Author Taba Dale Launches Book Tour in Scotland visiting golf clubs featured in her new book “A Stroll on the Old Lady”

Taba Dale-A Stroll on the Old LadyThe book, “A Stroll on the Old Lady” continues to receive Rave Reviews

(St. Andrews, Scotland) July 3, 2016- As players prepare for The Open Championship, Author Taba Dale takes to the road in Scotland for a multi-stop book tour where she’ll share her recently-released book, A STROLL ON THE OLD LADY.

Dale’s book provides a peek into the lore of golf and its charmed surroundings. This collection of enchanted stories, each based from a unique links-land setting, will be the topic of discussion as Dale visits several venues chronicled in her latest work, A STROLL ON THE OLD LADY.

The book tour itinerary includes a stop at Scotland’s Stuart Castle, the enchanting site where Dale penned the chapter Thin Red Line. Next, The Marcliffe Hotel, which served as the inspirational setting for Dale’s story Monarch of the Marcliffe. The book tour will also take the talented author back to St. Andrews, The Home of Golf, and for which the book, A STROLL ON THE OLD LADY, is affectionately titled.

The tour wouldn’t be complete without a stop at The Open at Royal Troon, where some of the world’s greatest tour players will vie for the coveted championship title. Before the book tour is complete Dale plans to also visit Prestwick, site of the first Open Championship and the setting of the book’s opening story Birthplace of The Open. The tour wraps up at Machrihanish Golf Club, which ironically is the scene of the book’s closing story, Knock the Spots Off.

According to Dale, her well-mapped book tour also serves as an opportunity to thank those who inspired her to write the series of stories found within the 154-page book, published by Clare House Publishing and available on Amazon where it is tagged as a Best Book of 2016 So Far.

Dale is a golf aficionado and the ultimate golf insider, one that is welcomed where very few writers have ever been—the inner sanctum of many exclusive golf clubs. Her infectious wit and authenticity allow the reader to vicariously view golf historic sites, providing an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at some of the most elite golf clubs.

A STROLL ON THE OLD LADY is available in paperback at Amazon ($14.95). Additionally, Dale is the author of A Summer in IrelandLife and Golf on the Emerald Isle, which is also available through Amazon. For more stories and to learn more about Dale and her fine work, visit To schedule an interview or book signing with Author Taba Dale, send inquiries to:

MORE ABOUT AUTHOR TABA DALE                                                                    
Having grown up in Washington, D.C. amidst world-class museums, Taba Dale has worked as a fine art dealer for thirty-seven years and became the first to market golf art online by creating the Scottsdale Collection in 1988. Dale is Co-Founder of Legacy of the Links, a management and consulting company for tournaments, golf events overseas, unique fundraising projects, and other events. She is the Co-Founder of the Top 100 Invitational, which celebrates the great golf clubs and courses that have been included on various top 100 United States and world ranking lists. Dale spends her summers in Ireland writing and frequently visits Scotland and other European countries.

Media Contact: Emmy  |                                                                                                                                                                     
Author: Taba Dale  | |   PH: 480-219-0280

2016 Season Brings Top Players to 13 Compelling Rees Jones-Designed Courses

Venue List includes PGA Championship, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship and the Ryder Cup

Golf Course Designer Rees Jones

JANUARY 20, 2016 — Legendary golf course architect Rees Jones is no stranger to design and renovation, especially golf courses that host crowd-pleasing tournaments and major championships with historical significance. In 2016 alone, there are 13 tournament that have the design or redesign influence of this masterful architect and his talented team at Rees Jones, Inc.

To date, Rees Jones has worked on seven U. S. Open venues (which collectively, hosted 12 championships), eight PGA Championship venues (hosting 11 championships) plus five Ryder Cup venues, two Walker Cup venues and one Presidents Cup. Do the math, for the number of high-profile golf tournaments/championships that are on courses coveting the design/style and sensibility of Rees Jones, is quickly becoming an impressive number.

“Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work on a variety of existing courses, mindfully assisting with renovations or redesigns, and yet, I’ve also been asked by clients to create newly-designed courses,” said Rees Jones. “I must admit, I never imagined having my name associated with so many courses that would ultimately serve as venues for major championships. I guess one could say, it has become a defining part of my career.”

With all of Jones’ well-accomplished work, it has earned the talented course designer a nickname—folks in golf circles have respectfully tagged him as the “Open Doctor” for his keen work in preparing courses for major tournaments.

In fact, four of the 13 Rees Jones-designed venues in 2016 are major events and/or championships. They include: KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club (North/South), Sammamish, WA (June 9-12, 2016); PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower Course), Springfield, NJ (July 28-31, 2016); U.S. Amateur Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course), Bloomfield Hills, MI (August 15-21, 2016), and the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN (September 30-October 2, 2016).

Sahalee_17bSahalee Country Club (South/North) Hole #17

Baltusrol4LowerJuly2015Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower Course) Hole #4

Copy of Hazeltine#10Hazeltine National Golf Club, Hole #10

Also included in the list of 13 2016 tournaments which will be hosted at a Jones design or redesigned course are: The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Golf Club (Plantation Course, new to the 2015-16 PGA Tour wrap around season), St. Simons Island, GA; Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course), La Jolla, CA; Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club, Daly City, CA; Shell Houston Open at The Golf Club of Houston (Tournament Course), Humble TX; Quicken Loans National (formally the AT&T National) at Congressional Country Club (Blue Course), Bethesda, MD; The Barclays at Bethpage State Park (Black Course), Farmingdale, NY and the Tour Championship By Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, GA.

It has become apparent that the USGA, the PGA of America and the PGA Tour view Jones’ designed/renovated courses as compelling venues for hosting major championships and prestigious tournaments; courses that test the talent of the world’s best players. “I guess these courses have proven to stand the test of time,” stated Jones, bearing a slight grin.

“Rees makes his golf courses enjoyable challenges for the everyday player while enabling the layouts to be stout tests for those competing in the highest-level championships” said David Fay, the former USGA executive director, who has worked with Jones on a number of USGA events, most notable Bethpage Black. “The fact that a large number of Major-Championship sites have been designed or renovated by Rees speaks for itself.”

One need not look further than Bethpage Black, the site of the 2002 US Open won by Tiger Woods while surrounded by the loudest crowd in US Open history. Since then, Bethpage has hosted the 2009 US Open and has recently been selected to host both the 2019 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup.

“Reflecting back, one of the most satisfying experiences I have had in my career was when Bethpage Black hosted the 2002 U.S. Open, (dubbed the “Peoples Open”) because, for the first time, a U.S. Open was held on a state-owned public golf course” said Jones.

Another venue receiving a second nod is Torrey Pines South which has been awarded the 2021 U.S. Open. The 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pine South was considered by many golf enthusiasts to be the most exciting U.S. Open championship ever. No one will ever forget the riveting performance by Woods to outlast Rocco Mediate in a pressure-filled Monday playoff— one that was decided on the first sudden-death hole after both players shot even par 71’s in the 18-hole playoff.

Other venues which have hosted multiple major championships after Jones and his team have remodeled the course include: Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands Course (2001 and 2011 PGA Championship, 2014 U.S. Amateur), Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course (2005 and 2016 PGA Championship, 1993 U.S. Open), Bellerive Country Club (2018 PGA Championship, 2013 Senior PGA Championship), Congressional Country Club’s Blue Course (1997 and 2011 U.S. Open, 1995 Senior Open), Hazeltine National Golf Club (2002 and 2009 PGA Championship, 1991 U.S. Open, 2006 U.S. Amateur, 2016 Ryder Cup), Medinah Country Club’s Course #3 (2006 PGA Championship, 2012 Ryder Cup), Oakland Hills Country Club’s South Course (2008 PGA Championship, 2004 Ryder Cup, 2016 U.S. Amateur) and Sahalee Country Club’s North/South Course (1998 PGA Championship, 2010 U.S. Senior Open, 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship).

To date, Jones and his team, have designed and/or redesigned courses that will have hosted 163 tournaments. So, for the avid golfer or golf spectator, when you’re watching your favorite golf broadcasts this season, take note as to who designed the course, for there’s a good chance it’s a Rees Jones Design.

More about Rees Jones, Inc.

Founded in 1974, the firm of Rees Jones, Inc. customizes the design and supervises the construction of new golf course layouts for public, private, resort and planned real estate community developments in the U.S. and abroad. They are also noted for their award-winning work in course restoration and renovation at scores of venues worldwide, of which several have hosted major championships, earning company founder Rees Jones the nickname, “The Open Doctor.” This well-established design firm provides innovative solutions and tailors its traditional yet timeless design to each client’s needs while also building strategic options into courses to ensure flexibility and continuing interest to golfers of all skill levels. As stewards of the environment, the firm remains committed to creating sustainable golf courses that co-exist in harmony with nature. To learn more about Rees Jones, Inc., visit

Photos Courtesy of Rees Jones, Inc.

World Renowned Course Designer Rees Jones and his Team are in Demand throughout U.S. and Abroad

When you ask famed architect Rees Jones, “What’s up?” be prepared to absorb plenty of insightful information on the topic of golf course design.

This legendary golf course designer, known by many as “The Open Doctor” (tagged with the nickname due to the vast number of golf courses he’s improved in preparation for U.S. Open Championships), has an elevated passion for his work. Jones focuses on creating courses that are fair yet challenging and ones that enhance the playing experience while also being sensitive to the natural environment.

Jones is not only a talented and award-winning designer, he is a wise man, one who values relationships and enjoys collaboration. This is evidenced by his team of talented designers who have been an integral part of the professional staff at Rees Jones, Inc., for several years now. Each designer possesses the same deeply-rooted passion for their work as Jones himself, and all are equally-committed to excellence.

Golf Course Designer Rees Jones

Golf Course Designer Rees Jones

It’s that “commitment to excellence” that propels Rees Jones and his team as they continue to be a leading force in golf course design at all levels – from new course master planning to carefully thought-out restorations, as well as golf course renovations that well-reflect improved playability and sustainability.

Their work also focuses on the actual financial realities that many clubs are encountering today, and as a result, they are developing creative design solutions that help streamline the maintenance process (minimizing operational expenses) while preserving design integrity and improving the overall player experience.

“We recognize that financial considerations have always been a key to most clubs and this is especially true today,” said Rees Jones. “In today’s more competitive marketplace, the need to reduce expenses while still providing a quality experience for players of every level is the key. We work with each club to help in these areas by looking at ways to make the course more playable and more cost effective to maintain. We look at the possibility of altering or eliminating course features such as shrinking bunkers or even converting bunkers to grass chipping areas, creating open entrances to greens and other areas which will help the club reach its goals of adding players, increasing pace of play and lowering maintenance costs.”

There is no project too big or too challenging for this accomplished design firm, evidenced by an impressive client list, one that encompasses compelling projects throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Design Projects in the Works

Playa Grande Golf Club, Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic
This is a complete renovation of a Robert Trent Jones, Sr. (father and mentor of Rees Jones) designed course. The project is in the construction stage and scheduled to open in 2015.
Playa Grande Golf Club

Danzante Bay Golf Course at Villa Del Palmar, Loreto, Baja Calif. Sur, Mexico
Located at the upscale resort of Villa Del Palmar in Loreto, the course will maximize the majestic views of both Danzante Bay and the Sea of Cortez to the east and the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range to the west. It is currently under construction with eleven holes scheduled for play by February 2016.
Danzante Bay Golf Course at Villa Del Palmar

Dream Island Resort, Incheon, South Korea
Two, new eighteen-hole courses are in the planning stages, serving as the inaugural design project for Rees Jones, Inc., in Incheon, South Korea. These link-style designed courses will be built adjacent to the ocean.

The Monster, Kiamesha Lake, NY
Adelaar, a meticulously planned, year-round destination resort will feature not only the Montreign Resort Casino but also The Monster Golf Course. Originally designed in 1963 by Joe Finger, the world-famous golf course will undergo a complete redesign using holes from both the current Monster Golf Course and the former International Course. This project is scheduled to begin in fall 2015.

City Park Golf Club, New Orleans, LA
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded City Park with up to eight feet of water. The flooding and damaging winds substantially affected the three courses in operation at the time, leading to the closure of two courses. Following a new golf master plan, a new 18-hole layout that encompasses land previously home to portions of the former East and West courses is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2016. The new course meanders through majestic live oak trees and incorporates many of the existing bayous.

Medinah Country Club, Course #2, Medinah, IL
Work has commenced on the restoration of this iconic Tom Bendelow-designed golf course.

Jack Clark South Course at Chuck Corica Golf Complex, Alameda, CA
This is completely new course on the site of an existing one. This municipal course is under construction with nine holes completed and the eighteen hole golf course is scheduled to open in 2016.

Brynwood Golf & Country Club, Armonk, NY
The Brynwood Golf & Country Club project is a major upgrade of an existing Albert Zikorus design with the ultimate goal to meet today’s playability and maintenance standards. The golf course will play like a new course upon completion. Construction is scheduled to commence in late fall 2015.

Urbana Country Club, Urbana, IL
The firm will develop a long range master plan for Urbana Country Club which will assist the club through a complete course renovation. It includes updating features to today’s standards with focus on increasing playability and sustainability.

Resort at Cayo Largo, Fajardo, Puerto Rico
A complete redesign of an existing golf course will serve as the centerpiece of the Resort at Cayo Largo. The unique topography and views of Vieques Sound will make this course a fitting amenity to this new five star resort.

Hodogaya Country Club, Kanagawa, Japan
Established in 1921, Hodogaya Country Club is considered one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious golf clubs. Using old photos, coupled with other pertinent historical data, the Rees Jones design team is working closely with the club in developing a long range master plan. This plan will help guide the club through a complete restoration of the golf course while also updating golf course features to today’s standards.

Golf Course of the Everglades, Naples, FL
In an effort to introduce a new residential development on site, the relocation of several holes was required on this original Rees Jones-designed course. The project will be completed in November 2015 and re-open for play by year’s end.

Ballantyne Country Club, Charlotte, NC
This project focused on the renovation of an original Rees Jones-design. Work included the reconstruction of all tees and bunkers, including the addition of many senior and forward tees, as well as a re-grassing/conversion of the putting surfaces from bentgrass to ultradwarf bermudagrass. The club has celebrated its reopening and members are now enjoying a completely updated course.

Ash Brook Golf Course, Scotch Plains, NJ
This project is a comprehensive bunker restoration at an Alfred Tull-designed public course and it is slated for completion in November 2015.

Atlanta Athletic Club, Highlands Course, John’s Creek, GA
At the Atlanta Athletic Club’s famed Highlands Course, renovation will include rebuild and removal of select bunkers, replacement of all bunker sand, rebuild of No. 14 green surface to increase the number of hole locations, as well as the addition of new forward tees on 12 holes to improve course playability. This project will commence in spring 2016.

Sahalee Country Club, Sammamish, WA
In collaboration with Sahalee Country Club, a plan to develop a comprehensive tree management plan is underway. The club is scheduled to host the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

And There’s More

The Rees Jones design team is conducting ongoing work on a number of classic golf courses in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts at clubs which include Baltusrol Golf Club (Upper and Lower Courses, the famed Lower Course is the site of the 2016 PGA Championship), Bethpage State Park (Black Course which is the site of The Barclay’s in 2016, 2021, 2027; PGA Championship in 2019 and the Ryder Cup in 2024), Canoe Brook Country Club (North and South Courses), Deal Golf & Country Club, Echo Lake Country Club, Essex Fells Country Club, Galloping Hill Golf Course, Hackensack Golf Club, Montclair Golf Club, Old Oaks Country Club, Marshfield Country Club, Nashawtuc Country Club and two Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designs, The Tuxedo Club and North Hills Country Club.

Ongoing work is also occurring on Congressional Country Club (Blue Course) (Bethesda, MD), Bellerive Country Club site of the 2018 PGA Championship (St. Louis, MO), Lambton Golf and Country Club (Ontario, CA), Belle Meade Country Club (Nashville, TN), Baton Rouge Country Club (Baton Rouge, LA) and Lyford Cay Club (Nassau Island, Bahamas).

In The Planning Stage

Other noteworthy courses that are in the planning stages with the Rees Jones design team include Carolina Country Club (Raleigh, NC), Seabrook Island Club- Crooked Oaks (a Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design) and Ocean Winds Courses (Seabrook Island, SC), The Breakers Ocean Golf Course (Palm Beach, FL), Ibaraki Country Club- East Course (Osaka, Japan), Hidden Valley Country Club (Sandy, UT) and four original Jones’ designs–The Santaluz Club (San Diego, CA), Peninsula Golf Club (Cornelius, NC), Huntsville Golf Club (Shavertown, PA) and Piedmont Driving Club (Atlanta, GA).

More about Rees Jones, Inc.

Founded in 1974, the firm of Rees Jones, Inc. customizes the design and supervises the construction of new golf course layouts for public, private, resort and planned real estate community developments in the U.S. and abroad. They are also noted for their award-winning work in course restoration and renovation at scores of venues worldwide, of which several have hosted major championships, earning company founder Rees Jones the nickname, “The Open Doctor.” This well-established design firm provides innovative solutions and tailors its traditional yet timeless design to each client’s needs while also building strategic options into courses to ensure flexibility and continuing interest to golfers of all skill levels. As stewards of the environment, the firm remains committed to creating sustainable golf courses that co-exist in harmony with nature. To learn more about Rees Jones, Inc., visit

Photos Courtesy of Rees Jones, Inc.

Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf by Dr. Bradley S. Klein

Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf by Dr. Bradley S. KleinIn golf the playing field is also landscape, where nature and the shaping of it conspire to test athletic prowess. Bradley S. Klein, a leading expert on golf course design and economics, finds much to contemplate, and much more to report, in the way these wide-open spaces function as landscapes that inspire us, stimulate our senses, and reveal the special nature of particular places.

A mediation on what makes golf course compelling landscapes, there is also a personal memoir that follows Klein’s unique journey across the golfing terrain, from the Bronx and Long Island suburbia to the American prairie and thePacific Northwest. Whether discussing Robert Moses and Donald Trump and the making ofNew York City, or the role of golf in the development of the atomic bomb, or the relevance of Willa Cather to how the game has taken hold in Nebraska Sandhills, Klein is always looking for the freedom and the meaning of golf’s wide-open spaces. As he searches, he offers a deeply informed and absorbing view of golf courses as cultural markers, linking the game to larger issues of land use, ecology, design, and imagination.

An Interview with Dr. Bradley S. Klein

1. What motivated you to write “Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf” and why now?

I’ve been writing short essays and columns for 25 years and I wanted to extend them into longer, more analytical studies of golf – or more particularly, about the landscapes that I think are the most compelling in all of sorts – golf courses.

2. What will readers discover in “Wide Open Fairways” that is absent from most other contemporary golf books?

I’m a writer by basic disposition, and I think there’s a great tradition of golf writing. In the face of all of these coffee-table pictorials about great golf courses there are precious few detailed accounts of what makes these sports fields so special.

The notion that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is only true if you’re reading people who can’t properly express the feelings and power of what these places suggest to you. I’m someone who works off of feelings and sensibilities. My writing is non-technical; I hardly ever take notes about golf courses and have no interest in describing how you play it – or worse yet, how someone else plays it. So I wanted to convey something that I think is missing in all of the literature about golf – the place of these as cultural landmarks, rooted in specific places and ways of life. So I invoke history, fiction, imagination and politics. I spend so much time on the road – 150 days a year, and I’ve been doing it for 20 years – that I thought I had something different to offer golfers.

Besides that, I think that golf can be made interesting to non-golfers. In fact, my imagined audience as I write is always the non-golfer, someone who reads and thinks creatively but would normally think golf boring and a waste of time. If I can capture them and draw them in, then I’ve done my job. So I had all of these short essays from various publications sitting around and the task was to translate them into a sustained idiom with more depth and context than my magazine space allows me. So I situate these accounts, whether it’s the Nebraska Sand Hills and Willa Cather’s fictional accounts about the struggles of life on the prairie; or the role of the Los Alamos,New Mexicogolf course in the development of the atomic bomb; or the way flooding affects golf inMinot,North Dakota.

3. This book is more than a chronicling of compelling golf landscapes, it is also a memoir. What prompted you to share your personal journey in this particular piece of work?

The immediate occasion for this book was my father’s death in May 2011. I literally started it the day after he died and finished it a year later, on the night before his unveiling – the Jewish ritual of showing the gravestone. The first part of the book is a very personal account of what it was like growing up with a mentally ill dad. He wasn’t wacko crazy, just not quite ‘there” and unable to focus on our needs as kids growing up. I had a powerful but sad relationship with him, and it took a very long time for him to see that I was there as his son.

Along the way, I found golf as a refuge; thus the attraction of getting out of the house early in the day and exploring the freedom that “wide open space” afforded me. So the book starts off there, in a sad but weirdly comic way. And it ends with a chapter describing how I was able to create my own golf course, so to speak, through a municipal project in the town where we now live inConnecticut, where we got Pete Dye to design a course for $1 that we spent nine years building.

So the book, while personal, also is a public account of how golf can provide a refuge. And in this I doubt I am alone. I’m sure many others have shared in the sense of freedom and joy that golf provides. What I tried to do in this book was explain that sense of freedom – something you can’t get from a picture of a beautiful golf course.

4. This certainly isn’t the first book that you’ve written. What other meaningful golf books have you written and/or published?

Well, they were meaningful to me. I’ll let others decide if they had any meaning for them. My first collection of short essays, called “Rough Meditations,” came out in 1997 and in an expanded edition in 2006. I also spent three years writing a very detailed biography, “Discovering Donald Ross” that won the USGA International Book Award for 2001 and was reissued in an expanded edition in 2011. Along the way I also wrote a club history, “Desert Forest Golf Club: the First 40 Years” (2004), that is actually a history of golf inArizona. And another club history about “Sebonack” (2009), which manages to convey a good bit of the history of golf course design onLong Island. These last two projects involved very close work with a skilled graphics designer, Carol Haralson, who has the considerable virtue of knowing nothing about golf – until now. We seem to work well together and I’m looking forward to working with her again on another project.

About the Author

Bradley S. Klein is architecture editor of Golfweek magazine and runs its national golf course rating system. He is a former PGA Tour caddie and has been inducted into the International Caddie Hall of Fame. He lectures widely to professional trade groups throughout the U.S. and overseas on topics relating to golf design, the golf development industry, and golf course operations and maintenance. Additionally, he makes himself available for speaking engagements and/or book signings at public, private and resort facilities. He can be reached at (860) 508-7696.

Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf is available through University of Nebraska Press or at

Golf Poems-The Greatest Game in Rhythm & Rhyme-an Interview with author Bo Links

 Golf Poems: The Greatest Game in Rhythm and RhymeAuthor Bo Links, avid golfer and steward of the game has just released his newest book: GOLF POEMS – The Greatest Game in Rhythm and Rhyme. This well-written collection of poems provides a riveting reflection about the game, one that will resonate with any golfer who picks up this handy pocket-size book. As the title implies, the book conveys a meaningful image as to what makes the game so engaging, so special.

Here is Bo to tell us a little bit about the book.

1. What motivated you to write Golf Poems: The Greatest Game in Rhythm and Rhyme?
The game has always fascinated me. Every round is an adventure, no two shots alike. I wanted to capture the essence of all this in a little book that would be accessible to everyone. I also enjoy the game with my friends at the 19th hole and I wanted to provide stanzas for toasts that can be used any time, any place — but which will strike a responsive chord with golfers anywhere in the world.

2. You’ve described this book as an exploration of golf? Please explain how and why?
What is it like to be afraid on the green? Anyone who’s been there knows what I’m talking about. So go read “Desperate Thoughts of A Bad Putter.” It cuts to the bone with respect to a fear over a three-footer for all the marbles. The same is true when it comes to wind, which is the game’s most difficult (and fickle) challenge. So I wrote “The Wind By Any Name.” I’ve tried to touch on all aspects of the game in a very short, little space.

2. This is an impressive compilation of poems, which echo your thoughts and feelings about the game of golf. Within the collection you must have a favorite. If so, which poem and why?
These poems are like children. I love them all. And within them, there are stanzas that ring in my ears. Like this final one from “Home on the Range.” It speaks to the fact that optimism is a vital trait we should all cultivate:

For the true golfer knows
That dreams never die
As long as he swings
And continues to try.

There is a similar vein in that poem about the wind:

When, at last
The sun has set
And dusk begins to grow
With all our strokes recorded
We’ll reflect, and smile, and know
That though the wind was raging
And stole from us the score
We’ll rise at dawn tomorrow
To battle it once more.

3. You’ve given back to the game of golf for many years now, especially through your ongoing advocacy work in support of public golf. One of the projects you are most passionate about is “Saving Sharp Park“… a MacKenzie-designed golf course, in Pacifica, Calif. You’ve even written a poem about this course which appears in Golf Poems. Why such a connection to this modest, public course?
There’s an old saying: Still waters run deep. A corollary is that simple things touch us the deepest.SharpPark is a simple place, but the vibe there is so undeniably pure that it represents all that is good about the game. There is no class distinction there; no division. We’re all equals, fighting the same fight, struggling against the same demons. And when the battle is over, we retire to the same bar to drink together, laugh together and sometimes to cry together. And when you consider that all of this takes place in an incredibly beautiful place, where Alister MacKenzie worked his magic for public course golfers 80 year ago….well, how can you not save it? I can’t say it any better than that.

4. Golf Poems isn’t the only book you’ve penned. What other pieces of work have you written/published?
My first book, Follow the Wind, is the story of a young boy who meets up with Ben Hogan. Together they explore the richness of life itself and what makes golf such an important part of it. The story had touched golfers (and non-golfers) the world over. I once bumped into Deane Beman, former PGA TOUR commissioner, who told me he regularly read the story to his grandchildren when they were growing up. Quite a compliment.

My second book, Riverbank Tweed & Roadmap Jenkins: Tales from the Caddie Yard, is a series of related short stores, all told in a caddie’s laconic voice. I apply golf’s many lessons to life beyond the fairway. The characters are unforgettable, as are the events that take place. A game of “one ball” at Harding Park and a US Open qualifier during a lightning storm at Cypress Point.

I’ve also written several extended essays about golf in San Francisco, including Return to Glory (about the 2005 AmEx battle between Tiger Woods and John Daly at the restored Harding Park) and More Than A Game (about the 2009 Presidents Cup Match at Harding as well as the establishment of a First Tee facility at a troubled middle school in the middle of one of the City’s worst neighborhoods).

I try and strike a responsive chord with golfers the world over. Ben Crenshaw recently wrote to me after reading Golf Poems to say that the game is fortunate to have people like me out there writing about it with such passion. It was one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received.

5. If you had only one round of golf left to play, where would it be (name course) and who would accompany you in the foursome?
The Old Course atSt. Andrews with Ben Crenshaw, Bobby Jones and Old Tom Morris…playing with Old Tom’s equipment.

The book is available exclusively at Amazon, both in paperback and e-book form. Paperback is $12.99 and the Kindle version is $2.99.

About the Author

Bo LinksBO LINKS is a San Francisco attorney and an avid golfer and has spent a lifetime plumbing the depths of the ancient game. He has written two previous golf books: Follow the Wind and Riverbank Tweed and Roadmap Jenkins-Tales from the Caddie Yard. Links has dabbled in golf architecture (having twice won the Lido Design Contest sponsored by the Alister MacKenzie Society), and helped organize local golfers through the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance in an effort to preserve affordable golf. His latest effort in that regard has been the battle to Save Sharp Park, a treasured Alister MacKenzie course located in Pacifica, CA, just 10 miles south of San Francisco. He has served on the United States Golf Association’s Green Section Committee for more than 20 years and is frequently a keynote speaker at golf association meetings and conferences addressing issues of immense importance to golfers and the golf industry.If you are interested in Bo Links as a featured speaker for your organization or corporate golf outing, contact Patty Burness at (415) 564-3890 or via

An interview with Al Barkow, Author of The Upset, Jack Fleck’s Incredible Victory over Ben Hogan at the U.S. Open

The award-winning Al Barkow has been writing about golf for some 55 years including his tenure as former editor-in-chief of Golf and Golf Illustrated magazines. Al’s book Gettin’ to the Dance Floor: an Oral History of American Golf, won the first USGA International Golf Book of the Year award in 1986. He is also the 2005 recipient of the PGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to his new book, The Upset, Barkow has recently published another interesting book, Golf’s All-Time Firsts, Mosts, Leasts, and a Few Intriguing Nevers. It is a fun read, packed with facts and stats and trivia, too, with a lot of golf history woven throughout and plenty of “most asked but never answered” questions about golf.

When it comes to U.S. Open Championships at the Olympic Club there have been a few. Why did you choose to focus on the 1955 championship (Fleck’s win over Hogan) as opposed to the others (1966, 1987 or 1998)?

Because it was so great an upset, not only one of the most remarkable in the history of golf but in all sports.

Did Jack Fleck really out play Hogan? Or was he just lucky?

No, he out played him.  Fleck out-hit him off the tee, hit some very fine iron shots and executed some excellent trouble shots. He had a plugged lie in a bunker and got up-and-down with a superior sand shot.

Through your work as journalist, you knew both Fleck and Hogan. What trait/s did you most admire in each player, and why?

I knew Hogan better than Fleck, and found him to be someone who was not going to divulge anything about his personal life or his golf technique. He could be somewhat devious, and as I point out in the book. At the same time, he was truly a great golfer with a tremendous work ethic and golf intelligence. Fleck was very single-minded about his golf. He was actually a better player than he thought he was.

What will surprise readers the most when they read The Upset?

My take on Hogan will be different than most people have had to date. I like to think it’s a deeper and more straightforward, unblinking look at the man’s character as I was able to define it from my interviews with him and with others about him.

The biggest surprise will be Fleck’s practice of Hatha Yoga, a form of Buddhism, that was in very large part how he was able to be so cool under the pressure of going head-to-head with one of the greatest Open players in the game’s history and also a man with a very intimidating manner.

Al BarkowWhat was the most challenging chapter for you to pen?

I didn’t find any chapter especially challenging. I had a lot of facts about the play of both Fleck and Hogan during the playoff, and had a reasonable insight on how they went about their life on and off the course.

They say golf is a mind game. What do you surmise was going on in the minds of Hogan and Fleck during those last holes?

Hogan was far more anxious to win than it appeared; he really wanted to set the record with a fifth US Open title. As a result he over-extended his play on the final hole of the playoff, and it cost him any chance of either tying or winning the championship. Because Fleck was so within himself mentally, the result of his yoga exercises and the mental calm that came with it, he simply played by instinct and did not feel pressed to perform.

Crystal ball question: If you were to player a round of golf with Fleck, and another round of golf with Hogan, how would the experiences differ?

Hogan would be more critical of mistakes I might make, or, if he thought I had no ability he would simply ignore me and take little notice of my play. Fleck would be more outgoing and companionable.

An Interview with Bradley S. Klein, Author of Discovering Donald Ross: The Architect and His Golf Course-Expanded Edition

Bradley S. KleinIt’s been 10 years since Bradley Klein first published his well-received survey of the artistry of Donald Ross. It was lauded at the time as “…the most thoroughly researched book ever produced on the life and work of a golf course architect.” (Brian McCallen, Golf Magazine).

Here is what Bradley has to say about this new expanded edition:

What motivated you to write such a detailed chronicle about the life and work of golf course architect Donald Ross?

I am a trained academic, used to working for weeks and years in libraries, and there was no sustained, serious book about the life work of any designer that wasn’t a puff piece. So I thought it was time to explore a golf course architect as a craftsman and as a professional and to treat them much like one might treat a musician, writer or artist for what influenced them and how their entire body of work evolved.

What will readers discover about Ross in this recently released 2nd edition of Discovering Donald Ross that was absent in your original 367-page book about the famed architect?

The expanded edition deals with restoration developments the last ten years; how Ross and classical design became an accepted part of the American golf course landscape; and how in the process Pinehurst No. 2 has been totally reshaped.

Discovering Donald Ross-Expanded EditionIn addition to your work as architectural editor for Golfweek, you are considered an authority on the work of Donald Ross. What separates his design work from other course architects?

He did exquisite routings — incredibly efficient, no wasted space on the site, and he had a simplicity of form and yet endless variation of shot angle, of deflection into the green, and of the consequences for a slightly off line shot. He was subtle — something that is sorely lacking today and that even his contemporaries were not strong on.

Conducting research on the life of Ross must have been a project in itself. Where did it take you? Any unusual discoveries?

Three years, 150+ courses, every house Ross lived in, I even slept in two of his bedrooms, found his old caddie in Pinehurst, kneeled at his grave, spent a lot of time with his daughter and also his granddaughter, even walked the path he took off the boat in Boston when he arrived in April 1899. Spent 100 days in Pinehurst, and the folks at the Resort were very gracious in putting up with me.

After completing this 2nd edition of Discovering Donald Ross, are there any unanswered questions about this gentleman or his work? If Ross were alive today what questions would you be compelled to ask?

I am amazed at his ceaseless train travel; I’d like to ask if he regrets having done so many courses (400) that he couldn’t see them all or refine many of them. I’d also like to know what he would do differently with today’s distances; he was designing in an era when 200 yards was a good drive.

About Bradley Klein

Bradley S. Klein is architecture editor of Golfweek magazine and runs its national golf course rating system. A former PGA Tour caddie and 2006 inductee into the International Caddie Hall of Fame, he holds a Ph.D. in political science and enjoyed a distinguished academic career in international relations before retiring from university research and teaching in 1999 to devote himself full time to golf writing.

He has written and lectured widely on sports media, golf design, the golf development industry, golf course operations and maintenance. He is also a design consultant, including involvement in Old Macdonald, the fourth course at Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon, opened in 2010.

Klein won the Golf Writers Association of America’s award for the best column of 2006. His golf books include a collection of essays, “Rough Meditations” (1997, 2006), and two club histories, “Desert Forest Golf Club: The First Forty Years” (2004) and “Sebonack: Classic Golf by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Doak” (2006, 2009). His next book, due out in 2012, is “Wide Open Fairways: The Landscapes of Golf.”

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Bradley Klein’s Image Courtesy of Jim Mandeville

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