Feature Interview with Mark Chalfant
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McGregor’s Third

Favorites at McGregor

The stretch from three to seven is one of the most compelling that our master ever created. The third is an option filled 231 yard par three with cross bunkers and a superb cupped green. McGregor’s fourth has superb fairway undulation that impacts level stances and sightlines throughout its 320 yards. Ten, and fourteen are an architectural rarity: two medium length par fours overflowing with character. Superb green sites abound all over the 1921 layout, including plateaus at ten, thirteen and sixteen. The 17th is a fine homage to the Alps prototype and its putting surface is a gentle punch bowl.

Discuss Emmet’s Input at The National Golf Links.

Charles Blair Macdonald , Devereux Emmet and H.J. Whigham were all close friends. Devereux Emmet, at Macdonald’s request visiting numerous golf courses in the British Isles to study and make detailed drawings of exemplary courses and some off the beaten path. In some cases, he made sketches of specific elements of individual holes. These prolonged visits occurred before actual construction began. I had several conversations about Golden Age architecture with the late George Bahto. We spoke about Shoreacres’ routing and the marvelous bunkering at St. Louis Country Club. In regards to National’ Golf Links of America’s evolution George told me:
Macdonald was the conceptual and the big picture guy. Then George emphasized that during actual construction process: Devereux Emmet and Seth Raynor were the hands on men. As our long conversation winded down the historian noted that between Emmet and Macdonald
“ Mark,, there was a lot of cross fertilization in their design tendencies. “

Women’s National: Emmets affinities with Macdonald bunkering

Saint Georges, A Museum of Golden Age Bunkering?

Let’s clarify my earlier summation of this transcendent work of course design.. Yes the tactical sophistication of the sandy hazards are marvelous. However the integration of hazards along the ground, angles of play, and the seamless interplay of shared fairways are a sight to behold. This 1917 layout epitomizes Devereux’s recurring motif remarkable changes of pace. The bunker –scarred 570 yard second fairway offers numerous paths to get home, its putting surface flows effortlessly from the fairway’s quiet grade. Conversely, the challenge on third hole stems from its rambunctious sloping fairway, which offers few level stances. Accordingly distance control to the downhill target is unforgiving. The drop shot seventh and the uphill tee shot on eight form yet another superb study in contrast at Saint Georges. Such inspired ebbs and flows pervade the entire golf course. Like playing the game at Garden City and Myopia, at St. Georges the avid golfer experiences a vital, historic sense of place.

Emmet was a pioneer on the American golf architecture scene

With the completion of Saint Georges by 1917, Emmet had built a solid resume. In terms of quality he was only equalled or surpassed one American based architect by Donald Ross. For example four courses Garden City (1899), Cooperstown (1909) Wheatley Hills (1913) Meadow Brook (1916) were completed before Emmet’s landmark at St. Georges. In 1917. Alister Mackenzie did not work in America until 1926. William Langford and A.W. Tillinghast were just getting started. Perhaps a concise way to sum up Emmet’s professional stature at that point in time is :

Quantity, quality and early. His work was groundbreaking

Pleasant surprises:

Hob Nob Hill !!! routing and bunkering The topsy- turvy terrain that makes Keney Park’s first six holes so fun.. Emmet’s creativity at Queens Valley and Powelton.. The exceptional variety of holes at Meadow Brook Hunt (1916) The strategic affinities between Devereux Emmet’s bunkering at Queens Valley McGregor and that of National Golf Links of America…

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Keney Park’s Second

Did Emmet speak about his favorite courses in Great Britain that influenced his golf course designs ?

Yes, Devereux spoke about what he liked and did not like. Emmet e there almost every year for three decades. Emmet admired the Old course and north Berwick. However the town he preferred
To stay in during exetended visits was north Berwick. He tended to stay there for a period of six weeks.
The two courses he found most inspiring were north Berwick and Prestwick. The following describes the day of a sportsman in Ayshire.

We saw the Park and Fernie match at NrothBerwick Links The following days I played matches at Troon. One time I played foursomses with Sybil Whigham at Prestwick. Prestwick, near Troon is my favorite Links

Although he held both Saint Andrews and North Berwick in very high regard Emmet made it clear that he felt template holes were overdone in America, especially the common models for par three holes.
There is an oversupply of Redan and Eden holes in the United States, there must be over twenty Redan Holes south of the Canadian Border !

Lament the passing
The high quality of so many golf courses his no longer existing portfolio. Pomonok, Queens Valley, Hob Nob Hill are all discussed in the book.

Huntington

Emmet would be Proud of Today.

Garden City, Schuyler Meadows, Saint George’s, Glen Head, Huntington

Rockville’s Third: Beautiful textures and low profile shaping

Vintage putting contours : Pelham’s 10th 137 yards

Hampshire 8: 302 yards requires a towering pitch from 60 feet belo

 

Leewood’s back nine: many daunting uphill tee shots, don’t go right on the tenth !

Leewood’s fourth

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