On Golf Course Architecture

“The chief object of every golf architect or green keeper worth his salt is to imitate the beauties of nature so closely as to make his work indistinguishable from Nature herself.”

“My reputation in the past has been based on the fact that I have endeavored to conserve the existing natural features and, where these were lacking, to create formations in the spirit of nature herself.”

“A first class architect attempts to give the impression that everything has been done by nature and nothing by himself.”

“Qualities required for the making of a successful golf architect:

Intimate knowledge of the theory of playing the game, although it is not essential that he himself should be a good player, vivid imagination, instinctive knowledge of what is likely to produce good golf, judgment in the choice of features which can be readily and cheaply produced, sporting instinct and knowledge of science…agricultural chemistry, botany and geology.”


“The Spirit of St. Andrews,” Alister MacKenzie, Sleeping Bear Press, 1995.

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