Nothing is more annoying than a humble brag posturing as a blog post. You’ve played a Top 100 golf course, and you’re sharing it with us by profiling said course! Thank you! The good news for you, my humble readers, is that I have not played a Top 100 course to crow down to you about. Nope.
But yeah, I totally landed a tee time at Moraine Country Club for next month and I’m pretty happy about it.
But in the name of journalistic integrity, as well as my own genuine curiosity, I sought out more information on Alex “Nipper” Campbell, the Scottish pro who designed Moraine. Namely: “What else did he do?”
The one-hit wonders of golf course architecture hold an appeal in their “what if.” What if George Crump had spread his apparent talents wider, rather than just dying over Pine Valley? Why couldn’t Henry Fownes have just done one more, away from Oakmont?
Moraine may be one tier below these courses, but not by far. The “mystery” of Crump and Fownes is relatively easy to put a lid on: “Sure, they could have created other world-class courses, but they didn’t.” Campbell and Moraine is more mysterious, because the golfer designed several other courses, none of which compare to his peak. “One-hit wonders” happen frequently in the music business, where one great album simply doesn’t translate into the future. We’re biased…but it seems that golf course architecture shouldn’t work that way.
Shouldn’t brilliance that resulted in a monument like Moraine have shown its face at other locations?
Campbell’s other offerings around the Dayton area certainly display some quirk, and no doubt the years have removed features that may better display Campbell’s skill.
Don’t worry: This isn’t a post attempting to claim Alex Campbell did not design Moraine Country Club. Rather, it’s an attempt to claim that Campbell’s hands were involved in the creation of several other courses…clubs more noteworthy than the majority of his remaining discography.
So here are several other courses where Campbell may have had a hand, and where he hasn’t received his due for it. From most likely to least likely:
Continue reading “Alex “Nipper” Campbell and Potential, Unacknowledged Architectural Brilliance at 3 Major Hosts beyond Moraine” »