Driving the Green: The Making of a Golf Course

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9780060166595: Driving the Green: The Making of a Golf Course

In the tradition of John McPhee, a brilliant analysis of how a golf course is built and the people who build it.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A slow-driving account of the development and building of Ironhorse, a ``country club community'' in West Palm Beach. ``Designing a golf course,'' Strawn, a devoted golfer and former construction entrepreneur, is told, ``is five percent common sense and ninety-five percent drainage.'' The Ironhorse property, a flat 350 acres in the Florida wetlands, presented an array of challenges to golf-course architect Arthur Hills. The area was drained 20 years ago, prior to legal restraints aimed at maintaining ecological balance. Still, when Alan Sher, a wealthy button manufacturer, purchased an option on the property, he met resistance from ``tree huggers'' and the Audubon Society on the grounds that the course abutted a preserve area, threatening the well-being of the rare Everglade swail kite. Hills and the team of designers and landscape artists and technicians hired by general partner Joshua Muss, who bought control of the project, had to contend with a low water table and the moving or removal of a rich variety of plant life, including bald cypress, Australian pines, sabal palm, and wild myrtle. Legal maneuvering, financing, designing, clearing, selecting and planting fairways and greens, and shaping the 18-hole course took four years. While absorbing in small bites, Strawn's frequent asides and tangential anecdotes on golf literature, the history of golf-course design, botany, architecture, and the failure of the savings-and-loan industry become tiresome. Strawn also gets bogged down in the early financial stages and initial planning of Ironhorse--he's a third of the way through before ground-breaking. Too long by half or, as they say, ``uses a bit too much club.'' -- Copyright 1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Golf enthusiast Strawn contributes this account of the design of a golf course as an alternative to the recent proliferation of instructional and how-to literature. He writes about Alan Sher, a retired button magnate, who buys 350 acres of land in West Palm Beach, upon which he proposes to build the Ironhorse Golf Course. Sher hires Joshua Muss, a tough Washington developer, and Arthur Hills, an imaginative golf course architect, to oversee the construction. The story unravels, meticulously and slowly, with the development, construction, and shaping of the earthy landscape as it slowly evolves into Ironhorse. The rains hold off, the greens mature beautifully, and Ironhorse becomes a reality. For sports collections and libraries with avid golf fans.
- Eugene J. Millich, formerly with Univ. of Wisconsin at La Crosse Lib.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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