The Stylish Life: Golf


I’ve alluded a couple of times (especially if you follow me on Twitter) to a golf book I wrote, and today is the official release date, so I’m pleased to finally share what it’s all about.

The book is called “The Stylish Life: Golf” and is part of a new sports series from the publisher, teNeues. Like Assouline and Taschen, teNeues produces image-driven coffee-table books, and has the interesting backstory of being founded in Germany in the 1930s. The book will also be available in German and French.

“The Stylish Life” series was conceived in-house and takes a lifestyle approach to traditional (and upper crust) sports such as tennis, skiing, yachting and equestrian. The editor had worked with me previously at Ralph Lauren Magazine, and since then I had launched (which, let’s admit, was a bit too nichey — rhymes with Nietzsche — to attract much of a following). They wanted someone with an informed take on style to do the golf book, “not someone ESPN,” and so I got the gig.

Given that it’s a picture book, I wasn’t asked to write a lot — basically the equivalent of a long magazine article. But it was a lot of fun and you’ll find a passage or two that definitely shows it was written by me:

In sun-drenched Palm Beach, golf and fashion comingled in different ways. Prominent Northeastern families who escaped to Florida during the winter adopted new resort looks which they brought back to their country clubs. The postwar “man in the grey flannel suit,” color-deprived Monday through Friday, brought out all manner of brightly colored shirts and trousers on the weekend, which were sold at traditional establishments such as Brooks Brothers and J. Press, right alongside the acceptable uniform for lawyers and financiers. A generation later this bright country club attire would form the backbone of the look we call preppy.

And then there’s my bio on the dust jacket:

Christian Chensvold is the only known native Californian to discover golf after moving to New York City. On the tenth hole of life he hit his first golf ball on the third-floor simulator at the Brooks Brothers flagship on Madison Avenue, and three years later broke 80 (and outdoors, no less). He’s a luxury and men’s lifestyle writer best-known for his Web projects, including the leading traditional American menswear site, and his latest project,, which celebrates classic attire on the course.

Here’s a link to the book on Amazon, though you can certainly order the book through your local independent bookstore. And lest I be accused of shameless self-promotion, I won’t be buying a set of new clubs with the royalties from your purchase: I was paid a flat fee. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

14 Comments on "The Stylish Life: Golf"

  1. “On the tenth hole of life he hit his first golf ball on the third-floor simulator at the Brooks Brothers flagship on Madison Avenue, and three years later broke 80 (and outdoors, no less).”

    Really? That’s impressive.

  2. If I put as much into relationships and my career as I have into golf the past few years I might be rich with a stunning wife and harem of mistresses.

  3. Where do you practice and play in NYC?

  4. It’s actually surprisingly easy, and much of it has to do with the stars kind of aligning for me to take up this sport. I live on the Queens side of the East River, and in the middle of the river is a place called Randall’s Island, where there are many sporting complexes, including a golf range with sand and pitching area. I take my bicyle over the Triboro Bridge and can be there in 15 minutes. And I’m a freelancer with plenty of time on his hands….

    There are 8, I believe, public courses in Metropolitan New York, which I play regularly save for the Brooklyn ones. Van Cortland, founded in the 1890s, is actually the oldest public course in the United States.

    Last season I started going to the Westchester County public courses, and a place called Sprain Lake is where I shot a 79.

    There are many, many courses within a 30-45 minute drive, and I can get to two with reasonable convenience by subway. The main problem is not having a car. I’m glad I didn’t have to hassle with one all through the snowy winter (even to simply move it across the street), but now’s the time of year when I think about getting one. The Zipcar rentals really add up.

  5. Congratulations! When can I expect my review copy? 😉

  6. Christian,

    Good stuff. Congrats. Keep it up.

    Any plans to play the new course at Ferry Point?

  7. Congrats and kudos….waiting with bated breath for equestrian and yachting! 🙂

  8. On the waiting list at Amazon Golf is funny. It is almost if the better pro shops decide every few years to agree on a new high-end shirt. First Bobby Jones, then Fairway and Green and now Peter Millar and I believe I missed a few. East or west they all adopt at once.

  9. Well done.

  10. wianno85,

    This will forever be my personal choice for golf shirts. 100% cotton and special ordered with my home club’s logo:

  11. Ordered. Golf is one of life’s true pleasures. Bravissimo, Signor Christian!

  12. Thanks for the congrats, guys.

    You can get a review copy if you’re on assignment for a legit publiation ; )

    Yes, Ferry Point is probably now the closest golf course to me, about a 15-minute drive. An industry colleague, a very seasoned player, got to play it last fall and said it was fantastic. On at least one occasion you’re aiming your shots at the Empire State Building! That must have been deliberate on the part of the course architect and I think it’s brilliant.

    Yes shortly after I put up this post I heard that there must be a glitch in the distribution channel and the books are delayed from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s been all printed as I’ve seen a copy, so there must be a holdup in the warehouse or something.

    Heading out in a couple of hours for the first round of the season.


  13. Empire State Building, talk about aiming for the pin!

  14. @ Christian

    The title of my autobiography might be, “A Life Misspent in Golf.” The wife used to tell me that if I spent as much time working as I did golfing, I’d be rich.

    That’s about the size of it. She gave up on the rich twenty years ago. I’d rather golf.

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