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Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
I'm going to inject a bit of reality here into how design works.


Generally speaking, designers do NOT seek to find an inspiration for every hole on a new course from a previous example.  C. B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor were maybe the only exceptions to this rule.


However, most designers do have biases in how they think, reflected in how their holes turn out.


So, Dr. MacKenzie may have had a bias in favor of building his short par-3 holes with a left-to-right diagonal green, to punish the short-right and long-left misses most common to lefthanders.  The 15th at Pasatiempo and the 12th at Augusta [and the original 16th at Augusta and the 7th at Moor Park] are all examples of that. 


But that doesn't equate to using the 15th at Pasatiempo as the template for the 12th at Augusta.

John Kirk

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« Last Edit: April 13, 2024, 11:40:22 AM by John Kirk »

Pete_Pittock

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thegolfauction.com has an auction finishing Sunday morning. Item #71 (next bid is $646) is listed as 1933 Augusta National "Bobby Jones" golf course historical sketch by Dr Alister Mackenzie.


There are a number of courses listed (none as template).  Six from St. Andrews, two from Cypress Point +Alwoodley, Stoke Poges, North Berwick and Muirfield.


Golden Bell is an interesting pitch shot (120/130) to a long narrow green immediately over a stream.  There is no hole reference to another course..

Simon Barrington

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm going to inject a bit of reality here into how design works.

Generally speaking, designers do NOT seek to find an inspiration for every hole on a new course from a previous example.  C. B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor were maybe the only exceptions to this rule.

However, most designers do have biases in how they think, reflected in how their holes turn out.

So, Dr. MacKenzie may have had a bias in favor of building his short par-3 holes with a left-to-right diagonal green, to punish the short-right and long-left misses most common to lefthanders.  The 15th at Pasatiempo and the 12th at Augusta [and the original 16th at Augusta and the 7th at Moor Park] are all examples of that. 

But that doesn't equate to using the 15th at Pasatiempo as the template for the 12th at Augusta.
A fine injection, and many thanks Tom...it keeps us/me on track.

I concur, and analysis of certain oft-marketed claims and debates about specific features/holes can lead (& perhaps has led) debate that way.

My original observation, which it seems is genuinely novel, was very much about the (hidden) original "inspiration" for perhaps all of these Mackenzie holes (ANGC, Blackwell, Pasatiempo & Pitreavie included).

The necessary justifications for the idea inevitably could become comparators for others ("one is a better fit than the others" etc.) and then the back and forth takes us/me even further down "it doesn't match as well as this one" road.

That is a failing of mine, the over-anlaytical. I'm also a "Newbie" on here so there is perhaps an inherent need to justify?

This site is full of people far more knowledgable than I, and as such I wanted to provide as much supporting information as possible to what is really a very simple observation, that may have been misssed by the GCA Community for c.90 years...it is a pretty bold claim...

That being that "these two REVERSE routed holes on TOC (1stR & 2ndR) might have been the (previously undeclared/obscured) visual and strategic inspiration for Dr Mackenzie for two great holes at ANGC (12th & 5th), what do you think?"

I was trying to be careful not to say these two reverse holes were "templates" but perhaps were "inspiration" for his strategic homage. Dr. Mackenzie framed his "Plans for the Ideal Golf Course" in March 1932 that way, and so I was fitting into his own narrative style in specific relation to ANGC.

I think you add an important point, and think I understand the point completely. One doesn't necessarily set out to seek out such inspiration, but that it is an organic creative process defined and focused on the land-forms infront of you.

I would suggest the amount of Golf Courses played, seen, and studied would create more variety, fluidity and flexibility in use of many inspiring features (in whole, hole, or part) from elsewhere that are relevant for the site/location/hole. Directly or implicitly, or even subconsciously.

Whereas templating is limited to and commonly used by those who have not seen as much Golf.

That is understandable as the influencing inputs are limited in the latter and Raynor (not a golfer) & Banks were only exposed to the inspirations CBM gave them, his own homages of the same; so they simply dialled those up and up as their known examples to be inspired by.

This then becomes further distilled and exaggerated as templating, and can be seen as more formulaic. It becomes a brand and ubiquitous style. But perhaps it is just creativity limited by fewer comparisons and a narrower design palette. The variety will be inherently less, if one has seen less.

When growing the game and exposing it to a whole new audience efforts to show what is best practice, and repeatedly, can be interpreted as "formulaic", and the best efforts of say CBM in the US, to be creative get homoginised or misinterpreted by others in the need for speed and growth of the game.

This is perhaps a thread of its own for another day...I have more relating to the (convenient competitive) misreporting and misinterpretation of James Braid's writing and work on that subject...but I mustn't digress (another weakness) lets keep to the question in hand...

Do we (GC Atlas folk) think I could be onto something novel in the original observation?...
Does it fill a gap, or is it wild speculation?....
Have we missed these potential connections to ANGC (intentional or implicit) as we have viewed TOC the wrong way round?...

Cheers!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0

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 it’s NONE of these impostors you’re all citing.


OBVIOUSLY, it’s the 12th Hole (similarities already, see!) at Bonnie Dunfermline’s PITREAVIE Golf Club. I’ve discussed this here before, but it’s 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 there’s no pulling the wool over the FBD’s piercing baby-blues.


Just for clarity, here it is again in all it’s majesty. A diagonal carry over a watercourse to a long, slender green with a backing tree-covered slope. Obvious now, isn’t it!




You’re welcome.
F.


PS Tongue firmly in cheek - but I’m still right!  ;D

And we know Dr Mac was not adverse to using concepts previously employed by….himself.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm going to inject a bit of reality here into how design works.

Generally speaking, designers do NOT seek to find an inspiration for every hole on a new course from a previous example.  C. B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor were maybe the only exceptions to this rule.


However, most designers do have biases in how they think, reflected in how their holes turn out.


So, Dr. MacKenzie may have had a bias in favor of building his short par-3 holes with a left-to-right diagonal green, to punish the short-right and long-left misses most common to lefthanders.  The 15th at Pasatiempo and the 12th at Augusta [and the original 16th at Augusta and the 7th at Moor Park] are all examples of that. 


But that doesn't equate to using the 15th at Pasatiempo as the template for the 12th at Augusta.


Why Moor Park? That was Colt.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

James Reader

  • Karma: +0/-0
A key question relevant to your theory Simon must be how familiar Mackenzie would have been with the reverse 1st and 2nd holes.


Do we know how much time he’d spent at St Andrews before they stopped playing the reverse course regularly? As I understand it, the practice of switching the routing in alternate weeks ended in the early 1900s and Mackenzie didn’t take up golf seriously until the late 1890s. No doubt he would have played the reverse course a few times but was he familiar enough with it for it to be such an influence on two holes? And had Bobby Jones played it at all?


Also, according to Jeremy Glenn’s In My Opinion piece, there’s some doubt as to whether the 1st and 2nd holes on the reverse course were actually played to the 17th and 16th greens after the new 1st green was built. He suggests the “reverse routing” might have started from the 3rd. 

Simon Barrington

  • Karma: +0/-0
A key question relevant to your theory Simon must be how familiar Mackenzie would have been with the reverse 1st and 2nd holes.

Do we know how much time he’d spent at St Andrews before they stopped playing the reverse course regularly? As I understand it, the practice of switching the routing in alternate weeks ended in the early 1900s and Mackenzie didn’t take up golf seriously until the late 1890s. No doubt he would have played the reverse course a few times but was he familiar enough with it for it to be such an influence on two holes? And had Bobby Jones played it at all?

Also, according to Jeremy Glenn’s In My Opinion piece, there’s some doubt as to whether the 1st and 2nd holes on the reverse course were actually played to the 17th and 16th greens after the new 1st green was built. He suggests the “reverse routing” might have started from the 3rd.
Thanks James, really good questions for sure.

Completely agree these are the key questions to be answered, and maybe by those more au fait with Dr. Mackenzie, Jones, Augusta and TOC than I. 
(All contributions very welcome)

I am of course looking for some positive reinforcement that it was possible, or even a quotation somewhere in his writings confirming his knowledge/experience of the clockwise "Reverse" routing.


Some finds from the last couple of days (not much Augusta watching for me this year it seems!):

The St Andrews Links Trust documentation for the Reverse Course (taken from both 2003 & 2024 versions) states that:-

The Reverse was played until OTM built the new 1st Green in 1870, in the late 19th and early 20th Century it alternated weekly, so he could have been au fait with the routing.

The clockwise (original) course was played across 22 holes until 1764, when the first four & last four were combined into two in and two out.

That is when the current 1st Tee to Current 17th "Road Hole" Green came into play, then separated by OTM in 1870 which opened up the counter-clockwise (current) direction of play.

As a member (from 1915 I believe) Dr. Mackenzie would have had several opportunities to play the reverse routing, as it was apparently played that way for c. one month in winters right up until the 1970s.

I was told in 2003 that the Reverse was previously used for certain Member's Meetings when they played the current way one day and the Reverse the next as a combined score. I going to check that out as it may be just a “Starters” tale.
Scott Macpherson’s Book on TOC is my next stop.

Dr. Mackenzie famously mapped the Old Course published in March 1924 (and in "The Spirit of St Andrews" he states that he even made errors in that mapping that were missed by others, but known to him).

If he was mapping the Old Course as extensively as he claimed (see below) then he surely will have done so from all angles, and not a stretch for him to consider the Reverse as a recently used and "original" routing (even if he never played it) to get the fullest appreciation of the Golf Architecture and heritage.

(Consistent to Mike Clayton’s #holesthatarenotholes he certainly could have looked leftwards to the Road Hole Green from the 1st Fairway and seen the potential in that orientation, regardless.)

On p.143 of “The Spirit of St Andrews” Mackenzie states “Even after years of study of the course, I am always discovering fresh and better methods of playing the holes”

However having re-read both “Spirit of St Andrews” and “Golf Architecture” over the last 2 days I have yet to find a specific reference to the reverse routing in either (they share large sections of writing too).

Perhaps the Dr. Mackenzie experts on here may be aware of a reference to the Reverse somewhere else in his writings
(Sadly, I don’t yet have a copy of the Mackenzie Reader)?

The Dr Mackenzie Chronology (created by the great work of many folk on here) refers to only two rounds played by Dr. Mackenzie on TOC (surely he must have played far more than that as a member until he moved to the US?):

12 June 1924 - Gave plan of TOC to R&A

29 Sept 1925 - Autumn Medal around TOC

29 May 1929 - Plays TOC w. Max Behr


In terms of Jones playing in reverse, I really doubt that he did, given he was really focused on tournament play on his visits to St Andrews, prior to retirement from competitive golf after "The Impregnable Quadrilateral" (not "Grand Slam" as too many now refer to his incredible achievements of 1930)

Additionally, The Amateur Championship was only ever played once in Reverse back in 1886 (by accident as they left the course out from the previous week!) when it was won by Horace Hutchison (Source- Scott Macpherson). The Open was never played that way round.


Lastly, The original pre-1870 22-Hole layout is a potential source of confusion for Jeremy Glenn's article, but I haven't seen that article before, so now need to get to read that one too...

…more research to be done for sure…


I am of course hopeful both influences I propose could still be possible, and the 5th possibly more so than the 12th (where the modern hole is more fitting visually than the original in that case, but strategically the original 1931 hole comparision may still be valid)…but both need proving (and that may be every tough indeed)…but neither is yet dismissed/disproven either…

I will try and get some pictures on here…still struggling with that.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: April 14, 2024, 06:17:31 AM by Simon Barrington »

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