The Evolution of Golf Course Design is one of the best golf course architecture books released in recent memory. Keith Cutten sets the bar high with the superb layout, content and sheer beauty of the publication.


The book is broken down into two parts. Part One is The Evolution of Golf Course Design. Part Two is called Profiles.

In Part One, the opening chapter discusses the origins of the game. Following, chapters Two through Twenty chart golf course design by decade from the 1830’s to the 2010s. The final chapter of Part One discusses the Ladies of the Links.

Part Two is divided into two sections. Architects profiles make up the first section and take the lion’s share of the information presented here. Early Architects such as Tom Dunn are mentioned. Golden age architects such as Alister MacKenzie, Harry Colt, Donald Ross, and Stanley Thompson are featured next. Lastly, modern-day architects such as Ron Whitten, Gil Hanse and Tom Doak are written about. Authors follow next then Visionaries taking the last five spots.


The book is elegant and the artwork, superb. It is weighty not only in physical stature but stout regarding content as well. As presented, the link between golf and the social climate and its resulting effect on golf course design is intriguing. 

Further Critical Acclaim

G&E’s feature on Keith and his writing is found here.

Bradley S. Klein reviewed the book honestly and overall, and it is was very well-received.

The manuscript of Ran Morrisett’s interview for Golf Club Atlas can be read here.

Lastly, the book is reviewed here by Garrett Morrison of The Fried Egg.

Read If...

You want to know the socio influences that affected golf course architecture best practice.