Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Review: Confessions of a Golfaholic - A Guide to Playing America's Top 100 Public Golf Courses

Like most avid golfers, I’m interested in the “Best of ...” lists published by major golf magazines. Unlike most golfers, my opinion of courses currently has an influence on several of these lists, as I am a course rater. It’s a very cool gig for someone who loves the game and is interested in course architecture

How about a cooler gig - like playing each Top 100 course (according to GOLF Magazine’s 2010 rankings) and writing a book about the experience? Paul Laubach did just that.

In what can only be considered a quick (if not envious) read for golf fans, “Confessions of a Golfaholic - A Guide to Playing America’s Top 100 Public Golf Courses” chronicles Laubach’s journey - from conception to completion.

He writes about the highs and lows of his four-year trek, from the logistical nightmares and expenses to terrific shots and even delicious meals. As you can imagine, there is plenty to discuss.

What you won’t find in the book are excruciating details about design. After all, Laubach is just a regular guy with a good handicap (6-8) and passion for the game. The movie junkie who has rated more than 1,700 movies on Netflix and given the prestigious 5 stars to only 10 (including What About Bob and My Cousin Vinnie) doesn’t try to trick the reader into thinking he’s smarter or better ... He just offers his opinion and leaves it at that.

From a technical standpoint, I love the format of the book. From Round 1 to Round 100, Laubach followed a simple formula:
Course Rank;
Date Played;
Starting Time;
My Score;
Number of Lost Balls;
Excuse for Not Breaking 80;
Greens Fee;
Playing Partners;
Practice Facilities;
My Rating;
Absolutely Must Play;
Favorite Hole;
Location Characteristics;
Comments; and
Trip Summary.

Some categories had added commentary, which further whets your appetite for the actual experience.

This formula really enhanced the “page-turner” characteristic of the book. And in the middle of the book, you’ll find a selection of entertaining images - likely from Laubach’s smart phone or personal camera - not the glamour shots provided by professional photographers. Look in any magazine or the course website for those.

This is a terrific book. My only complaint is that I didn’t think of the idea first.

For more about the book or to order a copy, click HERE.

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