Split Rock Golf Pro Shop, 1940
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Split Rock Golf Course (now partnered with the adjacent Pelham Bay Golf Course to form a 36-hole municipal facility) is in the Bronx. Designed in 1934 by John Van Kleek, a forgotten hero of the world of golf green architecture, using funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), it is a championship caliber course (the closing hole, we're told, requires a tee shot that involves hitting the ball around one of the oldest white oak trees in the city). It was highly regarded at its debut, and even Bobby Jones, the only amateur golfer to have won the (pre-Masters) Grand Slam (all four major championships) in the same year (and namesake to his own modern-era line of golf clothes and equipment) raved about Split Rock in an interview with the New York Times in 1936. In this image of the Pro Shop, taken on September 10, 1940, we see the evidence of the era in the light fixtures and typography of the signage. Far from the experience of today's big-box sporting goods stores and over-sponsored apparel, there's an elegance and gentility in the air, the golfer of the 1940s shopped for his and her clubs in an entirely different way, wearing clothes very unlike today's styles.
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