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R.I.P. George Bahto

George Bahto, who did more to immortalize the role of C.B. Macdonald as the founder of golf in America and compiled The Evangelist of Golf to document Macdonald and Seth Raynor's architectural works, has passed away after a lengthy illness. He was 83.

Like many modern friendships, I started communicating with George via email in the late 90s about his many finds. After many years of carefully piecing together documentation and unearthing so many amazing documents, he published The Evangelist of Golf in 2002. His passion for architecture and in particular Macdonald, resulted in George joining Mike Keiser's design team for Bandon Dunes' Old Macdonald. George was truly an inspiring figure and his dedication as a biographer to his subject will forever live thanks to his work.

There is a nice thread dedicated to George on where his good friend Neil Regan broke the sad news.

And there is are his 1999 and 2002 feature interviews as well.

Gil Hanse, who partnered with George on several projects including restorations, had this to say:

We are so sorry to hear of the passing of George Bahto last night.  George was first and foremost a close friend and someone whom I could always rely on as a truthful sounding board for matters both personal and professional.  He was our go to guy for any project related to Seth Raynor and CB Macdonald, and his talents, knowledge and passions were critical contibutors to our work together at Essex County, Sleepy Hollow, The Creek Club, and Westhampton.  I consider myself so lucky to have learned from him and his lessons will be a part of my career for as long as I am able to continue designing golf courses.

Bradley Klein, part of the Old Macdonald design team with George, pens this appreciation.

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Reader Comments (7)

Thoughts and prayers to George's family.
Once again, Gil impresses with his thoughts
03.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSB Golfer
George helped me access and play Essex County CC. Wonderful work he and Gil did there, and after speaking to George after the round he was passionate about wanting to accomplish more. His work on MacDonald and Raynor had a big impact on many clubs in the East.
03.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLynn S.
What a great man. He will be remembered!!!
03.18.2014 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
83 perhaps but way wiser than his years – Golf will be the loser for his passing
Having met George on 2 occasions, he was one helluva raconteur and a treasure in world of golf history. Anyone who has ever heard his oral history of The Knoll, as I have, can attest to this.

Ran Morrissett, who knew Bahto well and runs, summed it up perfectly. “Bahto did more after he was 65,” said Morrissett, “than most people do in getting to 65.”
03.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
George had a passion the transcended his material. He once sat with a neophyte like me on Sleepy's 18th wall and described a long NLE road hole buried under the current range so clearly I had picked out my clubs and strategy before he finished. Goodnight sweet prince...
03.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrom Bones
Although I never had the opportunity to meet George, I had several conversations over the phone with him concerning the book on my great grandfather C.B. Macdonald. He was gracious and kind in his thoughts about C.B. and when the book was published, he kindly sent me complimentary autographed copies.I was also pleased when he became involved with the Old Macdonald course at Bandon Dunes. He called me repeatedly to get my butt out there and play it. Sadly, I have not been able to that. The golfing world will miss George Bahto.

Robert M. Young
03.19.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert M. Young

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