We've Moved

We've Moved!

Dave Donelson Tee To Green has an exciting new home at
Westchester Magazine.

We're still about all things golf, especially those pertinent to golfers in Westchester and the NY Metro, but now we're in a much bigger space!

Please visit our new home at

Monday, September 9, 2013

Southward Ho Discovers Two Tillinghast Features

Golf architect Ian Scott-Taylor and Tillinghast authority and biographer Philip Young have made a discovery of significant historical importance at Southward Ho Country Club in Bay Shore, New York.  They found both a "Reef Hole" and a "Hell’s Half Acre" hazard are very much in evidence at this 1923 Tillinghast gem, which notably is his only true seaside links project.  The two features have never before been seen on the same Tillinghast design.

"Long Island’s Southward Ho presents two unique golf holes that no other Tillinghast course has today," stated Scott-Taylor.  "This is an astonishing discovery and the club was unaware of its good fortune in having preserved the original design of Tilly’s remarkable par-3 ‘Reef Hole’ while possessing vestiges of the devilish ‘Hell’s Half Acre’ great hazard."

A.W. Tillinghast is one of the game’s most prolific Golden Age designers with work on some 265 courses to his credit.  He designed such venerable courses as Winged Foot, Newport Country Club, Quaker Ridge, Baltusrol, San Francisco Golf Club, Bethpage and many others.

Tillinghast's Reef Hole
According to Tillinghast expert Young, the genius of the "Reef Hole" design allowed golfers of various skill levels the chance to score par by approaching the green from four different routes with only one of them being a direct single shot to the guarded green.  "In this single hole concept, the brilliance of Tillinghast’s ability to design a hole to be playable for the average or lesser player, while also challenging the talented one, stands out for all to see," explains Young. "Southward Ho’s 14th long par-3 ‘Reef Hole’ is a fine example of Tilly’s template and every significant required feature of this innovative hole design can be clearly seen here."

The discovery also of a Tillinghast "great hazard" at Southward Ho is equally important to students of classic golf course architecture.  He coined the phrase to define a specific style of large hazard and he also invented one of the great examples of a "great hazard" which Tillinghast called the "Hell’s Half Acre Hazard."  The name originated from a notoriously dangerous and unsavory area of Philadelphia, the city’s Hell’s Half Acre, the last place any decent person would want to find themselves.

A true "Hell’s Half Acre Hazard" incorporates a combination of numerous mounds, rough of all sizes and types, sand both in regular bunkers and/or waste areas, scrub grasses and/or bushes, especially on the outer portions, and it would range in size from 20 to 60 yards in length and always cross the entire fairway from one side of the rough to the other.

"When Ian excitedly informed me that he discovered Southward Ho had a ‘Reef Hole’ and we subsequently visited the course with club members and officials, I was astonished to identify and verify that they also were in possession of a ‘Hell’s Half Acre Hazard,’"exclaimed Young.  "That Southward Ho has these two incredible original Tillinghast signature design features on its course makes both the course and the club unique and most special.  It’s a discovery of great magnitu hs course makes both hthe course and the club way from one side of the rough to the other.would rde and exciting for all admirers of Tillinghast’s work."
Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

No comments: