Blog 291, 11/27/13 - Christmas Reads

With a whole month to go before Christmas, it's way too early to be talking about gift ideas. Okay, okay, I know a lot of people are probably well into their Christmas shopping already, and some impossibly crazy organized folk may even be finished.
For those of you (guys predominantly) that have yet to start thinking about who's getting what, however, let me start your ball rolling by suggesting a few recently-published books for which golfers in your family will be very thankful.
(Click on the images for instructions on how to order).

Sand And Golf: How Terrain Shapes the Game - George Waters
sand and golfI first met George Waters in the middle of Montana on a bitterly cold day in 2007. In well below zero temps, George was operating a bulldozer shaping the bunkers at the Rock Creek Cattle Company Course that Tom Doak had designed. Like a kid in a candy store, George was clearly in his element, totally oblivious it seemed to the harsh conditions. Thanks partly to his passion for the subject, and partly to the training he received from Doak and his Renaissance Golf crew, Waters has built an impressive understanding of the importance of sand to building and maintaining great golf courses. Fans of Bandon Dunes's quintet of courses, Chambers Bay, Streamsong, Sand Hills, British links and heathland layouts and every other course built on sandy soil will definitely recognize a kindred spirit and appreciate Waters's valuable insight. 140 pages; Goff Books; $24.12. 

Pro's Pros: Extraordinary Club Professionals Making Golf Great - Joel Zuckerman
prosproJoel Zuckerman is one of the great characters. The last time I played golf with the Vagabond Golfer (his stage name), I teed off on the 1st, went back to my bag to replace the driver, turned round and noticed him three quarters of the way down the hole already. Fitness freak that he is, Zuckerman had decided to run the course that day. I was totally cool with that because...well, it was Joel Zuckerman. You've got to expect the unexpected with Joel. That said, enjoying 'Pro's Pros: Extraordinary Club Pros Making Golf Great', his seventh book, wasn't unexpected at all because Zuckerman writes well and can tell a great story. Here, he profiles 30 of the country's most talented, dedicated, and industrious PGA club professionals, confirming the job of the club pro is much more demanding than it looks, and that great club pros are worth their weight in gold. 
330 pages, Saron Press Ltd; $29.95

Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors - Golf's Renowned Venues - Linda Hartough, Patrick Drickey
green gloryThe golfer's library isn't short of wonderful picture books full of images that make his own course look rather drab and which tempt him to start making plans for the following year's golf trip. 'Green Glory' is a great example. That said, it's likely most readers wouldn't be able to visit most of the clubs featured in the book as they are the major venues and, as such, predominantly private. However, looking at portarits of famous holes painted by the brilliant Linda Hartough, or photographed by the equally talented Patrick Drickey is a distinct thrill, whether you can play them or not. 
250 pages; Stonehouse Publishing; $65 ($85 for a copy signed by Drickey).

Bandon Dunes: Golf As It Was Meant To Be - Wood Sabold, Stephen Goodwin
bandon book
At last, the book all Bandonistas have been waiting for. Fourteen years after the David McLay Kidd-designed Bandon Dunes opened, the resort has collected together images of all its 85 holes and accompanied them with commentary by Stephen Goodwin, author of 'Dream Golf; The Making of Bandon Dunes'. There's an introduction from Ben Crenshaw who co-designed Bandon Trails and Bandon Preserve along with partner Bill Coore, and a preface from the resort's owner Mike Keiser whose vision, determination, and courage resulted in a world-class golf resort on the southern Oregon coast which many said couldn't possibly succeed. The 143 stunning images were captured by Wood Sabold, the resort's official photographer, who showcases the links in all their glory. A must-have for golfers whose soul leaps at the prospect of links golf.
202 pages; SkyBox Press; $100 ($500 for Collector's edition). 

Wide Open Fairways: A journey Through the Landscapes of Modern Golf - Bradley S. Klein
wide open fairways
Golfweek's Brad Klein is perhaps golf architecture's wisest, most astute writer and in 'Wide Open Fairways: A journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf' he adeptly describes the transition in America from the over-manicured, over-watered, over-maintained courses of the 1980s and '90s to the more natural, minimalist courses of today. As a Ph.D and former political scientist whose other credits include a book entitled 'Strategic Studies and World Order: The Global Politics of Detterence', Klein is able to assess courses scientifically, but he also possesses a wonderful ability to give the reader a sense of place, and his knowledge and love for the subject shine through.
216 pages; University of Nebraska Press; $19.13.

18 Ways to Play a Better 18 Holes: Tips and Techniques from America's Pros - John Steinbreder
18 ways
Steinbreder, currently a senior writer at Global Golf Post, is a wily media veteran who has amassed countless bylines in a number of prestigious titles - Golfweek,, Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, Forbes, Departures, and the New York Times Magazine - during an impressive career. This is his eighteenth book, and second instructional - two years ago, he collaborated with the Golf Channel's Michael Breed on 'The 3-Degree Putting Solution'. This latest effort features 18 lessons from 18 of America's most respected PGA professionals, each one describing the golfer's objectives and setting out how to achieve them in a way that experienced players will certainly appreciate.
138 pages; Taylor Trade Publishing; $17.95

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