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Simon Barrington

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There have been several threads regarding ANGC's 12th Hole "Golden Bell" being one of the world's great Par-3s.

The has been much discussion about its obliqueness, and even a few references to how TOC's "Road Hole" 17th as another example of obliqueness in a green site.

Now I want to profer a thought that has been burning inside me for some time.

Possibly some more educated scholar's than me on here may have thought or mentioned this previously?
But, I have yet to read this idea myself anywhere so far (but I obviously haven't read all there is to know about Augusta for sure)

If I am merely reinforcing a view previously shared elsewhere then I am glad to do so, if its a novel thought then even more happy.

Sometimes of the simplest and most obvious secrets in life (and golf architecture) hide themselves in plain sight....

I believe that the inspiration for "Golden Bell" was staring some of you well-informed folk in the face...but perhaps it needs to be viewed from an entirely different perspective?...

It is clear to me that visually and structurally the hole is a dialled-up version of.....

...

...

The second shot to the 1st Hole on the Old Course, but played (as recently for the public in ballot) in REVERSE!

That being from the 1st Tee to the 17th "Road Hole" Green.

I played this myself 21yrs ago...which started my thinking on this...I also went to The Masters for my one and only visit that same year (Mike Weir's win in a playoff)


Why does it match, if its not immediately obvious (as it is to me)?

 - The obliqueness is (in Reverse) orientated the right way round and on the same angle
 - The bunker eats into the boomerang (the 17th being one of the oldest, if not the oldest examples of that style of green) as does the front kidney trap at ANGC.
 - The Swilken Burn has similar orientation at that section of carry, albeit a touch further back (then turns back and right towards the "normal" TOC 1st Green
 - The "Goffers's Bridge" (note this is not the original "Swilken Bridge" which is actually the one the road i.e. Granny Clark's Wynd goes over) is similarly positioned as "The Hogan Bridge" on ANGC and in similar stone!
 - There were I believe no bunkers at the rear on ANGCs 12th originally, and the linear swale and bank behind are consistent to the sunken Road & Wall on TOC
 - The ANGC version may have had two sections/levels originally I believe, and that may be consistent to the fall off at the RHS Section of The Road Hole Green, would that have matched the far RHS pinnable section at ANGC?

I do not know how to add images onto this site but if you download the Course Planner of The Old Course Reversed (previously known as "Playing the Old Lady Backwards") issued by the Links Trust at

    https://standrews.com/page/old_course_reversed

Then you may see more easily what I am talking about.

Thoughts?

I'd love for this to be debated by those with far more knowledge of both TOC & ANGC, and this is the place for that I am sure...

Some may even have images of the approach shot I refer to, I can picture it now in my mind (I am tourtured that way with a semi-photographic memory for holes) but be nice to have a view to share for the debate.

Thank you & Cheers!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 06:28:04 AM by Simon Barrington »

Matt Schoolfield

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This doesnít invalidate your theory, but (edit: I believe) golden bell is based on #15 at Pasatiempo. Whether thatís based on anything else is still a valid question.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 06:34:37 PM by Matt Schoolfield »
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Kalen Braley

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Ben Hollerbach

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golden bell is based on #15 at Pasatiempo.
Is that something MacKenzie wrote? I don't believe I've seen that as a definitive reference.

Tom_Doak

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golden bell is based on #15 at Pasatiempo.
Is that something MacKenzie wrote? I don't believe I've seen that as a definitive reference.


Iíve never heard it, either.

Niall C

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This doesnít invalidate your theory, but golden bell is based on #15 at Pasatiempo. Whether thatís based on anything else is still a valid question.


The 15th at Pasatiempo looks like a reversed Gibraltar to me  ;D


Niall

Matt Schoolfield

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golden bell is based on #15 at Pasatiempo.
Is that something MacKenzie wrote? I don't believe I've seen that as a definitive reference.


Iíve never heard it, either.
That is according to the starter I encountered at the club, as I plied him with questions about the course for about 30 minutes before the round. It may be incorrect I suppose. I've never been skeptical of the information because it seems rather obvious after hearing it as it's a nearly identical hole with regard to the strategic hazards, as the green is nearly an identical shape, the location is exactly where you get swirling crosswinds.

I assumed it was fairly common knowledge, but I guess I may need to do a bit more research to confirm it.
Building an encyclopedia of golf courses that anyone can edit: Golf Course Wiki
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I really think golf culture should be more like beer culture than wine culture

Simon Barrington

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This doesnít invalidate your theory, but golden bell is based on #15 at Pasatiempo. Whether thatís based on anything else is still a valid question.


The 15th at Pasatiempo looks like a reversed Gibraltar to me  ;D


Niall

I defer to others and want to let the discussion flow freely, wherever it goes.

And really appreciate Matt's engagement to get us going.

Niall's insightful thought was as mine when I looked up images of the 15th a Pasatiempo (or perhaps some sort of "deconstructed" reverse Redan, but some feel there are consistencies between both Gibraltar and Redan anyway).
It really doesn't seem, visually, to have the same flatter table-top feel; but sadly I have never seen it in the flesh (yet)!

I would also say it surprises me somewhat that Dr Mackenzie and/or Bobby Jones wouldn't have mentioned the TOC inspiration I propose somewhere, as the TOC links across the whole course were so well discussed and advertised at the time....perhaps not obvious enough or too subtle for the marketing of the day?

Calling on all "Good Doctor" & ANGC experts...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 11:51:50 AM by Simon Barrington »

Thomas Dai

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13th (once the 4th)at Blackwell might like a word.
Atb

Ben Hollerbach

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In his 1932 article "Plans for the Ideal Golf Course" MacKenzie speaks to the inspiration of the design on a hole by hole basis. While he does provide references/similarities for most of the holes, he does not for the 12th specifically.

A couple of different holes reference Cypress Point as inspiration, including the 13th being inspired by the 17th at Cypress Point, but none reference Pasatiempo.

Simon Barrington

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13th (once the 4th)at Blackwell might like a word.
Atb
Nicely introduced into the debate.

Certainly much closer than the Pasatiempo claim from a visual perspective.

But the green is not as obliquely angled (a key feature of Golden Bell's challenge) more straight across the direction of play, but the water hazard line is very consistent to ANGC. The Hedgerow also is very reminiscent of the Wall at TOC.

The Bobby Jones story is very well documented, and not a stretch for him to recall holes only 2 years later to Mackenzie.

Could there have been inspiration from TOC (Reverse) to Fowler & Simpson at Blackwell that is coincident with , that flows through Blackwell to ANGC? Or a collation of the two in ANGCs design process between Jones (Blackwell) & Mackenzie (TOC which he loved and studied so closely).


Any Blackwell experts know about the F&S original design inspirations? Lots of visuals around but any relevant writings?

Any Mackenzie experts know if he wrote about the TOC reverse/clockwise layout and the 1st (17th) Green from both directions?

Lots of questions to answer...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 06:56:58 PM by Simon Barrington »

Simon Barrington

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In his 1932 article "Plans for the Ideal Golf Course" MacKenzie speaks to the inspiration of the design on a hole by hole basis. While he does provide references/similarities for most of the holes, he does not for the 12th specifically.

A couple of different holes reference Cypress Point as inspiration, including the 13th being inspired by the 17th at Cypress Point, but none reference Pasatiempo.
Thanks, and interesting the 12th is an omission/exception from "The Good Doctor", that allows the debate to persist (to Pasatiempo's and Blackwell's potential benefit and marketing!)

Is Blackwell not mentioned either?

Any other candidates/claims out there?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 01:45:07 PM by Simon Barrington »

Ben Hollerbach

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In his 1932 article "Plans for the Ideal Golf Course" MacKenzie speaks to the inspiration of the design on a hole by hole basis. While he does provide references/similarities for most of the holes, he does not for the 12th specifically.

A couple of different holes reference Cypress Point as inspiration, including the 13th being inspired by the 17th at Cypress Point, but none reference Pasatiempo.
Thanks, and interesting the 12th is an omission/exception from "The Good Doctor", that allows the debate to persist (to Pasatiempo's and Blackwell's potential benefit and marketing!)

Is Blackwell not mentioned either?

Any other candidates/claims out there?
Here is MacKenzie's list:
  • 4th - St. Andrews 11th
  • 5th - St. Andrews 17th
  • 6th - Redan
  • 7th - St. Andrews 18th
  • 8th- Muirfield 17th
  • 9th - Cape
  • 10th - Cypress Point 13th, Alwoodley 4th
  • 13th - Cypress Point 17th
  • 14th - St. Andrews 6th
  • 15th - St. Andrews 1st
  • 16th - Stoke Poge 6th
  • 17th - St. Andrews 14th
  • 19th - Short at Lakeside (LA)


Matt Schoolfield

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Okay, I've wasted some time overlaying the two images. On the left is Pasa, on the right is Blackwell. I apologize if they are a bit hard to see. They are both scaled to the same size:



It appears that Pasatiempo is a bit shorter, but it seems like a better match to me (biases aside). The original images are below, with the exact same layout, just not overlayed (I apologize for having swapped the order they appear in here):



The yellow line is marked to almost exactly 100 yards in all three images.

Insofar as the green surfaces, I think Pasatiempo are similar, but I don't have access to an Augusta yardage book. If anyone has access to Blackwell, do add it. The left is Golden Bell from the Masters website, the right is my personal notes from playing the Pasatiempo, which have been uploaded to the wiki:



They definitely don't seem exactly the same, but they are quite similar in the slope on the left.
As to folks suggesting this is some sort of redan, I don't follow that line of thinking at all. These both seem like very much a high flighted par 3 shot that tests distance control, and threatens the right-hander trying to fade it along the green's angle.

They're definitely not the same hole, but they seem remarkably similar to me, they are built only a few years apart, and we know Jones played Pasatiempo. It would seem bizarre and even remarkable that Jones and MacKenzie would build a hole so similar without one influencing the other.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 04:47:37 PM by Matt Schoolfield »
Building an encyclopedia of golf courses that anyone can edit: Golf Course Wiki
Some strong opinions on golf: Wigs on the Green
I really think golf culture should be more like beer culture than wine culture

Ben Hollerbach

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they are built only a few years apart, and we know Jones played Pasatiempo. It would seem bizarre and even remarkable that Jones and MacKenzie would build a hole so similar without one influencing the other.
Considering both Cypress Point and Pasatiempo were build just a few years prior, and Jones played both courses  during the same trip in 1929, if Pasatiempo was the inspiration for the 12th one would expect that MacKenzie would have suggested such in his 1932 article. Its possible that Pasatiempo was subconsciously the source of inspiration, but I'm unsure if we could do more than speculate at this time.

Matt Schoolfield

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Considering both Cypress Point and Pasatiempo were build just a few years prior, and Jones played both courses  during the same trip in 1929, if Pasatiempo was the inspiration for the 12th one would expect that MacKenzie would have suggested such in his 1932 article. Its possible that Pasatiempo was subconsciously the source of inspiration, but I'm unsure if we could do more than speculate at this time.
I don't disagree with you at all. The two are certainly different holes, notable the Pasatiempo hole allows a much safer shot to the back of the green. Also, I'm quite sure that the land did most of the inspiring since they didn't have the leeway to move things around like we do now. Anyway, if one inspired the other, they were likely both inspired by some other hole that gave him the idea in the first place, and Blackwell seems like an obvious candidate.

My main point is just that the idea behind the shot that the hole is asking a player to make (tempting but dangerous fade into swirling wind) seems almost identical.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 01:26:13 AM by Matt Schoolfield »
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Simon Barrington

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Okay, I've wasted some time overlaying the two images. On the left is Pasa, on the right is Blackwell. I apologize if they are a bit hard to see. They are both scaled to the same size:

Matt
Thanks for the effort & skill put in here to do these images. Really appreciated and certainly never a waste of time.
Genuine effort to fill a void of knowledge, given Mackenzie's omission to decalre the influence in that writing. Thanks

As I said earlier if someone can coach me on how to add imagery on here I could help the visuals with some images.
I'd be really grateful for a tutorial on that.
(Hence me sending the TOC Reverse Course Planner Download link earlier https://standrews.com/page/old_course_reversed)


My pennies worth, as I introduced the novel third concept not shown in your images, i.e. TOC 1st Reversed to the Road Hole Green on TOC for consideration as inspiration, is the following (and as Ben has said, all of this until we find a written or other reference may remain complete speculation):

In Plan the TOC is the best match -
Given obliqueness, green shape and rear features (although different in nature they are consistent in position and strategic effect. The IMHO Green shape (especially lack of depth) is paramount as this is a key part of the difficulty of the hole especially for the over hit approach on the RHS, and fit is not just in the front lines and curvature around the centred bunkers. The extra areas at the rear and RHS at Pasatiempo create relief not afforded by the other two (Blackwell & TOC) or "Golden Bell" and in my view that diminishes its claim from that strategic perspective (despite the angle of the spine of the green). The inspiration taken and written about by both Mackenzie & Jones from TOC (on at least 6 holes as self reported) were not "template" copies but strategic design homages, which means the strategy should trump (can we use that word on here?  ;D ) the aesthetic/visual.

From the Golfer's perspective visually Blackwell is the best fit of the three -
TOC however is largely consistent but due to the lower levels of relief/terrain of the land there (versus the other two) it is a more subtle view from middle of the 1st Fairway (a dog-leg left is the way most play/played the reversed routing as aiming left brings the burn and OOB into play for the 1st Tee shot, as well as  avoiding the lost bunkers originally near to Granny Clark's Wynd) effectively a lower scaled version (in relief). Interestingly the original Green at ANGC from the old pictures, shared in Sven's previous ANGC Thread, seems to have been much flatter/closer to to grade level than presently, so TOC may fit better to the original and support the TOC inspiration conjecture?

I think where I/we may have to look to try and find any written evidence might be Dr Mackenzie's writings of his appreciation of TOC and look for comments regarding the reverse (clockwise) TOC routing, and thus its potential inspiration?


I do think its clear that both Blackwell and Pasatiempo can corroborate fairly the visits of Jones, and at Pasatiempo clearly Dr Mackenzie.
I do not know if Dr Mackenzie ever ventured to Blackwell?

However we definitively know that both spent considerable time on TOC, were inspired by it and had a shared passion for it.

So we may never know for sure, but of course I still feel TOC is the horse to ride...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 06:58:58 PM by Simon Barrington »

Matt Schoolfield

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I have done the same analysis with TOC #1 reversed, and the results are surprisingly similar, and at the same time surprisingly different.




Here, the two greens are remarkably similar in shape. I think the main thing I notice is difference is just the scale of TOC #1R's green. It's easily twice the size of Golden Bell (more like six pines, amirite?). The other thing that sticks in my mind is the slope on the far end of the green, I think, probably falls away pretty sharply... which I don't think is reflected at Augusta. Still a remarkable resemblance!

Original image: note I placed the start of the yellow line at the exact distance from the Golden Bell members tees, then placed that in the dead center of the gap in the burn, and then reset it to 100 yards to get an accurate overlay. The image could obviously be tilted to get a more accurate tilt, but I think it's already remarkably similar.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 01:15:02 AM by Matt Schoolfield »
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Simon Barrington

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I have done the same analysis with TOC #1 reversed, and the results are surprisingly similar, and at the same time surprisingly different.

Here, the two greens are remarkably similar in shape. I think the main thing I notice is difference is just the scale of TOC #1R's green. It's easily twice the size of Golden Bell (more like six pines, amirite?). The other thing that sticks in my mind is the slope on the far end of the green, I think, probably falls away pretty sharply... which I don't think is reflected at Augusta. Still a remarkable resemblance!
Matt, Thank you for the images.

This image (sorry via link to X, as still an image numpty on here), that is also in Vern's thread, shows there was possibly an original subtle section to the RHS seemingly lower than the centre & LHS. But not a great angle.

See: https://x.com/GolfLibrary/status/1778372296283140533

Off to do read Spirit of St Andrews as haven't for some time...

EDIT - On reviewing Sven's images in his great thread, I have to say back in the early years the RHS seems slightly higher than the LHS (not lower), the transition threw me from the wrong angle. That is less evident today as it has more table-top feel.
The Road Hole green does feed down and around from the pronounced ridge at the front slightly, so perhaps not inconsistent. But certainly the lower (anti-clockwise entrance) is not reflected at ANGC.

it is also evident that the green may have been originally intended to be more of a pear shape (from Mackenzie's little plan of the 3rd/4th in Sven's thread) than boomerang...so evolution, but the RHS certainly had less depth intentionally as the narrower portion of the pear.

Perhaps as the 13th Tees were relocated back into the trees gradually over time the space to extend the green to the RHS opened up...so perhaps the evolution of that section is more Jones led (potentially beyond the sad passing of Dr. Mackenzie) and it became more TOC like?

EDIT TWO -
Reading the following from Ron Whitten (https://www.golfdigest.com/story/complete-changes-to-augusta-national) it seems it was Clifford Roberts who instructed Perry Maxwell to extend the RHS of the green in c.1939, but not hugely so. Nice images from Chris O'Reilly too on the evolution.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 05:18:13 AM by Simon Barrington »

Ben Stephens

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I thought Augusta 12th was based on Colt's 7th at Stoke Poges rather than the original 16th before RTJ changed it.

Simon Barrington

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I thought Augusta 12th was based on Colt's 7th at Stoke Poges rather than the original 16th before RTJ changed it.
Ben, that has been pushed erroneously by the Club for many years (I was brought up nearby, and played it many times before it was very poorly altered removing its Colt character)

In Dr. Mackenzie's "Plans For The Ideal Golf Course" March 1932 he was explicit about the relationship to the orginal 16th (NLE), not the 12th.

The direct quote:-
"Hole No. 16 ďRedbudĒ ó Regular Distance 140 Yards ó Championship 150 Yards

This hole, over a stream, is somewhat similar to the best hole (seventh) at Stoke Poges, England. It will probably be a better hole than the one at Stoke Poges as the green will be more visible and the background more attractive."
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 05:34:24 AM by Simon Barrington »

Simon Barrington

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The plot thickens...and I know this is a rabbit-hole...not sure if I am mad, obsessed or have stumbled on something genuinely of interest?...(happy to be told any of those!)

Re-reading Dr. Mackenzie's "Plans For The Ideal Golf Course" March 1932 (thanks Ben H) something else has struck me that may re-inforce the TOC (in Reverse) theory...not just for the 12th, but also for the 5th!

"Hole No. 5 ďMagnoliaĒ ó Regular Distance 445 Yards ó Championship 470 YardsThis will be a similar type of hole to the famous Seventeenth, the Road Hole at St. Andrews. A group of tress forms a corner of the dog-leg instead of the station masterís garden and the green itself will be situated on a similar plateau to its prototype."

Given the dog-leg is the other way round on 5th vs the Road Hole. I have seen commentary that it was "reversed" presumably a verbal expression of a mirrored hole.
The 5th has a very different green than the Road Hole so I want to offer another twisted view potential...

Was Dr Mackenzie obscuring the inspiration as actually that of the 2nd Hole on the Reversed TOC (i.e. from the 18th Tee, back down the 17th Road Hole fairway to the 16th Green)? He does not mention that the dog-leg was orientated the other way round...and if he was thinking in terms of the reversed clockwise routing he wouldn't need to...

From the Course Guide of TOC Reversed https://standrews.com/page/old_course_reversed the map is more similar to that of the 5th at ANGC IMHO...reinforced on reviewing the Ron Whitten article too https://www.golfdigest.com/story/complete-changes-to-augusta-national

Similarities:
- The 5th corner of the dog-leg bunkering is in similar position to "Cheape's Bunker"

- The fairway approach mounding predominantly on the RHS has resonant to that found on TOC (the rumbling approach to the regular 2nd)

- In 1934 there was an LHS approach bunker, in similar positon to two small pots on TOC

- The green is not reminiscent (and wasn't in 1934) to the Road Hole Green, and possibly could be seen as the section of the shared 16th/2nd double green closer to the fence (but without the front bunkering)?

More to debate...Cheers
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 07:04:53 AM by Simon Barrington »

Marty Bonnar

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Okay boys. Everybody just calm down, take a deep breath and rein in the horses!
Yes, of course there IS a real-life prototype for ANGC Hole 12, but itís NONE of these impostors youíre all citing.


OBVIOUSLY, itís the 12th Hole (similarities already, see!) at Bonnie Dunfermlineís PITREAVIE Golf Club. Iíve discussed this here before, but itís been years and years since. MacKenzie designed Pitreavie, which opened in 1922 - what, six years before ANGC - and so clearly admired his own design for 12, that he simply HAD to use it again for the Fruitlands. He sneakily mirrored the design to throw us all off the scent, but thereís no pulling the wool over the FBDís piercing baby-blues.


Just for clarity, here it is again in all itís majesty. A diagonal carry over a watercourse to a long, slender green with a backing tree-covered slope. Obvious now, isnít it!




Youíre welcome.
F.


PS Tongue firmly in cheek - but Iím still right!  ;D
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Simon Barrington

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...
Yes, of course there IS a real-life prototype for ANGC Hole 12, but itís NONE of these impostors youíre all citing.
...
PS Tongue firmly in cheek - but Iím still right!  ;D
Well it was written in the ancient Pictish lore for sure!

Pitreavie from "pit" or "pett" meaning estate or parcel of land.

Dunfermline is derived from "Dun" (fortified hill), "fiaram" (bent or crooked) and "lin" (a cascade or pool). A reference of the city's name is found in the tower hill around which the rivulet crooks and drops over a 15-foot cascade of the Ferm burn.

So we have a parcel of land below a fortified hill with a crooked pool or cascade...sounds like Raes Creek sat down below the Crows Nest to me....

I rest my ridiculous (but evidently logical) case and defer to the ancient Pictish prophets....

...

...NOT!  ;D

TBF it's a decent shout on many levels, Thanks
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 12:40:24 PM by Simon Barrington »

Marty Bonnar

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PPS
There were TWO watercourses to carry on the original design of the hole. A tributary of Raeís Creek crossed between the tee and the green on an opposing diagonal creating a roughly triangular area where the rabbit might play an easy wedge, followed by another easy wedge for a shot at bogey. Didnít last long, but it was there!
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

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