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Hole #7: In the Style of Albert Warren Tillinghast (1874-1942)


A wealthy Philadelphian, A.W. Tillinghast took lessons from Old Tom Morris at St. Andrews in the late 1800s, then competed many times against amateurs C.B. Macdonald and Walter Travis in the U.S. In 1906, at age 32 with no previous training, Tillinghast laid out his first golf course in Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania. He found he was good it, so he formed a design company and by the early 1920s, had made a fortune as a course architect. His best works include San Francisco Golf Club, Baltimore Country Club, 36 holes at Baltusrol in New Jersey, and another 36 at Winged Foot in New York. Tillinghast was an accomplished artist, a prolfic golf writer, a novelist and a magazine editor, as well as an architect. He coined the term, “birdie,” to describe a one-under-par score for a hole. Sadly, Tillinghast squandered his fortune and, during the Great Depression, worked as a consultant to the PGA of America just to make a living. His last great design was the Bethpage State Park complex of courses on Long Island, but he quit the project before its completion in 1936. He rain an antique store in Beverly Hills for a time, then moved to his daughter’s home in Toledo, where he died in 1942.

Perhaps no architect had less of an identifiable style than A.W. Tillinghast, who tailored each course to its locale. Our 7th is therefore eclectic. The right-hand fairway bunker is a pit, much like those at Bethpage, but the far left one is more amorphous, like those at San Francisco Golf Club. The dolomite mounds up the left side are like those Tillinghast used early in his career, as is the strip bunker to the right of the green. The front bunker is a steep, sweeping-faced variety of Winged Foot, but the canted green, with subtle contours rather than harsh ones, is more in fashion of Brook Hollow.