News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
The original Biarritz
« on: February 10, 2006, 06:16:11 PM »
So where is this?  (original title)  


Is it O/t? No way.



But be quick because I'm going there tomorrow.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2006, 03:35:55 AM by Tony Muldoon »
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:So where is this?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 06:49:24 PM »
Tony

This may sound whacky, but my guess would be Portmeirion.  I have never seen the faux (don't know the Italian for fake) Italian village, but your photo somehow matches my imagination of what Portmeirion would look like.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 03:57:21 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

peter_p

Re:So where is this?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2006, 08:41:34 PM »
definitely not Portmeirion. It looks like Spain, Portugal or one of the islands. Muldoon's too far from So Cal. Its definitely Mediterranean look.

cary lichtenstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:So where is this?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2006, 08:47:43 PM »
Spain???
Lived Chicago, now Jupiter, Fl, was a 4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 3 back, wrist, shoulder surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, I don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms

Brent Hutto

Re:So where is this?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2006, 09:22:05 PM »
 Is it O/t? No way.

Keep in mind, he's telling us there's a golf connection somehow.

ForkaB

Re:So where is this?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2006, 10:28:09 PM »
Biarritz?  Original "Chasm" hole?

Keith Durrant

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:So where is this?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2006, 02:36:55 AM »
Tony, which courses are you planning on playing? Don't forget the camera ;)

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:So where is this?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2006, 03:59:38 AM »
Well, if it isn't Portmeirion, I am going to guess the Algarve.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 03:57:43 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:So where is this?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2006, 04:13:41 AM »
Correct Rich.

 This is about as close as you can get without invading private property or having mountaineering skills.  The original tee was (probably) on that ledge in the centre of the picture the other side of the garden.  The Atlantic was unusually quiet last July and to have played that shot with the wind howling and the sea crashing below must have been something.

Here is a painting from George Bahto’s excellent The Evangelist of Golf



The artist must have used the following photo hanging in the clubhouse as the model.



You can also just about make out the routing from the old map on the wall.  “The Chasm” was the third.



Finally I picked up this postcard when I was there. I’m not sure when the lighthouse was built but the photo could be from it.  The hole existed from 1888 to WW2 and if it’s an aerial then it’s very early. As best I can work out the original green would have been the other side of the second house on the right of the picture.




I will post more photos on the modern day course next week. There’s a voice outside my head shouting something about packing. Have a good half term.  (No golf clubs this time alas.)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2006, 04:16:51 AM by Tony Muldoon »
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

ForkaB

Re:So where is this?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2006, 05:17:49 AM »
Thanks, Tony.  Do I get a sweetie for getting it right?  I'm on half-term too, at least vicariously......

The lighthouse (and the Franco-Hispanic architecture) were the giveaways.

Great additional pictures. I'm particularly intrigued by the old stick routing that says that the hole was 90 yards!  Uncle George Bahto says in his feature interview on this site that there was a 170 yard carry.  90 seems much more realistic at the turn of the last century.  The guys who could carry it 170 then were the Bubba Watson's and JB Holmes' of the Edwardian age.  Was there length added at some time before Mcdonald saw it/heard of it?

Of course, I've always been sceptical that the Chasm was Mcdonald's inspiration for his Biarritzi (is that the proper way of pluralising in Basque?).  The 16th at North Berwick seems a much more likely candidate, but who am I to know.......? ;)

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:So where is this?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2006, 05:46:50 AM »
Divorce is now imminent. Can someone else ost the sketch on page 150 of George's book. See ya
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2006, 05:00:49 PM »
If you want something done round here then you just have to do it yourself.

This is the schematic of the hole from George’s book.



AS this shows the original hole was very challenging when it was designed by Dunn in 1888.  Within a decade the ‘chasm’ element was dropped and the hole was shorter.  MacDonald’s main trips to see and study holes in Europe were 1902, 1904 and 1906 so he would have been aware of all this.  He would also have seen the angle of attack into the green had changed.

On this latest trip I read what I could in local book shops and it seems that after Chiberta was opened with the Prince of Wales in attendance in 1928 this club fell out of fashion and became known as a place where the young could play. Hence by the 1960’s the hole was only 90 yards long. A young man form the club told me that the section of the club by the sea disappeared after the war, but on reflection he wouldn’t even have been born in the 60’s!  


There are not very good photo’s in local history books of the holes that were played down at sea level and looking the other way from the first picture shows the hotel built in 1968 that necessitated a major change to the course.



However there is one more picture showing another of the original holes playing 60 yards up from the beach area  - again a challenging shot in 1888?



I will post on a separate thread how the course is today.  As the following card show absolutely nothing remains of Dunn’s work despite the claim on the card. Does anyone know who is responsible for the redesigns in 1946 and 1the 1960’S?


on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

TEPaul

Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2006, 07:15:51 PM »
Tony:

Do you know for sure when those architectural drawings were done?

George_Bahto

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2006, 10:26:48 PM »
Tony: the green was to the left of the lighthouse.

It is no longer there.

The tee is not longer there, neither.

funny: a friend of my was going there last year (a non-golfer). I cued him in as to what to look for and take some picture for me.  He was totally crazed because nothing I described was there - there was absolutely nothing left of the hole - house or condos now I think

That painting in my book was done about 3 years after the hole was built. It is not very big.

Rare book dealer and friend Dick Donovan came back from a trip to England a nuber of years ago and while visiting a friend (or client) he saw the painting in this fella house.

Dick had been helping me try to find out Biarritz info for a couple years before, so he asked the owner if it would be alright for me to use a photo of it for my book. Obviously, yes was the answer.

When Dick returned he told me of the picture and wanted to know if I was interested in buying (it was not for sale, of course - he was kidding)

The owner paid over 50 lbs (quids - buckeroos - sheckles - or something) for it

incredible piece  ...

there were two other b & wt pieces (certainly by the same artist) that were publised in various other publications (Br Golf Illustrated was one)..... it's interesting because those were similar, viewed from the same spot, but a little different in content, so I guess the artist made a few "test-cases"
If a player insists on playing his maximum power on his tee-shot, it is not the architect's intention to allow him an overly wide target to hit to but rather should be allowed this privilege of maximum power except under conditions of exceptional skill.
   Wethered & Simpson

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2006, 03:19:18 AM »
Tom

The routing appears to me to be that between 1945 to 1985 approx - but I will check when I can next get back there.  The schematic - perhaps George will confirm - but it's the same hand as the rest of the drawings in the book so I guess he's the artist.  There is an inconsitency though, the routing shows the shot accross a chasm at 90 yards but George's drawing shows it being wholly over land at that distance.  That is exactly what I would have expect so the only explanation I can suggest is the map may have interpolated a 'chasm' to keep the name alive?

George

When I was there last summer I had the photocopies of the pages from your book.  I got talking with the guy who organised the start times and ran the shop and got talking about the routing.  He was keen and interested told me about the photos in the changing room. (I believe what I called a photo above was probably a b/w copy of one of the sketches you refer to). He had grown up in the area so we got a map out and he pointed me to the spot where I took the first photo as the closest you can get to it.   I think the artist of the paintings brings the lighthouse forward towards the green for dramatic effect. As my photo shows the point it sits on extends several hundred yards from the tee area.  The post card was almost certainly taken from the lighthouse (phare) which was built circa 1830. The Chasm hole actually played across the corner of the point.  Your friend is right there is nothing today to indicate where the hole was (unless someone with better French than mine wants to start knocking on doors asking to see the back garden and explaining this strange obsession).

I left the photocopies with him - he said there were several members who would be very interested in them.  Hopefully it will inspire the club to research and display more about its history.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2006, 03:44:45 AM by Tony Muldoon »
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Keith Durrant

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2006, 04:53:07 PM »
Never mind "the Biarritz chasm"...what's that "chambre d'amour" hazard on the course plan? :-*

George_Bahto

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2006, 05:05:28 PM »
"I think the artist of the paintings brings the lighthouse forward towards the green for dramatic effect"

probably did - it was originally about 175 over water from the high teebox

in 1895, can you imaging the fear factor on the tee-ball - hearts fluttered and butts, puckered, I'd bet

there were about 5 holes down in the canyon that looked very interesting also.

on the final hole in the canyon (coming out of the canyon) the players of the day complained they often could not find their shots -  the locals would steal the golf balls

interesting - the legend follows:

"Five holes were located down off a cliff into what was called the "Chambre d'Amour"; a deep sandy based barren area, The Chambre d'Amour area presented terrible lies until ten years later “when the additions of topsoil, sowing of seed" [apparently very little grass was present through the green ], and "sodding the greens with a peculiar ‘weed’ called ‘chiendent’ transformed the barren wasteland into an oasis of green”

Legend has it,  "Chambre d'Amour" acquired its name from an incident when two Basque lovers were caught by the incoming tide and drowned in a cave years before. (some things never change, huh?)

In order to extricate yourself from this canyon, a golfer had to play "an iron or a mashie shot" up a cliff 80 feet high, to the green. (gb: sounds high, but that the article said)

The 9th hole was the entrance to the Chambre.  It was a short par 4, 335 yards, from the top of the cliff; the drive had to be hit far and straight in order to land safely on the flats below.  

yada - yada ....   THEN IT WAS OUT OF THE VALLEY

Although the Chambre d’Amour section of the course (9 through 13) was a special section of Dunn’s course it was hole 3 (Chasm) where the real drama unfolded - - the origin of the Biarritz Hole

Hole #3 - “Chasm”     -   220 yards

Biarritz, France:   1888

played across a wing of the Bay of Biscay from an 80 foot cliff to a 50 foot cliff


If a player insists on playing his maximum power on his tee-shot, it is not the architect's intention to allow him an overly wide target to hit to but rather should be allowed this privilege of maximum power except under conditions of exceptional skill.
   Wethered & Simpson

Tommy_Naccarato

Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2006, 05:23:03 PM »
About the demise Excerpt from American Golfer:

The South of France Season

THE SOUTH OF FRANCE season is in
full swing, but, as was almost to be expected
in the circumstances which obtain,
it is more of a social character
than highly competitive. It has, however,
been enormously successful so
far, and despite the high cost of everything
in France and the increased
green fees on the courses on the Riviera
and in the Biarritz region there
has not been room enough on those
courses for all those who wished to
play upon them. Recently in these
pages some notes were made on the
present state of golfing things on the
Riviera. These may now be supplemented
by some others upon the present
season at the other group of winter
courses in southern France, those
in the aforesaid Biarritz region in the
corner of the Bay of Biscay, where,
I am informed, the American contingent
is very much in force. The conditions
as between the two groups
vary very much. Round about Biarritz
the temperature for one thing is
generally much lower, and there is
often much wind. Mr. Corrie who
was for so long secretary and was so
closely identified with the golf club
there has left and is home in England,
and Lt Col. Finlay reigns in his stead.
Thanks to him I am able to give a
fair indication of the position at Biarritz.
Of course most people have
some sort of an impression that the
golf here was carried on during the
war, for we have heard about it from
time to time, but not many have any
particulars, and it may not be realised
what a severe trial the club has had.
Like many others it has suffered from
greatly reduced income, and the increased
cost of golf stores and labor
and every kind of commodity used
for golf and the upkeep of such a
club and course. Essentially a winter
course, during the last few years owing
to the largely increased number
of Spanish and French players it has
been kept open all the year round. In
the really hot period of summer, July
to September, water is the difficulty
as the "terrain" is sandy or light soil.
As the ordinary water supply is inadequate
and the installation of a pipe
supply almost prohibitive at present
prices, it is practically impossible to
keep the greens in first-class order all
the time. However, despite the strain
of the war and all the other aggravating
conditions and circumstances no
man or woman should stay away from
Biarritz because of an idea that it is
not as good as it used to be. In recent
times there have been heavy rains and
work on the course has been conducted
with the utmost energy, so that
some weeks since it was believed that
the fairway and the greens would soon
be as good as ever they were. It was
then hoped and believed also that the
famous holes in the lower part of the
course in what is known as the
"Chambre d'Amour" would be in use
again this season. The greens have
been resown and promise well despite
the difficulties of the soil and the nuisance
of worms and other underground
pests. Even many who have
never been to Biarritz have some idea
of the strong features of this course.
It is, however, not a difficult one, and
the bunkers are largely natural. Besides
the main eighteen-holes course
which is reserved for males but on
which ladies may play twice a week
in certain conditions, there is a nineholes
course especially reserved for
ladies. The resident British professional
is J. Anderson and there are also
several French "professeurs" at hand
to give lessons, including E. Lafitte,
Gassiat, Bomboudiac and Maurice
Dauge, the man who once created
such a sensation with his enormous
driving. There are plenty of competitions
the busy time for these being Feb.
and March. The last summer season
was very successful, and it is believed
that the winter one will be also. Hotel
and other charges at Biarritz are high
as they are everywhere in France, but
then the favourable exchange has to
be considered, and, after all, the Biarritz
rates, all things considered, do
not appear to be unduly inflated, while
on the other hand there is reason to
believe that the hotel keepers are beginning
to appreciate the wisdom of
reducing their tariff as much as possible
in the hope of fastening on to
a new and regular set of customers.



Ian Andrew

Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2006, 05:37:12 PM »
Tony,

Thanks, I'm enjoying the thread.

Tommy_Naccarato

Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2006, 07:06:58 PM »
From what I was reading, the course wasn't architectural perfection as some of us might like it to be, but it had its moments.   Uncle George's article has it conflicting as the stuff I have found has the hole playing from the lower point (as seen in the image) uphill to the green across the chasm.

View from the green of the Chasm Hole tee. I think one of the reasons why there just aren't a lot of good images of that particular green is simply because of the uphill nature of the green itself from the tee and from elsewhere near the hole, it was just too hard to photograph.


The 11th which played downhill from the chambre d'amour.


The 12th played back up over the chambre d'amour and was supposedly the most prominent and feared hole at Biarritz.


I did find some images of the actual Biarritz or Chasm Hole at the Ralph, and it wasn't nearly as glamorous as we would probably like them to be. It was for the most part a very rudimentary golf course with a lot of quirky challenges, especially from the tee. The Chasm Hole itself was--as described by one H. Wigham--as a strong running punch shot into the wind which required you to hit the front and run it on from there. It was the more sensible play, albeit a chance that you would have to hit through the huge swale while avoiding the hogsback nature of the first half of the green which could funnel you into the deep bunkers on both sides. If you tried to carry the deep swale--and failed, you would have an even tougher play from with-in the swale itself.

While the Chasm has become one of our cult icon favorites, it was actually the Cliff Hole that was most popular from the early days of that resort.
 However, architecturally speaking, the Chasm's strategy is probably the most defining architectural feature to come from the course, and that probably even existed there. We're talking back in the days when golf holes and their features were reputable, almost in a rock star sense. (a term stolen from the late but still great and highly entertaining Desmond Muirhead)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2006, 07:12:17 PM by Thomas Naccarato »

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2006, 07:12:08 PM »
So, George, I have a question:

Did the original hole in France have a multi-level green, or is Macdonald's idea for the green just a cross-section of the original golf hole, with the swale in the green being the chasm?

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2006, 03:21:07 AM »

View from the green of the Chasm Hole tee. I think one of the reasons why there just aren't a lot of good images of that particular green is simply because of the uphill nature of the green itself from the tee and from elsewhere near the hole, it was just too hard to photograph.


Thanks guys great stuff.  I have several more vintage postcards I picked up but frustratingly the hole is always just off picture.  Biarritz at the time was an early aviation centre and I'm sure there must be some aerials somewhere.

Tommy there's somthing wrong about this picture.  Possibly it's been printed as a negative - if you look at the routing plan and George's painting above it clearly shows which side the open sea is on.  Also St Jean de Luz is about 5 miles to the south of Biarritz and the course is on the North side of town.
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Tommy_Naccarato

Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2006, 03:58:02 AM »
Tony,
The image is O.K. I think you might be turning yourself around a bit, which is an easy thing to do given the complexity of this particular site. Also, Uncle George's greensite from the vertical drawing he used from Evangelists of Golf looks to be somewhat conflicting with the routing layout map that you have posted. So that could be confusing things a bit.

This image is take from the front left of the Chasm green looking back towards the tee. In fact, it may be somewhat way left of it, right next to the 2nd fairway. (according to the layout map) So, as it says that a pull left would put the ball among these rocks, the image is showing the ground just short left of the hole looking back towards the tee.

British Golf Links (last page of the Biarritz chapter) also has an image of the hole from the green looking towards the tee from what would probably be the front right--because once again, I think the greensite, being elevated above the teeing ground made it close to impossible to get a good image of the green, which was somewhat sizable and simply out of view with all of its intricacies.

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2006, 04:44:04 AM »
Thanks Tommy

For the picture to work it would have to be the later position because the background is all sea (then the comments about the pulled shot also make sense).  If you get a chance I'd love to see the other picture even if as you say it only reveals a little.

A period aerial would be the answer.

Incidentally the new club house (shown on the back to the card) and the majority of holes are today are on what was the ladies area in the above map.  The modern hotel shown is built on the area referred to as "Chambre d'Amour"; and although I've never seen it the local guide books all have photo's of the cave where the tragic event is supposed to have happened.

Tony

Looking at multimap today the nearest location I can get for it is Lat: 43:29:25N (43.4904) Lon: 1:33:15W (-1.5541)

Does anyone know of digital mapping service for continental Europe that has satelite images?

on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

George_Bahto

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:The original Biarritz
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2006, 12:04:58 PM »
Tom Doak: I've been trying to get some indication of what the green was like for a long time but have had no success (yet). I think you and I talked about it years ago.

I "go down this road" about the  greens Macdonald and Raynor built:

As I stated in my book, early on the hole was often called the "Valley of Sin" hole - also called Macdonald's Folly.

Right or wrong, I think CBM did one of his "composite" holes when he built Biarritz, combining the tee-ball from Chasm and using the Valley of Sin concept from St. Andrews 18.

Think about the green area when it was first built; an extremely long hole from a very high tee, certainly a bounding ball on firm ground after you made the carry, so the approach area had to be fairly long, before you got to the green (certainly a single-green).  Macdonald always described the approach to the green as having a hog’s-back feature. Most of these hog’s-back features were removed .... usually they were angled ridges built in the first section of what we now talk of as “double-green.”  Very few remain (I have trouble even recalling any beside the great example I have on the Knoll’s 13th). I do have a set of Charles Banks green blueprint of a Biarritz green that clearly shows these and features of the green area (Oneck course) .

The angled ridges (long mounds about 10 inches high) were designed to shunt you off into the long strip bunkers if you landed too far off the centerline. I think it would be safe to assume there was uneven ground on the original Biarritz green approach area - unless he just wanted to be at his usual diabolical self.

The Bay of Biscay carry was simulated when he built the short cross bunker (usually taken out) - these were not more that the requisite 160-175 yds off the tee (there was only one back tee on  almost all the holes they built).

My opinion and I can only hope someone would, or could, come up with info on the original Chasm hole green config.

Since there seems to be no info on the original green and its bunkering, he may have used the strip bunkering to represent; the cliffs on the right and what other bad thing may have been on the left ............. certainly nothing like that at 18-St Andrews, to contain (early Rees J ?) bounding balls

When Donovan first told me I had an 8 X 10 glossy of the painting coming to me, I was hoping it would show something of the green.    NOT

(the original Biarritz course, from what I have read about it, sounded like not much more that a thinly grassed cow pasture)

Tommy N: what was the date of that article?
If a player insists on playing his maximum power on his tee-shot, it is not the architect's intention to allow him an overly wide target to hit to but rather should be allowed this privilege of maximum power except under conditions of exceptional skill.
   Wethered & Simpson

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back