Formed in 1909, Bloomfield Hills Country Club appointed Tom Bendelow to lay out a course for its members. Both Harry Colt and Donald Ross are said to have carried out revisions on a layout that flies under the radar of many.
Your site wrongly attributes Bloomfield Hills Country Club as a Tom Bendelow design. Although he originally did design the course in 1909, the club bought 50 more acres in 1913 at the instruction of Harry S. Colt and he designed and rerouted the entire course. BHCC is only pure Colt design remaining in the USA, as after WWI he partnered with Alison and McKenzie and they designed many other USA courses. But before WWI Colt was on his own and he designed BHCC while traveling from Old Elm in Highland Park, Illinois to Pine Valley in New Jersey where he assisted George Crump in laying out that world famous course. So Bloomfield Hills Country Club, as is very clear in the club minutes, was a solo Colt design, and although Donald Ross was brought in later to redesign the course, the work was never even started, just the design was done by Ross and locked in the club's safe never to be implemented. I hope this clears up the Tom Bendelow misnomer at BHCC. John Quay
Given that Tom Bendelow did originally design the course at Bloomfield Hills, why is our attribution incorrect? Maybe you can shed further light on the original Bendelow routing in relation to the current routing? Almost always some fragment (a green site or a hole) is left over from an original design.
It’s entirely possible that Colt visited Bloomfield Hills in 1912 when he was at Toronto, CC of Detroit and Pine Valley. However, we’ve yet to see conclusive evidence that he worked at Bloomfield Hills, hence the vague comment we’ve made in our short introduction: “Both Harry Colt and Donald Ross are said to have carried out revisions on a layout that flies under the radar of many.”
We believe you’re incorrect in your assertion that Colt was on his own before WWI. Here’s a quote from Masters of Design – Great Courses of Colt, MacKenzie, Alison and Morrison: “The war [WWI] put a hold on nearly all golf course construction, but in the years shortly before and after the conflict, Colt fostered a partnership with Charles Hugh Alison and Dr Alister MacKenzie. Colt and Alison probably knew each other through the Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society and in 1908 they worked together informally on Stoke Poges (now Stoke Park)… The relationship with MacKenzie began in 1907 when Colt had been called to give advice on the new layout at Alwoodley Golf Club.”
If Bloomfield Hills is a “solo Colt design,” maybe you would share the provenance and we’ll gladly give your club any credit where it’s due.