APPLICATIONS FOR COPIES WILL BE ACCEPTED IN STRICT SEQUENCE
OF RECEIPT BY THE PUBLISHER
An appropriate donation will be made from the proceeds of this book to ‘KEEPERS OF THE GREEN’, a registered charity based in St Andrews. The charity provides powered mobility to the needy, as well as promoting the ethos and traditions of the game of golf as they were during the era of Tom Morris.
Born and raised in St Andrews and the East Neuk of Fife, David is a Past Captain and Life Member of Th e New Golf Club, St Andrews.
A graduate of Edinburgh University, he was a research geneticist in the USA and Europe before returning to work in St Andrews University and latterly teaching science at Madras College in the Town. A life-long student of golf history, he has written numerous articles for golfing magazines, periodicals and the national press.
Peter, a retired Yorkshire businessman, has been a life-long golfer and a golf historian for over 30 years.
A Founder and Past Captain of Th e British Golf Collectors Society, he has for many years collected early golfing artifacts, particularly those associated with St Andrews and Tom Morris.
He is a Founder and Trustee of ‘Keepers of The Green’, the golfing registered charity based in St Andrews that provides powered mobility for the needy.
His home golf club is Ilkley and he is also a member of Keighley, Gullane
and The Royal and Ancient.
Tom Morris of St Andrews
The Colossus of Golf 1821-1908
David Malcolmand Peter Crabtree
Every so often, a book on the history of golf is published that expands our knowledge of the game and pushes out our understanding through its originality and width of coverage. Usually, but not always, the scholarliness and depth of content is complemented by the excellence of its production values. Pre-World War I, think of Clark’s Golf a Royal and Ancient Game, Hutchinson’s Badminton edition of Golf, and Hilton and Smith’s The Royal and Ancient Game of Golf. Since the last War we have had Darwin’s editorship of A History of Golf in Britain, Henderson and Stirk’s Golf in the Making, Ellis’s The Clubmaker’s Art and David Hamilton’s Golf, Scotland’s Game. To my mind, this book by David Malcolm and Peter Crabtree falls into this elite category.
The focus is certainly Old Tom and his life, but the more general theme is the development of golf over the period 1821 – 1908, as reflected by Tom and his family, and as influenced by them. Many familiar stories are there – but even on such a well-covered subject there is so much more. In some cases debunking myths and correcting inaccuracies, but so often extending into new areas of understanding through painstaking research of new and original sources. Obvious sources like previous histories, club archives and contemporary magazines and journals are explored. So too are the more obscure family wills and registers, legal documents and submissions, shipping rosters and burgh records, to give understanding of context and relationships between events: the effect of the financial adventures of an early English professional in St Andrews on the establishment of Tom’s business; the importance of the Prestwick connection on the wider development of the Morris family fortune; Tommy’s unexpected and surprising choice of bride; the reclamation and embankment of the Swilken Burn and its importance in the evolution of the present layout of the Old Course. These and other developments are all described and illustrated with fine exhibits drawn from diverse sources, including many of the great collections of the world. Many illustrations have never been published before.
Design is by Chic Harper, whose work we have also seen with the history of the New Club, St Andrews. Format is just above A4 height, but broadened to give space for the many fine quality illustrations, in black and white, sepia and colour. This review is based on print-off from a pre-production file, but the printing proofs of both text and illustrations are of the highest quality and materials specifications look equally good. There are two editions: the Subscribers, in full Harmatan leather, with seven extra full plate illustrations and facsimiles of family documents in an annexe to rear, produced in a limited production run of only 87 copies; and the Keeper of the Green edition, half-morocco and limited to 395 copies. Excellence at this level does not come cheap and many members may baulk at the asking prices of £950 and £395 respectively. My own feeling is that like so many of their illustrious predecessors, these books will more than hold their value and that special efforts may need to be made both to justify the immediate cost, and to raise the required finances. My heartfelt plea to the publishers is to retain the option at some later stage for a trade edition that will ensure the wider appreciation for this great work, that it so richly deserves.Review by John Pearson
The price of THE KEEPER OF THE GREEN ‘395’ EDITION is £395.
The price of THE SUBSCRIBERS ‘87’ EDITION is £950.
Postage, packing & insurance costs within the UK are £12 per book, rest of the world £40 per book.
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