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Willie Tucker Jr.  

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One of the little known pioneers of the game was Willie Tucker, Jr.  From the period of 1895 through the 1930s, he was involved in designs almost across the country, starting in the NYC area with "first designs" for famous clubs, (St Andrews, Maidstone, etc.), on to Philadelphia (Philadelphia CC, Bala), and then building courses over the remainder of his career as far east as Queens, in middle American Nebraska, in CA, in the Pacific Northwest, in Salt Lake City, UT.

At least one prominent member of this Discussion Group is a member at a Tucker designed course.  

I've played a few myself, and the talk of public courses in NYC reminded me that I've played Douglaston (fka North Hills CC) which still has a lot of neat stuff left, as well as Clearview in Queens, which is almost pure Tucker and fairly mundane.  On the other hand, the original nine he built at Bonneville in Salt Lake City is really fun stuff, making good use of the land.

How would other's who've played Tucker courses describe his design style?  Why don't we hear more about him, as he was right there at the start of it all in this country, and evidently had a thriving practice until the depression.

Is he a forgotten gem, or has much of his best work been lost over time?

I think SR. Tucker was the pioneer, followed by his son, JR., who was also an architect.  I haven't played a course by either, Mike, but I think someone needs to write a book
about some of these pioneers of the game. Know anyone
who'd be interested? ;)

Craig Van Egmond:

Craig, Mike,

         I had never heard of Willie Tucker Jr. or Sr for that matter so I took the time to open Architects of Golf to see what it had to say.  While Willie Sr is credited with building 4 courses here in the state of Washington, what is say about Jr. is: "Tucker Jr. did not work under his own name until his father's death in 1954, although some of the courses that bore then name of his father were actually his own designs" It doesn't list which of these they were.

         A couple of architects who's names I recently came across in my research on golf in Oklahoma are Alex Findlay and Floyd Farley, who each built lots of courses but don't seem to get much mention.  Alex came over from Scotland and introduced the first golf courses in Nebraska and Oklahoma.  Floyd Farley built over 100 golf courses.  Oklahoma has its roots firmly planted in Scottish influence, with Findlay, Leslie Brownlee and Art Jackson all scottish imigrants laying out the first courses in Oklahoma. And then Perry Maxwell was born of Scottish parents.

      Someone needs to do a book on Perry Maxwell!

Mike Cirba,

You have an open invite to play Preakness Hills anytime you want.

It is a neat little layout, slowly being ruined by each governing faction at the club.

The similarity to GCGC in the blending of fairway into green is terrific, and you can see some of Maidstone's features as well.
We try to keep it fast and firm, and unless the weather is unusual, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

We just excavated 15,000 cubic yards of dirt to build another retention pond, and the geniuses in charge had two contractors willing to take the fill away at no cost, but instead, the rocket scientists chose to make mounds, totally out of context with the course and existing debris or indian burial mounds that appear on the property.


I've often told you it's a neat little course, and I think you would enjoy it, yet you'll agonize over the idiotic changes made, and proposed.

Still, it makes for a great round of golf, and after 50 years, I still enjoy each new round, and that has to count for something enduring.

P.Sl  TEPaul, you too, have an open invite.  :)


I'd love to come up for a game next year.  Thank you very much.

You mentioned a number of ill-considered changes that have taken place at Preakness over the years, and I also am aware of the "master plan" by a modern architect that was thankfully rejected.

Given the history of the course, what % would you say is still Willie Tucker all these years later?


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