Golf Architecture: Economy in Course Construction and Green-Keeping is a must-read for any serious golfer and golf course architecture student. The book is among the best books ever written on the subject.


The book, although published in 1920, is largely the information produced for two lectures Alister had delivered to the Golf Greenkeepers Association in Leeds in 1912.

After an introduction by Harry Colt, the General Principles of Economy in Course Construction and Green-Keeping are discussed by Alister MacKenzie in Chapter One.

In the Second Chapter entitled: “Some Further Suggestions”, he addresses seven issues regarding course construction ranging from Labour to Manure.

The Third Chapter is entitled Ideal Holes. Here, many elements of holes still found in the U.K. are highlighted for their architectural merit.

The final Chapter discusses The Future of Golf Architecture, where some of MacKenzie’s predictions are stunningly accurate and others we are still waiting to see.

MacKenzie provides 22 original photos and sketches to illustrate his 13 principles at work. The photos and illustrations highlight Sitwell Park, Headingley, Moortown, City of Newcastle GC, Alwoodley, Harrogate, Grange-over-Sands, Wheatley Park, Fulford and The Old Course at St Andrews.


There are not many options between the two extremes. The first edition is small, rare and in high demand but it can found by clicking here. An excellent reprint has been offered by Coventry House Publishing in 2015 (9781733591140). This edition faithfully reproduces the cover in the style of the original Golf Architecture – Economy in Course Construction and Green-Keeping 1920 dust jacket.

Read If...

You want insight into the mind of one of golf's most significant architects and an overview of his 13 guiding principles.