Some Essays on Golf-Course Architecture is one of the best golf architecture books from one of golf’s foremost practitioners, Harry Colt.


Harry Colt contributed essays to previous titles. Namely, Hutchinson’s Golf Greens & Greenkeeping in 1906 and Sutton’s Book of the Links in 1912. This book was wholly original and shows an evolution of his methodology and design ethos.

Chapters Two, Three, and Four are of most interest to the architectural student. “Framework” is the chapter on routing as discussed by Colt. Colt then discusses “Placing of Bunkers” and finally, “Construction.” Agronomy, machinery, and financial considerations are covered in subsequent chapters.

Colt’s design theories are easy to understand. He is both confident and direct in his assessments. For example, he writes regarding hazards: “Among hazards, sand is first. Heather is second. Long grass, third. Gorse then water, but only for aesthetics and variety. Even then, only sparingly.”


The first edition of Some Essays on Golf-Course Architecture is in high demand and commands a premium. It can found by clicking here. It was re-published by Grant Books in 1990 and 1993 (9780907186250). Hardpress Publishing re-published it in 2013 (9781313474696). Forgotten Books re-published it in 2016 (9781333511357) among many others.

Other Harry Colt Reference Works

Creating Classics: The Golf Courses of Harry Colt
Masters of Design: Great Courses of Colt, MacKenzie, Alison & Morrison
Colt & Co. Golf Course Architects

The Harry Colt Project

To see a chronological list of Harry Colt Golf Courses.
To read a short biography of Harry Colt.
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You want an overview of strategic golf design precepts without a lot of unnecessary detail.