A newly published book recently caught our attention, published by Rizzoli books, the maker of “coffee table” books, whose typically specialty is art and architecture. The book would indeed be suitable for a coffee table or in a club locker room. It is a large format book and 254 pages.
The book focuses on forty-five clubhouses in the U.S. and Great Britain and includes a color spread of between two and eight pages for each clubhouse, with a brief architectural history. The book is written from the point of view of an architect, in this case Richard J. Diderich, who designs golf club houses.
As you would expect from Rizzoli, the quality of the pictures is very high and they do a particularly good job showing the interiors of the clubhouses, highlighting the warmth of the grill rooms, libraries and locker rooms. Although many famous clubs are highlighted, such as Muirfield, Shinnecock, Winged Foot, Merion, Loch Lomond, Wentworth and Royal Lytham & St. Annes, the book shines in its coverage of the lesser known clubs it highlights. Included among these are the Longue Vue Club in Pittsburgh, Farmington Country Club in Virginia and The Palmetto Golf Club in South Carolina.
A course that was previously unknown to me featured in the book is the Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club in Wales. The “Rolls” refers to the family who co-founded Rolls Royce, and their clubhouse is spectacular.
Among the famous architects that have designed buildings and clubhouses in the book are Addison Mizner (Gulf Stream Golf Club, Delray Beach, FL), Edward Lutyens (the Greywalls at Muirfield, Scotland), H.T. Lindeberg (Onwentsia Club, Lake Forest, IL) and Stanford White (Palmetto Golf Club, Aiken, SC and Shinnecock Hills). The most famous architect featured is Thomas Jefferson, who designed what is now one of the entrance buildings to Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, VA, home to Jefferson’s nearby University of Virginia and Monticello. The portico and octagon room of the club are pictured in the book in all their Jeffersonian glory.
Another well-known architect designed three clubhouses featured in the book: Winged Foot, Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey and Park Country Club near Buffalo. He is Clifford Charles Wendehack, who wrote his own book about Golf & Country Clubs (Donovan & Jerris D&J W8650) featuring architecture of clubhouses in 1929. McKim, Mead and White, designers of the New York Main Post Office, the Harvard Club and ColumbiaUniversity, also designed two clubhouses featured in the book: St. Andrews Golf Club and Sleepy Hollow, both located in New York.
This is Diedrich’s second book on the subject, his first being the now out-of-print The 19th Hole: Architecture of the Golf Clubhouse, which is difficult to find and pricey even though it was published in 2008. This book is more reasonably priced and we recommend it as a worthy addition to the golfer’s library.