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Ira Fishman

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Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« on: May 19, 2023, 04:43:35 PM »
I have not played even 10% of Ross courses, but among the several that I have played, I do not remember chocolate drop mounds like those at Oak Hill. Are they original to the design?


Ira

Tom_Doak

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2023, 05:41:40 PM »
I have not played even 10% of Ross courses, but among the several that I have played, I do not remember chocolate drop mounds like those at Oak Hill. Are they original to the design?



I don't remember chocolate drops on the 1980's version of the course, but it's possible Tom Fazio wiped them out.


Chocolate drops were an entirely practical thing . . . they used them on courses where there were a lot of stones during the clean-up operation, as a way to get rid of the stones without carting them off to a dump.  So you'd only find them on courses where the soil was kind of stony . . . typically in the Northeast, but not in the Carolinas.

Matt_Cohn

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2023, 05:44:11 PM »
There are some at Monroe a few miles away (or at least there were 20 years ago when I was there).

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2023, 06:01:39 PM »
The HH Wind 1966(?) Golf Digest article that I have somewhere claimed Ross used them, and other wobbles in chipping areas, extensively.  His point was that the then current architects had sort of stopped using those in favor of mostly sand bunkers.  I had the impression that Wind liked them a lot.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2023, 06:07:28 PM »
The HH Wind 1966(?) Golf Digest article that I have somewhere claimed Ross used them, and other wobbles in chipping areas, extensively.  His point was that the then current architects had sort of stopped using those in favor of mostly sand bunkers.  I had the impression that Wind liked them a lot.


Mr. Wind grew up in Brockton, Mass. - at Thorny Lea Golf Club - which certainly would have had chocolate drops.

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2023, 06:45:51 PM »
Travis, Emmet and Stiles all used them. There was a thread a while back about Bass Rocks GC and there are a bunch there on the Herbert Leeds design. Brian Schneider is doing some terrific work at the Travis designed North Jersey CC and there are a bunch there also.

Niall C

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2023, 09:18:43 PM »
FWIW on SKY tv in the UK one of the commentators said with a degree of confidence that the chocolate drop mounding was a favourite trick of Andrew Green.


Niall

Sean_A

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2023, 02:27:58 AM »
FWIW on SKY tv in the UK one of the commentators said with a degree of confidence that the chocolate drop mounding was a favourite trick of Andrew Green.

Niall

I was under the impression these were added by Green. They look terrible covered in monochromatic green same height rough.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 20, 2023, 03:12:54 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2023, 04:05:59 AM »
Rocks piles covered over.
Atb

Jim_Coleman

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2023, 09:27:28 AM »
   Not a fan. They look totally fake, no doubt because they are.

Niall C

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2023, 04:30:26 PM »
FWIW on SKY tv in the UK one of the commentators said with a degree of confidence that the chocolate drop mounding was a favourite trick of Andrew Green.

Niall

I was under the impression these were added by Green. They look terrible covered in monochromatic green same height rough.

Ciao


Sean


That is what I think as well but I think what the commentator was suggesting was that they were added by Green, not because Ross had originally designed them but because Green was a fan of them. I might have misconstrued that but that is what I think he was saying.


I do agree with you that they don't look very good although they are a pretty effective hazard.


Niall

Tim Martin

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2023, 05:18:42 PM »
I like the look and the challenge they represent. It seems some are saying that they are ok if they are grassed over debris piles but meh if they are a wholly created feature. I agree with Niall that they are an effective hazard.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2023, 05:26:32 PM by Tim Martin »

Sean_A

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2023, 05:37:04 PM »
FWIW on SKY tv in the UK one of the commentators said with a degree of confidence that the chocolate drop mounding was a favourite trick of Andrew Green.

Niall

I was under the impression these were added by Green. They look terrible covered in monochromatic green same height rough.

Ciao

Sean

That is what I think as well but I think what the commentator was suggesting was that they were added by Green, not because Ross had originally designed them but because Green was a fan of them. I might have misconstrued that but that is what I think he was saying.

I do agree with you that they don't look very good although they are a pretty effective hazard.

Niall

Yes, it was my understanding that Green added the mounds. I don't know how effective the mounds are as I am yet to see them in play. It's a great pity about the rough. Back to the bad old days of the 70s and 80s. Dreadful.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 21, 2023, 02:18:28 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Tom Bacsanyi

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2023, 09:21:19 PM »
   Not a fan. They look totally fake, no doubt because they are.


Ok well sand bunkers look totally fake on a rocky clay soiled site in the northeast but somehow that's deemed acceptable. That bunker sand arrived on trucks from Ohio. What's faker than fake?
Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty.

--Harry Vardon

Mark_Fine

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2023, 03:01:22 PM »
I hope most here know that “chocolate drops” were never meant to look natural.  They were simply rocks from the nearby area (mostly removed from the fairways or from rock walls that separated different parcels of land).  They were often pushed to the sides of the fairways and/or in strategic locations and covered with soil.  It was an efficient and frugal way to deal with the rocks without expensive and time consuming long distance hauling.  Some of the most famous are the ones by Leeds at Myopia Hunt Club and by Tillinghast at Somerset Hills.  At Myopia for example, the Leeds “chocolate drops” came from the boundary walls.  Leeds didn’t like the walls and when they interrupted his routing he had them dismantled, sometimes only partially, leaving segments that would later be covered with soil and grasses.  Some think the Myopia Drops inspired Ross at nearby Essex Country Club.  But none of them look natural at all but neither do bunkers on Parkland golf courses.  Let’s face it, some of the most famous greathazards do not look natural.  It’s ok :)

By the way, Green used chocolate drops at his redo of Wannamoisett as well. 
« Last Edit: May 21, 2023, 03:06:51 PM by Mark_Fine »

Ken Moum

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2023, 03:09:16 PM »
I can't find now, but a few days ago I saw piece with green specifically about them and his argument was that the affected good players more than average players.


The opposite of sand, and they're way less expensive to maintain.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Niall C

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2023, 03:13:33 PM »
Mark


Whether they were meant to look natural or not they still don't look good to my eye but appreciate they are an effective hazard.


However given he was supposed to be restoring Ross back into the course, the question is whether the chocolate drops are Ross or Green ?


Niall

Mark_Fine

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2023, 04:10:11 PM »
Niall,
I don’t know the answer but I do know Green said is was a “sympathetic restoration”. In the interview I saw, Green talked a lot about restoring classic Ross features and original design intent.  I doubt those chocolate drops were original but maybe Jones or Fazio removed them when they worked there and Green added them back?  Old aerials would make this easy to determine.  I have gotten a lot of grief on this site from guys like Tom Doak when I talk about trying to restore “original design intent” (how would any of us know what someone like Ross was thinking)  8)  I think Green did his best like most of us do and study all we can about the history of the course and the architect/s who were responsible for what we find when we get there.  But even Andrew Green will agree, Oak Hill is not a pure restoration, and that is ok too  ;)

mike_malone

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2023, 07:58:14 PM »
Are we talking about the mounding in the rough? If so, that’s not what I consider chocolate drops. I always thought chocolate drops were like Hershey Kisses.I like them.


 I prefer what Tom Paul calls “ pullups “ that the Nature Faker Flynn did. They look like they are natural.
AKA Mayday

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2023, 08:18:03 PM »
Mike,
I am sure you know what chocolate drops are when it comes to golf course architecture.  The pull-ups that Flynn did as I think you also know were raised areas around the green edges that bleed into the putting surface.  They are not chocolate drops. We are talking two different things.  Mounding is mounding and some can be made to look “natural” but chocolate drops were not.  I wish I remembered how to post photos  :(

Michael Morandi

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2023, 09:12:15 PM »
I’m not a fan of the Oak Hill bunkers either. They look contrived. But I’m not a student of architecture. Maybe they are a fair representation of Donald Ross at Oak Hill?

Tim_Weiman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2023, 09:32:29 PM »
I have not played even 10% of Ross courses, but among the several that I have played, I do not remember chocolate drop mounds like those at Oak Hill. Are they original to the design?



I don't remember chocolate drops on the 1980's version of the course, but it's possible Tom Fazio wiped them out.


Chocolate drops were an entirely practical thing . . . they used them on courses where there were a lot of stones during the clean-up operation, as a way to get rid of the stones without carting them off to a dump.  So you'd only find them on courses where the soil was kind of stony . . . typically in the Northeast, but not in the Carolinas.
Tom,


Not to hijack the thread, but there is one course where the clearing of stones led to another practical use. The course is Pelham Country club where stones were taken to Fowler Avenue to build homes circa 1925, including the house I grew up in and 2-3 others.


Thanks to research by Neil Regan, it is clear those houses were built on land where Dr. Edward Fowler from New York City built the first course in Pelham right around 1990.
Tim Weiman

Dunlop_White

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2023, 11:30:13 PM »
Just reviewed the Ross design plans. His notations designate them as "mounds or undulations not less than 4 feet" Most were green-side, like at holes 1 and 17. Not seeing where Ross used them here flanking fairways. Definitely a theme originally....that Green likely expanded upon.

mike_malone

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2023, 11:32:57 PM »
Mike,
I am sure you know what chocolate drops are when it comes to golf course architecture.  The pull-ups that Flynn did as I think you also know were raised areas around the green edges that bleed into the putting surface.  They are not chocolate drops. We are talking two different things.  Mounding is mounding and some can be made to look “natural” but chocolate drops were not.  I wish I remembered how to post photos  :(


Mark,


 I was suggesting that mounds aren’t chocolate drops and that I prefer the way Flynn handled the debris and stuff from bunker construction by creating pullups.
AKA Mayday

Mark_Fine

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Re: Oak Hill--Chocolate Drops
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2023, 07:08:50 AM »
Mike,
Take a look a pictures from Myopia and Somerset Hills to see true Chocolate Drops.  Chocolate Drops are mounds but they were not meant to look natural is all I am saying.  I always think of Flynn’s pull-ups as areas where he lifted up the edges of his green surfaces.  Flynn also used mounds that were separate from the greens but I don’t call them pull-ups.  Flynn buried much of the debris he had to remove but other architects just piled it up and covered it with soil and grass.  Some “cop” mounds were built in this fashion.  They sure don’t look natural but that variety is what makes golf so unique.  As I said some of the most famous hazards in golf are not natural looking at all. 

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