Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Willie Park, Jr. and Huntercombe.

Huntercombe, from
Willie Park, Jr. is one of the most fascinating characters in the history of golf. Amongst other amazing feats, including two wins at the Open championship prior to 1900, Park is arguably the father of modern golf course architecture.

In 1901, he changed everyone's thoughts on building quality golf courses away from the sea with the debut of Sunningdale-Old, Notts and Huntercombe, in England. My ol' buddy Ran Morrissett has posted a fascinating profile of Huntercombe, featuring some excellent photos, at his infamous Golf Club Atlas site. Click here to go there.

During the 1920s, Park ventured to North America where he laid-out many other equally fascinating courses, including Chicago's Olympia Fields and Maidstone on Long Island, New York. He's also noted as the original designer of Calgary Golf and Country Club, Weston, Toronto Hunt and Ottawa Hunt in Ontario, plus Beaconsfield, Islesmere, Laval-sur-la-Lac, and the ultra-private (and, perhaps, best preserved Park design here, in Canada) Mount Bruno, in Montreal.

Morrissett's profile of Huntercombe has me captivated, and makes me think: Why, more than a century later, have so few subsequent golf course designs matched the classy standard set by Willie Park, Jr. at Sunningdale, Notts and Huntercombe?

You can read more about Park here, courtesy of his great nephew, Mungo Park, and Golf Course Architecture magazine.

No comments:

Post a Comment