Book Review: Golfing the British Isles

If you are contemplating a ‘bucket list’ golfing trip to the British Isles, an important and useful prequel to the planning of your trek is a reading of the new book by author Peter L. Gray entitled “Golfing the British Isles – The Weekend Warrior’s Companion“.

With its incomparable history, unique traditions, and ferociously beautiful seaside landscapes, it is no wonder that the British Isles are home to some of the most celebrated golf courses in the world.

This 174-page work by self-described golfing weekend warrior Peter L. Gray, is part golf course review, part amusing travelogue, and part scenic showcase featuring breathtaking photography by Gary Lisbon. The effort from this pair of golf enthusiasts has produced insightful commentary and practical guidance by author Gray with the visual enhancement of Lisbon’s stunning full-color photos.

Published by Triumph Books LLC, Chicago, the hardcover book measures 10.25″ x 10.25″ x .7”, weighs 2.29 pounds, and easily fits standard bookshelves. The author offers complete reviews of 12 Scottish courses, 7 Irish courses, and 7 English courses, and a description of 5 courses in Wales.

Mr. Gray includes some very useful information and hints in Part VI (chapter six) regarding idiosyncrasies of U.K. golf — cost, use of caddies, pace of play, and wind and rain. As a bonus, in the book’s Appendix, the author lists Alister Mackenzie’s thirteen principles of golf course design.

The book becomes available for purchase on June 13, 2023; price is $35.00 (hardcover); $11.99 (kindle).

About the Author and Photographer:

Peter Gray is an environmental lawyer and published author with an abiding passion for golf and golf course architecture. As a longtime veteran international golf course rater for Golfweek magazine, he has rated hundreds of courses in the United States and overseas. He is also a member of several golf architectural societies including the Donald Ross Society and the Tillinghast Association.

Although Mr. Gray is a middle handicapper, he has played many of the world’s Top 100 courses. His perspective on the playability of golf courses is one that has been missing for readers—the perspective of the average golfer. This book presents that missing perspective.

Gary Lisbon has been an accomplished Melbourne, Australia-based golf-course photographer for almost two decades. His photographic goal is clear-cut: to capture the essence of the golfing landscape and the spirit of the game—through the medium of his camera. With an appreciation for the game’s traditions and a genuine love of the playing aspect, Gary brings a golfer’s perspective to his photography, ably demonstrated by the spectacular and enduring images from many of the world’s top golf courses.

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Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,300 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

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