Tom's Books

For Purchase:

The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses

This all-new edition of The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses will be published in five volumes, which will cover more than 2,500 of the world’s best courses.

Volume 1 - Great Britain and Ireland

Volume 2 - The Americas (winter destinations)

Volume 3 - The Americas (summer destinations)

Volume 4 - Europe, Middle East and Africa

Volume 5 - Asia, Australia and New Zealand

Each review is written by world class architect Tom Doak based on his own personal observations plus the input of his three co-authors, Ran Morrissett, Masa Nishijima, and Darius Oliver. Each course is graded on a 0-10 scale by each author who has seen it.

These reviews will provide honest and unvarnished viewers from the authors that will help you plan your golf vacations, business side trips and golf adventures.

The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses is the most collected and most referenced golf book in the modern era.

Tom Doak's Little Red Book of Golf Course Architecture

This book is an unprecedented view of how one of our era's best architects thinks about his craft, his peers and his business. It reads like a long conversation about a craft he has loved, studied and honed for nearly 40 years — golf course architecture.

As well as being a delightful read, this book will show you a better way to play a round of golf by bringing you inside the mind of an architect, and inside the world of golf itself.

Out of Print, but Worth Finding:

The Anatomy of a Golf Course

by Tom Doak
Burford Books, 1992

"It is up to the golf architect," writes Ben Crenshaw in his foreword to Tom Doak's fascinating discussion of course design, "to present us with a thinking contest as well as a physical one." Like a puppeteer willing to raise the curtain on the strings he pulls, Doak reveals the secrets of how. The how, as it turns out, is the easy part. It's the demonic thinking behind the whys that makes this so engaging — and useful. Doak's explanation of the ways a good designer has to muck with golfers' minds is truly absorbing, and is the kind of information that better players can embrace and make work for them.

The Life and Work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie

by Tom Doak, James Scott and Ray Haddock
Gale Group, 2001

Considering the fact that he was one of the greatest golf course architects in the history of the game, Dr. Alister MacKenzie has long been something of a puzzle — if not a mystery. He liked to wear kilts, but he wasn’t a Scotsman. He graduated from medical school, but he never made a living at it. He designed spectacular courses, but he was not a good golfer. At the height of his career he was one of the most sought after designers in the world, but he was nearly broke when he died. The Life and Work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie by Tom Doak, James Scott and Ray Haddock, uses detailed text, four-color photos and vintage maps, drawings and pictures to bring together many pieces of the puzzle. Questions about his boyhood, his military service, his many design trips in various parts of the world, what made him so good at his craft, and why his name is rarely mentioned at the second golf course he ever worked on, are all answered. Golfers, golf historians and students of golf course architecture will learn a lot from this interesting new biography.

Fact: When MacKenzie designed what would become one of the most famous courses in America, he forgot to include a 9th hole.

Fact: After he designed them, he never saw a large number of his most revered courses in completed form.

Fact: He once wrote that, "I have always wanted to live where one could practice [golf] shots in one’s pajamas before breakfast."

The Life and Work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie. A biography on one of golf’s most eccentric, interesting, brilliant, colorful and sometimes sad characters.