Jeff Barr's book, "Golf's Best-Kept Secrets," features a misleading title but still a good read
I thoroughly enjoyed Jeff Barr’s book, “Golf’s Best-Kept Secrets,” except …
I don’t think the title fits, especially the subtitle: “Awesome and Affordable, Public Courses Anyone Can Play.”
Barr’s book does have feature some courses that I know little about or that never appear on magazine rankings of top courses. Places like the Golf Center at Kings Island in Ohio and Quicksilver Golf Club in Pennsylvania come to mind.
But many of the courses featured in the book are no secrets and they’re certainly not affordable … Pebble Beach Golf Links, the North and South courses at Pelican Hill, Pinehurst No. 2 and Kiawah Island’s Ocean course.
Despite the misleading title, the format and look of the book is what makes it a good read. Barr chooses at least two courses to profile for most states (except for one apiece in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia). He tossed in some bonus courses from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, too.
Every profile is decorated with a photo, a scorecard, a “chip shots” facts box and an “After Your Round” place to visit. These reviews are well-researched and an easy read. However, I think the most valuable piece of the book is the list of “other public courses worth a visit” from each state. This list of sometimes obscure courses is more in line with the book’s title.
I’ve never heard of the Capstone Club of Alabama or the Estrella Mountain Golf Club in Goodyear, Ariz., but now that they’ve been recommended by a well-respected colleague, I’m more apt to make a tee time.
The book, published in 2009 by Seller’s Publishing, also reflects the sad state of our economy. One of its choices, High Pointe Golf Club in Michigan, is currently closed.
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