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Paul_Turner

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Toronto GC "Restoration"
« on: August 01, 2009, 10:27:31 PM »
This website follows the "restoration" at Toronto Golf Club: http://www.tdigolf.com/blog.aspx  

Although it isn't a restoration because the course never looked like this.

Predictably, the bunker work looks be very similar to the new Hawtree work at Sunningdale Old.  It is in a Colt style, but just not what he did at Toronto or even Sunningdale Old for that matter.  It's all much more Colt 1925 than 1911!

The 11th green is supposed to have been moved left, but I can't make it out on the photo.  The 15th we know is also being shifted and they are supposed to be replicating the green contours at a new site.  Not sure how that will work out.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 10:32:38 PM by Paul_Turner »
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Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 01:45:56 PM »
I'm wondering if any of the Canadian GCAers can pinpoint how far the 11th green has been shifted?  It's reported to have been laser matched to the original, so perhaps the hole won't play much differently?  But why was it moved in the first place?





Here's the bunker work....much fancier that the original work:




Meanwhile 3000+ miles away The Burma Road is being changed by Ernie Els and Co.

Recognize the style? Variety is the spice.





can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Brian Phillips

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 02:04:02 PM »
Paul,

How many Colt courses have that amount of grass coming down to meet the sand edge?  I cannot think of any Colt courses that have that style of bunkering.

I just don't understand what is being done in both those bunker pictures.  I remember seeing the same style on the new bunkering at Sunningdale. 
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

Ben Stephens

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009, 02:30:48 PM »
The redesign of the bunkers at Toronto is very similar to the recently 'refurbished and relocated' ones at Luffenham Heath a James Braid designed course (Rutland UK) the work was carried out by Hawtree as well.

To me the bunkers are very un-Braid-like - My general feeling is that its Hawtree's interpretion of a old style course rather than a Colt or a Braid style course. Some of them are unfair with some crazy lies (downhill ones!) and the depth of the sand was inconsitent due to the shape/slope of the bunkers.

From the bigger picture some areas of the LH has improved but I feel in some respects it has lost its originality and old fashioned feel. I hope Toronto is not going into a similar direction.   

Ben Stephens

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2009, 02:36:15 PM »
http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,31071.0/

Previous topic re: Luffenham Heath - some pics showing steepness of the sand faces and the repetitively refurbished 'wiggly' shaped bunkers

Robert Thompson

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2009, 11:02:28 PM »
Paul -- the change is because of safety. At least that's how members were sold on it. Interesting that an associate, a member since the 1970s, can not recall a single issue on the hole. And do we honestly think it'll play the same? New bunkers and newly relocated green? Come on -- this isn't a restoration, and I'm beginning to think that Hawtree (whose original work at Tarandowah I'm very fond of...) doesn't do restoration. He interprets and rebuilds.

Anyway, the green was shifted maybe 15 yards to the left.

I'm wondering if any of the Canadian GCAers can pinpoint how far the 11th green has been shifted?  It's reported to have been laser matched to the original, so perhaps the hole won't play much differently?  But why was it moved in the first place?





Here's the bunker work....much fancier that the original work:




Meanwhile 3000+ miles away The Burma Road is being changed by Ernie Els and Co.

Recognize the style? Variety is the spice.






Terrorizing Toronto Since 1997

Read me at Canadiangolfer.com

Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2009, 09:44:39 AM »
Here's Colt in his 1913 report:

"The banks of some of the bunkers can be easily modified, and if 'torn' out of the hills and natural undulations made, will look more natural. The sand can be added so as to give a good effect by allowing it to 'splash' up against the banks and look as if it had been blown by the wind, and the margins can be made quite irregular and rough,"

So why wasn't this approach used? Those traps on the 10th are built into natural mounds/hills and could have easily been "torn out".

Why the finicky shaping and grass down the face?

The "torn out" style was typical of Colt pre WW1.  He writes the same comments on "tearing out" ridges to form bunkers at Toronto, Hamilton and Pine Valley.  Fairly simple shapes, almost triangular in many cases, but rugged outlines.

And of course the 8th at St George's Hill was the ultimate torn out bunker. 
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2009, 11:17:10 AM »
Rob - what was deemed to be unsafe about the old 11th green?  Was it felt that you couldn't see golfers on the green?

I have played the course several times in the last few years and the bunkers at TGC were kind of blah typical 1950s-60s style- generally shallow and oval shaped that wouldn't excite a "bunker fetishist".  In addition many of the fairway bunkers were far outside of the line of play and were several yards into the rough.  Given the fact that several of the other clubs in the city have recently gone through bunker restorations (St Georges, Weston, Rosedale and Scarboro to name four) perhaps the club felt that it should do the same.

Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2009, 02:39:29 PM »
Colt's "torn out" bunkers pre WW1 at St George's Hill and St Cloud.  He took photos of these courses with him when traveling back to North America in 1913.





Wayne

I'm assuming they were convinced that the 12th tee is too close to the 11th green?
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2009, 05:03:33 PM »
Paul,

How many Colt courses have that amount of grass coming down to meet the sand edge?  I cannot think of any Colt courses that have that style of bunkering.

I just don't understand what is being done in both those bunker pictures.  I remember seeing the same style on the new bunkering at Sunningdale.  

Brian and Ben

Here's an example with consecutive holes on one course, Belvoir Park:

The 7th with a new Hawtree green complex with its 3 mounds behind and the new bunkers.

The 8th a Colt original:


Which is the more graceful?
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Ben Stephens

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 07:06:02 PM »
Paul,

Bloody Hell! (excuse the language) - Hawtree has done a very similar work to the 8th and 10th holes at Luffenham Heath which do not resemble the older and more graceful Braid greens. There is too much repetitive mounding in the surrounds as well as too many slopes on the greens rather than subtle slopes.

I would go for the Colt original and restore the bunkers like you have described earlier in this thread.

There are two different approaches - restore or refurbish which also makes me how much of the original Mackenzie holes at Lahinch that Hawtree have restored.

Another example would be 17th at Royal Birkdale which is out of character with the other remaning 17 greens.

At the newly restored Royal Dublin the bunkers don't look 'Coltish'

This makes me question whether Hawtree is a good golf course restoration architect.

Ben


Robert Thompson

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 09:15:41 PM »
Apparently the issue with 11 was the proximity to the 12th tee -- not that I ever thought there was an issue.

As for the bunkering -- I agree a job was needed. But why not go for something original looking?



Rob - what was deemed to be unsafe about the old 11th green?  Was it felt that you couldn't see golfers on the green?

I have played the course several times in the last few years and the bunkers at TGC were kind of blah typical 1950s-60s style- generally shallow and oval shaped that wouldn't excite a "bunker fetishist".  In addition many of the fairway bunkers were far outside of the line of play and were several yards into the rough.  Given the fact that several of the other clubs in the city have recently gone through bunker restorations (St Georges, Weston, Rosedale and Scarboro to name four) perhaps the club felt that it should do the same.
Terrorizing Toronto Since 1997

Read me at Canadiangolfer.com

Tom MacWood

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2009, 09:20:32 PM »
Paul
Have you been able to figure out what Hawtree is going for? Is there a particular Colt style or period he seems to be repeating over and over again, or did he just make it up? For example the Ross restoration architects seem to repeat the grass faced bunker he used on some courses in the teens and twenties.

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2009, 11:24:00 PM »
Wayne

I'm assuming they were convinced that the 12th tee is too close to the 11th green?
I don't remember them being that close.  If I remember correctly both the 11th green and 12th tee are on the crest of a hill that sort of leads up to the clubhouse.  But I seem to remember lots of trees to the right of the 11th to block the 12th tee and I remember a good 20-30 yards of distance between them  Certainly I have seen many other courses with much tighter greens and tees.

Certainly the 18th tee is much more of a danger spot given that the 17th is about a 230yd par 3 and folks are hitting a lot of club to that hole.

Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2009, 08:15:07 PM »
Wayne

I'm assuming they were convinced that the 12th tee is too close to the 11th green?
I don't remember them being that close.  If I remember correctly both the 11th green and 12th tee are on the crest of a hill that sort of leads up to the clubhouse.  But I seem to remember lots of trees to the right of the 11th to block the 12th tee and I remember a good 20-30 yards of distance between them  Certainly I have seen many other courses with much tighter greens and tees.

Certainly the 18th tee is much more of a danger spot given that the 17th is about a 230yd par 3 and folks are hitting a lot of club to that hole.

Wayne

The 12th tee was about 15 yards from the now defunct, original green (edge).  So pretty close, but as you state, the tee is well guarded by trees.

Plus, London courses like Addington and Sunningdale Old must have half a dozen tees and greens as close or closer (although perhaps this should make me worried!)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 09:55:35 PM by Paul_Turner »
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Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2009, 09:07:54 PM »
Paul
Have you been able to figure out what Hawtree is going for? Is there a particular Colt style or period he seems to be repeating over and over again, or did he just make it up? For example the Ross restoration architects seem to repeat the grass faced bunker he used on some courses in the teens and twenties.

Tom

I think it's Hawtree's own interpretation of what an old style heath bunker should look like.  I don't think they're always bad.... but the two bunker styles below could be interchangeable and so we're getting less variety.  

The first is St George's Hill 11th (Sean's pic) and the other is Luffenham Heath 7th:





And even Sunningdale's new ones are pretty similar.  Although they are attractve and hopefully will roughen up with the heather plants.



I think the Toronto bunkers will be similar too.  But perhaps curvier still...looking at those pics on the blog.  When I first saw them, the Colt and Co bunkers I was reminded of were Hirono's!



Or perhaps Cuddington? Which is almost 20 years later than Toronto.



Colt and Co could did loads of different styles, not just one.  Some were much fancier but it was course specific (and tended to be later):






« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 09:54:14 PM by Paul_Turner »
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Tom MacWood

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2009, 09:23:55 PM »
Paul
Those bunkers at Sunningdale and St. Georges Hill are horrible. Colt has to be rolling in his grave.

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2009, 09:39:13 PM »
I still say that the 18th tee has more of a safety issue, especially when you consider that it is a 222 yard hole - I hit 3 wood into this green.

If I remember correctly You are generally hitting a mid-iron into 11 - it is a 407 yard hill so assuming a 240 yard drive that leaves 167 - uphill so add a club and that is a 5 iron for me.

Here are some photos from Google maps indicating what I mean:
17th Green and 18th tee:


11th Green and 12th tee:


FYI - here  is the Google maps link to Toronto GC. http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=golf+club&sll=43.595731,-79.555371&sspn=0.009309,0.023818&ie=UTF8&radius=0.6&rq=1&ev=zo&ll=43.593446,-79.556766&spn=0.009309,0.023818&t=h&z=16
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 09:41:35 PM by Wayne_Kozun »

Mike Bowline

Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2009, 10:08:01 PM »
I work for the contractor who is completing the renovation at Toronto, and I can tell you that the center of 11th green moved exactly 11 feet away from the 12th tee. The green also was expanded about 15 feet to the golfer's left, to create another hole location on the front left.

The original green contours were laser-mapped and re-created exactly in the new location, and the front-left expansion was blended in and tied-in into the new front left bunker.

I am the chap walking to the right closest to the camera in the picture of the green sod being re-laid. Note the hardhats and safety vests required by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2009, 10:29:51 PM »
Thanks Mike.  That seems a lot of work to move a green all of 11 feet.

How far forward will the 15th green be moved?
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Mike Bowline

Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2009, 10:47:53 PM »
Thanks Mike.  That seems a lot of work to move a green all of 11 feet.
Paul, it was alot of work, but the expansion to the front left will be a nice addition to the hole. A pin cut front-left just over the new bunker will indeed be tough to get at.

Quote
How far forward will the 15th green be moved?
The contours have been replicated exactly as they were and the green moved forward about 70 feet, thereby allowing the tee for #6 to be relocated to where the #6 tee shot will not now have to cross the club's main access road. Also, a new back tee on #15 will add about 45 yards, thereby somewhat offsetting the 23 yards lost from the green relocation.

Tom MacWood

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2009, 06:37:33 AM »
Mike
From what you are saying there has been great care taken to replicate the contours precisely. Why hasn't there been similar care in replicating Colt's original bunkers?

Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2009, 10:31:57 AM »
Mike

So I guess the 15th green is now on top of those left hand bunkers below?



Is the cross bunker going to survive on #3? Fairway bunkers short of the green on #5?
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Sean_A

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2009, 05:00:15 PM »
If there ever was an opportunity to create the "gouged" out look the 11th of St Georges Hill was it.  That said, I can't help but think this is a storm in tea pot.  The bunkering at Sunny Old looks fine, all it needs is a bit of heather to tie them in.  The question I have is how will the new bunkers play and how do they effect play?


Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Paul_Turner

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Re: Toronto GC "Restoration"
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2009, 10:35:54 AM »
The new relocated 15th with lots of added mounding  :P  And the same Hatwree bunker style as Luffenham, SGH, Belvoir


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« Last Edit: August 13, 2009, 10:50:44 AM by Paul_Turner »
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