer engaged from start to finish.

J_ Crisham

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2023, 12:26:05 PM »
The current hole looks nothing like a Leven template. That doesn't mean it's a bad hole, devoid of strategy, or would be better if it had the features of a Leven. But if someone thinks this hole actually matches the Leven template, I'd like to hear more about how. I see it in the original drawing, but not in what's photographed on the ground today.


Jason,


I think if we are going to use the word ďtemplateĒ then the 16th hole at Blue Mound fits the template.  It has all the features of a Leven hole, but the club removed one of the features on the tee shot.  By definition, you can add or remove features to a template, you can exchange sand for water or high grass or a road.  A template is not set in stone, itís meant to have flexibility based on the site you are working on.  The 5th hole at Chicago is a mirror image of this hole, but the carry bunker still remains. Does this make the Leven hole at Chicago a better example or just a different example? 


Iím not sure why the club removed the hazard on the left, but if it was still there today, a 160-yard carry isnít exactly heroic for a good player.  The left hazard likely would have acted more as a guide to the better player and a very penal hazard for the high handicapper.  The bunker didnít exactly stretch across the fairway to give you four options off of the tee, like the original.  After removing the fairway bunker, the hole is still dictated by the Mound fronting the green, which to me exemplifies the Leven hole.  The Mound is the most important feature of the hole and itís the feature that differentiates the hole from others on the course. 


There is a course close to me that has a river running on a diagonal across the fairway and much like the original Leven it gives you four options off of the tee based on your playing ability.  However, the green is flat and virtually unprotected in the front.  By not protecting the green, there is no preferred side to come in from, so the strategy of the tee shot is somewhat lost. 


Combining these two features makes the hole strategic.  Perhaps the hole at Blue Mound is less strategic than the original, but it still borrows features from the original that dictates the play of the hole and hold the playerís interest.  The hole becomes strategic when you get in the wrong position off of the tee.  That is when you have to decide whether you are going to take on a bad angle or play it to the left of the mound and take your medicine.  It seems to fit in perfectly with the other holes at Blue Mound which does a terrific job at keeping the golfer engaged from start to finish.
Bret,
    Thanks for explaining the Leven template hole at BM in detail. As you probably know we flipped the nines many years ago yet the flow of the course and positioning of the Leven hole remains excellent.  In fact I prefer teeing off on the current #1 versus 10 which is a brute of a par 4 with a very challenging green. As BM has evolved from an over treed soft property to its firm / fast course you have to believe Seth Raynor is smiling somewhere as he sees his design enjoyed 97 years after it was built.  Hats off to the Grounds Supt Alex on a job very well done.

Jaeger Kovich

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2023, 06:06:30 PM »
Charlie,


The left fairway bunker did exist in the 1937 aerial of the golf course.  The bunkering behind the green was also built, which no longer exists. 


Bret


I think the strategy of the hole is dictated by the green with the mound and bunker in front.  Whether there is a carry bunker or not, the green determines that the best angle of attack is from the left.  Two holes earlier there is a Garden City hole with a mirror image of this strategy.  The Garden City green and left fronting bunker determines the best angle of attack is from the right. If you come in from the left, the green slopes away from you and itís very difficult to hold the green from that angle.  If you come in from the right, the slope on the left of the Garden City green can actually help you. The best strategic features can be reversed and the hole still holds your interest.  Raynor wasnít trying to duplicate the Leven hole at Blue Mound, he was just trying to create strategy and interest with the holes most important features.  When we compare a 2023 hole to another 2023 hole, it may not be accurate. Some of these original holes may have been changed in the last 117 years too?  Raynor created variety in his courses with these famous and infamous features.  The strategy of the Garden City Hole and Leven hole (only two holes apart from each other in the routing) are virtually the same concept or strategy, but the greens, bunkers and mounds gives the golfer a different look and a variety of hazards to overcome or avoid.  By reversing one of theses concepts, you have created two completely different holes.


Are you talking about the 5th at garden city (pre 1920s version) which seems like it became a semi regular mac/Raynor template?

Bret Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2023, 11:09:37 PM »
Charlie,


The left fairway bunker did exist in the 1937 aerial of the golf course.  The bunkering behind the green was also built, which no longer exists. 


Bret


I think the strategy of the hole is dictated by the green with the mound and bunker in front.  Whether there is a carry bunker or not, the green determines that the best angle of attack is from the left.  Two holes earlier there is a Garden City hole with a mirror image of this strategy.  The Garden City green and left fronting bunker determines the best angle of attack is from the right. If you come in from the left, the green slopes away from you and itís very difficult to hold the green from that angle.  If you come in from the right, the slope on the left of the Garden City green can actually help you. The best strategic features can be reversed and the hole still holds your interest.  Raynor wasnít trying to duplicate the Leven hole at Blue Mound, he was just trying to create strategy and interest with the holes most important features.  When we compare a 2023 hole to another 2023 hole, it may not be accurate. Some of these original holes may have been changed in the last 117 years too?  Raynor created variety in his courses with these famous and infamous features.  The strategy of the Garden City Hole and Leven hole (only two holes apart from each other in the routing) are virtually the same concept or strategy, but the greens, bunkers and mounds gives the golfer a different look and a variety of hazards to overcome or avoid.  By reversing one of theses concepts, you have created two completely different holes.


Are you talking about the 5th at garden city (pre 1920s version) which seems like it became a semi regular mac/Raynor template?


Jaeger,


Yes, the 14th hole at Blue Mound is called Garden City.  It is pure speculation on my part that the hole was designed after the 5th at Garden City. The 1924 Blue Mound Bulletin noted the hole was designed after the 12th at Garden City, but the 12th was a par 3 and it seems inconceivable that 14 at Blue Mound was based on that hole. 


Macdonald and Raynor built several holes after the 5th at Garden City, one of the most famous was the 1st hole at Ocean Links.  If you look at the diagram from 1913 below and the first hole at Ocean Links they have striking similarities.  The 14th hole at Blue Mound shares several of the holes most interesting features that dictate the play of the hole, much like the Leven hole.


1913 Garden City-5th (From an old Garden City thread)

Aerial photo of No. 1 at Ocean Links (flipped and zoomed in from a previously posted aerial)



Oblique Aerial of No. 1 and No. 9 at Ocean Links. (No. 1 green all the way to the right) This shows the slope of the green and the left front bunker extending into the fairway similar to No. 14 at Blue Mound.

V_Halyard

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Re: Blue Mound - Leven hole
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2023, 02:20:27 PM »
The Leven at Blue Mound....our 16th...originally the 7th. 


1924 Raynor drawing:

2020 picture:


How go the convos about swapping back?

"It's a tiny little ball that doesn't even move... how hard could it be?"  I will walk and carry 'til I can't... or look (really) stupid.

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