Wide Open Fairways


Wide Open Fairways

A Journey across the Landscapes of Modern Golf

Bradley S. Klein

216 pages
10 photographs


September 2013


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eBook (EPUB)
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April 2020


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eBook (PDF)
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September 2013


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About the Book

In golf the playing field is also landscape, where nature and the shaping of it conspire to test athletic prowess. As golf courses move away from the “big business, pristine lawn” approach of recent times, Bradley S. Klein, a leading expert on golf course design and economics, finds much to contemplate, and much 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 meditation on what makes golf courses compelling landscapes, this is also a personal memoir that follows Klein’s own unique journey across the golfing terrain, from the Bronx and Long Island suburbia to the American prairie and the Pacific Northwest. Whether discussing Robert Moses and Donald Trump and the making of New 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 the Nebraska Sandhills, Klein is always looking for the freedom and the meaning of golf’s wide-open spaces. And 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.

Author Bio

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 United States and overseas on topics of golf design, the golf development industry, and golf course operations and maintenance. Klein is the author of the definitive Discovering Donald Ross: The Architect and His Golf Courses and most recently Rough Meditations: From Tour Caddie to Golf Course Critic, An Insider’s Look at the Game. He was named 2015 Donald Ross Award winner by the American Society of Golf Course Architects.


“Bradley Klein takes us on a voyage across North America with his educative eye . . . descriptively and movingly. Of course I enjoy his words about the many golf courses, but this book also says much about the land that our country was blessed with—and how it was treated.”—Ben Crenshaw, professional golfer, member of World Golf Hall of Fame, golf course architect

“Bradley Klein’s book is a magical combination of memoir, history, science (natural and social), and, of course, golf. It’s illuminating both for golfers and for anyone who cares about the planet where it’s played.”—Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine and The Oath

"A must read for anyone interested in American golf course architecture and golf courses."—Extra Golf

Table of Contents


Introduction: Getting Started

1. A Sense of Place: Knowing Where You Are

2. Nebraska: Golf in Willa Cather Country

3. New Mexico: The Road to Los Alamos

4. North Dakota: Why Not Minot?

5. Oregon: Bandon Charette

6. The Bronx: Two Master Builders

7. Connecticut: Home at Last

Postscript: A Restorationist Manifesto


For Further Reading

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