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Hole #10: In the Style of George C. Thomas (1873-1932)


Another wealthy Philadelphian, George C. Thomas was a banker who often played golf with his friends Hugh Wilson and A.W. Tililnghast. A nationally recognized authority on the breeding of roses, Thomas turned his family farm into Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in the early 1900s, then moved to Beverly Hills after World War I, where he dabbled in course design and wrote one of the greatest books on the subject, Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction. He designed several courses in California, most of them done with the able assistance of William P. “Billy” Bell. The courses are classics in the nature of alternate shots and bunkering flair: Los Angeles Country Club, Riviera Country Club, Bel-Air and, his last work, Stanford University in Palo Alto. Like C.B. Macdonald, Thomas never accepted a design fee.

Our 10th represents a typical George Thomas split-fairway hole. Gamblers can attempt to carry the massive fingery fairway bunker, with the reward being a simple pitch into the throat of the green. Those who choose to play it safe down the left side must hold back, lest they end up so far down the fairway that the bunker left of the green comes into play on the second. The work isn’t over once on the green. George C. Thomas surface-drained his greens with slopes and dips in several directions.