TRAVIS HAD THIS TO SAY ABOUT GOLF–
“Golf is a wonderful game—absolutely unique. It develops the good qualities of a man’s nature and softens the poor ones.
As a disciplinarian and establisher of character, it is without a peer.
It cultivates patience and endurance under adversity and yet keeps constantly alive the fires of hope. It is a leveler of ranks and classes: rich and poor alike meet on common ground. Skill at it cannot be purchased except by application, concentration, hard work, much travail of spirit and undying faith–all of which really represent a labor of love.
It has saved thousands of lives, and broadened, sweetened and enriched the minds and dispositions of many thousands more. It has given birth to and firmly cemented friendships without number.
It is the best, as it is the fairest of all outdoor pastimes—and it may be played from cradle to the grave. (The American Golfer, Feb. 1910)
March 18th, 2022:
Ian Andrew, golf course architect, wrote a piece on Pennhills Club’s Travis greens. You may click here for the article. Below please find the opening paragraph.
I’m often asked who do you think built the best greens and I believe the answer is Walter Travis. Lots of great Golden Age architects built great greens, but I can’t think of anyone who built as many one-off, never-seen-that-before, jaw dropping greens as Walter. It’s the unusual combinations of features in unexpected direction, comfortable going high, low, wide and really narrow. What’s left behind is some of the greatest compartments and pin locations the game has seen. If you’ve seen the throne pin (7th) at Penn Hills, you know were talking about something singular in the game.
September 8th, 2021:
Ran Morrissett of GolfClubAtlas.com recently interviewed Ed Homsey, our Historian, as he prepares to hand over the reigns to Michael Cirba. Ran’s introduction and link to the Interview are below:
“Walter Travis’s star has never shown brighter and has been stoked by the meritorious work of The Walter J. Travis Society (www.travissociety.com) , who has painstakingly collated reams of meaningful information about Travis to illuminate his impact on golf. The Society is older than GolfClubAtlas and Ed Homsey, this month’s Feature Interviewee, has been its historian since its inception. Talk about a time commitment! Ed and The Society are truly altruistic – they disseminate information free-of-charge. Give the man credit; his is a noble cause, one which we should all support (there is a link to do so at the end of the Feature Interview).
For an architect to be heralded, his best work must be presented as he intended. While we should have interviewed Ed long ago, we did feature his friends Bob Labbance and Kevin Mendik in April, 2008. Many good things have occurred to Walter Travis golf courses since these three and the Society started sharing their research. Happily for Walter Travis and his legacy, several of his works including Cape Arundel and Hollywood GC are among the best presented courses in North America. Only a dolt would fail to be impressed by Travis’s hazards and putting greens. Another course at peak is Garden City GC, where Travis drove a series of changes to Devereux Emmet’s design. Play those three and you will become a devotee of Travis.
GCA.com is an architecture site, so the Interview centers around Travis’s contributions to the game via his stellar writing and architecture. Ed shines light on less discussed Travis gems like Lookout Point, Pennhills and Cherry Hill in addition to others like Yahnundasis and Scranton that have started receiving their due within these discussion pages. One specific takeaway for me is Travis’s affinity for ‘mounds and sand pockets.’ Bring them back! The black and white picture of the obstacle in the 15th fairway at Ed’s home course, Stratford CC, is wildly appealing. I have never understood why more such rough-hewn central hazards don’t populate courses. What a great feature – their return would be most welcome.
All good things must come to an end and Ed is in the process of handing over ‘the keys to the kingdom’ to Mike Cirba. The Society is in great hands but Ed deserves to take a deep and long bow: He made the sport better through his efforts.
Congratulations for an amazing 25+ year run at The Travis Society and for sharing with us the information contained in this month’s Feature Interview. He has spent half a lifetime obtaining such depth of knowledge and he shares it graciously in the public domain, where it will do the most good.
Best wishes to him and the Society moving forward.” – Ran Morrissett
July 1st: Ron Montesano, Scholarship Chairman, spoke to 2012 Scholarship Recipient Clyde Johnson to see how his career had progressed in recent years. See Ron’s Interview Here
Clyde was also recently interviewed by Ran Morrissett of GolfClubAtlas as part of the June Feature Interview “Roads Less Traveled” – see the link below. https://golfclubatlas.com/feature-interview/june-feature-interview-roads-less-traveled/
January 27th: In a Zoom meeting of Travis Society officers, the appointment of Ron Montesano as Scholarship Chairman was approved, and Pam Allen was proposed and approved to serve as webmaster. In addition, Rocco “Chip” Capraro was nominated and approved as President-elect, to succeed Ralph Garnish as President upon Ralph’s retirement.
January 2021: Notices of the Travis Society’s 2021 scholarship program went sent out to a large list of contacts representing various areas related to the golf industry, e.g. program directors of university programs such as turfgrass science/management, professional golf managements, landscape architecture, sports journalism, etc. The new Scholarship Chairman, Ron Montesano was fully on-board and engaged in the program.
November 24th: The 2020 Walter J. Travis-Rudy Zocchi Memorial Scholarships have been announced. Their names, and a brief bio, may be found on the Scholarship Winners page of this site.
October 29th: We are proud to count Hollywood Golf Club among our Member Clubs. HGC, along with othe Member Clubs, represents the best of Walter Travis’s career as a golf course architect. He took the original Isaac Mackie course and turned it into a world-class, highly respected and admired course. In recent years, Renaissance Golf, with lead Design Consultant, Brian Schneider, has concentrated its efforts on the restoration of HGC’s classic character and appearance. The Metropolitan Golf Association recently interviewed Brian Schneider about the HGC project. Here is a link to a most informative interview:
Sept. 11th: A podcast that features the Travis Society Historian:
October 27th: The Travis Society officers held the Travis Society’s Annual Meeting on the 27th via Zoom. President Garnish reserved a major portion of the meeting for the discussion of the future of the Travis Society. Each participant shared ideas to assure continuation of the Travis Society and its mission. 2020 officers were each re-elected to serve another term.
June 15th: This notice should have been posted earlier. Please note that the problems with our gmail account have been resolved. Our email, TravisSociety@gmail.com, is active and safe. Look forward to hearing from you.
On another note: For the most comprehensive and accurate information about Walter J. Travis, we strongly recommend the biography, The Old Man, written by the late Bob Labbance, with the financial support of the Travis Society. We have signed, unopened copies of the book, and would be very happy to send you a copy. For Travis Society members, the price is $50 plus $4.00 shipping. For non-members, the price is $75, with $4.00 shipping. Please send your order to: The Walter J. Travis Society c/o 49 S. Main St., P.O. Box 386, Elba, NY 14058
July 1st: Recently, the Travis Society received a terrific history of Stamford Golf Club, located near the Village of Stamford, NY. The history is titled “A History of the Stamford Golf Club, With an Emphasis on the Golf Course Re-Design Work Done by Walter J. Travis”. It was developed and written by James G. Meagley, an attorney in Buffalo, NY, whose family lived near Stamford, and whose father grew up near the Stamford GC and,as a lad, caddied at Stamford in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Jim’s first 18-hole round was at Stamford when he was 9. We are very grateful to Jim for his exhaustive study of the Stamford GC history, and for sharing his very interesting and informative history.
May 27th: Following extensive discussion of our scholarship program given the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Travis Society officers agreed that we will extend the deadline for scholarship applications to September 1st, 2020. For more information, please contact: Kyle Watson, Scholarship Chairman. Kyle’s contact info: Phone 732-673-2558 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
February 2020: Just a heads-up regarding Travis Society contact info. Our email: TravisSociety@gmail.com, has been hacked, and is no longer available for our use. Please go to the “Contact Us” page, on this site, for contact information.
On a more positive note, there have been updates to our Travis course listings lately. With couple of courses that were identified as “needing confirmation”, have now been confirmed, e.g. Pasadena Golf Club and Chevy Chase CC.
The Travis Society Facebook page is the source of a great deal of interesting discussion about various topics related to Walter J. Travis. We invite you to become a “friend”.
On Monday, Sept.30th, Ekwanok CC hosted a Travis Society gathering that was attended by well over 30 Travis Society members from throughout the eastern and southeastern part of the U.S. From all reports, the gathering was a wonderful affair through the gracious and generous care of the hosts nad the enthusiasm of the attendees. The weather cooperated beautifully with a sunny, mild day in the Manchester valley. Below is a picture of the group, with Travis Society President, Ralph Garnish at the lectern, during the formal, morning meeting before all headed out for golf and, later, cocktail hour and dinner.: Credit for this photo goes to Shawn Harrington, Curator for Ekwanok CC.
Sept. 9, 2019:
The following announcement was recently made by our President, Ralph Garnish:
We are pleased to announce and congratulate the winners of the 2019 Travis Society Scholarship Program. This program continues only because of your dues and contributions, thank you once again for your continued support.
Zachary Slayton, Austin, Texas –, Colorado Christian University, Bus Admin, Amateur Golfer
Rachel Goldstein, East Lyme, CT – University of Pennsylvania, Sports mgmt., goal of Head Professional
Nathan Rabuck, Denver, CO – University of Colorado, PGA Golf Mgmt, goals of Head Pro, GC Super, Dir of Golf
The Walter J. Travis-Rudy Zocchi Memorial Scholarship winner, and repeat winner: Annika Kuleba, Albemarle, NC – Sweet Briar College, VA, Environ Science, Amateur Golfer
The Travis Society Member Club Scholarship – Matthew Genaway, Darien Center, NY –representing Stafford CC, Stafford, NY, Canisius College, Acctg & Finance, Amateur Golfer
Many thanks to those who support our scholarship program so generously.
July 26, 2019:
Just a note to call your attention to two golf society links that have been added to the “Links of Interest” page: The Robert Trent Jones Society and The Wayne Stiles Society. Check them out.
July 15, 2019:
The most excciting news of the season for Travis Society members is the September 30, 2019 gathering, generously hosted by Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester, VT. In addition to the significant role that Walter J. Travis played in the development of the Ekwanok Country Club course, there is good evidence that Ekwanok CC, and Manchester, VT, became his most revered place on earth. He and his wife are buried in Dellwood Cemetery, next door to Ekwanok CC.
Many thanks to Travis Society President, Ralph Garnish, and Ekwanok CC member, and Chairman of their Library and Museum Committee, Sydney “Chip” Stokes, who worked out the arrangements for this event. It is no surprise that Travis Society members have responded enthusiastically, filling the quota for the gathering.
There are similar Travis Society member gatherings in the works for the next couple of years. Make sure your membership is up-to-date.
April 12, 2019:
The Walter J. Travis Society Facebook page has become the source of very interesting, and informative, information and discussion about Walter J. Travis, and his golf courses. If you have not become a “Friend” of the Walter J. Travis Society’s Facebook page, we hope that you will soon. Take a look at it.
March 4, 2019:
The New York State Golf Association formally announced that Walter J. Travis has been nominated as one of four inductees into the NYSGA Hall of Fame 2019 Class. The formal inducation will take place in Octob er 2019 at the NYSGA’s Annual Meeting and Hall of Fame Induction dinner. Representatives of The Walter J. Travis Society will be in attendance.
December 4, 2018:
Ed Homsey has retired from the position of Scholarship Chairman, a position he has held since the scholarship program was begun. Ed has been ably replaced by Kyle Watson, a Travis Society member since 2011. Kyle’s contact info: Phone 732-673-2558 Email: email@example.com
In addition to the above announcement, please note that the Travis Society’s email address has been changed. It is now: TravisSociety@gmail.com
Unfortunately, our previous email was hacked, and became corrupted.
And, please note the change of address:
The Walter J. Travis Society
49 S. Main St. P.O. Box 386 Elba, NY 14058 1-585-757-3006
August 17, 2018:
Please check our scholarship page for the winners of our 5 2018 scholarships.
Also, check out this link for a very interesting article about Walter J. Travis by Tom Doak, one of our era’s most highly regarded golf course architect.
April 18, 2018: Below are recent updates received from our 2017 Scholars. We are very pleased with each and happy for the success they’re experiencing during this academic year. The June 1st application deadline for 2018 scholarship applications is rapidly approaching. Please check our Scholarship page to determine if you might be eligible, or might now someone who is eligible to apply.
I wanted to say thank you to everyone who is a part of the Travis Society, receiving that scholarship was truly an honor and I was greatly humbled by it. I have the bag tag of the Travis Society on my college golf bag and I greatly appreciate everything the society does. The school year has been great. I have been doing great acedemically and on the golf course. I have a 4.0 this semester and have started every tournament in college as a freshman. That scholarship gave me a great amount of confidence and I cannot say thank you enough.
I look forward to staying in touch with the society.
Thank you for your email. How are you doing? My junior year has been incredibly busy and exciting. I achieved Dean’s List in the Fall for my fifth consecutive semester and I was just recently inducted into both the Order of Omega and Mortar Board honor societies. Additionally, I applied, interviewed, and was selected into Bucknell University’s Student Managed Investment Fund this semester. Last week the class traveled to New York City to present to our investors and we met with members of Goldman Sachs and Baron Capital while there, as well as attended the New York Stock Exchange and witnessed an IPO. Also this semester I entered into the Johnson & Johnson National Collegiate Case Competition and my team won the Bucknell competition and traveled to nationals at J&J headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ where we presented in front of executives of J&J. On the athletic side of things, the team has Patriot Leagues in 2 weeks and it will be held on Lehigh University’s home-course of Saucon Valley CC. Lastly, I secured an internship with Solvay Chemicals this summer in Houston, TX working directly under President Mike Lacey.
I cannot believe that I only have 1 year left at Bucknell and I cannot thank you and the other members of the Travis Society for your continuous support in my academic pursuits at Bucknell University. I hope that this is the sort of write-up that you are looking for, but please let me know if you need any additional information!
I am very thankful for this award. I am appreciative to receive this as it helps me pursue my dream and passion. Here are my accomplishments in the past year.
Before my academic career started at Iona, I traveled with my golf team to Ireland and played against University College Dublin. I helped the team win for the first time overseas. This experience was life changing. I learned about the culture of Ireland and the ways of the people. I completed the fall season with the golf team and played in every event. From an academic stand point, I made the Dean’s list with a 3.53 GPA for the fall semester. I also participated in a charity event called Tunnel 2 Tower. This is a charity event that help raise money for 9/11 first responders. I helped set up the event and tended to runners needs at the finishing line. Currently in my Spring semester, I’m still trying to help my team play to their best ability and trying to make the Dean’s list for the second time in a row. Best regards,
Apr 11 at 3:19 PM
My junior year has been a year I will never forget. This year, I was able to serve as the Methodist University Women’s Golf Team captain, which has taught me a lot about being a leader. Our team has had an incredible spring season. We were ranked 17th in the nation at the beginning of our spring season, and currently, we are ranked 5th in the nation. By being ranked 5th, we have a really good chance of getting a bid for the National Championship. This summer, I will be spending my 3rd PGA Golf Management internship at The Jim McLean Golf Center in Dallas, TX. I am extremely grateful and excited to have this opportunity to learn an immense amount about teaching from top instructors.
Dear Walter Travis Society,
Thank you again for selecting me as a recipient of one of your scholarships. It was an honor to receive the award in Walter Travis’s name. I sincerely appreciated the financial help this past school year as I worked toward completion of my Masters of Science degree at Penn State studying agronomy specialized in turfgrass science.
The 2017-2018 year has been a busy one. I initiated four field studies and one laboratory study surrounding cold temperature bentgrass germination as part of my thesis research. I also worked on four side research projects including a fungicide trial, organic weed control trial, turfgrass root enhancement trial, and a fine fescue to creeping bentgrass green conversion study. I presented the findings of some of these studies at the Agronomy Society of America meeting in Tampa, FL and at the Western Pennsylvania Turfgrass Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.
Outside of my research, I served on Penn State’s Graduate and Professional Student Association as a delegate of the College of Agricultural Sciences and on the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America’s student task force. These activities further enhanced my leadership skills and provided opportunities to advocate for the golf and turfgrass industries.
Moving forward, I am in progress on completing the second year of research for my thesis. I will present the research at the Agronomy Society of America meeting in Baltimore, PA, Penn State’s turfgrass field day and conference, and at a departmental seminar that will culminate my degree. I plan to defend my thesis in November and graduate in December. I’m still deciding on what comes next after that!
I hope this year was a good one for you as well. I look forward to following your association in the future.
February 1, 2018: Nice to kick off the New Year with news that a new golf course has been added to the official listing of Walter J. Travis designed golf courses. Travis and Garden City Golf Club head pro, Stewart Gardner, created the second-nine holes at the Oakland Golf Club, in Bayside, LI, NY, in 1905. Travis had been a member of Oakland since it’s beginning in 1897 and, subsequently, was awarded an Honorary Membership. In the years following Travis and Gardner’s work, there were many changes made to the course, most of which involved bunkering. A major remodeling of the course was completed by Seth Raynor sometime between 1917 and 1921. From its beginning, the course was often lauded as an outstanding test of golf. The club was disbanded in 1952, but the course lived on as a public muni until its demise in 1961.
December 1, 2017:
Notices for our 2018 Walter J. Travis Memorial and Walter J. Travis-Rudy Zocchi Memorial Scholarships have been sent to key individuals across the cuontry, including golf coaches, program Directors and Professors, golf course architects, golf course superintendents, national organizations such as the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, etc. Please check the Scholarship page of this website for more details about the scholarships, including application form. We look forward to receiving applications from outstanding students in each category of eligibility, i.e. professional golf management, turfgrass management, landscape architecture, sports journalism, and amateur golfer.
October 1, 2017:
The Annual Travis Society officer’s meeting was held at Stafford Country Club. Significant decisions included dedicated one of our scholarships to the memory of Rudy Zocchi. It will be named The Walter J. Travis – Rudy Zocchi Memorial Scholarship, and will be awarded to a student qualified within the Amateur Golfer category. Donations by Rudy’s friends will be directed to this scholarship.
Officers for 2018 are: Ralph Garnish, President; Steve Kubiak, Vice-Presendent; Tom Snodgrass, Secretary; Crosby “Skip” Lamont, Treasurer; and Ed Homsey, Archivist.
The officers approved Brian Siplo as Curator and Executive-at-Large. Brian has provided significant assistance in the appraisal of the Travis Society’s collection, and the care, and preservation of memorabilia.
August 21, 2017:
This past week, Cherry Hill Club, in southern Ontario, held it’s first “The Walter” event. The Walter is a 1-day Men’s Member-Guest event, created by their Executive Professional Jeremy Broom, to honor Walter J. Travis, designer of their golf course. See picture of scoreboard below:
August 9, 2017:
On a beautiful sunny and warm day, Lookout Point Country Club defended its home turf by winning the 23rd annual Walter J. Travis Cup. Visiting players were challenged by the challenging Travis greens situated at the edge of the Niagara escarpment. Orchard Park Country Club finished 2nd followed by Stafford Country Club and Cherry Hill Club.
July 17, 2017:
Check out this link for some beautiful pictures and descriptions of Cape Arundel Golf Club in Kennebunkport, ME.
July 14, 2017:
The Fall general membership get-together is scheduled for Tues. October 17th at North Jersey Country Club. Our President, Ralph Garnish is trying to make arrangements at another Travis Society Member Club, in the vicinity, for a second round of golf.
More details to follow.
July 13, 2017:
The following is lifted from the January 1910 issue of Travis’s magazine, The American Golfer”. It is his personal description of his role with the magazine.
“SOMETHING PERSONAL”–by Walter J. Travis
There is an idea in the minds. of some folks that nearly all my timeis spent in playing golf, and that I am a mere figurehead in THE AMERICAN- GOLFER.
This is quite erroneous. Ever since the paper started I alone have had the sole management.
Editorial matter, “Around the 19th hole”, and the various articles which have appeared from time to time under my name, have been all of my own, unaided creation. “Outside the Notes”, from our regular correspondents in various parts of the country, Canada and England, special articles from well-known writers and correspondence, everything else I am responsible for. Barring an advertising man, I have only one assistant, a very capable stenographer, to whom, alas! golf ‘is as Greek. All the rest of the work I attend to personally. If ever a man was head cook and·bottle-washer of an establishment , I can safely lay claim to that honor.
If the work were not congenial--if I were not wrapped up in it–I doubt whether I cou!d possibly manage to get through with it.
It is true I take part in several tournaments–as many as I can find the necessary time for. No man can conduct a good, live golf magazine who does not . . . who does not get right down into the very heart of things. In this way, he is brought .right into the inner atmosphere of the game- eats golf–drinks golf–dreams golf– feels the pulse and gets the views of all class of players, from their own particular viewpoint.
I only wish for the sake of my subscribers that I could extend the list of tournaments. As it is, everyone has to be paid for by night work, extra pressure and all that sort of thing. So don’t blame me too severely if my golf sometimes suffers. Rather, take me to task if THE AMERICAN GOLFER falls below its standard. That’s my chief concern, my ideal—to make it worthy of the noble game.” –The American Golfer, January 1910
July 8, 2017:
The Travis Society is proud to announce its 2017 scholarship winners. They are:
Devon Carroll, Turfgrass Science Grad student at Penn St
Peyton Durham, PGM Junior at Methodist University
Kritsarin Oukosavanna, PGM Freshman at Iona College
Ashton Radvansky, Junior at Bucknell University, winner in Amateur golfer category
Mitchell Smith, Freshman at Mercyhurst University, winner of scholarship reserved for students associated with Travis Society Member Clubs. Mitch won in the Amateur golfer category.
Our thanks to each of the 30 applicants for this year’s scholarship, and special thanks to our Scholarship Selection Committee for their diligent and successful efforts to identify the most deserving candidates from a very strong field. Members of the committee area; Chip Capraro, Ralph Garnish, Shirley Homsey, Mari Ellen Lamont, Chris Malkiewich, and the scholarship chairman, Ed Homsey.
May 26, 2017:
Rudy Zocchi was our main man for finding information about Walter J. Travis. When he was a resident of Poughkeepsie, NY, he made daily trips to the USGA Library, in Far Hills, NJ, searching the available literature for any, and all things, related to Travis. After his move to Jekyll Island, Rudy exhausted all online sources for newspaper and periodical articles about Travis. The Travis Society collection of Travis literature is enormous, largely due to Rudy’s dedicated, persistent, and enthusiastic efforts. In addition, Rudy purchased many items of Travis memorabilia and books with Travis information, that he subsequently donated to the Travis Society.
It was always a pleasure to be Rudy’s playing partner. Especially on a Travis course. We will always miss him, and will be reminded of him constantly by the products of his ceaseless efforts.
In Memory of
March 9, 1933 – May 19, 2017
Rudy Zocchi, 84, of Jekyll Island, Georgia, passed away peacefully on May 19, 2017. Born and raised in Tuckahoe, NY, he is predeceased by his parents and eight siblings. He is survived by a sister, Jessie Huestis, and his wife, Gloria; two sons, Mitch (Shelly) and David (Jamie); a stepson, Daniel Duffrin (Lucie) and stepdaughter Diane Kelley (Troy) and seven grandchildren.
Among his many occupations, Rudy owned two grocery stores in Pleasant Valley, NY. Rudy was an avid photographer and golfer. He had 9 holes in one (one of which won him a car), and he shot his age or better on quite a few occasions. He was chosen as a member of the Dutchess Country Golf of Fame. Upon retirement he spent two years restoring the historic Pleasant Valley Railroad Station which is now located at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.
For the last 20 years Rudy has been working on what he called his “golf history”. He constantly researched Walter J. Travis, a golf course architect and amateur golfer in the early 1900’s. As a member of the Walter Travis Society, his research contributed to a major part of their collection of Travis memorabilia and accomplishments.
A celebration of his life will take place at Jekyll Island United Methodist Church on Jekyll Island on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 11:00 AM. Father Tim McKeown will officiate the service. A celebration in New York will take place at a later date. Close friends and family will be contacted.
He loved living on Jekyll, and always said “We can’t keep living like this!”
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Walter J. Travis Scholarship Fund, 24 Sandstone Drive, Rochester, NY 14616 in memory of Rudy.
May 5, 2017:
A newly acquired image of Travis with his Schenectady Putter.
April 11, 2017:
Recently, Walter J. Travis was given a bit of national attention with a Golf channel program in which Brandel Chamblee described the far-reaching effects of the putting lesson Travis gave to Bobby Jones. The following is a link to the YouTube video of Chamblee’s presentation:
The Travis influence on Bobby Jones began very early. The 2004 Bob Thomas book, Why Bobby Jones Quit, reported that, after 9 year old Bobby Jones won the Atlanta Athletic Club’s Junior championship, his father gave him Travis’s book, Practical Golf. “Big Bob” told young Bobby, “It’s Travis’s golf book. I may have to read most of the book to you, to–sort of help you completely grasp what Travis is talking about.” Bobby went to bed that night with his newly won trophy on one side of him, and the Travis book on the other.
January 18, 2017:
Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, and successful 2017. May your drives find the fairways, and your putts roll true to the bottom of the cup. Most of all, may the game bring you great joy and satisfaction.
Thanks to Ian Andrew, we have pasted a photo of the new 17th green that he created this past year at Pennhills Club, in Bradford, PA. Ian used the original green elevation map drawn by Walter Travis in 1922. Thus, the internal contours reflect Travis’s vision for the green. In addition to the 17th, Ian created new greens for the 12th and 13th greens. The new greens are part of the 9 holes that were completed in 1957-58 under the supervision of architect Dick Wilson. Wilson used Travis’s plans, including the routing and placement of greens, but his green surfaces were markedly different from the Travis nine. The new greens bring a more cohesive and consistent character to the course. We applaud the Pennhills Club membership, and Ian Andrew, for these improvements. Check out the “Visual Tour—” page.
December 17, 2016:
Our thanks to the Manchester Historical Society and its Curator, Shawn Harrington, for vintage images of the Equinox Golf links and a collage of recent and vintage images of Ekwanok CC’s par 5 7th hole. Check them out. Keep in mind that Travis did his design work on Equinox in late 1925. He was present when the course officially opened on July 1, 1927. John Duncan Dunn is credited with the 1899 design of the Ekwanok CC course, but there are reports that Travis assisted and was involved in the construction of the course. Ekwanok CC, and the Manchester valley was one of Travis’s favorite places. He and his wife are buried in Dellwood Cemetery. Link to Dellwood Cemetery below:
October 30, 2016:
The annual meeting of Travis Society officers was held at Pennhills Club, in Bradford, PA, on a very rainy, cold day. Treasurer and membership reports for the year were very positive. The growth in our individual membership was one of the largest in our history. The 2017 scholarship program will continue to offer five $1,000 awards, with four at-large awards and one award reserved for a student associated with a Travis Society Member Club. Application and scholarship review procedures will remain the same as in 2016. Much of the meeting’s discussion centered around governance of the Travis Society, and the wish to involve members outside the western New York, southern Ontario region. We will explore the possibility of video conferencing. Planning for next year’s general membership gathering will get underway soon. Each of the officers was re-elected to another term in office.
Though the weather prevented us from playing golf, we were treated to a look at the recent improvements to the Pennhills Club golf course, including bunker work, tree removal, and construction of three new greens. The new greens replaced three Dick Wilson designed greens on the back nine. They are remarkably consistent with the wonderful Travis green sites on the front nine, in terms of surrounds and internal contours. Pennhills’ architect Ian Andrew used the original Travis green elevation maps in his creation of the new greens.
September 12, 2016:
We are very pleased to welcome the Jekyll Island Authority’s Great Dunes Course as a Member Club of the Walter J. Travis Society. Walter J. Travis had a long history with Jekyll Island. Reports indicate that Travis offered suggestions for improving the early Jekyll Island golf course in 1900. Later, a 1910 New York Tribune reported that Karl Keffer, champion golfer from Canada, was hired by the Jekyll Island Club, at the recommendation of Walter Travis. In a letter to Mr. Macy, Cyrus McCormick, said, “Any man recommended by Mr. Travis would, I am sure, be entirely agreeable to the members of the Club—“. In 1926, Travis designed Jekyll’s Great Dunes Golf course, an 18 hole course that featured several spectacular holes along the Atlantic Ocean. The course was completed in 1928, so Travis never saw his masterpiece completed. For a period of time, beginning in 1942, the course was closed. Though the front nine was fully reopened in the mid-’50s, a combination of factors led to the demise of the back nine. Today, the Great Dunes course is a nine hole course which, according to Rudy Zocchi, our long-time, dedicated Travis researcher, and full-time resident of Jekyll Island, plays very tough, given its very small greens.
August 15, 2016:
The 22nd running of The Walter J. Travis Cup was hosted by Orchard Park Country Club on Friday, August 12th. The Travis Cup is an inter-club event that involves Orchard Park CC, Cherry Hill Club, Lookout Point CC, and Stafford CC, and was formed to recognize and honor Walter J. Travis, the designer of each club’s golf course. Per usual, OPCC was a very gracious and generous host, and the 64 players had the opportunity to experience the recent improvements to the golf course, including tree removal and bunker work done under the direction of architect Ian Andrew.
Our congratulations to OPCC for the defense of their home turf. Complete team results may be found on the Travis Cup results page of this website.
June 28, 2016:
We are very pleased, and honored, to announce that North Jersey Country Club, of Wayne, NJ, has joined the Travis Society as a Member Club. On July 15, 1923, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle announced that “The fourth oldest golf club in America, the North Jersey Country Club opens its new golf course on Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m.”. Because of the encroachment of the surrounding village, the club sought out, and acquired, 319 acres in the township of Wayne, NJ. In 1921, Walter J. Travis was commissioned to design the club’s new golf course on terrain that he deemed an ideal setting for a championship caliber golf course. On opening day, the North Jersey CC membership celebrated both their new course and their beautiful, classic clubhouse, designed by Clifford C. Wendehack, an architect, and NJCC member, who was relatively unknown, at the time. Subsequent to construction of his NJCC masterpiece, Wendbeck was awarded contracts to design clubhouses at Ridgewood CC, Winged Foot Country Club, The Park Club, Pennhills Club, and many others.
The NJCC website (see link on this website) provides a very interesting, hole-by-hole description of the golf course, including changes to the course over the years.
April 15, 2016:
Our thanks to Michael Stachowicz, Turf Management Specialist for the National Park Service, who sent us images of original Travis hole drawings for the East Potomac Park golf course. Though there are no dates on the drawings, our documentation indicates that the drawings were done in 1917. Interestingly, it appears that Travis modified these plans, somewhat, with red ink notations. In addition, the plans clearly show Travis’ plan to develop a course that could be played in reverse.
March 24, 2016:
Thanks to member Pete Creedon, of Columbia CC, we have a Walter J. Travis Society Facebook page. We invite you to become a “Friend”. It is our hope that it becomes a site for sharing information, and even tales, about Travis courses we’ve enjoyed, by playing, tending to, etc. It is open to all with an interest in golf history, and Walter J. Travis, in particular.
March 14, 2016: (click to enlarge)
The 1907 U.S. Amateur was played at the Euclid Club in Cleveland, OH. Travis was the leading qualifier in the field of 117 golfers, that included defending champion, Eben Byers and one of the favorites, Jerry Travers. Travis had a two-round qualifying score of 146 (75 and 71) over the 6,123 yard course that was not considered to be as difficult as some past championship courses. In the first round of matches, Travis beat his friend, Tom Sherman, of the Sadaquada Golf Club in Utica, NY. In the second round, he beat George S. Lyon, of Toronto, On, 3 and 2. For the second time in three years, W.C. Fownes knocked Travis our of the tournament in a 19 hole match. Interestingly, both players embarrassed themselves during the 19th hole play, with Travis taking a 9 and Fownes an 8! Travers beat Archibald Graham, of North Jersey CC, in the championship match.
March 14, 2016:
Our long-time, dedicated, and prolific researcher, Rudy Zocchi, has done it again. He discovered an April 14, 1912 Philadelphia Inquirer article with the following news item about the Philadelphia Country Club: “It took the Philadelphia Country Club, the oldest golfing organization in this city, years before the course was really stiffened. Last fall, the Green Committee took the bull by the horns and got Walter J. Travis to run over to this city. With E.K. Bispham and other members of the Green Committee, Travis went carefully over the course and later a conference was held and plans for changing the course were adopted. As a result, where one pit was you will find five now in some places. No club around this section of the country has finer putting greens than the Country Club………The changes are such that while the course will not be available for championship matches until next year, it will not interfere with the members playing.”
Philadelphia CC will be added to the Travis Society’s listing of Travis golf course projects. Thanks, Rudy.
We’ve just learned, thanks to one of our Philadelphia friends, that the course, referred to above, no longer exists. Thus, it will be identified as NLE in our course listing.
January 2, 2016:
Here is a picture, recently added to our collection by Jim Kennedy.
December 30, 2015:
With the very generous donations from the Travis Society membership, the Executive Committee decided to increase the amount of our individual scholarship awards from $750 to $1,000. As the result of one dedicated donation, we have added a 5th scholarship to be awarded to a student associated with a Travis Society Member Club, who meets the criteria established for the other Travis Society scholarship awards. For further information about the Travis Society scholarship program, please go to the Scholarship page on this website.
October 25, 2015:
Our congratulations to one of our 2010 scholarship winners, Smylie Kaufmann, for his impressive victory in the Las Vegas Shriner’s PGA tournament. A final round 61 paved the way to his 16 under victory. Smylie’s Travis Society scholarship was a mere blip on his road to LSU. In his scholarship application, he listed “playing on the PGA Tour” as one of his goals. He’s made it—in big time!! Way to go Smylie!!
October 25, 2015:
New photos have been posted on the Visual Tour of Travis Courses page. You’ll find some vintage photos of the CC of Troy, sent to us by their Superintendent, Chris Strong, and a recent photo of the CC of Scranton’s 14th hole, from longtime Society member, John Gershey. Our thanks to both Chris and John for their contributions to our collection. More of John’s CC of Scranton photos will be posted soon. Stay tuned.
August 1, 2015:
Arrangements have been finalized for the Travis Society’s annual general membership get-together. It will be held on Friday, October 9th at Hollywood Golf Club, in Deal, NJ. In 1917, Travis did an extensive, and highly regarded, redesign of the Isaac Mackie course, including some routing changes, reconstruction of green sites, and bunkering. The greens remain among the best examples of Travis greens complexes still in existence. The course contained some of the most dramatic bunkering in existence, at the time. It defied all notions of an identifiable style of “Travis bunkering”. Within the past 2-3 years, Renaissance Golf was commissioned to restore the bunkers to a style reflecting the original Travis bunkers. If you take the “visual tour of Travis Courses” on this website, you will get a flavor of the bunkers created by Renaissance Design Associate, Brian Schneider.
All members of the Travis Society are invited to join us at Hollywood Golf Club in October. Our thanks to the members and staff at HGC who were very helpful and accommodating in setting up the meeting.
January 15, 2015:
We often received queries about various matters pertaining to the career of Walter J. Travis. One of the more interesting ones arrived recently from a gentleman who is researching the history of the townships of Eastchester and Tuckahoe, NY. The towns are celebrating the 350th anniversaries of their original charter. He was seeking information about the Oak Ridge Golf Club. Oak Ridge is listed in our Travis golf course projects as a “redesign” that took place in 1922. According to our records, it no longer exists. Our Oak Ridge file is filled with correspondence, and legal documents, pertaining to claims of negligence, etc., between Travis and Oak Ridge having to do with Travis’s plan for improving the golf course and the ensuring construction of Travis’s recommendations. Travis sued and the club counter-sued. We have no record of the outcome. But, this recent query motivated us to do further research about Oak Ridge and its eventual status. Turns out that as the result of commercial development, the land occupied by Oak Ridge became highly desirable for purposes other than golf. Eventually, Oak Ridge abandoned the property (1931-32) and relocated in Purchase, NY as the Purchase Golf club. It later became the “Old Oaks” country club. The original Oak Ridge clubhouse–a magnificant structure– still stands as the Eastchester Town Hall.
An interesting exchange of information that, for us, resulted in a greatly expanded Oak Ridge Golf Club file. The gentleman, whose uncle won the 1931 PGA Championship, was very appreciative of the information we provided.