The World Atlas of Golf is readily available and perhaps the first book many stumble across which starts them down the rabbit warren of golf course architecture.
Documented are the 100 greatest courses in the world that display architectural brilliance.
The introduction shows how these courses made, the technology used, and profiles of those who built them.
Listen to the Good-Good Golf Podcast Episode 21 where the World Atlas of Golf is discussed.
Read if . . .
You want an overview of the history and architects of course design.