Chapter Six: On the Homefront 

 

115    “In 1941 prospects for golf”  Hirsch, GIA, p. 122.

116    “Gas Kills Man”  “Gas Kills Man; Girl Escapes,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (3 Jan. 1939): I: A. Accompanying the story was a stunning picture showing Miss Emily Wojeck lying on the ground “shocked by the death of her friend and herself critically ill from carbon monoxide poisoning” and being comforted by her brother, Edward Wojeck, just before she was rushed to Rochester’s Genesee Hospital. The coroner on the case, Dr. Edward Atwater, withheld a death certificate pending further investigation. The Jones family later heard that there was a high level of alcohol in Ernest’s blood and undoubtedly contributed to his death.

116    “swamped all summer”  RTJ to Herb Graffis, 14 Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL, 5 Oct. 1939, in Graffis Files, JP, CUA.

116    “Municipal Golf Association of Utica”  In the Jones Papers, there is a great deal of correspondence between Jones and City Engineer Joseph B. Shaw dealing with the construction of the Valley View Golf Course; see, for example, RTJ to Shaw, City Engineer, City Hall, Utica, NY, 5 June 1938, Utica Files, JP, CUA.

116    “course got very good reviews”  Applying his principles of modern architecture to a picturesque landscape, Trent Jones created a challenging par 71-layout for Utica that could play between 5,916 yards and 6,632 yards depending upon the player’s choice of teeing grounds. Valley View was not ready for play until June 25, 1941, and even then the links was opened by the city in a rush, before course conditions were truly “up to par,” so as to bring in revenue from greens fees to compensate for the city’s loss of WPA assistance. (The situation relating to the WPA had changed fast: in March 1938, the president of Utica’s municipal golf association, Fred. J. Graff, had informed Jones that “there are now enough WPA laborers working on Valley View to build two or three golf courses.” Fred J. Graff,  President, Valley View, Municipal Golf Association of Utica, Inc., Utica, NY to RTJ, 15 Mar. 1938, Utica Files, JP, CUA.) The ceremonial opening for Valley View came on 15 July 1941 and involved an exhibition that Jones had arranged pitting Gene Sarazen against three area pros. Graff to RTJ, 20 and 26 June 1941; RTJ to Graff, 200 Oriskany St. East, Utica, NY, 1 July 1941. All three letters are in the Utica Files, JP, CUA.

116    “kept in proper condition”  Fred J. Graff to RTJ, 26 June 1941, Utica Files, JP, CUA.

117    “another New York State Park golf course”  See James Evans, Director, State of New York Conservation Department, Division of Parks, Albany, NY, to RTJ, 30 Jan. 1939, James Evans Files, JP, CUA. In this letter, Evans wrote to Jones: “I am informed this morning by our mutual friend Bill Howard that he will bear the whole cost of the survey up at Speculator. He has been looking around for something to pin this thing on so that he could stand it all and finally discovered that it hooked up with the W.P.A. in some way.” The identity of “mutual friend Bill Howard” is unknown.

117    “favorite training site for heavyweight boxing champions”  How far Jones got with the village of Speculator golf course is uncertain, as is the precise location where the course was supposed to be built. It must have been on acreage belonging to the New York State Forest Preserve and that lay within Adirondack Park, which, after all, surrounded the village of Speculator and the adjacent town of Lake Pleasant. What is known is that the project was still alive in mid-January 1940, because Jones wrote to a golf professional in Florida who had written to him about finding a job: “the nine hole course I am building at Speculator in the Adirondacks would be too small for you” (RTJ to Mr. Clarence Doserm 330 West 24th St., Sarasota, FL, 15 Jan. 1940, in Lowell Thomas Files, JP, CUA).  Also, we know that the following month (February 1940) he was in Speculator working to design the course. Willis Garrett, 535 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY, to RTJ, NYC, 2 Feb. 1940, Cornell University Files, JP, CUA. Garrett was one of the construction foremen that Jones had been using for the building of his courses.

117    “occasional visits to Speculator”  RTJ to Mr. Henry Picoli, 61 Broadway, NYC, 29 Sept. 1942, Garden City Country Club Files, JP, CUA. Picoli chaired the greens committee at Garden City CC.

118    “owner of J. S. Connolly, Inc.”  On 29 March 1940, Jones sent a letter to J. S. Connolly with his price quotation for building a nine-hole golf course on Connolly’s property. According to the plan, Jones was going to send one of his construction superintendents, J. Frederick Goellner, to make sure that the construction conformed to Jones’s specifications; for that work, Connolly was to pay Goellner $5,948.00 (some of which, surely, Goellner was to share with Jones. (Goellner would also be the man who oversaw the construction of the Jones’s course at Duke Farms in New Jersey.) For the architect’s fee, Jones asked for $2,000. See RTJ to J.S. Connolly, 4715 Miller Ave., Bethesda, MD, 29 Mar. 1940; RTJ to Mr. Fred Goellner, Contractor, Raritan, NY, 4 Mar. 1940; Agreement between J. Frederick Goellner and J. S. Connnoly for the construction of a 9-hole course near Fairfax, VA, 1 May 1940. All of the above documents are in the Fairfax (VA) File, JP, CUA. Jones told Connolly that he was “impressed with this land you have purchased and the fine possibilities you have for an outstanding course” (RTJ to J.S. Connolly, 4715 Miller Ave., Bethesda. MD, 4 Mar. 1940, Fairfax File, JP, CUA.) After construction started, he wrote to the owner that “One of the reasons I am anxious to do the job, was to have a course of my design in the Washington, D.C. area.” RTJ to J. S. Connolly, 4715 Miller Ave., Bethesda, MD, 9 Aug. 1940, Fairfax File, JP, CUA.

118    “very pleasant and attractive course”  RTJ to Major J.S. Connolly, 3738 Chesterbrook Road, Arlington, VA, 25 June 1945, in Fairfax File, JP, CUA.

118    “nothing seems to come from it”  J.S. Connolly, 4715 Miller Ave., Bethesda, MD, to RTJ, 23 Oct. 1940, Fairfax File, JP, CUA. The only other thing known about Connolly was that his business was bought out in 1946 by his brother-in-law, George Cornell. Under the name “G. I. Cornell” after 1954, the company not only became the leading East Coast distributor for Jacobsen mowers and tractors, Club Car golf carts, and Rainbird irrigation systems, but also it helped fund a great deal of turfgrass research at various universities and by the U.S. Golf Association.

119    “giants in their own communities”  RTJ Jr. to author, Palo Alto, CA, 15 Feb. 2009.

120    “minimum of disking and harrowing” HWW, “Profiles: Linksland and Meadowland,” The New Yorker (4 Aug. 1951): 30.

120    “delighted you are so enthusiastic”  Lowell Thomas, Rockefeller Center, New York, 20 April 1940, Lowell Thomas Files, JP, CUA.

120    “He’s an asshole”  Quoted in RTJ, GMC, p. 85. Jones discussed the meeting with Tom Dewey and his friendship with Lowell Thomas generally in his 14-15 Feb. 1991 interview with AK, USGA OHC, transcript, pp. 112-13.

120    “Golf Digest ranked Quaker Hill  Whitten, “Small Wonders,” originally published 8 Feb. 2010, accessed on 5 Aug. 2012, at http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-courses/2010-02/nine-hole-courses-whitten.

121    “delighted to sometimes attend” In June 1940 Jones wrote to Lowell Thomas after one evening party in “The Barn” that he “thought the Clubhouse was just grand.”  RTJ to Mr. F. Byron Parks, Quaker Lake Inc., Pawling, NY, 17 June 1940, Lowell Thomas Files, JP, CUA. Parks worked for Lowell Thomas as the manager of his Quaker Lake association, which managed the golf course as well as Thomas’s involvement in Quaker Hill real estate development. Shortly after buying the 2,000-acre estate, Thomas began to sell-off large pieces of land, those near, but not on, the lake. For an excellent short article on the history of Thomas’s purchase and use of the Quaker Lake estate, see James Mandracchia, “The Early Days,” on the Quaker Hill country club website: http://www.quakerhillcc.com/early-days, accessed on 5 Aug. 2012. 

121    “a swell guy”  RTJ to Eric E. Tinney, Louis C. Dick Co., 1420 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 12 Oct. 1940, Lowell Thomas Files, JP, CUA. Tinney was Jones’s investment broker, who also attended some of Thomas’s “Barn” parties. Inncidentally, also up in the loft of “The Barn” at Quaker Hill was a fully-outfitted radio broadcasting studio replete with a teletype that brought in news from Thomas’s metropolitan headquarters in the RCA building at Rockefeller Center in New York City, and from which Thomas made a number of his live radio programs, broadcasts that Robert and Ione tried hard never to miss. The couple also enjoyed skiing with Lowell and Frances Thomas. In the heart of winter, one of the bigger hills on the Thomas estate worked well for downhill skiing, and the Jones enjoyed more than one outing there. Thomas also invited Robert to join him on some of his ski trips up in Adirondack resorts. In sum, the golf architect and the radio star became quite good friends. 

          The formal opening of the Quaker Hill golf course came on 30 May 1941. It was Decoration (Memorial) Day and, although the United States was not yet at war, all the proceeds from the day’s events, topped off by an exhibition featuring golf professionals Patty Berg, Helen Detweiler, Jimmy Demaret, and Gene Sarazen (an honorary member of Quaker Hill), went to the Red Cross.[i] Naturally, Jones partook in the festivities, got his picture taken with the pros, and was heartily applauded for the fine golf course he created. C. C. Greg, “Radio Built This Course,” Golfing (June 1942), accessed on 5 Aug. 2012, at http://www.quakerhillcc.com/radio-built.

121    “the total value of the estate”  James Mandracchia, “The Early Days,”  http://www.quakerhillcc.com/early-days, accessed on 5 Aug. 2012.

121    “Hammersley Hill golf course was not completed until 1947”  Lowell Thomas, Rockefeller Center, to RTJ, 15 Jan. 1947. Thomas wrote to Jones: “I haven’t gotten very far with my four hole course—just one green underway. However, I much appreciated the cooperation you gave us, and one of these days I will complete it.” RTJ to Mr. Lowell Thomas, Rockefeller Center, 9 June 1947.

122    “could be easily resurrected” Chuck Stogel, “Courses With Character: A handful of truly quirky, unusual courses exist under the radar screen in the Met Area,” The Met Golfer (2009), accessed on 5 Aug. 2012, at http://www.quakerhillcc.com/upload/stranky/users/admin/File/MG_QuakerHill.pdf. As had been the case when he was brought in to St. Charles, Illinois, by Lester Norris for the Pottawatomie job and ended up, not just building a private course for Norris but also remodeling some holes at St. Charles Country Club, once the word spread that Robert Trent Jones, “regarded as the foremost golf course architect in the country,” was working on a golf course in the Pawling area, other interested clients in the area came his way. (Quote from “Famous Architect Designs Two County Golf Courses; Robert Trent Jones Works on Baird State Park Site and Lowell Thomas’ Links; Freedom Plains 19-Hole Course Will Open Next Year as Feature of Huge County Recreational Area,” The Poughkeepsie Journal, n.d, {ca. 1939], copy in Lowell Thomas Files, JP, CUA.) In 1939 James Baird, a contractor and engineer whose firm had constructed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., donated 590 acres of farmland to the state of New York with the stipulation that it be made into a state park and be named after him. The location of the property was in Pleasant Valley, also in Duchess County, some 15 miles northwest of Pawling and just east of Poughkeepsie. The man in charge of the James Baird State Park project was Paul Winslow, executive secretary and treasurer of the Taconic State Park Commission. Naturally, Winslow knew the director of the state park commission, Jones’s good friend James Evans, quite well, and Evans told Winslow that Jones was the best man for building a golf course inside the new park. Work began on both the park and the golf course in 1940, but construction was interrupted for long stretches in the following years due to the Second World War. Brought back to life as a $37,000 project of New York State’s Postwar Public Works Planning Commission, the golf course was ready for play in 1948. Although fairly flat, the 6,616-yard, par-71layout (3,058 yards and par 34 on the front nine, and 3,558 yards and par 37 on the back) featured a number of deceptively interesting holes requiring considerable strategy. The par 5 560-yard 13th hole was widely regarded as one of the most challenging holes in the entire Hudson Valley.

122    “the golf course at Duke Farms”  RTJ to Herb Graffis, Golfdom, 14 Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL, 5 Oct. 1939,  Graffis Files, JP, CUA. Duke Farms near Somerville, New Jersey, had been established by Doris Duke’s father, James Buchanan Duke, the founder of Duke Power and the American Tobacco Company. Although Doris was quite athletic, she played little golf, but her husband, James H. R. Cromwell, was the son of Palm Beach society doyenne Eva Stotesbury and had grown up playing the gentleman’s game; in addition, Cromwell’s first marriage had been to automobile company heiress Delphine Ione Dodge, the only daughter of Horace Dodge (one of the two founders of the Dodge Motor Company), and much of his time during the marriage was taken up by his playing golf at various Detroit-area country clubs. Divorced from Delphine Dodge in 1928, Cromwell married Doris Duke in 1933. Shortly after returning from their two-year-long around-the-world honeymoon, Cromwell decided he wanted to have his own championship caliber golf course. To that end, Cromwell hired Robert Trent Jones. Records do not indicate what fees Robert was paid, but one imagines that they were the highest rates he had ever charged, more even than he had charged Lowell Thomas for Quaker Hill ($3,500) and Hammersly Hill ($1,500) put together.  RTJ to James H. R. Cromwell, Duke Farms, Somerville, NJ, 25 Sept. 1939, Duke Farms File, JP, CUA. The due bills for all of the fees paid to Jones by Lowell Thomas are in the Lowell Thomas Files, JP, CUA.

122    “remained her chief residence”  For the life of Doris Duke, see Ted Schwarz with Tom Rybak, Trust No One: The Glamorous Life and Death of Doris Duke (Poughkeepsie, NY: Vivisphere Publishing, 1997).

123    “dead for the duration”  RTJ to Lowell Thomas, Radio City, NYC, 21 Apr. 1942, Lowell Thomas Files, JP, CUA.

123    “my going to war or not”  RTJ to Robert Jones, East Rochester, NY, 14 Jan. 1941, in Selective Service File, JP, CUA.

123    “home address has changed”  RTJ to Upper Montclair Draft Board, Mount Hebron School, Bellevue Ave., Upper Montclair, NJ, 19 Oct. 1942, Selective Service Files, JP, CUA.

124    “limiting his eyesight in both eyes”  RTJ to G. B. Vanalstyne, M.D., 1396 Clifford Ave., Rochester, NY, 23 Nov. 1943; Meredith Campbell, 145 East 54th St., New York City, “To Whom It May Concern,” 1 Dec. 1943; E. Clarence Kern, M.D., 45 Park St., Montclair, NJ, “To Whom It May Concern,” 18 Nov. 1943. All three letters are in the Selective Service Files, JP, CUA. It is not clear whether Meredith Campbell was a medical doctor, a nurse, a clinic worker, or what. If she had been a doctor or nurse, one would think that she would have signed her letter with her credentials either as “M.D.” or “RN.” The letter in the Jones Papers is a copy without a direct signature; so perhaps the original letter sent to the draft board have her credentials.

125    “heightened sense of excitement”  RTJ Jr., Palo Alto, CA, to author, 15 Feb. 2008.

125    “his chief construction superintendent for the next forty years”  Jones was building the first nine holes at Cornell when he first met William J.  Baldwin. A native of Ithaca, New York, Baldwin was finishing his college studies in engineering at Syracuse University when Robert gave him a job helping to build his golf course. The young man quickly demonstrated “his intelligence, thoroughness, and his considerably above average ability in handling men,” so much so that Jones made him a superintendent “more quickly than any other who had been in my employ.” Constructing a golf course was specialized work, but Baldwin had an innate ability to “pick up the fine points of a given job.” Soon Jones was not restricting the young man to “carrying on the technical activities of a superintendent.” Because the busy architect could not be at any one job site continually, in his absence he needed someone who could represent him “with marked success” in all the various “dealings with our clients, suppliers, contractors, and labor.” Jones could “not speak too highly” of Bill Baldwin’s abilities to handle that role.

          After Baldwin was drafted into the army, Jones kept in touch by letter with Baldwin, doing what he could to help and encourage his young construction superintendent; Robert even made his car payments for him, and Ione sent homemade cookies to him. “I am sorry to lose you,” he wrote Baldwin soon after the young man’s induction, “but now that you’re in, be a good soldier. Needless to say, when you get out, I’ll find something for you to do” (RTJ to Private William Baldwin, Fort Niagara, Lewiston, NY, 5 May 1942, William Baldwin Files, JP, CUA.). Jones wrote two letters on Baldwin’s behalf trying to assist him in getting a transfer to an army engineering turf unit involved with the construction and maintenance of grass airfields, as well as letters at the end of the war petitioning for Baldwin’s early release.  (RTJ, “To the Officer Interested,” 30 Jan. 1943, William Baldwin Files, JP, CUA. Jones wrote this letter hoping to help Baldwin’s request for a transfer from his posting in the U.S. Army 1st Platoon, Co. A 3rd, at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, to an army engineering turf unit, in which Private Baldwin  could be working on the turfing of grass airfields. But the transfer did not work out. However, he did remain stateside for the entirety of the war, spending his time posted with the Army Service Forces Training Center at Fort Niagara in New York and Fort Belvoir, Virginia. (The Army Service Forces was one of the three components of the U.S. Army in World War II, the other two being the Army Air Forces and the Army Ground Forces. The Army Service Forces was comprised of six Technical Services, one of them being the Corps of Engineers, to which William Baldwin was assigned.) Jones continued to write Baldwin throughout the war (see, for example, RTJ to Prvt. William Baldwin, Co. A. 1st Platoon—3B. ERTO, Fort Belvoir, VA, 25 July 1942, and RTJ to Private William Baldwin, U.S. Army 1st Plat., Co. A 3rd Bt. E.R.T.C., Fort Belvoir, VA, 9 Feb. 1943, William Baldwin Files, JP, CUA.) In the Baldwin Files, there are also a number of handwritten letters that Baldwin wrote to Jones during the war.) Immediately upon the war’s end, Baldwin went right back to work for Jones building golf courses, staying with him through thick and thin into the 1980s. When Jones’s sons joined their father’s business as young men, it would be Baldwin who taught them the basics of how to construct a golf course, especially in Rees’s case.   

125    “why airport runways were breaking down”  RTJ, GMC, p. 85.

125    “a condemnation job” RTJ to Mr. John E. Beer, Editorial Rooms, Newark Sunday Call, Newark, NJ, 11 Aug. 1942, Selective Service Files, JP, CUA.

125    “recreational center for a machine gun plant”  RTJ to Joe Graffis, Golfdom, 14 Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL, 7 Jan. 1942, Graffis Files, JP, CUA.

126    “engaged solely in the manufacture of guns for the Army”  RTJ to Miss Florence E. Whelan, Clerk, Selective Service System, Local Board No. 4 for Essex County, Mt. Hebron School, Bellevue Ave., Upper Montclair, NJ, 13 Dec. 1943, Selective Service Files, JP, CUA.

126    “just been commissioned by the city of New Canaan”  ibid.  Not surprisingly, it was not just Robert Trent Jones and other golf architects but the entire U.S. golf industry that took interest in the postwar planning. Even before American entry into the war, the USGA, PGA, and other golf organizations, including golf magazines, had begun “accenting the physical benefits of the game more, instead of depending, as previously, principally on the social values of the game” (“What Will War Do to Golf,” Golfdom (Oct. 1940), quoted in Kirsch, GiA, p. 122.)  After Pearl Harbor, the Graffis brothers ran a number of patriotic articles connecting golf to the war effort under such titles as “War: Golf Sets Itself to Serve” (January 1942), “How to Fit Your Club to the War Effort” (January 1943), and “Golf in War? Here’s Why.” The president of a golf club in California responded to the articles by asserting that he thought “it would be a good thing for the nation, as well as for golf, if the idea could be put across that inefficiency and poor physical condition are disloyal acts” (quoted in Kirsch, GiA, p. 122).  Although the USGA in January 1942 canceled its four national championships (the Open, the men’s and women’s amateur, and the amateur public links) for the duration of the emergency, its president George Blossom, Jr., wanted the country to know that “golf in wartime has a mission—to help keep us fit and to aid war charities. If it is patriotic to be in shape physically, mentally, and spiritually, then it is patriotic to play golf” (George Blossom, Jr., of the USGA, quoted in Kirsch, GiA, p. 123). 

          Hearing in the summer of 1942 about the state of New York’s “quite extensive postwar civic improvement program,” Joe Graffis wrote to Robert asking him for information and guidance. He and his brother Herb had just helped establish the “Athletic Institute,” a non-profit organization based in Chicago serving to promote physical fitness and athletics in the U.S., and the golf magazine editors wanted to make sure that golf would be a ingredient of any future “well-rounded-out recreation center.”  Jones replied with a two-page letter.  “I am working with the City of New York,” the letter began, “and have designed a new 27 hole layout for Marine Park, Brooklyn, which will be developed as a post war project. As you know, this work all comes under Robert Moses…” (RTJ to Mr. Joe Graffis, Golfdom, 14 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL, 3 Sept. 1943, Graffis Files, JP, CUA).  Jones went on to give a long description of how the New York program worked. The process began at the community level and worked up to state approval, with the cost of seed money to develop the “good projects” being shared equally by the local authorities and the state—funds that “can go for retaining architects and engineers in private practice” (RTJ to Lowell Thomas, Radio City, New York City, 15 June 1942, Lowell Thomas Files, JP, CUA). According to Jones (who James Evans had made sure was a member of the postwar planning commission), “recreational centers are considered good projects” (RTJ, GM Challenge, p. 87). Golf courses, he felt, stood an excellent chance of being funded.

          Incidentally, the Marine Park Golf Course, off Flatbush Avenue in southern Brooklyn, mentioned two paragraphs above, did, in fact, get built, but not until 1964, when Jones converted the 27-hole layout that he had designed in 1943 to an 18-hole layout. With four sets of tees, the golf course can be played at distances from 5,200 to nearly 7,000 yards and is still advertised as “the longest of all the NYC courses.” It is mostly wide open, almost like a links, with many straightaway fairways, but the course can play extremely long and difficult due to strong winds coming off Jamaica Bay.

          Also, in relation to Jones’s plans for postwar work, in 1945 he established a new company, “Jones, Davis & Associates, Engineers-Architects,” which received contracts from the New York State Postwar Public Works Planning Commission for three non-golf course projects. Two of the projects involved the construction of cabins: at Lake Erie State Park in Chautauqua County and at Allegheny State Park in Cattaraugus County, just north of the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. Both sets of specifications were submitted to the planning commission in the immediate aftermath of the war, in Oct. 1945. Along with providing the specifications for the three construction projects, Jones’s company also built the cabins for the two state parks. In the third project, awarded in Dec. 1945, Jones’s company erected a group of maintenance structures adjacent to the Taconic State Parkway, between Freedom Plains and LaFayettville, both in Duchess County, the site of Quaker Hill Country Club and James Baird State Park golf course. For the Taconic State Parkway job, the contract for Jones’s company was worth $42,000, the equivalent of $535,000 in today’s dollars. Incidentally, in the 1920s Robert Moses headed the Taconic State Park Commission. Jones’s company also got a contract from the postwar planning commission to build an annex to the clubhouse at Green Lakes State Park, a golf course which, of course, Jones had been operating virtually as his own business since the course opened in 1936. The “Davis” in the company name “Jones, Davis & Associates” refers to Jones’s brother-in-law. The contracts for all three projects discussed above are in the Jones Papers in the files on the New York State Public Works Planning Commission.

127    “a complete recreational center”  “IBM Opens New Golf Course,” Poughkeepsie New Yorker, 15 July 1944, accessed on 19 Aug. 2012 at http://www.geocities.com/heartland/acres/2843/ibmopensnewgolfcourse.html.

127    “what that stock would be worth now”  RTJ, GMC, p. 85.

127    “a very profitable job”  RTJ to Mr. John P. Slinna, 1115 Hart St., Utica, NY, 23 Apr. 1944, IBM Files, JP, CUA.

129    “When IBM scaled back its operations”  Collette Martin, “Mourning The IBM Country Club and End of the Corporate Family,” Forbes, 13 Dec. 2010, accessed on 19 Aug. 2012 at http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2010/12/13/mourning-the-ibm-country-club-and-end-of-the-corporate-family/.

129    “catch-as-catch-can”  RTJ, GMC, p. 85.  Jones apparently did some remodeling work in 1944 at the Scarsdale Golf Club, a private club in Westchester County. The Scarsdale golf course was originally laid out by Willie Dunn, Jr., in 1898 but then was given a major facelift by A. W. Tillinghast in 1929. The author has found nothing in the Jones Papers to detail the remodeling work that Jones did on the course; neither do today’s club officials at Scarsdale have any records to document the work.  

129    “fresh air and sunshine”  “Golf Helps Army Rebuild War-torn Veterans,” Golfdom (May 1944): 11-13.

130    “programs to support the troops”  On the contribution of the USGA, PGA, and other golf organization to the nation’s efforts in World War II,. See Kirsch, GiA, pp. 124-126. In 1942 the PGA purchased two ambulances for the Red Cross and raised more than $25,000 for the USO to help provide free services to U.S. soldiers and their families.  The following year, the PGA sponsored a six-week-long national tour of charity golf exhibitions matching Hollywood stars Bing Crosby and Bob Hope with pros and leading amateurs, providing entertainment for servicemen in military hospitals and selling tens of thousands of dollars in war bonds to the public. Most pertinent to golf architects like Jones, PGA champion Leo Diegel, four-time winner of the Canadian Open and victor in the 1928 and 1929 PGA Championships, led a nationwide drive asking all members of the PGA and greenkeepers association to do what they could to help create golf courses—even if they were quite rudimentary—at the stateside military and veterans’ hospitals that did not have them. The first fruit of Diegel’s initiative, led by the Philadelphia section of the PGA, resulted in a small golf course being built for the Valley Forge General Hospital.

131    “Halloran General Hospital”  “Halloran Course is Exhibit of Famous Short Holes,” Golfdom (Fall 1945): 36, 40.

131    “one of the swellest things I’ve seen”  Herb Graffis, Editor, Golfdom, 407 S. Dearborn St., 15 Oct. 1945, Graffis Files, JP, CUA.  One can wonder whether many of Halloran’s convalescing soldiers understood that they were playing replicas of some of the world’s greatest par three holes or appreciated the finer points of Jones’s “modern” psychological approach to the architecture:

 

                    It is the terror features that give great holes their drama. But terror features alone do not make great golf holes. Anyone                       could surround a green with an ugly maze of traps. In truly great golf holes there must be an adroit blending of features,                         natural and artificial. Therefore, a hole should be planned so that a shot is punished according to its merit. There should                         be a subtle cloaking of guile in well planned green contours.

 

As for the sand traps on his course, Robert felt, “It would hardly be appropriate to have traps as deep as these for the wounded veterans of Halloran who may not be able through physical disability to negotiate them” (RTJ, GMC, p. 85). Still, for soldiers, sailors, and airmen coming back home with damaging afflictions to the body or mind, or both,  Jones perhaps could have toned down the difficulty and the drama of his golf course even more than he did. 

131    “for children with intellectual disabilities”  Designed for 4,000 occupants, by 1965 Willowbrook housed 6,000, making it the biggest institution for the mentally handicapped in the U.S.) In 1987 public outcry against the overcrowding, filthy conditions, and abuses taking place at Willowbrook led to its closure—as well as to Federal civil rights legislation protecting the handicapped.[ii]There is an excellent documentary film from 2008 on the sad history of Willowbrook State School, entitled “Unforgotten: Twenty-Five Years After Willowbrook, by director Jack Fisher. Two fine books on Willowbrook and its history are: Sheila M. Rothman and David J. Rothman, The Willowbrook Wars (NY: Aldine Transaction, 2005), and Geraldo Rivera, Willowbrook: A Report on how it is and why it doesn’t have to stay that way (New York: Vintage Books, 1972).

132    “I am sure he would do a good job for you”  Robert Moses, Commissioner, City of New York, Department of Parks, Arsenal, Central Park, NYC, to Colonel Lawrence Mc. Jones, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, 19 Apr. 1945, U.S. Military Academy Files, JP, CUA.

132    “no way I’m getting close to a bunch of Germans”  RTJ, GMC, p. 85 and p. 87.

133    “dynamite blasting through solid rock”  HWW, “Linksland and Meadowland,” The New Yorker, 30.

133    “fifteen years of sustained crisis”  Kirsch, GiA, p. 127.

 

 

 

 

 

[ii] There is an excellent documentary film from 2008 on the sad history of Willowbrook State School, entitled “Unforgotten: Twenty-Five Years After Willowbrook, by director Jack Fisher. Two fine books on Willowbrook and its history are: Sheila M. Rothman and David J. Rothman, The Willowbrook Wars (NY: Aldine Transaction, 2005), and Geraldo Rivera, Willowbrook: A Report on how it is and why it doesn’t have to stay that way (New York: Vintage Books, 1972).