Tom Doak‘s Anatomy of a Golf Course is a modern classic. The book should be the cornerstone of a golf architecture student’s library. It is perhaps the best bang for your buck book on the subject. It is a modern classic that conveys design concepts in a logical, coherent manner even for the novice.

Publishing History

Lyons and Burford published the first edition in 1992 (IBSN 9781558211469). Burford published it again in 1997 and 2002 (IBSN 9781580800716).


In Chapter Two, Tom Doak tackles “Routing”. “Psychology of Design” is then discussed in Chapter Five. Following on, Chapters Seven through Eleven discuss items which, together, make up the whole. The items discussed are: “The Green Complex”, “Tees”, “Fairway and Rough”, “Bunkers and Water Hazards” and “Trees and Other Obstacles”. Finally, the final chapters deal with “Construction”, “Maintenance”, “Redesign and Restoration”.

Of Particular Attention

The real gem for the serious golf architecture student is in the Appendix. Golf courses worth studying are outlined along with the desirable aspects of each course. It should come as no surprise that England, Scotland and Ireland are heavily featured! Be under no illusions, Anatomy of a Golf Course should be the cornerstone of your golf architecture library.

Read If...

You only want to buy one book on golf course architecture.