- Hardcover: 231 pages
- Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; 1 edition (May 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 158536018X
- ISBN-13: 978-1585360185
- Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,052,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Life and Work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie Hardcover – May, 2001
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From the Inside Flap
Considering the fact that he was one of the greatest golf course architects in the history of the game, Dr. Alister MacKenzie has long been something of a puzzle—if not a mystery. He liked to wear kilts, but he wasn't a Scotsman. He graduated from medical school, but he never made a living at it. He designed spectacular courses, but he was not a good golfer. At the height of his career he was one of the most sought after designers in the world, but he was nearly broke when he died.
The Life and Work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie by Tom Doak, James S. Scott, and Raymund M. Haddock, uses detailed text, four-color photos and vintage maps, drawings and pictures to bring together many pieces of the puzzle. Questions about his boyhood, his military service, his many design trips in various parts of the world, and what made him so good at his craft, are all answered. Golfers, golf historians, and students of golf course architecture will find this book to be among thir favorite. And why wouldn’t they with Augusta National, Cypress Point, Royal Melbourne, Crystal Downs, Lahinch, and Pasatiempo among his magnificent works?
The Life and Work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie is a cherished biography on one of golf's most eccentric, interesting, interesting, brilliant, and colorful characters.
About the Author
TOM DOAK has designed twelve golf courses of his own, most recently Pacific Dunes in Oregon, of which even Alister MacKenzie would have been proud. He is also the author of two previous books: The Anatomy of a Golf Course, a primer on course design; and The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, a personal review of more than 1,000 courses worldwide. His company, Renaissance Golf Design, is based in Traverse City, Michigan.
JAMES S. SCOTT. Born and bred in western Scotland, he first worked as a cabin boy on a tramp steamer playing between Ayr and the Baltic. This gave him a bizarre introduction to the game of golf. The ship’s captain, while in Scottish port, acquired buckets of damaged golf balls for a few pennies from urchins who scavenged them from Troon or Prestwick. At sea, one of Scott’s duties was to tee up a succession of these balls on the foredeck—no easy task on a stormy day—so the “skipper” could work off his lunch by driving them into the northern seas. Later, successive exposures to farming, forestry, and fishing were followed by studying medicine. Training and experience were acquired in Glasgow, Dublin, West Africa, London, Liverpool, Chicago, Australia, and Florida. From 1961, he was Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Leeds University and, from 1986 until retirement, also Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Then Herbert Warren Wind, at that time Golf Correspondent for The New Yorker, presented Scott with a copy of Alister MacKenzie’s Golf Architecture and encouraged him to look into the life of the author, a Leed’s graduate, famous in U.S. golfing circles but forgotten in his own “alma mater.” He lives in Yorkshire, England.
RAYMUND M. HADDOCK is the stepgrandson of Alister MacKenzie. In 1994, he discovered a manuscript that his stepgrandfather had written in the early 1930s in which he related many of his thoughts about golf and golf course architecture. The book, entitles The Spirit of St. Andrews, was published a year later. A self-described “bogey golfer,” Ray has played MacKenzie courses in England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and America. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Top customer reviews
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addition to every golf library.
Granted this book is smaller than either Bahto's or Klein's, but that's where the difference ends. This volume is just as strong as either of those two retrospectives.
I would say this book is very well balanced between MacKenzie's personal history, the background to what went into MacKenzie's work (i.e. what was involved), and aspects unique to MacKenzie course design. There are also select hole reviews, diagrams, green and course plans to supplement all this. The photos are excellent as well and complement the text well I feel. You really get to "see" what MacKenzie's about (especially the bunkers I feel).
This book resembles more Klein's "Discovering Donald Ross" in that it is not a "Confidential Guide" of sorts to MacKenzie's courses, eventhough Tom Doak is a heavy contributor to this book. It's also not as drawn out into the minutia details as Klein's book is. Doak's effort here gets more to the point of things without splitting hairs as much.
I enjoyed the passages covering Cypress Point, but for that you'd be better off getting a copy of Shakelford's Cypress Point. There's also a pretty good review of the Australian courses (especially Royal Melbourne). Of course, there's more (Augusta among others) but those two stood out for me. But these are all high level reviews and point out certain strengths only. So don't expect to know so much about "how" to play them. Different ballgame for that I'm afraid and you won't find the answers here.
Last but not least, there's a nice plan fold out of ... St.Andrews of course, where MacKenzie learned much about his craft and did much as well. You get to review the plan and appreciate MacKenzie even more. I'm glad this was placed at the end of this book.
Can't go wrong with this volume. Best I've seen out there about MacKenzie. Get this and MacKenzie's "The Spirit of St.Andrews" and "Golf Architecture" and you'll know your MacKenzie. After that, hit Pasatiempo or another MacKenzie gem and get to appreciate all your homework.