There are 18,000 golf courses, more or less in some form or other, in North America. This is where the story of the game is written. It is a sprawling tale but a select few - 60 - have contributed so mightily to the golf narrative of the past 125 years that they belong in a Hall of Fame. It is on these courses that one finds not just the great champions, the great tournaments and the great architects but the story of senior golf...women's golf...televised golf...African American golf...retirement golf...miniature golf...collegiate golf...vacation golf...public golf...corporate golf...golf in the movies...nine-hole golf...Olympics golf...
Since King Ludwig I of Bavaria introduced the concept of the Hall of Fame in the mid-19th century the herding together of immortals has become an American thing. There are an estimated 3,000 halls of fame for everything from hot dogs to pinball to mascots - but until now, not golf courses. Golf has had a stormy relationship with halls of fame. The first official pantheon of golf - for players mostly and a few architects and contributors - was created in Pinehurst in 1974 by a land development company. When the corporation imploded in the 1980s the Hall of Fame was left to languish for almost two decades until it was rescued by the PGA Tour and transplanted to its World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida.
Golf courses have gotten their due from list-makers on the golfing merits of the course. You will not find the likes of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Tam O'Shanter and Grande Oaks on those lists. But those are the types of courses integral to telling the story of North American golf. It is a story that cuts across politics and celebrities and Civil Rights and, once in a while, a gangster or two. All illustrated with over 170 historical photographs on 184 pages and fully indexed. No tee times required, just put it on the peg to get started.
Cruden Bay Books
Publication Date - 2016
7 x 10, 184 pages
ISBN - 978-1-935771-29-6
You will want to discover in The Golf Course Hall of Fame...
Who invented that golf tee? (page 13)
What course spawned the mulligan? (page 101)
Why Margaret Abbott never knew she was the first woman to win an Olympic medal? (page 44)
What was the first "open" championship to feature players from every state? (page 131)
What course had the first driving range? (page 55)
What course pioneered the golf cart fleet? (page 110)
What was considered the first million-dollar course to build? (page 124)
What was the home course of the Three Stooges? (page 38)
What course has a real bunker - intended for use by the federal government in the event of a nuclear attack? (page 79)
What celebrated 19th century architect set the standard for golf clubhouses? (page 17)
Who was the model for the golfer atop the Ryder Cup? (page 34)
What course is its own borough complete with government officials? (page 88)
What course inspired the Stimpmeter? (page 50)
What course got its name from near-sighted Harvard baseball players? (page 28)
What course was Arnold Palmer playing when he met his wife Winnie? (page 67)