Dust off the tinfoil hat because we, I mean the incredible investigative efforts of Frank Giordano, have uncovered some very interesting and possibly incriminating evidence that proves Robert von Hagge and not Hubert Chesneau was the true architect of The Albatros Course at Le Golf National!
You may have forgotten (or are currently trying to forget) that The Ryder Cup was played on The Albatros Course at Le Golf National in France this year. Chesneau alone is listed on its website as being the designer and only listing "R.Von Hagge" as a consultant.
I played The Ridge Club in July this year, which happens to be designed by one Robert. von. Hagge. Although he designed over 200 courses, we'll call this enough of a sample size to demonstrate robust knowledge of his style and tendencies.
I read an article. In all seriousness, Frank Giordano wrote an incredible piece for Golf Course Architecture where he lays out the story of Le Golf National and who was or wasn't properly credited with the design. If you have misplaced your July copy of Golf Course Architecture, you can read it here. Since this entire post is based upon his info, we'll wait for you to read it...maybe ten minutes...go on, read it.
So now that you are up to speed, it's a pretty interesting take. Dooner and I discussed it a bit, as we discuss all scholarly endeavors. When I went through my pics of @theridgeclub to see if there were similarities to The Albatros Course, I was not disappointed.
It's not an identical match but boy does it seem to be cut from the same cloth, so to speak. There's more too, check out the shape of the 18th green at The Ridge Club compared to the 15th of The Albatros Course.
Look at those lines!!! They could be replica holes. And an "oh, by the way" for you - both courses opened for play in 1990.
Let's say, for the sake of argument, you are not convinced and think this is all a mere coincidence. Let's say you'd like to argue that some other Pete Dye designs may feign a resemblance to the above pics since he is the godfather of railroad ties. Well I have an answer for that too.
Take a look at the 9th from The Ridge Club and see if Robert von Hagge has any courses that bear a resemblance to it therefore confirming the fact that he uses similar designs and themes from course to course...maybe look at the first from Les Bordes?
I rest my case...scratch that. I rest Frank Giordano's case.
We'd love to hear your thoughts if you agree, disagree, don't care, etc! Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.