David Barrett has written another golf book to make you drool. In Golf's Dream 18s: Fantasy Courses Comprised of Over 300 Holes from Around the World, he draws on his vast knowledge of the world's great courses to complete 18 fantasy tracks sure to make every golfer want to grab his sticks, wave goodbye to the wife, kids, and job, and spent the rest of his life trying to break par on some of the most fabulous golf holes around the globe.
I had a particular interest in seeing Barrett's work since I'm a golf writer myself and have one of the best assignments in the business: compiling a fantasy course for Westchester Magazine. I research (that is, play) storied clubs like Winged Foot, Westchester CC, Fenway, Century, and Quaker Ridge each year to choose holes for the feature article. Once I saw Barrett's new book, I got jealous.
Barrett did a great job of thinking through numerous themes for his fantasy courses. Among them are courses featuring 18 scenic holes, strategic holes, historic holes, mountain holes, and links holes. He's also built tracks based on Continental European holes and Australia/New Zealand holes. I book-marked that one with particular interest.
The photography alone makes the book well worth buying. Barrett's book features the work of a pantheon of masters of golf photography. L.C. Lambrecht, Russell Kirk, John and Jeannine Henebry, David Scaletti, and Evan Schiller are just a few of the artists whose dramatic shots tell stories of their own.
You can only play most of these courses in your dreams, of course, but Barrett's descriptions of each hole, its dangers and options, tips on playing strategies, and historic and sensory appeals make them come alive. Barret is formerly an editor at Golf Magazine and also wrote Golf Courses of the U.S. Open, which also graces my coffee table.
Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a romantic thriller about blood diamonds in the Congo