'Brassies, Mashies, and Bootleg Scotch' by Bill Kilpatrick

By: Dr. John Wagner


This author writes like you are sitting at a table, having a drink and talking things over with him. In other words, his book is a very easy to read and quite enjoyable.

It covers a lot of the early history of National Golf Links of America on Long Island in New York, where Kilpatrick's father was the greenkeeper. He Bill tells great stories of growing up there, the jobs he did and all the work his dad had to do at the private course, which was designed by C.B. Macdonald and opened in 1911.

Bill caddied, scared away birds, looked for balls and had a wonderful time riding old mowers. Spicing up his recollections are plenty of outstanding old pictures.

The author also writes about some of the "unique" members of the club, which has been called "the snootiest golf course" in America because of its exclusive nature.

Though reading like an autobiography, the book paints a great picture of the past and what it really took to maintain the golf courses of yesteryear. I really enjoyed this book, as it takes a very different view of golf history.

'Brassies, Mashies, and Bootleg Scotch' by Bill Kilpatrick University of Nebraska Press, $16.95, 176 pages, ISBN 978-0-8032-3642-4

Dr. John Wagner has been a Seattle dentist for 37 years. He's been published in several dental journals as well as had several articles appear in the turf magazine for Pacific Northwest golf course superintendents. John has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Washington Business School for several years and as a guest lecturer for several dental societies. Dr. Wagner is the co-designer (with Steve Shea of the Berger Partnership) of a golf course in Japan that cost over $120 million and was built by Wadsworth Golf Construction. He's a Past President of the Washington State Golf Association and a Trustee of the Pacific Coast Golf Association. A 7 handicap, John is currently a member of the USGA Green Section and a Director of the WSGA.

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