Spirit of St. Andrews (The)

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  • Author:
    MacKenzie, Dr. Alister
  • Contributors:
    • Jones, Robert Tyre (Bobby)
  • First edition:
  • ISBN:


The book is a lost manuscript that was initially written in 1933. It was rediscovered by Alister MacKenzie's second wife's grandson in a desk drawer 60 years later. It quickly became a golf course architecture sacred text.

Chapters Two through Four present the food for thought for the architecturally inclined student. Topics include General Principles, Economy in Golf Course Construction and Ideal Holes and Golf Courses.

Regarding ideal holes, MacKenzie holds out numbers 4, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16, and 17 at St Andrews, Gibraltar at Moortown, Redan at North Berwick, the 4th at Prestwick, the 15th at Worplesdon. Regarding courses? Hoylake, Saunton, and Gleneagles are held up as prime examples.

Sleeping Bear Press published a special limited edition of 1500 copies in 1995 that contains a colour fold-out map of St. Andrews, 56 additional pages for greenkeepers and architects and a full-page colour portrait of MacKenzie in his kilt. A standard trade edition was also published in 1995 (IBSN 9781886947009). Three Rivers Press republished it in 1998 (IBSN 9780767901697).

The book was discussed on the iseekgolf.com podcast which can be listened to by clicking here.

Read if . . .

You want insight into the mind of the world's most celebrated architect in his prime. His intimate knowledge of the Old Course provided the touchstone for his epic, timeless designs.

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