I LIKE TO TELL YOU ABOUT golf books, and here’s one that’s been out for a month. I haven’t read it, but my hunch is that it’s a good one. Golf Digest liked it very much. So did Gary McCormick of San Jose Golf Examiner.
Following is some information (edited) on A DIFFICULT PAR provided by the publicist at Gotham Books.
New York Times bestselling author and internationally distinguished historian James R. Hansen has written a definitive account of the life of Robert Trent Jones in his new biography A DIFFICULT PAR: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf (Gotham Books, May 13, 2014, Hardcover, eBook).
Hansen tells the life story of the man behind many of the defining forms, shapes, and challenges of the modern golf course. Between 1930 and 2000, Jones designed or redesigned a staggering number of golf courses—over 400—spread over 43 U.S. states and 27 other nations, including such instantly recognizable courses as Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Spyglass Hill in California, Bellerive in Missouri, Hazeltine in Minneapolis, and Ballybunion (New Course) in Ireland.
A DIFFICULT PAR refers to Jones’s essential design principle that every hole on a golf course should be “a difficult par but an easy bogey.” In meticulously rich detail, Hansen, a veteran course rater for Golfweek magazine and a noted expert on the history of golf course architecture, explains the evolution of Jones’s golf course design from its origins to its becoming the paradigmatic architecture of modern championship golf.
Carefully examining the remarkable career of golf’s foremost architect, as well as that of his two sons, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and Rees L. Jones, themselves distinguished golf architects, A DIFFICULT PAR will appeal to golfers and fans of landscape architecture, as well as those interested in life stories that epitomize the American Dream.