Summary of LIMITED EDITION Golf Book

Watercolor Paintings and Insights from the Artist on the

of Modern Golf Course Design
Samuel Ingwersen, AIA, Artist/Author
 Michael Hurdzan, PhD, ASGCA Fellow, Contributing Author

BOOK SUMMARY  This book is about one of the greatest games in the world. It is about golf, a game that has endured for over 500 years, longer than institutions and empires. Yet the future of the game, as a player’s game, is in peril. Between 2002 and 2016 ten million US players quit the game and hundreds of courses went out of business.

Players continue to lose interest. Non-players associated with the game, whose interests and motivations are different than players, are prospering. The National Golf Foundation calls the decline baffling. The $75.9 Billion golf industry is baffled.

This book presents a solution based upon research and backed by history and facts. This solution addresses “landscape effect”, the number one cause of the game’s problems. This “dangerous beauty” is responsible for making the game too expensive, making it take too long to play and making it to difficult, thereby diminishing fun for 95% of players. The book also offers a continuous process for stable growth and reverse of the game’s decline.

You will enjoy Sam’s 145 watercolors of gorgeous golf course landscapes. They are not only a delight, but they illustrate the authors’ argument of how contrived landscape effects in pursuit of memorable looks have become a “dangerous beauty” and a danger to the game. The paintings have meaning. They tell an intriguing story of the allure of beauty and it's seduction of the game.

A need for beauty achieved by ornamentation of a culture’s artifacts has been clearly evident in their histories. Buildings have been ornamented with decorative forms, colors and patterns of architectural materials. Landscapes in pursuit of beauty have been ornamented with landscape materials. It was only logical that course designers began to ornament courses in the manner of English gardeners, world leaders in the art of landscape gardening.

The pursuit of golf course beauty through use of ornamental landscape materials started quite innocently. By the end of the 1800s almost every town in England had built a course. The inland courses were criticized for being dull and dismal. Such comments as “No reason exists why a golf course should not decorate a landscape rather than disfigure it,” typified the Victorian Era’s mindset that became the force of society’s imperative for beautiful course scenery. By the year 1900, a movement had begun to improve landscape scenery of golf courses. The new linkscape gardeners became imbued with and adopted Immanuel Kant’s ideas of artistic genius and individualism; to be unique and creative one must be different.

John Ruskin’s and Horace Hutchinson’s ideas of architectural ornament and the concepts of the British art of landscape gardening would elevate a craft, linkscape gardening, to an art; golf course architecture. It was full speed ahead, unrestricted by classic arguments of form vs. function. Different and

unique landscape elements of water, bunkers, foliage, earth structures and features of form, color and scale would incorrectly be justified as strategy. What the beautification movement would mean for golf’s future no one questioned, nor looked back. Beauty had no conscience.

The purpose of the book is to help the world’s 53 million players understand the concepts of landscape effect, their corollaries with new research of game structure and how a golf course may be an artistically and aesthetically beautiful course and still be enjoyable to play.

Click to View Excerpts from the Book 

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Back cover of book showing six of the 145 paintings in the book

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Limited Edition (incl. protective case) is $145 + $6.25 shipping
State sales tax of 7.75% will be added for those purchasing in the state of Ohio

“I agree with the book’s thesis.” Also, “A wonderful collection of paintings, I know of no collection that matches its scope and quality”
Texas A&M Univ. Press, peer review

“Sam’s points are all the more convincing because he uses his watercolor paintings to convey his revolutionary message in a most enjoyable, appealing manner. ”
Golf Club Atlas review

“Compelling and innovative …there are no comparable publications that address… the viable relationship between golf course architecture
and aesthetic theory.”
Texas A&M Univ. Press, peer review