Architectural Side of Golf is one of the most difficult sacred texts to find, but it is worth the effort to do so. First Editions are scarce but can be tracked down. Grant Books published the book in 1995 (IBSN 9780907186557).


The book has 37 plates or illustrations which convey as much thought as the words themselves. The text can be difficult reading at times. However, the time taken to absorb Simpson’s thoughts will change the way you think about golf course design and strategy.

Chapters Two through Seven carry the most weight from an architectural standpoint. The Second Chapter is entitled “Attack and Defence”. Next comes “Fairways”. It is followed by “Putting Greens”.”The Ideal Golf Course” comes next. “General Principles, Construction and Upkeep” is then followed by “Hazards”. The opening chapters deal with the four ages of golf, and the last few are philosophical storytelling in nature. The Appendix contains information on Simpson’s theory of a “Reversible Course”.


Tom Simpson’s book is a pivotal golf course architecture text, which should be found in every golfer’s library. Chapters Two through Seven will deepen the understanding and heighten the joy of any golfer who reads it. Take the time to read the book. It will change the way you see, rate and play golf courses. 

How to Get the Book Cheap

The best way to obtain the Architectural Side of Golf on a budget is to find a book called: Design for Golf published in 1952. The Sportsman’s Book Club republished the Architectural Side of Golf and called it by a different name. Classics of Golf also has a cost-effective option available. 

Read If...

You want to understand the design principles of perhaps the most minimal strategist of golf course architecture.