Book "Golf's Dream 18s" brings fantasy courses to life
Officially move David Barrett to the top of my list of favorite golf writers. I thoroughly enjoyed his last book, The Golf Courses of the U.S. Open. But the new one is off the charts.
Barrett’s book, Golf’s Dream 18s, is the most creative book about golf holes ever conceived. It’s the best combination of photography and text in one package about the subject as I’ve ever seen. I put it up with Sports Illustrated: The Golf Book as the two must-have golf titles of the holiday season.
Barrett put together dream 18-hole layouts by topic, featuring 18 so-called courses. The book begins with my favorite topic, Scenic Holes. I’d pay $1,000 to play a round at this dream 18 with ocean-side holes from Old Head, the Challenge at Manele, Cypress Point, Kauri Cliffs and Pebble Beach all wrapped into one 6,627-yard layout.
I’d also play a hefty sum to play his dream 18 of Links holes, a collection of dunes and seaside treasures from Lahinch, Doonbeg, St. Andrews, Waterville, Royal Portrush, Ballybunion and Turnberry. Wow!
The shortest fantasy course is the “Short Holes” collection playing just 5,011 yards. But it’s long on legend with holes from Pebble Beach, the Olympic Club, Merion, Riviera and Royal Troon. Conversely, the next chapter, the Long Holes, maxes out at 8,748 yards, highlighted by the 725 par-5 ninth hole at the Gallery at Dove Mountain in Arizona. Every par 3 is longer than 250 yards. I hope I never play that course. You couldn’t pay me to play it.
The book ends with the “Ultimate Dream 18,” a fantasy course designed like a real one with a par of 71 playing 7,073 yards. It brings together the best of the holes featured earlier in the book. If you’ve played any holes on this list – I’ve played four of them and walked a fifth – then you’ve lived a good life.
I’ve seen other golf books that just seem to list great golf holes, but this package truly makes for a fun read. Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to play all 18 of a certain “dream course.” Collect your scores and see what you shot. Published by Abrams, the 304-page book retails for $50.
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The Monterey Peninsula offers the most spectacular golfing I have ever experienced. I was pinching myself the whole time I was there just to make sure I was not dreaming. The Monterey region offers the best golf courses in the world! I just got back from the golf wonderland and must say this was the best golf vacation i have ever had! See the courses for yourself: