Hole #5: In the Style of Walter Travis (1861-1927)
Golf’s Grand Old Man, Austrailian Walter Travis, moved to America at age 23, took up golf at age 36, and won three U.S. Amateurs by age 42. He learned the design trade as a consultant to John Duncan Dunn at the turn of the century, but didn’t gain notoriety as an architect until he remodeled his home course, Garden City Golf Club, for the 1914 U.S. Amateur. He spent the last dozen years of his life primarily as a course architect, creating difficult, heavily bunkered layouts such as Hollywood Golf Club in New Jersey, Westchester Country Club in New York, and the original 9 at Sea Island in Georgia. His last work was the Equinox Golf Links in Manchester, Vermont, completed shortly before his death. At his request, he was buried near the course.
If you made a bad shot on a a Walter Travis golf hole, his friend A.W. Tillinghast once joked, he didn’t need to ask the caddie where his ball was. “I know it’s in a bunker.” Reflecting the penal nature of Travis’ architecture, our 5th is littered with pot bunkers and “chocolate drop” moguls, two favorite Travis design features. We divided the green with a ridge line, just as he often did. The back half of the green slopes to the rear, so an approach to the back pin position should be bounced onto the green to roll back to the flag.