Monday, 10 September 2012

Highlands Links Retrospective – Part 2 – The Research is Never Finished

Alternate of better known 8th photo

Daily Update: Today it rained all day while we got some work done we were making a mess getting what we could done. There might be as much as 5” of rain over a 36 hours period here!

So as thrilled as I was to be asked to put together a Master Plan, I couldn't do it unless I knew what was originally there. I set out to collect aerials and photos.

The first source came from the golf course itself. They had quite a collection of original construction images and early photographs on the walls. This didn’t solve many mysteries, but did provide some good images for a couple of particular holes. There were also a number of photographs kept in a book under the counter that were mostly taken just after the Second World War ended which provided other images to work with.

The next resource was all of Geoff Cornish’s construction photos. That contained an interesting resource of what features were built. While there were a few interesting images of holes, none of the bunkers had sand. From Ken Donovan I also received a set of photos collected from people around the community during construction that showed the crew and the occasional view of a hole. Ihad a good base of photos, but not what I needed most.

I was able to find more images of the course by looking through the Nova Scotia archives. This turned out to be a pretty good resource for many of the holes, all taken in the late 1940’s, but I was always aware that even after ten years many bunkers were altered for maintenance. In fact I have quite a few images where bunkers have been allowed to grow over completely to save money.

I combined all these images with a 1953 aerial and a 1963 aerial to figure out “the best that I could” what was once there. From all this information I created the Master Plan. 

But new information kept coming during construction as people became interested in the work.

Dragon and Fireball

In the one instance John Smith supplied an image I hadn’t seen before of the Dragon and Fireball on the 5th hole. I never thought to research under “Cabot Trail” and that’s where he had found the images. I wish I had them earlier instead of finding out after the bunkers were rebuilt to a 1950 image. But we went back and fixed the critical Dragon Bunker to match the earlier photo.

In another case we received a cool image of the 7th fairway bunkers that supplied critical information for last months work. I carried three images and an aerial throughout that work.

It was Joe Robinson’s post card collection, which helped me unravel the mystery of the fairway approach bunkers on the 18th hole. The aerial and older images suggested there was never a bunker, but the old postcard proved their original was two meandering bunkers in those landforms.

This week we will finish the 6th. My biggest worry is a month from now we will find a new image that is better than the one that we used, but when your dealing with history that's always possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment