BN.com Gift Guide

The Spirit of St. Andrews

Overview

Alister MacKenzie, one of golf's greatest architects, shares with you his insight on great holes, the golf swing, technology and equipment, maintenance, and the USGA. Truly a "lost" manuscript, 'The Spirit of St. Andrews' was written in 1933 and never published. Written in an elegant style, it is filled with great stories of Hage, Sarazen, Jones, and other friends of MacKenzie.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $3.92   
  • New (7) from $10.55   
  • Used (13) from $3.92   
Sending request ...

Overview

Alister MacKenzie, one of golf's greatest architects, shares with you his insight on great holes, the golf swing, technology and equipment, maintenance, and the USGA. Truly a "lost" manuscript, 'The Spirit of St. Andrews' was written in 1933 and never published. Written in an elegant style, it is filled with great stories of Hage, Sarazen, Jones, and other friends of MacKenzie.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Wall Street Journal
"A Dead Sea scroll for golfers."-- The Wall Street Journal
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767901697
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 815,958
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Alister MacKenzie was born in England. He practiced medicine and served as a civil surgeon in the Boer War, beginning his career in golf-course design shortly after returning home. He died in 1934.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter Seven: Some Thoughts on Golf

My friend, Max Behr, has written learnedly and at great length to prove that golf is not a game but a sport. He may be, and probably is, quite right, but it is no good quibbling about words; the chief thing to bear in mind is that golf is a recreation and a means for giving us health and pleasure.

How often have we known committees, presumably consisting of men of intelligence, receiving the statement that golf is played for fun, with eyes and mouths wide open in astonishment?  It is always difficult to persuade them that the chief consideration that should influence us in making any alterations to a golf course is to give the greatest pleasure to the greatest number. Any change to a course that does not do this is manifestly a failure.

The only reason for the existence of golf and other games is that they promote the health, pleasure and even the prosperity of the community.

It is surprising how few politicians and others realize the extent that golf courses and other playing fields do this; they appear to think that anything that promotes happiness is an evil and should be taxed out of existence.

I have known even an ardent golfer stating that it was an outrage that a golf course should be constructed on wheat land. He did not appear to realize that there are hundreds of times as much land devoted to wheat as to golf, and that, moreover, wheat can be grown away from the big cities, whereas golf courses for the masses are of value only when they are in close proximity to large towns.

A good golf course is a great asset to a nation.

Those who harangue against land being diverted from agriculture and used for golf have little sense of proportion.  Comparing the small amount of land utilized for golf and other playing fields with the large amount devoted to agriculture, we get infinitely more value out of the former than the latter. We all eat too much.

During the Great War, in Britain, the majority were all the better for being rationed and getting a smaller amount of food, but none of us get enough fresh air, pleasurable excitement and exercise.

Health and happiness are everything in this world. Money grubbing, so-called business, except insofar as it helps to attain this, is of minor importance.

One of the reasons why I, a medical man, decided to give up medicine and take to golf architecture was my firm conviction of the extraordinary influence on health of pleasurable excitement, especially when combined with fresh air and exercise. How frequently have I, with great difficulty, persuaded patients who were never off my doorstep to take up golf, and how rarely, if ever, have I seen them in my consulting room again.

I recently came across a lady I had not seen for over twenty years. She said, "I shall always be grateful to you, Dr. MacKenzie, for what you did for me." I replied that I was not aware of doing anything for her. She said, "Oh yes! You did. You persuaded my husband to play golf. Before then he said he had no time for golf, he sat all day and every day in his office, went to church on Sunday, then ate too much and was not fit to live with for the rest of the week. Since he played golf he is not only physically fit but mentally alert.  He has given up grumbling at me and at his office staff, he is a pleasure to live with and his business is infinitely more successful."

Until recent years every man was ashamed of playing golf. He sneaked off from his home or office as though he were committing some crime. The general public looked upon anyone who played golf with the utmost contempt, and considered that, being a golfer, he must be useless at everything else.

It was said that Briand and his ministry owed their downfall after the war to the fact that Briand was discovered having a lesson in putting from Lloyd George.

What is the real truth? Those who rave against golf surely forget that many of the greatest politicians, thinkers and businessmen conserve their health and their mental powers through golf. As examples we could quote some of the greatest minds in the past, such as President Wilson, Carnegie, Lord Northcliffe, A.J. Balfour and Asquith, and today all or almost all the greatest men of the English speaking races owe their mental alertness to golf. Golf does not require the whole day, nor is it essential to make arrangements beforehand. Moreover, it is not too strenuous and can be played up to any age.

There appears to be no sign of any decreased popularity--rather, the reverse. The elusiveness of golf is sufficient to ensure its abiding popularity. No one ever seems to master it. You imagine that you have got the secret, but it is like a bird of passage--here today and gone tomorrow.

This is so in all things which are worthwhile. There are some games, such as roller skating and table tennis, which become merely passing crazes, and this is so because one obtains a certain standard of proficiency which neither increases nor decreases, and in consequence the game becomes monotonous. Golf on a first class course can never become monotonous, and the better the course, the less is it likely to do so. Golf on a good links is, in all probability, the best game in the world. On the late Victorian type of inland course, however, where there is a complete lack of variety, flat fairways, flat unguarded greens, long grass necessitating searching for lost balls, mathematically placed hazards consisting of the cop or pimple variety, which not only offend all the finest instincts of the artist and the sportsman, it becomes the most boring game in existence.

The advent of the golf course architect has largely, though not entirely, cured these disabilities. The majority of amateurs are sportsmen and welcome anything that increases the sporting and dramatic element in the game.

There are some of the best players, however, who look upon golf in the card and pencil spirit, and resent anything which interferes, as they think, with their steady series of threes and fours. I have already mentioned how some of the good players altered some of the sporting features of Moortown which they considered had a destructive effect on their cards, and how the long handicap players, like true sportsmen, insisted that the architect be recalled to restore the course to its original condition.

There was an article by Kolin Robertson, the golf writer, which may have influenced them in their decision. The following is an extract from it:

"I have in mind a certain golfing hole which, in the past at any rate, constituted the perfect test of golf.  I refer to the thirteenth at Moortown. Every stout hearted Moortown player will remember that slantwise-lying catchy little hollow which has now been filled in so that the whole of the green is now practically level with the fairway.  How often did that hollow make the golfer approach the green in installments, and how often did it enable the bold spirit and accomplished golfer, taking his fate in his hand, to go for glory and a win. To say the least, the filling in of that hollow has made the approach to that hole simply child's play."

    

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword…Robert Tyre Jones, Jr.

Introduction.

1. The Evolution of Golf.

2. General Principles.

3. Economy in Golf Course Construction.

4. Ideal Holes and Golf Courses.

5. Greenkeeping.

6. In the ’70 at 60.

7. Some Thoughts on Golf.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)