The Evolution of Golf Course Design Book Review

By: | Wed 20 Feb 2019 | Comments

Canadian golf course designer and expert Keith Cutten's The Evolution of Golf Course Design is a fascinatingly rich golf architecture book that charts the rich history behind the creation of courses, and how that process has been developed and influenced through time by a variety of factors. The publication has been supplemented over 300 images and architectural plans, which behind an illuminating insight behind a subject that continues to intrigue.

Golfshake's Andrew Picken had the opportunity to read and study the book, and below are his thoughts on The Evolution of Golf Course Design. More information can be found here


The Evolution of Golf Course Design seeks to provide a global synopsis of golf architecture and its most influential exponents. In my humble opinion it delivers. It is a beautiful book that provides a scholarly reference work but also could be a coffee table book to be dipped into at a whim. This is mainly due to the quality of the illustrations and images that provide a visual commentary to the fascinating text.

The author is a respected golf historian and he has managed to ensure that the text is meaningful and interesting at all times. I have loved spending time with this book and have learned a lot as I devoured it cover to cover.

I have no doubt that I will return to it again and again as it is likely to become a recognised reference work given its impeccably researched credentials.

The first part of the book is given over to the history of the game and its main exponents. It begins with a chapter on the origins of the game followed by a detailed analysis of each decade from 1830s to the current one. Each segment covers a ten year period with a dialogue of the main elements in global golf occurring at that time. There are some great stories and tales told in an affectionate manner reflecting the authors clear passion for the game and all it stands for.

(Image Credit: Dale Concannon & Old Golf Images)

Quite properly, it also includes a separate section given over to the “Ladies of the Links” as it should be fully remembered and acknowledged the important role that women have played in the games’ development across the globe.

The second part of the book is given over to Profiles of Individual Golf Architects. Each chapter provides a scholarly treatise on the individual and his or her history. There is a gold mine of information contained within each and every chapter. Each story is supported by some beautiful imagery.

The profiles section details Golf Architects, Authors and Visionaries who have contributed to the game over the years.

There are some wonderful illustrations to accompany the text and I particularly like the picture of the late Alice Dye on her bulldozer. Some of the course plans and blueprints are simply golfing works of art.

(Image Credit: Paul Daley)

I considered myself to be well versed in golf history but this book has served to illustrate that I have not even begun to scratch the surface and it has added to my knowledge as I have enjoyed it from beginning to end.

If you are looking for a golf related gift and the recipient has an interest in the tradition and history of the game look no further. It contains everything that you are likely to need.

The Evolution of Golf Course Design is available to purchase hardcover from £51.58.

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