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archie_struthers

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The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« on: May 17, 2023, 07:54:13 AM »
 ;D


I've thoroughly enjoyed the last couple weeks looking at the old photo's Charlie Georges  has posted on Pine Valley. Given my love for the architecture and history there it's interesting that my knowledge of this old fairway was limited til then. Thanks Charlie. Since then some local golf cognoscenti have sent me some great old drawings and talked about the old fairway, which looks fantastic.


Unfortunately my great mentors and yes friends Mr Ransome, Ott , Holman, Steiniger et al have passed and I can't get any info from them. Quite sure they would have opined but not even sure any of them had ever played it though all would have been well into their nineties. I was quite young when they had such an impact on the club. Surely Warner Shelly would have known it intimately but no luck yet channeling him here in deep South Jersey. Would even try a late night seance in the Pine Barrens if I wasn't scared of the Jersey Devil!


So, I ask you guys to look at the pictures posted on site and maybe Charlie can slip the specific ones into this particular thread for all to review. I ask you , would you bring it back?

MCirba

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2023, 08:32:01 AM »
George Crump apparently wanted it so yes, as well as the pimple in the middle of the 18th green.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Charlie Goerges

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2023, 08:49:58 AM »

Here are the four best views I found, cropped down to just the 17th and its surrounds.

Pine Valley 17 1938 b by goerges_family, on Flickr




Pine Valley 17 1938 a by goerges_family, on Flickr




Pine Valley 17 1931 by goerges_family, on Flickr




Pine Valley 17 1935 by goerges_family, on Flickr
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

Jim Sherma

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2023, 11:03:45 AM »
It seems clear that it was not mown to fairway height at any point in this latest set of photos. As the trees overtook the area the club certainly did not see the need to prevent it from happening. Is there any evidence that it was ever maintained as fairway?


Also, was that railroad siding ever used by members to get to and from the club?

Charlie Goerges

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2023, 11:28:48 AM »
It doesn't need to have been maintained as fairway to be a playable option. The whole area is trees now and wasn't when it was built.


On an old thread I believe it was quoted from Tom Paul that part of the problem was area wasn't irrigated, so couldn't be maintained as fairway anymore. If irrigation was the first domino to fall, then I think it's worth bringing back.


The land is all there still, it would seem to mostly just require clearing. Except perhaps for the little building highlighted below (close up of the building is inset in the upper right. I'm curious if it would be a problem as it may either be exposed by tree clearing or perhaps be in danger of being hit by wayward shots to a restored right-hand fairway.


Pine Valley 17 current by goerges_family, on Flickr



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

Matt_Cohn

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2023, 11:56:06 AM »
Was there a benefit to playing to that fairway, or would there be if they brought it back?

Mark Fedeli

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2023, 01:58:46 PM »
Hereís Tom Paul's explanation from the 2004 thread: https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,16096.msg278364.html#msg278364


I've put it on here a few times but here's the story on the old #17 right fairway. The point of the play up there was to get a look at the bottom of the flag on the front of the green. The idea was if you drove it up there you'd probably be playing second and if your opponent was close to a front pin you could see just how close his ball was! Of course back then the front of the green was probably 2-3 feet lower than it is now so visibility on the front of the green was possible then but now it really wouldn't be.

Mayor Ott went down and bought the Dallin aerials of PVGC (the Hagley has 21 PVGC aerials) and we started really analyzing it. We went out there and looked at it. There appears to have been a few little narrow river bunkers way over on the right side next to the steep bank down to the RR tracks and the old right fairway appears to have been a little over 30 yards wide.

The next question became what happened to it. Looking over the progression of aerials over the years it appeared the fairway went out of existence very slowly so we tried to figure out how to get to the bottom of that story. This was maybe three years ago or so and John told me that unbelievably Eb Steineger, the super who arrived at PVGC about 1925 and was the super for about 55 years (all through the John Arthur Brown years) was still alive and well and so John went down and asked Eb about that old fairway and unbelievably Eb said;

"We had to let that old right fairway go slowly because the hose didn't reach it very well!"

Unbelievable but true!

I'd love to see them restore it but to do so they'd have to start near the tee and take a ton of trees out all the way along the right side of the entire hole. They could leave enough up by the new back tee on #18 so that wouldn't be a problem, I think. But the thing about that old fairway's effective function and strategy is you couldn't see the base of the flag on the front of the green today like in the old days unless the front was lowered again and I doubt they want to do that.

The other problem with restoring the alternate is if you look carefully at the old aerial you'll see the right fairway ran out at the same length as the left fairway. With today's length there's no problem at all carrying the big right bunker that made the old right fairway an heroic drive in the old days and in my opinion if they restored it and really wanted to encourage players to use it more they should take fairway on the right about 25 or 30 yards beyond the end of the left fairway, and again I doubt they'd do that but who knows---it would be neat to restore it and it sure would take some divot pressure off of the left fairway (since it's so concave and bowl-shaped) which has been a problem for years.
South Jersey to Brooklyn. @marrrkfedeli

Charlie Goerges

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2023, 02:16:12 PM »
Thanks Mark!
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

Kalen Braley

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2023, 03:47:51 PM »
I fired up Google Earth and took a few measurements

Its 75 yards from the edge of the fairway to the tracks.  So it seems they could add another 30 yards of fairway to the right of that and still be plenty far away enough from the train line.

P.S. And I'm betting now they have both the means and the know how to get it irrigated properly. ;D

MCirba

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2023, 04:18:41 PM »
I fired up Google Earth and took a few measurements

Its 75 yards from the edge of the fairway to the tracks.  So it seems they could add another 30 yards of fairway to the right of that and still be plenty far away enough from the train line.

P.S. And I'm betting now they have both the means and the know how to get it irrigated properly. ;D


Kyle,


It's been a few years since I walked that spot but if memory serves, starting at the left edge required quite a bit of an uphill walk to reach top/center of fairway before falling steeply on the ride to the tracks.   Gonna go check out a topo.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

MCirba

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2023, 04:26:46 PM »
Looking at it now on historicaerials.com


Appears some grading of that right side fairway took place during construction but it's still a climb from left edge to center and then steep fall to tracks and boundary.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Charlie Goerges

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2023, 04:42:52 PM »
Looking at it now on historicaerials.com


Appears some grading of that right side fairway took place during construction but it's still a climb from left edge to center and then steep fall to tracks and boundary.




Maybe that makes it an appropriately difficult shot to execute to gain some advantage? Unfortunately some of the advantage gained as described in Mark's post from Tom Paul appears to have been lost because of some reshaping of the green.


For people who've played more recently, in your opinion, would there be any advantage to approaching from well to the right of the current fairway? (i.e. you'd be hitting more directly into the slope of the green or something to that effect)
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

Marty Bonnar

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2023, 05:47:36 PM »
I donít know if this adds anything to the conversation, but here it is anyway!:

Thoughts from those in the know?
Cheers,
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Mark Fedeli

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2023, 07:38:54 PM »
Are there any first-person accounts of playing the alternate fairway that were written at the time it was still fairway? Surely there must be some.
South Jersey to Brooklyn. @marrrkfedeli

archie_struthers

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2023, 09:45:19 PM »
 8)


Despite Mr Evensky alluding that I may have been old enough to have played the old fairway, I have not!  But I have looked for many a ball there in my youth and occasionally flared one over that way  ::) . So feel that I can see it in my minds eye pretty clearly. Charlie's pix certainly help! 


The expansion of the fairway would give one of the few cramped shots at PVGC some width. This is in keeping with the general design concept Crump espoused here. It's clearly the tightest tee shot on the course but also one of the easiest. As it sits the left side of the fairway is preferable. It allows not  only the option of using the right side of the green as a backstop but even gives you a cut lie to hit it from. From a restored right fairway  you couldn't spin it off the left sidebar as easily, particularly if the fairway cant was the opposite of the left.  More shots from there would skip into back left bunker, and it's really gnarly! :P


I'm not sure that you could extend the fairway too much further by rebuilding the right side , and in keeping with the idea of restoring why would you? The stewards of Pine Valley extending thru Jim Davis today have done an excellent job of not messing with Mona Lisa, bu this is kind of a no brainer. As imagined would be a restoration.


If the right side is in play there is less chance of losing a ball in the woods , which even when you were fore caddying could easily happen. That's pretty good too, as not losing balls other than in the water was important to us as loopers you know. So it's a win for them too, which makes me happy of course.


Given that this tee shot is pretty simple , a wider target could very well get a golfer thinking about angles, and not just hit a little slinger with a rescue into the left corner. It really is in keeping with the rest of the golf course , which is wonderful.


Talked a little more about the watering issues on the right side and it's possible that the pump system at the time it went fallow didn't have enough pressure to run some long hoses. Certainly not an issue today. 






 
 
« Last Edit: May 18, 2023, 07:09:16 AM by archie_struthers »

mike_beene

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2023, 11:22:38 PM »
Looked up the Jersey Devil stuff on the always accurate Wikipedia: I think I will pass on going to Pine Valley.

Charlie Goerges

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2023, 09:01:03 AM »
I donít know if this adds anything to the conversation, but here it is anyway!:

Thoughts from those in the know?
Cheers,
F.


Where is this from? It looks like it could rival the Raisz map of NGLA!
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

Marty Bonnar

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2023, 09:14:40 AM »
I donít know if this adds anything to the conversation, but here it is anyway!:

Thoughts from those in the know?
Cheers,
F.


Where is this from? It looks like it could rival the Raisz map of NGLA!


Charlie,
Itís a close-up of a tiny section of Cory Kilvertís 1927 painting of the entire course.
Cheers,
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Mark Fedeli

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2023, 09:43:08 AM »
Thanks for the date, Marty. Looks like evidence that it was already heavy rough by 1927. The window for when the right fairway was actually playable as fairway keeps getting smaller.
South Jersey to Brooklyn. @marrrkfedeli

Kalen Braley

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2023, 11:08:42 AM »
I fired up Google Earth and took a few measurements

Its 75 yards from the edge of the fairway to the tracks.  So it seems they could add another 30 yards of fairway to the right of that and still be plenty far away enough from the train line.

P.S. And I'm betting now they have both the means and the know how to get it irrigated properly. ;D

Kyle,

It's been a few years since I walked that spot but if memory serves, starting at the left edge required quite a bit of an uphill walk to reach top/center of fairway before falling steeply on the ride to the tracks.   Gonna go check out a topo.


Mike,

Sounds like you need to get out there in September for the Crump Cup for some on the ground recon.  At the very least you'll have the grounds crew interest wondering why you're wandering around in the bushes on 17 instead of following the action.  ;D

Bret Lawrence

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2023, 11:21:57 AM »

Here are some early color photos from Pine Valley:https://tic.msu.edu/noerslides?location=Clementon


There are two aerials in here from the 1950ís.  Here is a photo of the approach to the 17th green from 1940.

Noer/Milorganite Image Collection. MSU Turfgrass Information Center.

archie_struthers

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2023, 10:30:35 PM »
 8) ;D


Wow, just love that 1940 photo. The height from bottom of bunker at front edge of green is so much higher now. I'm familiar with the way it drains when a big storm hits , having been out there a few times in a downpour/thunderstorm. The water drains along the base of the green and can move really fast. So logic would tell you that the base has eroded a lot over the years and the maintenance staff would have most likely just raked it back into place. So over 83 years imagine the change in elevation. maybe three of four feet, maybe more. Yikes !


So much great stuff uncovered her, thanks so much Charlie for starting this train ! :-*

MCirba

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2023, 01:13:24 PM »
I fired up Google Earth and took a few measurements

Its 75 yards from the edge of the fairway to the tracks.  So it seems they could add another 30 yards of fairway to the right of that and still be plenty far away enough from the train line.

P.S. And I'm betting now they have both the means and the know how to get it irrigated properly. ;D

Kyle,

It's been a few years since I walked that spot but if memory serves, starting at the left edge required quite a bit of an uphill walk to reach top/center of fairway before falling steeply on the ride to the tracks.   Gonna go check out a topo.


Mike,

Sounds like you need to get out there in September for the Crump Cup for some on the ground recon.  At the very least you'll have the grounds crew interest wondering why you're wandering around in the bushes on 17 instead of following the action.  ;D


I like your thinking, Kalen.    ;D
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

archie_struthers

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2023, 06:45:31 PM »
 ::) :P


C'mon guys get on board and give us some thoughts. Those 1940 pictures posted by Bret are so good!  I know it's hard get a true read at times from pictures but unless the guys taking the picture  was "Tiny" Reichart  that green is significantly lower than it is today.


I don't think you can see a middle front pin today. so I would think the water has over time stripped away at least a couple of inches a year. The green wasn't raised to the best of my knowledge though they did plant grass along the front to secure the moorings.


Here we have a perfect GCA exercise, and it was done by the original architects of one , if not the very best course ever built. Let's talk some more about how the re-insertion of that fairway would impact the play. Isn't that what we used to discuss and debate til the cows came home in the halcyon days on this site. Let's figure it out together!

Kalen Braley

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Re: The 17th Pine Valley...should the old fairway return
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2023, 07:56:09 PM »
Archie,

Sounds like a GCA event at Pine Valley is in order, you could call it the George Cup or the Crumble Cup given the Crump Cup is already spoken for.  Probably won't have any issues filling up those slots  ;D

And why stop at 17 to remove a few trees, I know there has been a lot of discussion to restore it to its original days with far fewer trees and shrubs...

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