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Mark_Rowlinson

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Cuthbert Butchart
« on: January 19, 2009, 12:55:22 PM »
I used to play Highgate quite a lot when I lived in London. I have a feeling he also worked on West Hill, one of my favourite Surrey courses. According to C&W he also designed the 2nd course at Royal County Down. Does anyone any other of his work, in Germany or the USA perhaps?

PPallotta

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 02:27:06 PM »
Mark - aside from some references to his playing (e.g. teaming up with Armour to beat Hagen and Barnes in 1922), I can find only this reference to his golf course design work -- from a 1926 article on Florida golf:

"Kissimmee, Eustis and Leesburg are three more delightful inland towns that are catering earnestly to golfers who move south for the winter. Some five years ago Frank D. Waterman of New York carried Cuthbert Butchart down to Eustis and had him lay out a course.  Its popularity was immediately established.  Shortly thereafter Leesburg fell into line, and now the courses at each of these hustling little cities provide a playground for a large number of visitors each year."

There was also a reference in an 1915 article to Butchart -- the then-professional at the Berlin Golf Club -- being a prisoner of the Germans.

Peter

Rich Goodale

Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 04:31:06 PM »
I think it's Butchert, and he was one of the very many human capital exports from Carnoustie.  Ended up as the pro at a place in New Jersey called "Pine Valley" or something like that......

Ed Homsey

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 05:32:04 PM »
The Travis Society has a fairly extensive file linking Cuthbert S. Butchart to Walter Travis, Westchester Country Club, and club making.  I'm looking at a letter from Butchart to Walter Travis, dated Jan. 1, 1921, in which he states, "Having been appointed professional to the Westchester Biltmore Country Club I am taking the first opportunity of writing to thank you for your kind offices.  I feel it is in no small measure due to your kind recommendation that I have been successful in obtaining this coveted position and I shall endeavor to prove to you that your confidence in me has not been misplaced."

An April 3, 1921 NY Times article reports that "Cuthbert S. Butchart, one of the best known golf club makers of Europe, who has been selected as the golf professional and instructor for the new Westchester-Biltmore Country Club, and who has been spending the Winter months on Florida golf courses, returned to the city during the last week and is now supervising the work on the Westchester course.  According to Butchart, excellent progress is being made, and the No. 2 course is practically ready for play at the present time.  The other two courses will be ready by Autumn".  The article goes on to indicate that Butchart laid out two courses in Florida, one of which was at Eustis, Fl and a course which will, according to Mr. Butchart, "doubtless become one of the greatest courses in America".  A letter head for one of the letters Butchart sent Travis was of the "Grand View Hotel" in Eustis, Florida.

Through 1921, Butchart communicated regularly with Travis about golf clubs that he was constructing for him.




Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009, 05:53:46 PM »
Daniel Wexler Book of Golfers has hiim as professional at Royal County Down for several years at the turn of the century.

Surely an unusual name even then.  Inspiration for Wodehouse's The Clicking of Cuthbert?


Cuthbert Strachan Butchart (1876-1955)
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Bill_McBride

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2009, 06:12:30 PM »
Daniel Wexler Book of Golfers has hiim as professional at Royal County Down for several years at the turn of the century.

Surely an unusual name even then.  Inspiration for Wodehouse's The Clicking of Cuthbert?


Cuthbert Strachan Butchart (1876-1955)

You beat me to it, Tony, I was going to wonder if Cuthbert knew P.G. Wodehouse, or vice versa!

Funny, when I went to the Walker Cup I met the Captain of Royal County Down in the gallery.  We had a nice chat and he asked if I was familiar with Wodehouse and I told him my favorite story is the "Clicking of Cuthbert," where Cuthbert was distracted by the fluttering of butterfly wings in an adjoining meadow and lost a match to an inferior opponent.

Maybe they still remember Cuthbert Buchart at RCD and bring up Wodehouse for that very reason!

BCrosby

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 07:05:22 PM »
"Cuthbert Butchart
Carnoustie
 Born in Carnoustie in 1876, the son of John Butchart, Cuthbert Strachan Butchart was a much-travelled and very successful professional and clubmaker. He learned his clubmaking in Carnoustie as an apprentice to Robert Simpson but went south for a year to be assistant to Robert Monro (J H Taylor's predecessor) at Royal Mid Surrey. On his return to Angus, he settled in Montrose, joined the "Merkie" (Mercantile) club and set up as a clubmaker. This was not a successful venture so he went to make clubs for Ben Sayers at North Berwick and, for a short while, managed the factory at Barnton in Edinburgh for the Forth Rubber Company.

1897 saw him golfing again as pro at the Pollok club in Glasgow. He stayed here until 1901 when he took up a position at the Royal County Down in Northern Ireland and a concurrent one at the Malone club. Here he began large-scale clubmaking taking 4˝ tons of wood with him when he went and investing heavily in machinery. He moved to England in 1905, to the Highgate club in North London, and made clubs as the London Golf Supply Company and Butchart's Golf Company Ltd. The company went into liquidation in 1907 and he worked as a club pro around London, Bleakdown (West Byfleet), Westhill and Stanwell Place, until 1911 when he left for Germany.

He was professional at the fashionable Berlin club and designed several new courses in the country. According to Peter Georgiady's description he also found time to win the German Open but this doesn't seem to be borne out by the record books: J H Taylor was the only pre-war winner in 1912. Unfortunately Butchart found himself in Germany during the First World War and was interned for its duration at the Berlin racecourse. Obviously he did not bear a grudge as he served another two years at the Berlin club, from 1919-1921 and then emigrated to the US (1922). He was professional at the Biltmore Country Club in Westchester, NY, and was a partner in the Butchart-Nicholls clubmaking business in Glenbrook, CT, famous for combining laminated bamboo and hickory in shafts for irons. He died in New York in 1955."

See: http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php?topic=16143.0

Where is Keith Durrant these days?

BCrosby

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 07:09:26 PM »

Rich Goodale

Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2009, 01:09:48 AM »
Another interesting fact about oor Cuthbert (it is "Butchart", BTW--I remembered as misspelling (hope I spelled that one right) from my research into Carnoustie, but got it wrong--mea culpa) is that he was the one who taught Tony Penna the art of club-making.

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2009, 04:31:22 AM »
West Hill indeed... The only named Designer in fact...

I very much enjoyed West Hill... A good variety of holes and hazards... A great Par-3 (the 15th), maybe a few too many blind drives at the beginning of the round but some nice openish heathland as well... you don't feel too enclosed for the first few and last few holes...

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 05:55:24 AM »
Thank you all. Ally - I love West Hill, and it was always good winter golf.

Christoph Meister

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2009, 02:07:44 PM »
I used to play Highgate quite a lot when I lived in London. I have a feeling he also worked on West Hill, one of my favourite Surrey courses. According to C&W he also designed the 2nd course at Royal County Down. Does anyone any other of his work, in Germany or the USA perhaps?

Hi,

according to an advert by himself in the yearbook of the German Golf Federation for 1911 Butchart designed the original 9-hole course at Bad Kissingen in north-western Bavaria, which was opened in 1911 and still exists. Also he resigned two private golf courses at Oberglogau (Silesia) and Lanke near Berlin.

Furthermore he says that he has designed or redesigned the following courses:

Anrim
Bangor
Bundoran
Belvoir Park
Bleakdown
Fortwilliam
Highgate
Hunstanton
North Middlesex
Porter's Park
Royal Co. Down
West Hill
Whitehead
Worplesdon

Also I know from years of resaerches that Butchart designed the 18-hole course at Berlin-Wannsee, where construction began before WWI but was stopped by the war. The course was only finished in 1924/25, when Karl Hoffmann, a house architect by profession, put his name underneath the then realized layout...

.....

 

Golf's Missing Links - Continental Europe
 https://www.golfsmissinglinks.co.uk/index.php/wales-2
EAGHC European Association of
Golf Historians & Collectors
http://www.golfika.com
German Hickory Golf Society e.V.
http://www.german-hickory.com

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2009, 05:55:34 PM »
Welcome  Christoph, thanks for all your updates I look forward to hearing more of your discoveries.

This is from Ran’s review of RCD.

“In the extremely well researched centenary book Royal County Down Golf Club: The First Century by Harry McCaw and Brum Henderson (highly recommended and available at the office of The Royal County Down Golf Club), a map in the inside front jacket shows what must be Old Tom Morris’s routing. In the back, there is a map of the course in 1907, which bears little resemblance to Morris’s course. McGaw and Henderson credit member George Combe for much of the work and the general routing that the course now enjoys.  An examination of this 1907 map shows that the 1st and 18th holes as three shotters and the 10th as a one shotter back away from the clubhouse have taken form.  In addition, the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th general playing corridors of today were in use.
So the question is begged: who is George Combe? McGaw and Henderson answer by informing the reader that Combe was an excellent golfer with one of the first plus handicaps in the country. He took great interest in all aspects of the sport and among other things, found the Golfing Union of Ireland, started the handicapping GUI system that was latter largely adopted by the Royal & Ancient and was the instigator of the practice of the lining the hole with a metal tin.
 
When Combe began his work on the course in 1900, it measured approximately 5,150 yards. The advent of the rubber core Haskell ball was now upon us and by 1903, the course had grown to 6,400 yards. The basis of the course of today had emerged, with the vast majority of the credit deserved by Combe.”

I don’t have that book but I do have the later Evolution of the Links by Richard Latham.  Clearly Combe deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the greatness of the course.  But at lest part of his skill was badgering the committee to keep on providing funds for improvements and then inviting Sayers, Braid and Taylor (together!) and Colt etc. to make recommendations.  He obviously knew his limitations.
Curiously Cuthbret Butchart was appointed in 1899, before Combe was appointed Convenor of the Green in 1900 (although he had been Captain in 1896).

This is what the book says
Pg 37
In October 1900 the committee recorded as part of a list of improvements to be made that winter.
“2 Give Butchart, five shillings per week extra and pay for two, or if need be three men for him which will still be cheaper than under the present arrangement and much more satisfactory as the labour will be much better directed and under intelligent guidance of a practical golfer.”

Pg 40
“Combe had put CS Butchart, the newly appointed club professional, in charge of the course.  Butchart was not only a respected club maker but he had also been involved in the construction of other courses an there is no doubt that his experience would have been invaluable.”
Combe got further approval/money to make changes in 1903 – anyone know if Butchart was still around?
Today’s holes 1-4 appear to be ‘similar’ to the ones introduced in 1900.
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
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Christoph Meister

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2009, 06:26:24 PM »
Hello Tony,

you got me on a good track - I do have the book "The First Century" in my library - but books are no use if you don't read them - so I had a look and first of all there the copy of an advert from Butchart on page 24 (no source given, but it must be from 1912/1913, maybe Golfer's Handbook).

This advert confirms all courses that I have mentioned previously and which I found in the 1911 yearbook of the Germany Golf Federation. Interestingly the advert ends "Address Berlin Golf Club, Spandauer Chaussee, West End, Berlin" - I do have an enveloppe in my collection from C.S.Butchart postally used on March 31st, 1920 (please see below) when Butchart apperantly was still in Berlin.

The centenary book of RCD further states that Butchart left in September1904 "and the club bought his workshop for GBP 30.00"
Butchart left for Highgate GC in London.....

I will dig further and try to find out which changes Butchart made in RCD.....

Kind regards

Christoph



« Last Edit: July 31, 2010, 08:12:06 AM by Christoph Meister »
Golf's Missing Links - Continental Europe
 https://www.golfsmissinglinks.co.uk/index.php/wales-2
EAGHC European Association of
Golf Historians & Collectors
http://www.golfika.com
German Hickory Golf Society e.V.
http://www.german-hickory.com

Joe Bausch

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2010, 04:42:11 AM »
Looks like Cuthbert Butchart was responsible for Hessian Hills, a 9 holer that sat where the current Hudson National resides.  The following blurb is from the November 21, 1928 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
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Christoph Meister

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2010, 04:41:21 PM »
Hello Joe,

thank you for your addtional information about Butchart and Hessian Hills. Two days ago I had the pleasure of playing the 9-hole course at Berlin-Wannsee adjacent to the 18-hole course. Today's 9-hole course are the holes 1-7 and 18 of the original 18-hole course designed by Butchart before WW I which was then finished and built by Harris Brothers from 1924 to 1926.

I have enclosed some photos from Hole No.7 (No.6 of the original 1926 18-hole course) and Nr.9 (no.18 of the original 1926 18-hole course).

No.7 was originally played as a Par 5 hole measuring 380m and is today played as a 347m Par 4 but felt more like a Par 5 to me as I was playing with hickories. The hole looks much longer from the tee as 347m and it is probably the nicest hole that had to be left out of today's 18-hole course. Comparing it with 1929 aerials the hole looks almost unchanged.

So does the Green of No.9, which formerly was No.18 - a very dificult to put three level green can be recognized on both today's photo and the enclosed photo dating from 1929.

C.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 04:49:55 PM by Christoph Meister »
Golf's Missing Links - Continental Europe
 https://www.golfsmissinglinks.co.uk/index.php/wales-2
EAGHC European Association of
Golf Historians & Collectors
http://www.golfika.com
German Hickory Golf Society e.V.
http://www.german-hickory.com

Kirk Gill

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2010, 01:06:50 AM »
I was given a set of old woods by my Grandfather many years ago. Had them in storage for a long bit, and just got them out and was taking a look at them. Saw that the moniker on the top was C S Butchart, much like the logo on the club pictured above. On the bottom they bear the number 95S as well as the phrase "Opus Artificem Probat." My latin is even shakier than my golf game. I looked it up, and it means "The work proves the craftsman." I decided to google the name, and see what appeared, and first on the list....

This thread. Really interesting stuff, guys. Thanks again to GCAtlas.
"After all, we're not communists."
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Christoph Meister

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2010, 10:17:48 AM »
Kirk,

your story is very interesting - could you post (or pls send me by PM) some close-up photos of the club heads? Are the clubs hickory- or steel shafted?

So far I have never seen the "Opus Artificem Probat." on my Butchart clubs.....

Greetings from Germany

Christoph
Golf's Missing Links - Continental Europe
 https://www.golfsmissinglinks.co.uk/index.php/wales-2
EAGHC European Association of
Golf Historians & Collectors
http://www.golfika.com
German Hickory Golf Society e.V.
http://www.german-hickory.com

Kirk Gill

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2011, 10:18:02 PM »
Christoph, my apologies. I totally missed your response. Here are some pics of these clubs.

I have the driver, 2, 3, and 4. The 4 is my "magical" 4-wood. The all look similar. The shafts are steel, but there's some other material at the end of the shaft before the hosel, it could be wood (there is visible grain in the material) or it could be treated to look that way. These pics are of the 3-wood.

Here's the top:



The bottom, with the Latin:



And a poor picture that tries to show the transition from the steel shaft to the clubhead:




Again, sorry it took so long !
"After all, we're not communists."
                             -Don Barzini

V. Kmetz

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2016, 10:01:34 PM »
Looks like Cuthbert Butchart was responsible for Hessian Hills, a 9 holer that sat where the current Hudson National resides.  The following blurb is from the November 21, 1928 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.


From research I've been doing the last few months, in connection with the still-born Hessian Hills, I can give you the following on Cuthbert Butchart from May 1926 to March 1930:


In the 2nd incarnation of a civil suit March of 1934, Butchart testified to the following:


He was a golf course architect operating in Westchester County, was employed in the profession for 36 years (1898), and had built courses in England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany as well as the United States.


Butchart testified that he  worked at the Westchester-Biltmore for "three and half years," ending in the summer of 1923 when the club went into liquidation. He further testified that from that point in 1923 to when he met representatives of Hessian Hills in 1926, he was unaffiliated with any club (in a golf-professional capacity is the context, I do not know if he also meant he had not designed any courses in this period)




He was approached by Hessian Hills (a portion of whose early subscribers were members of the Westchester-Biltmore) representatives  in May of 1926 and made first plans for the course within a month, from the last week of May to the third week of June 1926, delivering the plan on June 26 1926, a plan which he revised in November of 1926, with construction starting shortly thereafter.


From these events in 1926 until May 1928, Butchart says he visited the HH project once or twice a week, nearly every week.


From May 2, 1928 - March 30, 1930 he lived on the premises in the Manor House that was part of a 15 building campus of the previous property owner, most of which were intended to be converted to posh country club use. His exact fees, precise duties and titles are never fixed in the accounts I am reading, but they were omnibus...from course builder and designer to interior construction foreman. He had minute and specific knowledge of every aspect of the property; he revised plans on two or three other occasions and was in regular contact with the HH proprietors and the tradesmen working the course. If Hessian Hills had come to fruition, he was to be its professional and club-maker, roles he was seemingly preparing to assume.


But Hessian Hills never did get off the ground.


Though it was part of the foundation contentions of the civil suit at issue, the preponderance of all testimony seems to say that Hessian Hills only got 13 of its 18 planned holes into ANY kind of shape for play, and only 4 of those (those closest to the clubhouse/estate campus) "finished" in the way a club member plunking down $1000 in the late 1920s (or today) would expect. There were stumps and large rocks still in every "fairway", no water system ever implemented, dead-turfed, un-mowed greens and unfilled bunkers.


The clubhouse campus conversion was worse still...no running water, showers or toilets, all hallowed-out buildings with little or no electric, some with their timbers harvested for other construction on the site and a pervading manure-smell from the "basement" cow-barn that sat under the intended locker building, nearest the first tee. Butchart described it as such, that, "you almost couldn't see, no less breathe." 


Though other testimony in the suit claimed there were a handful of caddies, and occasional play in 1928-1930, Butchart says he saw neither in the 22 months he lived there (almost the whole period when there even a crude partial course available). It seems at best, a few local members may have braved the conditions and played a few of the holes.


These conditions were in direct contradiction to the handsome prospectus, brochures and newspaper blurbs the HH proprietors engineered from 1927-1929, efforts which resulted in the end with 43 equity members who paid $1000 each to join, and 53 "regular members" who held no security and paid $300 for their privileges... there is as yet, no record whether annual dues were ever paid by anyone.


I am still researching the extent to which HH had difficulties in realizing the project as intended (the proprietors were seemingly quite solvent, though perhaps overextended in their individual real estate projects)... whether it was an actual drain of monies, or a failure to attract more than 97 members, or technical difficulties to establish the facility, but in any event...


On February 9, 1930 the proprietors of Hessian Hills instead leased out the property to National Golf and Country Club Inc, which was the corporate persona of one J. Perry Stolz (nicknamed "the Commodore" owing to the middle name and some previous exploits at sea). Stolz was now the "tenant"manager of the facility; he moved into the Manor House in April of 1930 and was ostensibly to take over the supervisory/superintendent's role that Butchart was filling in this hazy, still-born period of club development.


This marked the end of Butchart's direct involvement with Hessian Hills, though he still consulted on a handful of occasions with the HH proprietors as late as November 1 1930 about how and what would be needed to turn this flagging project around; although other testimony in the suit says he had been of the growing opinion that the proprietors should dump it.


For those hoping to pick up his trail...  he said he worked at the Sunset Hills Golf Club ("east of Ossining") for 17 months from summer of 1930 to the end of 1931. From 1931 he reported that he was unaffiliated with any club until the date of his testimony in March of 1934; at that point (and perhaps well longer) his address was


12 North Astor Street
Irvington-on-Hudson, NY


Hope that adds a little interest to your weekend activities


cheers


vk





« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 08:05:58 AM by V. Kmetz »
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

V. Kmetz

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Re: Cuthbert Butchart
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2016, 02:04:16 PM »
Hi,


More on Cuthbert


In 1929 his letterhead reads:


323 S.W. 4th Avenue, Miami FL.


he wrote here from January 1929.


cheers


vk
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

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