Is Tom Doak ready to shoot off his cannon, criticizing the world's best courses again, in the followup to his book, The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses?
Maybe I helped nudge him along. Or maybe he wanted to keep it a secret until he was ready.
Whatever the case, I asked Tom Doak last fall if he was planning to write another book along the lines of his uber-popular “The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses,” a rare golf book published 15 years ago that lambastes big-name courses (and big-name architects) for design flaws.
We were playing a round at his home course, the famed Crystal Downs Country Club, an Alister MacKenzie throwback in northern Michigan, when I brought up the book (read the story here). He told me at the time he hadn’t seen enough of the new courses that were generating buzz to make him confident enough to be writing another version.
But he sang a different tune to writer Scott Warren, reportedly saying: “There will be a new edition … The target date for that is the summer of 2014, but of course it could take longer if I get tied up by my day job.
“A book such as the Guide can never be much more than a snapshot in time and I have no desire to try to visit 100 or more courses every year on the pretense that I’m trying to keep the book more up to date. However, I’ve developed an idea of how to do a new edition of the book that maintains its high standard and covers as much ground as possible, and that’s where I’m headed.”
I’ve never even read a single page of Doak’s original book, which rates the world’s top courses from zero to 10, but I’ve heard of its legend. Some say copies of the book fetch big bucks. My dad, who loves the thrill of hunting garage sales and flea markets, has been given the task to try and find an affordable version.
Doak, who lives and works out of an office in Traverse City, has never been shy about his opinions. He’s made some enemies along the way, doing so. Considering his resume – he’s designed some of the world’s highest-ranked courses – he’s earned himself a stage to speak whatever is on his mind. Those in the industry will listen intently, even if they disagree. It should be an interesting read.
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