THE NATURE OF THE GAME: Links Golf at Bandon Dunes and Far Beyond

There is no figure more renowned in golf course design than Mike Keiser. In THE NATURE OF THE GAME: Links Golf at Bandon Dunes and Far Beyond (Mike Keiser with Stephen Goodwin), Keiser details his pursuit of building dream courses after an enormously successful career in the greeting card business. Indeed, Keiser’s path was a precursor to the Great Resignation we are witnessing now, and his story provides readers with a firsthand account of the restoration of the inherent satisfactions of this centuries-old game.

THE NATURE OF THE GAME is the first and only book to cover the complete arc of Mike Keiser’s career, from greeting card magnate to game-changing and internationally acclaimed course developer. Seized by the beauty of the landscape while golfing on the authentic links courses of Scotland and Ireland, Keiser found his new calling. He determined that this was how golf was meant to be: inclusive, not private; played on foot, not riding a cart; the courses natural, neither lavish nor contrived. Keiser left his old career behind and built a course design firm from the ground up with goals to preserve land rather than change it; to promote access instead of exclusivity; and to reinstate golf as an invigorating, immersive outdoor adventure.

Mike Keiser

Keiser and Goodwin detail not only the creation of legendary courses like Bandon Dunes in Oregon, Barnbougle in Australia, Cabot Links in Novia Scotia and Sand Valley in Wisconsin, but also how Keiser’s innovations redefined and revived public golf at a time when many felt the sport’s decline and fall were imminent. The magical allure of these courses demonstrates exactly what the world’s most gifted golf course architects can accomplish by hewing to the natural landscape, while Keiser’s commitments to the people who work at his resorts, to the communities in which they are located, and to deep environmental stewardship only enhance the singular appeal of these popular courses.

Beautifully designed and with more than ninety color photographs, THE NATURE OF THE GAME is at once an account of inventing a new, life-changing business, a guide to historic course design, and a paean to a beloved sport.

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