Golf Course Architecture - Issue 66, October 2021

69 in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, including Winged Foot, Quaker Ridge, Fenway and Ridgewood, Hanse approached the Lower course with fresh eyes. “If we research fully what Tillinghast did here, that’s more important than what he did at Quaker Ridge or at Winged Foot,” says Hanse, who credited having unfettered access to Baltusrol’s rich historical archives as critical to the project’s success. “What is applicable though, is some understanding of where Tillinghast was as a person and where he was in the arc of his career at the time. This [the Lower course] was early in his career and he wasn’t an established architect. But he was never lacking in confidence.” That archive is described by club historian Stuart Wolfe: “Baltusrol has a dedicated archive room to store and preserve the club’s historic documents and objects. Some items housed are the board of governors minutes dating back to the founding of the club in 1895, a copy of the original Tillinghast concept drawing of the dual courses, our founder Louis Keller’s bond certificate, and ephemera from most of the 18 major championships played at Baltusrol. Over the past several years the club has embarked on digitising its photograph collection and the board minutes. We also actively seek to build the archive through acquisitions and donations.” Tillinghast’s varied approach to each course project was another reason why Hanse didn’t rely on past experiences. “He didn’t seem to have real hard and fast rules,” he says. “I think he was one that you could never put a ‘typical’ label on. It’s important with every golf course architect, but probably none more so than Tillinghast, to do the specific research on that particular golf course versus trying to extrapolate what was similar from course to course.” After getting into the dirt to reveal Tillinghast’s work, Hanse came away most impressed by the original green complexes. “The way they are presented again now, where the green is actually the focal point and the high point, and the bunkers are carved back down into the surrounds, I think is the biggest change,” says Hanse. “That’s what most impressed me looking at the old photographs.” As for any original design elements that made him scratch his head, Hanse demurred. “I’m not too big on second guessing Tillinghast.” But there was one Lower course feature he would love to ask him about. Illenis erume sitatatur maio int maxim alitiis dolor atquatium que vit exeria paritio reiuntia vellest, sequissit voluptis int, alit The eighteenth fairway has been raised to bring it level with the pond Photo: Evan Schiller