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Stephen Davis

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Best books on GCA
« on: April 11, 2012, 05:46:33 PM »
What your thoughts on good books on GCA? I want to read Tom Doak's Confedential Guide to Golf Courses, but I am not in a position to obtain one as of now (unless there is a digital copy available, but I haven't seen any for sale). Any recommendations?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 05:54:34 PM by Stephen Davis »

Kalen Braley

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 05:48:25 PM »
What your thoughts on good books on GCA? I want to read Tom Doak's Confessions, but I am not in a position to obtain one as of now (unless there is a digital copy available, but I haven't seen any for sale). Any recommendations?

Oh trust me, we'd all like to see Tom Doaks' "confessions", in addition to a few other select GCA.com members!!   ;D

Stephen Davis

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 05:56:28 PM »
What your thoughts on good books on GCA? I want to read Tom Doak's Confessions, but I am not in a position to obtain one as of now (unless there is a digital copy available, but I haven't seen any for sale). Any recommendations?

Oh trust me, we'd all like to see Tom Doaks' "confessions", in addition to a few other select GCA.com members!!   ;D

Haha! I should never listen to the radio and type at the same time. It puts words I don't mean to type in my head. Thanks for the correction.

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 06:07:07 PM »
Stephen,

Tom's book is good, but in reality, his Anatomy of a Golf Course is better for learning about architecture.  Another would be Hurdzan's book called Golf Course Architecture.  Both cover all aspects, although slightly differently, with Tom being a bit more poetic, and Hurdzan being sort of by the numbers, scientific.  That said, Hurdzan actually covers it in more detail.

Cornish and Graves also did a design process book,"Golf Course Design" which is also good, but not one of my faves.  It does cover some things others don't.  That duo also had classic golf holes book, which is a tier down for me.

From the old books, I always like Thomas' book - Golf Architecture in America, which has some real insights.

Others of course, will direct you to their favorites, and the only real solution is to build a golf design library of about 100 books.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Stephen Davis

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 06:11:22 PM »
Stephen,

Tom's book is good, but in reality, his Anatomy of a Golf Course is better for learning about architecture.  Another would be Hurdzan's book called Golf Course Architecture.  Both cover all aspects, although slightly differently, with Tom being a bit more poetic, and Hurdzan being sort of by the numbers, scientific.  That said, Hurdzan actually covers it in more detail.

Cornish and Graves also did a design process book,"Golf Course Design" which is also good, but not one of my faves.  It does cover some things others don't.  That duo also had classic golf holes book, which is a tier down for me.

From the old books, I always like Thomas' book - Golf Architecture in America, which has some real insights.

Others of course, will direct you to their favorites, and the only real solution is to build a golf design library of about 100 books.

Thank you! This is a great list to get started with.

Howard Riefs

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Emile Bonfiglio

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 06:32:33 PM »
Don't forget to visit your local library. I wanted to read Evangelist of Golf, but didn't want to pay $300 for it. My local library did an interlibrary loan, got a copy from Tulsa 1 week later.
You can follow me on twitter @luxhomemagpdx or instagram @option720

Howard Riefs

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 06:39:44 PM »
Don't forget to visit your local library. I wanted to read Evangelist of Golf, but didn't want to pay $300 for it. My local library did an interlibrary loan, got a copy from Tulsa 1 week later.

It's about time you finally returned the book. Don't make me send the Library Cop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9tP9fI2zbE
"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: Taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."  ~P.J. O'Rourke

Mac Plumart

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 06:55:44 PM »
Brad Klein's Rough Meditations needs to be read

George Thomas' Golf Architecture in America

Mackeznie's Golf Course Architecture  (or Spirit of St. Andrews)

are also must reads.

Don't sleep on HWW's Following Through, his descriptions on golf courses/holes is the best there has ever been.
Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2012, 07:23:29 PM »
Ditto Jeffs posts. Confid Guide is not so much about architecture, Anatamy is a better read about architecture. Forest's book about Routing is another good one, plus the others mention.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Andy Stamm

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2012, 07:51:59 PM »
Don't forget to visit your local library. I wanted to read Evangelist of Golf, but didn't want to pay $300 for it. My local library did an interlibrary loan, got a copy from Tulsa 1 week later.

I was able to get a copy of the Confidential Guide via ILL as well. So, if you really want to read it, by all means do go see the library.

Bill Gayne

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2012, 07:59:28 PM »
Another vote for Golf Architecture in America. It's expensive and ebay is a possible source. I think the book is one of the best on GCA and I've never played or seen a Thomas course in person.

Steven Blake

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2012, 09:02:03 PM »
Stephan,

All of the books mentioned are great but I would also add Shackelford's book "Grounds for Golf" is also very good ... very similar to "Anatomy of a Golf Course" by Doak.  If you have not read on the subject these two are great starts. 

Bill_McBride

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2012, 09:41:26 PM »
Don't forget to visit your local library. I wanted to read Evangelist of Golf, but didn't want to pay $300 for it. My local library did an interlibrary loan, got a copy from Tulsa 1 week later.

From Oklahoma to Oregon?   That's so cool.   Our county government is trying to defund our library system.   Welcome to the 21st Century!

Mac Plumart

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2012, 10:11:43 PM »
Some sleepers...

A Round of Golf Courses by Patrick Dickinson

Dream Golf by Stephen Goodwin

A quick read, The Art of Golf Design by Geoff Shackelford

Sportsman/Adventure loving golfer.

Joe_Tucholski

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2012, 01:09:17 AM »
Here's a link to some free downloads. 
http://www.militarygolfcourseguide.com/GolfBooks.htm

Golf Architecture by Mackenzie has been listed a number of times and it's available for download.  That being said you can buy it for a reasonable price.

Going directly through google books I can't figure out how to find these pdfs which makes me wonder what other vintage books are authorized for free e-distribution on Google books.

Scott Warren

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2012, 01:19:01 AM »
Dream Golf is interesting, but it's not really a golf architecture book.

Grounds For Golf by Geoff Shackelford is a good primer on the subject. I read somewhere the other day it's going for more than $250 nowadays. Is that right?

Jason Topp

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2012, 01:20:27 AM »
Stephen:

I also suggest you spend some time reading the USGA Green section periodicals, particularly from the late 20's.  There is usually one terrific architecture article in each magazine.  Best of all it is free:
http://turf.lib.msu.edu/gsr/


Neil White

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2012, 06:03:45 AM »
Stephen,

I have to agree with those who have touted 'Golf Architecture in America' - picked my facsimile copy up from St Andrew's in the early 2000's and winced at paying 60.00 back then - glad I did now as copies are stupidly expensive. 

Additionally, Tom Doak's 'Anatomy' is a great read with some really informative diagrams to back up the text.

Away from the architecture but intrinsically linked is Jim Arthur's 'Practical Greenkeeping' - a great read packed with plenty of insight and common sense opinion.

Neil.

Courses played 2020 - ................!

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2012, 06:24:18 AM »
Neil i would say his practical greenkeping is more unpractical greenkeeping in the real world though. James Beard's book is the bible for me.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Neil White

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2012, 07:45:35 AM »
Neil i would say his practical greenkeping is more unpractical greenkeeping in the real world though. James Beard's book is the bible for me.

Adrian,

Haven't read this one - as you've suggested it I will try and pick up a copy, cheers.

Neil.
Courses played 2020 - ................!

Stephen Davis

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2012, 12:26:01 PM »
Thank you all so much! This is a great list and gives me some good reading options for the next few months. I think I am going to start with Thomas' Golf Architecture in America. Thanks again!

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2012, 12:36:33 PM »
The several volumes of Golf Architecture edited Paul Daley are excellent. Each volume contains short essays by very knowledgeable contributors, often beautifully illustrated, on all sorts of aspects of the subject from the very specific to the general. Wonderful browsing when you have a few spare minutes.

The Life and Works of Dr Alister MacKenzie by Doak/Scott/Haddock is a must read, especially given MacK's worldwide influence.

Golf's Magnificent Challenge by Robert Trent Jones is worth a read. He's not greatly loved on GCA but, for better or for worse, he did influence the course of GCA in many countries over a long period. RTJ was not reticent in singing his own praises - neither was MacKenzie for that matter. But many of the stories he has to tell and the insight he gives into his philosophy should not be overlooked.

Nicklaus, RTJ 2, Fazio have also written architecture books. Even if their designs are not necessarily to our taste we should read them before condemning. There's plenty to think about.

It's worth getting a copy of The Architects of Golf (Cornish and Whitten) if only to have their huge lists of courses and designers that form the appendix. The lists are not without errors, but nothing else comes close to such a knowledge bank.

Darwin and Rowntree's Golf Courses of the British Isles is beautifully written, but there's not much about architecture as such, and most of the courses have been significantly changed since publication. It's available inexpensively in facsimile.

Hoylake - A history of the Links by Anthony Shone gives a comprehensive account of the development of the course over nearly a century and a half.

Classic Golf Links of Great Britain and Ireland by Donald Steel is very informative, particularly as Donald was not only a fine player and classy golf writer but also himself an architect of note. It is 20 years old, but little has changed since it was first published.

British Golf Links by Horace Hutchinson is a classic, published in 1897. Daniel Wexler produced a facsimile edition a few years ago and added a very interesting afterword, telling us what has happened to these courses and clubs in the years since then. It is not cheap, but it ought to be on the library shelves of anyone interested in the subject.

The definitive guide to the Hotchkin Course, Woodhall Spa by Richard Latham is an extraordinary account of the development of the course over a century with a blow-by-blow account of the placing of pretty well every single bunker. Eric Hepworth's photographs are stupendous, the graphics terrific. Unfortunately the text needs a good editor, but the book is a feast for the eyes.



 

Niall Hay

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2012, 01:08:00 PM »
Brad Klein's Rough Meditations needs to be read

George Thomas' Golf Architecture in America

Mackeznie's Golf Course Architecture  (or Spirit of St. Andrews)

are also must reads.

Don't sleep on HWW's Following Through, his descriptions on golf courses/holes is the best there has ever been.

The Golden Age of Golf Design by Geoff Shackelford is an excellent book too. Not strictly about design itself but a great history of GCA. Highly recommend it.

Anatomy of a Golf Course by Doak is great too.

Howard Riefs

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Re: Best books on GCA
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2012, 03:25:31 PM »

Grounds For Golf by Geoff Shackelford is a good primer on the subject. I read somewhere the other day it's going for more than $250 nowadays. Is that right?

Used "good" condition copies start at $21 via AbeBooks.com and Amazon.  It goes up from there...

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=Shackelford&sortby=17&sts=t&tn=grounds+for+golf&x=69&y=13

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/031227808X/ref=tmm_hrd_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used
"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: Taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."  ~P.J. O'Rourke

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