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Paul_Turner

Two Loops of 9
« on: January 05, 2003, 08:29:14 AM »
I'm trying to figure out when this routing plan became popular.  Early UK examples include:

Stoneham (Willie Park Jr) 1908

St George's Hill (Colt) 1912

Rye is close (again Colt in 1894) when it originally had two loops of 8 and 10.  After 1907 it did have two loops of 9.

But are there any ancient Scottish courses with two 9 loops?

In the US the earliest I can think of is Pine Valley (1913).

Mackenzie is famous for having written this down as one of his 13 principles in 1920; which of his very earliest designs used it?



« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tom MacWood (Guest)

Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2003, 08:39:12 AM »
Paul
Macdonald's Chicago GC from 1894/5 had two loops of nine.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Brian Phillips

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Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2003, 09:10:27 AM »
Paul,

In my book 'World Atlas of Golf' by Hamlyn the following quote may help from page 11 of the 2000 edition:

'Muirfield and Portmarnock were among the earliest courses to depart from the then accepted principle of nine holes out to a distant point and nine holes back.  On both courses only once do three succesive holes pursue the samedirection, forcing the golfer to play the wind from all quarters.'

If I am not mistaken Portmarnock was laid out by George Ross and W.I. Pickeman in 1894.

Cheers Brian
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Paul_Turner

Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2003, 10:24:24 AM »
Thanks

Brian not sure about Portmarnock, I'll check.  Muifield's first routing wasn't two loops (1891), but it's second and third routings were.  Not sure about the date of the second routing.  The third was about 1925.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

TEPaul

Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2003, 10:50:55 AM »
Paul:

If you're thinking of Pine Valley as two loops of nine returning to the clubhouse that would have to be used a bit loosely--#9 & #10 are not next to the clubhouse.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Brian Phillips

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Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2003, 11:15:30 AM »
Paul,

I would have to agree with Tom about PV.

I have another quote this time from the book Muirfield and The Honourable Company - George Pottinger 1972

Page 59

'An additional 50 acres of land in the north was purchased and plans for what amounted to a new course were produced by English golf course architect, Mr. Harry Colt, relying on local advice mainly from Robert Maxwell.  The new layout was completed in 1925 and in the following year changes met with general approval during the Amateur Championship.'  Which was won by an American called Jesse Sweetser.

Tom Simpson was asked to come in to check the course for possible alterations before the 1935 Open.  He only added one bunker, that on the ninth fairway forty yards short of the green now known as 'Simpson's Folly'.

Brian.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Paul_Turner

Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2003, 11:28:55 AM »
Where is the PV clubhouse?  By the 4th green?

Brian

I think Simpson may have changed the 13th too.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Brian Phillips

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Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2003, 11:37:45 AM »
Paul,

Yes, the clubhouse is across the entrance road from the fourth green.

The 13th at Muirfield was changed but I can't find out by whom yet!!  I will have to read the book a little more thoroughly to find out.  Will let you know soon.

Brian
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Dan King

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Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2003, 01:48:54 PM »
I thought this would be a fairly easy question to answer. But I've gone through a number of books this morning and can't find the answer. I think I'm going to have to open up some boxes of books out in the garage. Guessing, I'd think it was a nine hole course who procured some additional land near the clubhouse to build nine more holes.

According to John Kerr's Golf Book of East Lothian,published in 1896, the original Muirfield, opened in 1891 was 16 holes, and 2 miles and 1399 yards long. It was expanded to 18 holes "before twelvemonths was over." Paul Turner is correct, the 1892 version, used for the Open Championship of 1892, was not two loops of nine, but the holes weren't terribly different than the current configuration, with the 11th hole coming back to the clubhouse, where the ninth hole currently sits.

The below is the routing for Muirfield circa 1892:


Click here if you want a much larger picture of the routing

Dan King
Quote
"The hundred or so followers of the Royal and Ancient game who journeyed from Edinburgh on the morning of Thursday 22 September, the opening day, went prepared to have a thorough treat."
 --David Scott Duncan (of the first Muirfield Open, 1892)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Paul_Turner

Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2003, 03:06:57 PM »
Dan

I got these from the Muirfield books and "Colt and Co".

The first routing by Old Tom is (like yours):



And here's a comparison of the second and third (current) routings. The 7th,8th and 9th are in the same place but the other 15 are new holes by Colt. (It looks like he might have changed the green shapes of 7-9?)



The map states 1920 for the second routing, but I think it might be a bit earlier.

County Down was probably a v early two loop course.  Although it has gone through a lot of changes like Muirfield.





« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:01 PM by -1 »

Tyler Kearns

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Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2003, 03:47:48 PM »
Paul,
       Cornish & Whitten note that the two loops of nine concept was devised by Old Tom Morris. They trace back its use, not necessarily inception, to his 1891 routing of Royal County Down. There, he fashioned opposing nines that made their way back to the clubhouse in both a clockwise & counter-clockwise path. Old Tom's routing offered a plethora of directions, which yielded the wind a more interesting factor, as opposed to an exhausting outward nine into a prevailing wind (St.Andrews)! The looping nines lent greater variety to the game, and probably helped popularize it by offering a shorter version of the game (9-holes).

Tyler Kearns  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

mark studer

Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2003, 03:57:54 PM »
Oakmont,circa 1903, has 2 loops of 9 holes. The front nine returns to the clubhouse at #9 only. The inward side returns to the clubhouse at #11,#14, and #18 green complex. It may be in the running for the oldest original 2 loops in the US.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Paul_Turner

Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2003, 04:34:07 PM »
Tyler

Thanks, I need to check the club history to see what Old Tom's original routing was exactly like.  It certainly was nothing like today's but I do remember it wasn't in the classic out and in pattern.

As Dan says, that original Muirfield isn't all that different from two loops of nine.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Dan King

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Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2003, 04:43:08 PM »
According to Robert Kroeger in Golf Courses of Old Tom Morris Cornish and Whitten got this one wrong. The original Royal County Down, according to a recently found map dated 1892, started and ended near the old railway station.



The book says that the course was redesigned in 1894, but down't say if it was changed to two loops then.

Dan King
Quote
"The holes [at Royal County Down] changed direction prequently (almost every time), taking advantage of the wind, but the holes did not form two loops -- each returning to the clubhouse."
 --Robert Kroeger (on Tom Morris' original routing of Royal County Down)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Paul_Turner

Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2003, 05:54:06 PM »
The two loops popularity probably started once the private clubhouse became important.  With the ancient Scottish courses weren't most clubs run by the town, without a single private clubhouse  i.e. clubs could play on the links but didn't own it.  As at N Berwick, Montrose and others now.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

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Re: Two Loops of 9
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2003, 08:57:27 PM »
Muirfield and Portmarnock are regarded as the "birthplace" of the two loop routing, at least in their form once the hand of man was allowed in to "fix" things from any accidental routing previously imposed by nature or otherwise.

Also, it must be credited to The Old Course, which at the time of courses being purposefully routed, had by that time the accepted "18 hole" duration. As the Golden Age gained momentum it became fashionable to allow a break within the round, and 1/2 of 18 is, well, go figure.

Mankind strives for organization and balance. It is what we see in patals of flowers, the fingers on one hand versus the other, and in the balance of our own faces. The "half-and-half" approach is actually quite natural, despite its contrived appearance.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
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