One could perhaps be forgiven for describing this as the ultimate coffee table book, but it would be a shame if the outstanding production values of this volume led observers to adopt such a trivialisation. The photographs are quite simply works of art, and capable of leaving the reader salivating with the prospect of a visit to some of the more than fifty courses profiled.
The journey itself is described in the sleeve notes as "along the rugged eastern coast, from St Andrews up to Montrose and Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen; 'from heather, whin and sand, to points north,' to Nairn and Dornoch. Then to the west coast, to Prestwick and Troon." The photography is certainly the star of the show, but is well complemented with historical commentary by David Joy and architectural sketches and perspectives from Kyle Phillips.
One hopes that more architects and course owners can be influenced by the evidence of nature's hand that is so beautifully captured here, and manually apply it to less interesting landscapes with sympathy and style. The profile of Kyle Phillips' work at Kingsbarns demonstrates that this is certainly possible.
Clock Tower Press, US$36 (€29.85), www.clocktowerpress.com
This article first appeared in issue 1 of Golf Course Architecture, published in July 2005.