How to Design a Golf Course with Golf Architect Ross Watson | Golf Getaway
How to Design a Golf Course with Golf Architect Ross Watson | Golf Getaway

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Look inside this book.
The Anatomy of a Golf Course: The Art of Golf Architecture by [Tom Doak, Ben Crenshaw]

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The Anatomy of a Golf Course: The Art of Golf Architecture Kindle Edition

Behind every golf hole lies an influence on every golfer’s game that few golfers ever contemplate: the course architect. Why a hole dog-legs left and not right, why bunkers end up where they are, the length of a hole, the view from the tee–all these factors and many more are the result of choices made by the golf architect to challenge, and sometimes intimidate, any golfer’s game.

Tom Doak, one of America’s youngest and most successful golf architects, here discusses his craft and explains the strategies behind a golf architect’s decisions. Knowing why a course is laid out is critical to how the course should be played. Knowledgeable golfers and beginners alike will find The Anatomy of a Golf Course fascinating–and stroke saving–reading.

Editorial Reviews


“On one level, this is a lucid look inside the mind of a golf architect. On a second, more important level, it’s an instruction book–it tells you exactly how to read a course.” (George F. Pepper, Editor-In-Chief, “Golf” Magazine)

“Tom Doak is a practicing golf architect and a dedicated student of golf design. He is also quite good at explaining many of the more technical aspects of golf literature in easily-understood terms. This book will appeal to the many golfers who find gold architecture a fascinating subject and want to learn more about it.” (Tom Fazio) –This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Product details

  • ASIN : B00CQ2P2GC
  • Publisher : Burford Books; 1st edition (May 1, 2013)
  • Publication date : May 1, 2013
  • Language : English
  • File size : 18393 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length : 288 pages
  • Best Sellers Rank: #405,173 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
    • #183 in Golf (Kindle Store)
    • #714 in Golf (Books)
  • Customer Reviews:

About the author

Customer reviews

Top reviews from the United States

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* – if you have to chose between torture and reading this book, then you might want to consider reading the book – although it depends on just how severe the torture would be.

** – if you’ve lost your job and have quite a bit of free time on your hands, and don’t have anything else better to do, then you might want to consider reading this book; don’t expect to learn much or really be entertained. It will however, help you pass the time until your death.

*** – meh…I’m indifferent. Reading this book will not alter your life in any significant way, yet it is not so horrendously dreadful that your taking the time to read it will be a complete waste of time.

**** – Good book to great book zone here. You should probably read this book if you have some spare time. This book could be interesting, entertaining, or informative.

***** – Outstanding book! Make time to read this book – you’ll learn or be entertained or intrigued. The book might even be good enough to provide original or helpful insights into the world that we live in.


I give this book four stars, but note that if you’re not interested in golf, this book may fall into a category of three stars or below.

As a mid handicapper, I enjoy playing golf, and over the past couple of years have been paying more attention to working on my game and enhancing my understanding of the golf swing and my own mechanics. Many golfers out there are on the same journey of self-improvement. I found this book interesting because it allowed me to develop a greater understanding of and appreciation for golf course design. As golf books go, I found this to be a welcome diversion from the ‘improve your game’ type reading that most golfers engage in.

I won’t go into a great deal of depth in this review, but Doak covers a bit of history of course design, and then covers the design of courses various elements of course design including course routing and understanding topography, esthetics of course design, design of tees, greens, fairways and rough, hazards, etc. Throughout the book, Doak provides examples of classic holes that demonstrate the good design principles that he discusses, and includes illustrations of the holes so that you can see and understand the design concepts that he is seeking to describe. The illustrations help immensely in understanding the concepts that Doak is describing.

The book also conveys Doak’s personal philosophy about course design, with a seeming emphasis on course designs that treat players of all levels fairly (not necessarily equally, but fairly).

While I did pick up a few tips from the book about the connection between course design and shot strategy, at my level of skill, I’m not really able to make use of those tips. Nonetheless, I found the book interesting, and it gave me quite a few things to think about when playing, whether at my home courses or elsewhere.

So much to think about. If you’ve played some of the good/great courses, you will likely have “O-yeah”moments during the read.

Makes you think hard about your regular course, could it be better, should we be careful and not ruin what we already have.

However the reader should recognize that the book is written from the perspective of a prospective designer of a golf course and not as a treatise on existing golf course design. So the book goes through the process of designing a golf course from property selection to hole identification, routing, hazard design, etc. Perhaps I was mistaken in expecting more of a review of course architecture with focus on samples of the elements, including more variations on themes, drawings and routing examples (pros and cons).

But if you want to understand the principles of designing a course, this a great book to read.

I foudn after two readings that I look and appreciate golf more after this book.

Top reviews from other countries

Useful overview for the enthusiastic golfer who has an interest in course design.

I can highly recommend it.

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