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Posted June 24, 2001
Summary: This 5th edition of The World Atlas of Golf belongs in the library of every golfer who wants to appreciate more of the game's rich history . . . and have a Walter Mittyish look at courses that will probably never be seen in person. Over 70 courses get the deluxe treatment of looking at the course layout, the score card, and an in-depth evaluation of the most famous holes. Thorough essays recount the history of the course, including the most memorable golf moments there. Beautiful color photographs capture the holes, and famous historic shots share the winning and losing. Afficionados will appreciate the pin-point descriptions of how to play the world's most demanding holes. The book also boasts a brief gazetteer of over 100 courses providing a one-third page thumbnail sketch of their layout and history. The book also boasts excellent, brief essays on the development of golf course design. Review: This book will appeal to those who have played these wonderful courses and want to relive the experience, those who wish to know more about the rich history of the world's most challenging holes, and those who are curious about why golfers everywhere rave about certain holes and courses. The material is so rich and detailed that any golf fan could happily spend days with this book and just scratch its surface. A fan could easily extend enjoyment of the book by getting videos of famous championships to see the live action that is captured here in photographs and essays. The courses are selected from around the world, but are primarily from Europe and the United States. Reflecting the game's heritage, the courses examined start with those in Scotland and proceed from there throughout the British Isles and Eire. From there, you transfer to the European mainland. Next, you go the North America. Asia, Africa, and South America are your final stops. Naturally, the courses include such standards as St. Andrews's Old Course, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Royal Dornoch, Muirfield, Turnberry, Loch Lomond, Royal Liverpool, Royal Birkdale, Ballybunion, Valderrama, Shinnecock Hills, Augusta National, Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, Oakmont, Baltusrol, The Country Club, Olympic, Winged Foot, Pinehurst No. 2, Seminole, Merion, Pine Valley, Medinah, Oakland Hills, Dorado Beach and the Mid Ocean in Bermuda. But you will also get exposed to courses that you may not know as well like Sotogrande in Spain and Banff in Canada. As an example of the hole-by-hole analysis, the book early on looks at the famous 17th on the Old Course at St. Andrews. A hotel cuts off the right side of the hole of this tough par four, also referred to as the Road Hole. In 1995, John Daly won the British Open there in part by hitting a tremendous drive around the hotel and into the fairway. He was able to hit onto the green from there with a 7 iron. The book shows the outline of the hotel, where Daly's ball went, and where most players shoot. Naturally, this looks easy on paper. When I tried the same thing with my drive, my ball went just a bit too far right and disappeared into an area near the foundation of the hotel, out of bounds. I came away much more impressed with Daly's feat. With the knowledge this atlas can give you, you will find yourself able to take on challenges that great golfers have lived up to before you. You may not match them (and probably won't), but you will enjoy the feeling of trying on the challenging swings of the greats. It'll be a great thrill when you do! After you finish enjoying this book a few times, think about where else in life you would enjoy reliving great moments of those who have gone before. How can you use those experiences to inspire you to try more, accomplish more, and have more fulfillment in everything you do? 'Take dead aim.' Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.