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Saturday, January 14, 2012


Brackenridge Park, San Antonio

6243 Yds, Par 71, Slope 126, by A.W.Tillinghast, re-fit by John Colligan,   

They say:
"Brackenridge Park Golf Course, which is the oldest public golf  course in Texas, was the first ever host to the Texas Open Golf  Tournament in 1922. This historic golf course has the honor of being  the first inductee into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame."

It's hard for me to say how the original Tillinghast design has been  changed . . . and whether it could be considered an improvement,  except in this way: I have also played Memorial Park in Houston, a  contemporaneous effort by Braedemus,  and Gus Wortham in Houston, the Blackhawk CC in Madison, WI, and "The Horrible Horseshoe" hole at Tour 18, from  Colonial CC, another Tillinghast design. From those courses I have  inferred certain design principles that I see are kept or not kept  in the modern redesign by Colligan:

he has dropped / added holes . . . a former par 3 was pointed out to  me . . . it looked like a really interesting hole, all carry and  trouble all around that looked like a net loss to me, in that the  terrain is sorta flat as a whole, and any trouble is an adornment

he has artificially elevated some greens, this is a net gain, imvho,  much more challenging and interesting, shot-value-wise and visually.

he has left well enough alone (imvho) in many cases, so that the  original routings, layouts, green complexes, bunker shaping,  remains. There are some straightline fairway edges and squarish  greens that look old fashioned to me, but not necessarily in the  Tillinghast mold, so I don't know whether Brackinridge got an  "economy" job way-back-when, or if it was done for modern  greenskeeping reasons.

an entirely competent, desirable, effective re-fitting.

the course condition was forgiveable: playable, but damaged, from  winter conditions and The Drought.

c.f. Top 10 Tillinghast courses:


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