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Original Issue

Really Big Books

A gift-giver's guide to a trio of whopping volumes designed to break backs, bust budgets and bring a little golfing cheer to the holiday season

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

Title/Author/ Publisher/Price

WHERE GOLF IS GREAT: THE FINEST COURSES OF SCOTLAND AND IRELAND/ James W. Finegan/ Artisan/$60

GOLF COURSES: FAIRWAYS OF THE WORLD/Photography by David Cannon/ Rizzoli/$195

GOLF'S BEST NEW DESTINATIONS/Brian McCallen/ Abrams/$50

In a Nutshell

Photo-rich repackaging of his classic travelogues, Blasted Heaths and Blessed Greens and Emerald Fairways and Foam-Flecked Seas

Huge, stunning, evocative images of the game's landscapes

An illustrated Baedeker of resorts and upscale publics around the world that have opened since the mid-1990s

Weight

8.4 pounds

9.2 pounds

4.0 pounds

Bona Fides

A veteran of more than 30 trips to Scotland and almost as many to Ireland, England and Wales

A good enough amateur to have tried qualifying for the British Open, he's the official shutterbug of the R&A

A former senior editor at Golf Magazine, he has written two other coffee-table guides to resort and public golf

Sensibility

Insightful old uncle who has never met a blade of grass he wasn't thankful for

Artsy connoisseur of the signature hole

Cheerleading tour guide

Format

Stop by stop--with lots of useful advice

All pictures, all the time

Inflated travel brochures cataloged by locale

Recommended Spread

Forty-nine stunning pages on the Kingdom of Fife

One-by-five-foot pullout of the 11th on the Ailsa course at Turnberry with the sun serenading the lighthouse

The fusion Chino-Latino grub at Aramara (the restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)

Most Likely to Inspire ...

Envy

Wanderlust

Oversaturation

Missing Links

England and Wales

Shinnecock and the National

Kingsbarns and Doonbeg

Major Shortcoming

Too bulky to pack in a suitcase

Too wide to fit through the front door

Too many B-list ports of call and second-rate layouts

Nicest Touch

Fun lists including best restaurants, best par-3s and appealing villages

Signed and numbered 12-by-16-inch print of the Old Course at sunrise

The unexpecteds: Cyprus, Turkey, Brazil and the Czech Republic

Last Words

A stylish, practical scrapbook of Celtic journeys

Lots of oohs and aahs, but not much substance beyond its wispy introductory text

Lots of good, but also the bad, the ugly and the ho-hum