Just as they do today, outstanding players of past generations have turned to golf course architecture at the close of their professional careers. Examples from a century ago include James Braid, J. H. Taylor and Harry Vardon, all of whom were active in the early 1900s when golf was experiencing a great growth in popularity in England. Vardon is responsible for the course at Little Aston, located in northern Birmingham. The semi-parkland setting boasts venerable turf that is so tight yet bouncy that a player can play two rounds at a time and walk away with a spring in his or her step. The opening and closing holes are framed by trees, while those in the middle are quite spacious; a standout here is the par 5 12th with its clever water hazard. Though once host to championship play, Little Aston has been overshadowed in this regard by the Belfry.