Golf Australia - - AROUND THE TRAPS -

By Neil Crafter & John Green Alex Rus­sell is re­garded as per­haps Aus­tralia’s finest ever home-grown golf course ar­chi­tect. He served as the Aus­tralian part­ner of the famed Scot­tish ar­chi­tect Dr Alis­ter MacKen­zie in the de­sign and con­struc­tion of the West Course at Royal Mel­bourne Golf Club, and was solely re­spon­si­ble for the de­sign of Yarra Yarra, Royal Mel­bourne’s East Course, Lake Kar­rinyup in Perth and Para­pa­raumu Beach in New Zealand, all highly rated cour­ses.

How­ever, he is im­por­tant to the story of Aus­tralian golf for much more than just golf course de­sign as he was a cham­pion golfer, win­ning the 1924 Aus­tralian Open as an am­a­teur, amongst nu­mer­ous other na­tional and state ti­tles.

Dis­cov­er­ing Alex Rus­sell: The Man and his Legacy by Neil Crafter and John Green uses de­tailed text, pe­riod archival pho­to­graphs, maps and plans to bring to­gether the many threads of Rus­sell’s life. The book com­mences by dis­cussing the em­i­gra­tion of sev­eral of Alex Rus­sell’s fore­bears from Scot­land to Tas­ma­nia. Philip Rus­sell (Alex Rus­sell’s great half-un­cle) was the first of sev­eral broth­ers to mi­grate to cen­tral Tas­ma­nia in 1831, and other broth­ers and cousins fol­lowed, ini­tially to Tas­ma­nia, and then to the Western Dis­tricts of Vic­to­ria.

The bi­og­ra­phy nat­u­rally has a bias to­wards his golf­ing ex­ploits, both as a player and a golf course ar­chi­tect, with sep­a­rate chap­ters on his golf ca­reer, his main golf cour­ses and his golf de­sign philoso­phies. The book is beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated and de­tailed bi­og­ra­phy of a man who did so much for golf in Aus­tralia. It is a fas­ci­nat­ing way to dis­cover more about Alex Rus­sell the man, his life and his golf cour­ses.

If you en­joy learn­ing about the his­tory of Aus­tralian golf and its great cour­ses, you will love this book.

Dis­cov­er­ing Alex Rus­sell: The Man and his Legacy can be pur­chased for $95 via the web­site www.dis­cov­eringalexrus­sell.com

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