The Seventh at St. Andrews: How Scotsman David McLay Kidd and His Ragtag Band Built theFirst New Course onGolf's Holy Soil in Nearly a Century

The Seventh at St. Andrews: How Scotsman David McLay Kidd and His Ragtag Band Built theFirst New Course onGolf's Holy Soil in Nearly a Century

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by Scott Gummer
     
 

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When it was announced that the town of St. Andrews-the "Home of Golf"-planned to build its first public championship course since 1914, a young course architect and native Scotsman named David McLay Kidd beat out all comers to earn the right. Kidd and his dream team then fashioned the most anticipated new course in golf history, the Castle Course. Behind the scenes,

Overview

When it was announced that the town of St. Andrews-the "Home of Golf"-planned to build its first public championship course since 1914, a young course architect and native Scotsman named David McLay Kidd beat out all comers to earn the right. Kidd and his dream team then fashioned the most anticipated new course in golf history, the Castle Course. Behind the scenes, personality clashes, pint-fueled tirades, creative conflicts, and bureaucratic red tape combined to make the experience at once maddening and unforgettable.

In The Seventh at St. Andrews, journalist Scott Gummer chronicles how David Kidd and a band of diverse artists came together on a derelict potato farm and unearthed a field of golfing dreams. This, despite never-ending obstacles that ran the gamut from having to hide a massive sewage plant to finding buried treasure, creating a right-of-way for cows, enduring life-threatening medical emergencies, and surviving the circus that is The Open Championship.

The adventure comes to life in unexpected and vivid detail through the eyes of a rich cast of characters: Kidd, the hard-driven, sharp-tongued taskmaster whose name and neck are on the line; the cutup father he longs to please; Kidd's enigmatic clients; his relentless right-hand man; and his motley crew, led by a hardscrabble "da Vinci with a dozer." A breathtaking portrait of passion and vision against the longest of odds, The Seventh at St. Andrews is golf history in the making.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
David Kidd is certainly the only contemporary golf-course architect whose work has been the subject of two books: first came Dream Golf (2006), about the construction of Bandon Dunes, a links-style public course on the Oregon coast, and now this nearly shovel-by-shovel re-creation of the building of the seventh course at St. Andrews (to open in 2008), the first new construction in nearly a century on the hallowed ground where golf was born. Veteran journalist Gummer was there throughout the process, and he succeeds in making a kind of high drama out of bulldozers, dirt-moving, shaping greens, and the near-mystical mix of art and science that goes into routing a golf course. Unlike in Stephen Goodwin's account of Bandon Dunes, however, there is a little too much of an "authorized history" tone here, too much selling of Kidd's management style. But the story itself will enthrall those with an interest in golf history and architecture: digging in the dirt of St. Andrews can never be done casually, and Gummer makes us feel the weight of the past on every turn of the soil.

Kirkus Reviews
Former Golf magazine senior writer Gummer details-and details and details-architect David McLay Kidd's creation of the seventh golf course at Scotland's legendary St. Andrews. The decision by the St. Andrews Links Trust to create a new course on their grounds, the first such addition in nearly a century, was significant news in the golf world and would prove to be a feather in the cap of the designer who secured the job. Kidd, a golf-course architect with an impressive reputation, learned about the opportunity, put his name in the hat of possible designers, conducted a couple of interviews, solicited a bid and after being selected for the job created an 18-hole golf course in roughly the time he was allotted. There isn't much excitement or surprise in this tale, as Gummer relates the importance of drainage to golf-course design and explains why not all types of sand are the same. He paints Kidd and his employees as a crew of badass pirates composed of volatile personalities that threatened to explode, but the biggest conflagration occurred when a staff member lost interest in his work and offered his resignation . . . which Kidd accepted. Other "crises," such as the discovery of some archaeological artifacts that temporarily halted work and an employee who appeared to be in over his head, were dealt with quickly and without much drama-which allows many more pages to be devoted to budget examinations and schedule analyses. Rather than a dynamic and heroic figure, Kidd often seems small and insecure. Gummer's many attempts to give his story Larger Significance are generally embarrassing. A contender for Least Interesting Book of the Year. Agent: Scott Waxman/Waxman Literary Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592403226
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/04/2007
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.11(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Scot Gummer has written for over forty different magazines, including Vanity Fair, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Travel + Leisure Golf, Golf Digest, and GOLF. Prior to embarking on this book he was a senior writer with GOLF and also contributed to comedian George Lopez's New York Times bestseller Why You Crying? He works and plays a middling game of golf in the California wine country.

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The Seventh at St. Andrews: How Scotsman David McLay Kidd and His Ragtag Band Built the First New Course on Golf's Holy Soil in Nearly a Century 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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