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Ran Morrissett

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Phil Carlucci's IMO on Tillinghast's Southward Ho New
« on: May 16, 2023, 02:27:58 PM »
So many ways to explore the subject of golf course architecture, from household name courses to lesser-known gems. Personally, I am a big fan of the lesser-known gem angle, as by definition, they receive less attention and therefore, I feel like you are more likely to read/learn something for the first time. Plus, I place a huge emphasis on courses that are a delight to play on a regular basis. Components that go into that vary from person to person; my take is represented in the 147 Custodians but the subject of striking the design balance from being too difficult to play regularly vs not being inspiring enough is particularly fascinating to me.

Enter Phil Carlucci and his In My Opinion piece on A.W. Tillinghast’s Southward Ho on Long Island. Tillinghast historian Phil Young and architect Joel Weiman came up with a 2016 master restoration plan that has now been fully carried out. Here is the link to the revitalization of Southward Ho:

Carlucci, Phil – The Restoration of Tillinghast’s Southward Ho Country Club – Golf Club Atlas

I haven’t played it but I have played Tillinghast’s Sands Point on the north shore and view it as a delight for regular consumption. Same seems to apply here. Read these words from Phil C: “Young’s goal was to restore Tillinghast’s design intent.  “The one shot that tells the story in golf is the shot to the green,” Young says, and at Southward Ho, Tillinghast created a course where the approach shots are the most fascinating.  Instead of building holes that demanded long carries or asked players to sidestep penal hazards off the tee, the designer provided most tee shots with ample amounts of landing space.  Players were free to explore and take comfort in all that short grass, though they quickly discovered Tillinghast set out to reward only the shots that reached particular lanes within the fairways.  Those shots were granted access to open entrances, helpful contouring and room for creativity.”

WELL, love to read that! A newly discovered 1938 aerial proved to be the blueprint for the work. The usual transpired, trees felled, corridors opened up, greens expanded, bunkers redone and viola, playing angles restored. In the end, the windswept plain that Tillinghast worked on was brought back to fruition. Phil C notes how the course once had mighty neighbors with Lido twenty miles to the west and Timber Point five miles to the east. This was Tillinghast’s effort on one of the most exposed properties he was ever given. Phil C summarizes what Tillinghast left behind as, “Tillinghast’s 1923 design was exposed to powerful Atlantic winds and emphasized the ground game with spacious fairways, broad entrances and runoffs around the greens.”

Sounds grand to me and congrats to everyone involved including Green Keeper Jim Stewart. Not many courses feature a Hell’s Half Acre bunker, a Little Tilly par-3 and a Reef, so Southward Ho for sure sounds like the kind of gem that Brother John and I always hoped that GolfClubAtlas could shine a spotlight on. And thanks to Phil C, we do so today!

« Last Edit: June 09, 2023, 12:41:24 PM by Ran Morrissett »

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Phil Carlucci's IMO on Tillinghast's Southward Ho
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2023, 07:12:52 PM »
Thanks for this wonderful review. I knew very little about the course and appreciate getting a chance to learn about it.
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Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Phil Carlucci's IMO on Tillinghast's Southward Ho
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2023, 03:20:43 AM »
I really appreciate the anecdote about #9, the modified one. I really appreciate a short par 3, especially one with a tailwind. We have one at my course, and the miss is typically short, which makes that creek a mighty foe. It's a shame they decided to lengthen it.
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mark chalfant

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Re: Phil Carlucci's IMO on Tillinghast's Southward Ho
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2023, 10:31:40 AM »

Thanks for highlighting yet another memorable design by AW. Tillinghast. Phil Carlucci's outstanding Golf on Long Island website is always worth reading too!

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Phil Carlucci's IMO on Tillinghast's Southward Ho
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2023, 02:36:13 PM »
Northward, Ho!

Does that one exist?
Coming in 2024
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~Soaring Eagles
~Indian Hills
~Maybe some more!!

Peter Gannon

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Re: Phil Carlucci's IMO on Tillinghast's Southward Ho
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2023, 08:24:38 PM »
Long time reader of Golf on Long Island.  Thanks Phil!

I played Southward Ho! in 2020 in a tournament.  I remember REALLY enjoying it, and a place I could play everyday.  So much interest on pretty flat terrain, small targets, and #8 was a challenge.  A good drive, and safety on the green was little comfort if you were on the wrong tier of the green.  Everything was sort of low key and cool, and a great course.  After the back to back par 5s, 10 and 11, I think there was a short par 4 coming back from the North side of the property, that hole fit my eye. 

Phil Young

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Re: Phil Carlucci's IMO on Tillinghast's Southward Ho
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2023, 01:54:17 AM »
Hi Peter,

I believe the short par 4 to which you refer is the 12th which measures 349 from the blue and 324 from the green (tees). The green is very well-bunkered and if the wind is coming from the south it plays a good deal longer.

Phil Carlucci wrote a very good piece with the exception that he gave far too much credit to me and nowhere near enough to Joel Weiman. His vision of how to apply Tilly's original design features, especially for the green complexes, were outstanding. 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2023, 04:42:05 AM by Phil Young »

Peter Gannon

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Re: Phil Carlucci's IMO on Tillinghast's Southward Ho
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2023, 08:30:57 PM »
I appreciate both you Phil & Phil.  Really enjoyed your Tillinghast book.  I've made my life in music, and to me, Tillinghast is Beethoven, in works and temperament.   If Winged Foot West or Bethpage Black is Tillie's Fifth Symphony, Southward Ho! was more his Minuet in G Major. 

Great work to both of you!


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