The Reading Room: Selection #8 (January 2019)

This book has been mentioned by numerous people as an essential read. Full disclosure, I read it about two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. For non-architecture aficiendados such as myself it’s a perfect blend of approachable, interesting, and entertaining.


I read it last month. Loved it, especially the fact that many of the complaints about the ball going too far, courses getting too long were relevant in the 1930s


Great choice! I am in the middle of this now and look forward to discussing. It is not strictly architecture related and offers many great thoughts and ideas about golf. I think this will resonate with everyone who reads it in one way or another.

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agreed! amazing how many times this is brought up in books from the 1930’s including this one and C.B. Macdonald’s book as well.

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Though, I take it we aren’t going to get an author interview with Alister Mackenzie on the Trap Draw

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Found this under the tree on Christmas. Looking forward to reading it soon.

So pleased we are focussing on this book. Hope it encourages many more refugees to read it.

This book is perhaps the most important golf book ever written - big claim but it has been penned by arguably golf’s greatest architect, and the prescient commentary on so many ills that plague the game to this day is amazing.

Really looking forward to the discussions.

Finally decided to sign up and comment after reading quite a few of the book club suggestions and loved them (especially St Andrews Sojourn), thanks Randy!

Looking forward to reading this one, been on my list for a while but seems a good time to finally get it and reading it soon.

I’m about 80 pages in. Fantastic read. Can’t believe this was written damn near a century ago.


Just getting back in after a week off for holiday (thus no Refuge / internet)…I was going to make a joke about an interview with the author!

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How are people going with MacKenzie’s long lost 1930s manuscript? Enjoying it? Looking at golf in a slightly different way?

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I would say that the ideas in the manuscript already holds large influence in the community, though indirectly through other sources

I’m enjoying it. I agree with Zocco that some of the ideas are pretty familiar (strategic vs. penal golf, complaining about the previous generation of golf architects, etc.). Except for some of the references to people and events and the language being more old fashioned, a lot of this could be written now and it wouldn’t be out of place.

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3/4 of the way through. I purposely made a it a point to learn more about architecture this year. Especially since my favorite reads are on this site and Shackleford. But, downfall is that the more I read the more it ruins courses for me. This is my first Mackenzie book I’ve ever read and it’s really good. This has great stories to keep you engaged and it’s really hard to put down. I plan to finish it tonight but I wanted to say great pick.

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Got a little behind on this one, but thought it was great! It’s amazing how things are cyclical. Mackenzie’s thoughts on architecture are mirrored by many modern golf architects (firm and fast playing conditions, strategy, width and angles, undulating greens, minimalism, even the need to roll back the ball).

I would be really interested to get his take on Augusta National in its current state. He refers to it several times throughout the book as one of his best courses - he also is pretty clear that “it is possible to have too high a degree of perfection.” Mackenzie was a pretty opinionated guy. It would make for an interesting press conference!