From a golf course architecture perspective, Sir Guy Campbell contributes on pages 92 through 112 his thoughts on golf course design theory from a historical perspective in A History of Golf in Britain.


Sir Guy Campbell divides his critique of courses into three ages. Primitive Age includes all golf courses up to the development of the gutta-percha ball around 1848. The Orthodox Age includes those best forgotten from 1848 until 1902 or 1903 because they ‘outraged nature itself’. The Mechanical Age takes in all the golf courses constructed since the close of the South African War or the Second Boer War.

Additional Information

The Appendix features plans of courses, namely: 1921 Hoylake, 1932 Hoylake, Philip MacKenzie Ross’ Ailsa at Turnberry, Sandwich, and The Old Course at St Andrews.

In Summary

Overall, this book is a history lesson on the ages of golf architecture British viewpoint. Of interest, the book is written from the perspective of Sir Guy Campbell and his distinction of eras based on equipment advances and changes in the mechanical means of constructing courses.

Buying Guidance

The first edition of A History of Golf in Britain from 1952 is easily found. The reprint by Classics of Golf is also readily available, but beware! The reprint misses out Sir Guy Campbell’s addition. In doing so, this omission removes the entire reason why a golf course architecture student would even buy the book. 

Read If...

You wish to have insight into a Golden Age architect's view of the chronology of golf course theory in Britain.