26 December 2006

The Confidential Golf Guide

Tom Doak. THE CONFIDENTIAL GOLF GUIDE. Sleeping Bear Press, USA 1996. ISBN 186947090

Much sought after and hard to find tell-it -like-it-is guide to US golf courses. Doak, a golf course architect designed such world class courses as Pacific Dunes in Oregon. Unlike many critics he has no problem in giving both the lowdown and offence (zeugma?). Of one course he writes: 'One of the most poorly constructed courses of all time. The superintendent asked me for advice on rebuilding his 9th green; I got out of there as fast as I could. You"d have to blow up the whole course to accomplish anything.' He also gives some interesting and amusing top ten lists (rated on the 'Doak scale' the most beautiful clubhouses, best walks, best front nine, courses worth groveling to play, courses most fun to play, hardest courses, longest courses, best opening holes, best finishing holes, and unusual hazards (like the goats at Lahinch, the wild horses at Pennard, and the railway at Prestwick). A cool book, the Driffield of Golf (oddly enough XD used to go around in plus fours like an extra from 'Murder on the Links' but never played to my knowledge.)

VALUE? No copies online at less than $800 but several of them. 13000 copies were printed. Turns up regularly on ebay and unless under par seems to usually get up there, even hitting $1k + for nice signed ones. An affluent game, many golfing book collectors so the market is well underpinned but continual appearances of the book may chill the price.

Current Price $500-$800 /£260-£420 Want level 25-50 Highish

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