Golf Architecture for Normal People: Sharpening Your Course Design Eye to Make Golf (Slightly) Less Maddening (Hardcover)

Golf Architecture for Normal People: Sharpening Your Course Design Eye to Make Golf (Slightly) Less Maddening By Geoff Shackelford Cover Image
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In Golf Architecture for Normal People, golf architecture expert Geoff Shackelford elucidates the world’ s most interactive art form in ways that all golfers can enjoy. For those smitten by this centuries-old sport, Shackelford takes readers on a fun walking tour through what is often considered a rarefied field and achieves the following along the way:
--Helps golfers of all skill levels become keener observers while getting more joy out of playing any course
--Introduces simple and easy-to-remember ways to judge a design's merits
--Cuts through entrenched architectural snootiness to drive home the importance of a few timeless design tenets
--Demystifies the complex, interdependent and often perplexing array of factors that make a course fun to play
--Provides readers new tools to achieve a more sophisticated understanding what they love (or hate) about a design
--Suggests diplomatic ways to disarm design elitists and settle 19th-hole debates -Advises how to merge technology and common sense to decode deceptive design elements
--Shares lists of must-see courses and resources to further your connoisseurship.

About the Author

Geoff Shackelford is the well-known author, writer, blogger, podcaster, golf architect, and television analyst. He covers major championship golf and course design matters in his Substack newsletter, The Quadrilateral, aka The Quad, which has thousands of subscribers. In addition to his 11 books on golf, including GROUNDS FOR GOLF, his writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, Golf Magazine, Links, Golf Digest, Golf World, The Golfer, Golfweb, Golf Journal, The Masters Journal, Golf Course Architecture, Golf Architecture, Golfweek, Golf Digest Index, Golf Digest, Golf World, and He is also longtime Golf Channel contributor.

His golf course design work includes Rustic Canyon, rated the USA’s #1 Best Value by Golf Magazine. As the author of a biography on architect George Thomas, Geoff worked on the multi-year project to restore Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course, host of the 2023 United States Open.

A southern California native living in Santa Monica, he played college golf at Pepperdine.

Geoff can be contacted through:


The Quad:


Praise For…

“Shackelford, the renowned golf architecture expert, leads readers on a savvy and fun masterclass on evaluating any golf course.” —David Barrett, Author, The Story of the Masters

“Imagine a book that allows you to see golf courses through an entirely different lens… one that makes your time more enjoyable, the shared experiences and conversations more lively, the strategy more understood and appreciated... and that’s all before you get the full effect as you put your feet on the ground with your best four-legged pal beside you. That’s what this book does." —Dottie Pepper, 17-time winner on LPGA tour, CBS broadcaster

"Geoff Shackelford has for years deftly covered all aspects of golf, but at heart he is an architecture wonk who enjoys getting into the nuisance and subtleties of what constitutes – or doesn’t – a great golf course. In 'Golf Architecture for Normal People,’' Geoff helps those among us who don’t know the difference between bent and Bermuda feel better about ourselves. It is a fun read with lots of history, plenty of anecdotes and a way for golfers to better appreciate the courses they are playing." —Bog Harig, Sports Illustrated writer, author of Phil & Tiger

"Golf Architecture for Normal People . . . should be required reading for those who are not ashamed to admit they know little about the subject, and for those who think they do . . . . Golf course architecture geeks have trouble slimming their thoughts down to bite-sized chunks, but Shackelford has achieved a remarkable success here." —Independent (Ireland).

"From the relative newcomer who’s slowly getting hooked to those that have played the game for most of their lives and think they know a thing or two, Golf Architecture for Normal People provides a solid and sober perspective that will help everyone recognize why some golf courses are worth playing more than once while a single trip around others is all you’re ever likely to want or need." —Links Magazine.

“It’s a wonderful book. An easy read that arrives just in time for your summer reading list. If you’ve never thought about how an appreciation for course design could heighten your enjoyment of the game, you must check this out.”—The Peterborough Examiner

"As in his prior publications, in his newest book Shackelford shows a deep appreciation for what can be done to create a golf course that appeals to the broadest possible golfing audience…Shackelford’s prose is succinct, often witty, and accessible."—Cape Gazette

"The best new golf books of 2023 worth reading Author, blogger and golf architecture expert Geoff Shackelford, who helped Gil Hanse design Rustic Canyon and restore 2023 U.S. Open host Los Angeles Country Club, taps into his passion by creating a guide that helps every golfer understand the nuances of course design. Published by Tatra Press, the 164-page hardcover book is a must-read for every golfer to better understand the game they love." —Golf Pass

"Shackelford provides an informative picture [and]...sprinkles in history lessons about those who planted the game's architectural roots, defines common terms and helps you hone your eyes when it comes to identifying some of the tricks of the trade."—FORE Magazine

"This new book does a great job demystifying golf course design ideas for average players, but can also be a beneficial read fro PGA Professionals and other golf course employees to get a better understanding of their home courses."—PGA Magazine

"Shackelford has a lively and provocative prose style, as contemporary and entertaining as it is informative. As a sometime course designer himself (he was involved in the re-do of the George Thomas design at the Los Angeles Country Club, site of this year’s U.S. Open), he’s got the goods when it comes to course architecture. So when he basically suggests it’s worth evaluating courses for the ways they engage you, rather than from pronouncements on high from so-called experts, it’s certainly worth a listen. There are even ways to evaluate courses, he shows in later chapters, that can help your game.... It will suffice here to say that this will likely be one of the most enjoyable golf reads you’ll have this year." —Golf Oklahoma 

"Shackelford will guide the reader to an enriching understanding of design. Consider it a primer on the fascinating subject of course architecture. If you don’t know what a template hole is, or a Biarritz, or a Redan, or a Punchbowl, you will be gently educated, and perhaps enjoy playing a course with any of these holes that much more...Golf Architecture for Normal People might awaken something in you that you didn’t know you wanted or needed....It’s a significant contribution to the literature of golf architecture." —Lorne Rubenstein, Scoregolf Reviews 

Product Details
ISBN: 9781732222755
ISBN-10: 1732222754
Publisher: Tatra Press
Publication Date: June 1st, 2023
Pages: 164
Language: English