- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 11 edition (June 29, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1886947600
- ISBN-13: 978-1886947603
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.9 x 10.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,499,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Missing Links: America's Greatest Lost Golf Courses & Holes 11th Edition
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Nothing lasts forever. Missing Links is a testament to how ephemeral even great golf courses designed by master architects can be. It's enough to break a hacker's heart.
In this lovely homage to what once was, Daniel Wexler identifies 47 historically significant pre-World War II courses lost largely to the needs of post-World War II development, and then proceeds to tee up their stories. Some of the courses loom as mythically large as Atlantis--Charles Blair Macdonald's Lido Golf Club on Long Island is still considered one of the most innovative designs ever, and A.W. Tillinghast's Fresh Meadow Country Club not only hosted the first PGA Championship, it boasted Gene Sarazen as head pro. Each of the lost gems is presented with a history filled with anecdotes, a complete diagram of the layout, a scorecard, and as many vintage photos as Wexler could fit. Most intriguing, Wexler also projects how each course might measure up today. Lido, insists Wexler, would still have golf traditionalists salivating--it would be, he surmises, "one of America's best... Every bit as good today as the day it was born." Amazingly, Missing Links evocatively extols dozens more nearly as worthy. --Jeff Silverman
From the Inside Flap
The legendary golf writer Bernard Darwin once called The Lido Golf Club “the finest course in the world.” Famous teaching pro Claude Harmon went Darwin one better. He told 1965 PGA champion Dave Marr that The Lido was “the greatest golf course ever.”
Ever see it?
In the late 1920s, a man named Carl Fisher spent over $10 million developing a golf resort on the eastern tip of Long Island, New York. It was called Montauk Downs and it was expected to be the Miami Beach of the north.
Ever hear of it?
Also in the 1920s, in Illinois, advertising pioneer Albert Lasker spent nearly $4 million to build Mill Road Farm Golf Club on his ultra-private estate outside of Chicago. No less than the immortal Bobby Jones said it was one of the three best layouts in the country.
Ever play it?
These outstanding golf courses, and may others, have two things in common: they were designed by some of the greatest architects in the history of the game; and, sadly for golfers all over America, they no longer exist.
Thanks to the painstaking research and documentation of Daniel Wexler, you now have an exciting opportunity to go back to what many people feel was the sport’s greatest era—the Golden Age of golf design. It’s a unique change to “play” these old courses, “see” what made them so wonderful, find out how they’d stack up today, and discover what caused their unfortunate demise.
If you love golf, and golf history, The Missing Links belongs in your personal library.
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Review: If you did not know that these courses have ceased to exist in their original form, you would think that existing courses were being described. The 27 featured courses include a visual layout of the course, scorecard, hole-by-hole descriptions, history of its development, photographs of play and holes, a little about the course designer, and an assessment of how the course would be viewed today.
I was particularly impressed to see that many of these courses disappeared in New York State. Imagine having so many scenic spots changed away from golf today. It would never happen. Or at least I hope it wouldn't. What do you think?
Of the courses, I was shocked to learn that 6 or 7 would be in the top 100 in the U.S. today. Even if that is optimistic, it does seem like a shame to lose any great golf tracks.
As a Donald Ross fan, I was astounded to find out that expanding I-95 in New Jersey had helped doom his course, the Englewood Country Club. Even more remarkable was the loss of Pinehurst number four, so close to his masterpiece of Pinehurst number two.
In addition to enjoying this book, golf club members should think about how to provide for the financial security of the courses where they play. After all, many of these are on land that would sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars an acre. What is to stop conversions of more top courses into building lots in the future during times of economic troubles? Certainly, the many clubs that have invested extra millions in clubhouses and courses recently may have made this more likely.
After you finish enjoying this book, think about what else may have disappeared from your community. See if your local historical society has photographic records to help you see those missing parts of history.
Cherish what is fine . . . even when the costs are high!
representing the greatest loss was "the lido," a macdonald design on the tip of long island's southside long beach. it was ranked #2 in the world to new jersey's pine valley, with many prominent players and architects ranking it #1 overall in the world. a seaside links cut in hamptons-like dunes with ever-present ocean-winds, and with replicas of many of the world's most famous holes, the reader can't help but dream of going back in time and playing here. the other lost course that will leave you wishing for a time machine is a little further out on long island "Timber Point," from the lesser known architect C.H. Alison. from the images, it looks like a cross between pine valley and cyprus, with it's half in the pine forest, half in the dunes routing.
the writing style is at times choppy and more pictures or illustrations would have been helpful (assuming any more existed), but all in all it's an engaging work that would capture the attention of most golf enthusiasts. it should be a required coffee table book at private clubs. in addition to the history, club members should be weary that their club could fall victim to the "eminent domain" development demands or hard times that claimed so many of these once thought of as "untouchable" masterpieces.