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The Spirit of St. Andrews Paperback – March 2, 1998
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From the Publisher
"The Spirit of St. Andrews may have been written sixty years ago, but much of its content is timeless. MacKenzie never minces words, and his views on golf, golfers, and courses remind us that he was not only a brilliant architect but one of the most provocative characters the game has produced."
--George Peper, Editor-in-Chief, GOLF Magazine
"Alister MacKenzie believed that the chief object of a golf architect should be 'to imitate beauties of nature so closely as to make his work indistinguishable from Nature herself.' He showed us the way in this regard....I am lucky to have the book in my library."
--Michael Murphy, author of Golf in the Kingdom and The Kingdom of Shivas Irons
"In golf-as-religion circles, [the publication of The Spirit of St. Andrews] might be likened to the discovery of another Dead Sea scroll....It's a large dose of common sense about what makes a golf course interesting and fun."
--Wall Street Journal
Top Customer Reviews
When I listen to the Golf Channel and read golf magazine interviews of todays golfers, course designers, and swing coaches it is like a breath of fresh air to read The Spirit of St. Andrews. There is no mention of winners purses of $1MM, design fees of $2MM (which produce green fees that 99% of the golfing population cannot afford), and top golf instructors earning $250 per hour. What a novel idea that golf courses should be designed with the primary concern being providing pleasure to every golfer regardless of ability.
If you love golf and its' history before the primary criteria for every decision was money then read and enjoy Alister MacKenzie and The Spirit of St. Andrews.
Scary how much of the comments written in the early part of the century apply to today's game and course design. Once section about the controversy of the day re: limiting the flight of the ball is exaclt what we are hearing nearly again 70 years later
is the greatest find in golf. Entertaining anecdotes, wonderful
essays--all of which is incredibly interesting and relevant
today. WSJ called it "another Dead Sea scroll" for golfers.
The foreward was written by his co-designer at Augusta National
Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones, Jr.
An incredible discovery that you must read. A true timeless
classic. On a scale of 1-10, it is a 12.
Oh, that more modern designers would learn the lesson! He states that even the most emphatic golfer who says he's not interested in beauty is "subconsciously influenced by his surroundings." Easily the designer of some of golf's most influential hole scenes, this guy gives definite hints, e.g. Playing down fairways bordered by straight lines of trees is not only unartistic but makes tedious and uninteresting golf. Many green committees ruin one's handiwork by planting trees like rows of soldiers along the borders of the fairways."
Love the poem he quotes on the analysis of paralysis: The Centipede was happy quite until a toad in fun said "Pray which leg goes over which?" This put his mind in such a pitch he lay distracted in a ditch considering how to run."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"The Spirit" is a testament to the genius of Alister MacKenzie. His design has stood the test of time and this book lets the reader inside him mind. Awesome bookPublished 13 months ago by Bogey
Some amazing insight into one of the greatest there ever was. Not really surprising that Mackenzie spoke at length about the issues effecting the game regarding technology and now... Read morePublished 16 months ago by SAM BUSH
I went into this book thinking that it was solely going to be about St. Andrews, but it is definitely not. Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by R. Arbuthnot
If you want to better understand golf courses and the philosophy of their design, this is the book. Mackenzie is the master.Published on November 30, 2013 by david crooker
It is not very interesting. He repeats his few insights numerous times and it is so dated as to be irrelavant today. Read morePublished on February 13, 2013 by Barbara Bower