The New Encyclopedia of Golfby Sharon Lucas, Malcolm Campbell, Alick A. Watt, George Bush, Bobby Burnet
This popular reference book has been fully updated and expanded to include the latest international tournaments and celebrated names as well as new championship courses. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of spectacular full-color photographs and with a new introduction focusing on the modern game and its players, this is the perfect companion for anyone with a
This popular reference book has been fully updated and expanded to include the latest international tournaments and celebrated names as well as new championship courses. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of spectacular full-color photographs and with a new introduction focusing on the modern game and its players, this is the perfect companion for anyone with a passion for golf. Walk the Greatest Championship Courses: Spectacular photography and specially commissioned maps transport you to the most challenging and beautiful courses in the world. Walk-the-course commentaries highlight the significant features of each course so that you feel you are actually standing on the fairway yourself. Meet the World's Most Talented Players: Leading golf journalist Malcolm Campbell has interviewed many of the legendary names in golf, as well as today's greatest players. Featuring 100 golfing champions, the updated Hall of Fame profiles acknowledged masters such as Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, and Jack Nicklaus as well as the modern superstarsTiger Woods, David Duval, Lee Westwood, and Sergio Garcia. A Unique Visual History: A comprehensive, richly illustrated section brings golfing traditions vividly to life. Embodying the spirit of the game over the centuries, The New Encyclopedia of Golf will have long-lasting historical values as well as being an irresistible read for all lovers of golf today.
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Read an Excerpt
"Golf is a wonderful game. It is more than a game to me: it is a life's work, a career, a profession. Whether it is a science or an art I do not know -- it is probably half and half -- but is a noble occupation all the same." --Three-time Open Champion Sir Henry Corton
When I was six, maybe seven years old, my mother bought me a set of golf clubs from a Boy Scout rummage sale. She paid only a few pennies for a modest collection of old hickory-shafted clubs with rusty iron heads, all gathered together in an old and battered canvas bag. Her motive I have no doubt was to give her son something to occupy an active body and mind to keep him from under her feet during the long weeks of the summer school break. Looking back on that childhood more than half a century ago, it is clear to me now that of all the material things that I was given as a child, none has had such a telling effect on the outcome of my life as that collection of battered old cleeks.
That bag of clubs was my introduction to a game and a lifestyle that would take me in time to the far corners of the world; it was an introduction to a game that has taken me into contact with some of the greatest names not only in golf but in contact with royalty and captains of business and industry as well as into the locker rooms of the most modest of clubs where the spirit of the game was equally shared, the welcome just as grand. That old bag of clubs has been responsible for me being privileged to visit and to play -- with but a few exceptions -- most of the great gold courses of the world, as well as scores with little or no fame attached to them.
THE GREATEST GAME
But more important than all of that, this "greatest game," as the legendary Bobby Jones called it so simply and eloquently, has been the key that has opened doors to countless friendships in every corner of the world where the game of golf is played. I consider myself to have been very fortunate indeed.
But golf is much more than a game. Bobby Jones knew that as well as anyone in the 600 years or so of golf's history, and no one appreciated it more than the modest lawyer from Atlanta, Georgia, the greatest amateur in the history of sport.
Around the world there are now countless millions who understand what Bobby Jones meant. Golf brings people of all races and ranks together in a way that the United Nations could not dream of in a thousand years. It is a game that crosses the social divide in a way that politicians have singularly failed to do with mountains of legislation.
Golf is the game for everyone, and its great traditions and values stand out as a blueprint for life as relevant as any religion. Golf offers a lead; the open door to a dignified and honest lifestyle for those who choose to walk through it, where the essence of good manners, humor, and good taste lie at the heart of its great traditions. More than any other game, it is the true test of character in the individual. In golf there is no hiding place for the mean of spirit or for those who choose not to embrace its simple creed of honesty and self-discipline.
GOLF -- THE GREAT LEVELER
While it is inconceivable that a once-a-week tennis player could ever enjoy a competitive match on the Center Court at Wimbledon with Pete Sampras, it is perfectly feasible for a novice to stand on the first tee of the Old Course at St. Andrews and embark on an enjoyable and competitive game with Tiger Woods. The ability for any golfer to close the skill gap, and make that competitiveness possible, comes courtesy of golf's sometimes abused but largely equitable handicap system that is unique to the game.
For the professional, a combination of ability and endless hours of practice provides the means to a living which, in the case of Tiger Woods, for instance, amounts to wealth beyond the wildest dreams. For the rest of us, blessed with altogether less golfing dexterity, golf is a game of immense pleasure in which the companionship and the surroundings are as important as the result and the activity itself.
THE CIVILIZED GAME
It was the Scots who took the game from their famous links courses to the far corners of the earth. Yet it matters not whether golfers gather around the long table at the Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland, or at golf clubs in the United States or the Far East. Wherever they meet in the name of the game they share a rich experience and are part of the great traditions and spirit of golf's origins.
Golf may now be the last civilized game in a world where so many sports have become tainted at the edges by scandal and commercial exploitation. Arguments over money have ended in strikes among baseball players in the United States; even cricket, that paragon of English private school virtue and stiff upper lip, has been rocked by match fixing; a stream of athletes have been sent home in disgrace from the Olympic Games which themselves are now discredited as a one-time bastion of old Corinthian values. At the start of the twenty-first century soccer and rugby stand hostage to the forces of exploitation in which the values of honest sport and competition appear ever more to have been sacrificed on the altar of commercial expediency. Where once there were heroes there now remain only stars.
THE CONTROVERSIAL GAME
Golf, of course, is not entirely without flaw; the events at Brookline, Massachusetts, in the 1999 Ryder Cup remain vivid in most people's memories, but they were an embarrassment rather a symptom of an underlying malaise. However, they remain a clear warning of the dangers of hijacking the professional game to force it into an amphitheatre of national confrontation for huge outside commercial gain, which some believe the Ryder Cup has now become.
Certainly it is no longer the gathering together of professional golfers in the name of friendship and honest competition, which was how Samuel Ryder envisioned it when he underwrote the expenses of the Great Britain and Ireland side and put up the famous gold trophy for first time competition -- ironically as it happens in Massachusetts -- back in 1927.
There have been other instances when the golfing escutcheon has been stained. Old Tom Morris, two down with six to play to Willie Park in the last battle they ever fought, famously left the course at Musselburgh and retired to Mrs. Forman's pub with Robert Chambers the referee, as a protest against the Park supporters taking judicious kicks at the golf balls in their efforts to help the Willie Park cause. The year was 1882. In the 1925 the expatriate Scot Macdonald Smith left the Old course at Prestwick a sad and embittered man. With a final-round score of 82 in the British Open Championship, he had all but won, before he was trampled into defeat by a well-meaning but over-enthusiastic crowd that invaded the course. It was the last time Prestwick ever hosted the Championship. But such incidents thankfully remain isolated. Golf remains in essence true to the legacy of the underlying values developed from its historic past. And long may it continue.
THE GLOBAL GAME
There have been two major periods of growth in the game in the past 120 years. The first was in the last two decades of the nineteenth century when golf moved across the Atlantic and took hold in the United States. The second came in the last two decades of the twentieth century when the demand for golf, fueled by exposure to television, brought a massive influx of new players into a game that struggled for some time to provide facilities for them. Two million golfers in America in the 1920s doubled to four million by 1950. In 1960, it was estimated that five million were playing, and that figure had expanded to 11 million by 1970. By the beginning of the new millenium there were close to 27 million American golfers.
The Golf Research Group that by the year 2000 there were just over 3 million golfers in Britain, and that figure had remained almost static through the decade of the 1990s. In the UK one of the key growth sectors going into the twenty-first century was women golfers. Another finding of the Golf Research Group was that only 7 percent of the golfers in England were women, the lowest percentage in any European country. In the United States the figure was put at 23 percent, although there were indications that the number of US women golfers was beginning to fall.
In Japan, the world's biggest golf market worth some $3 billion, efforts to take the game to a wider audience were set back by the collapse of the Japanese economy in the late 1990s. In a country where the game is prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of ordinary Japanese golfers, a new policy of lower green fees had succeeded in making the game more accessible.
But at the beginning of the twenty-first century the majority of Japanese golfers still seemed destined to play their golf on driving ranges. Around 13 million golfers were estimated to actually play golf in Japan, but many were restricted in the number of rounds they could afford to play. Perhaps the start of the twenty-first century will mark a gradual slowdown of development, as happened at the start of the twentieth century.
The arrival of Tiger Woods on the stage of world sport at the very end of the last millenium provided the potential for yet another major boost. A whole new raft of interest was created, particularly among young African-Americans, who had previously been exposed to a diet of baseball and football.
Woods quickly became the most famous sportsman in the world and is well on his way to becoming the wealthiest. He enjoys the standing that was once the preserve of Hollywood stars. He is the brightest among a galaxy of stars now playing for vast sums of money around the world's golf circuits.
Whether he is yet a hero in the sense that Jack Nicklaus has been a hero to golfers for four decades, the golfing world has still to find out.
MORE THAN JUST A GAME
Equipment and golf courses have changed out of all recognition, but the game itself still stands much as it has done since the first players put club to ball on an open windswept stretch of linksland on the east coast of Scotland all those centuries ago.
The preservation of the values and traditions that developed from those earlier times, and remain at the heart of the game, are a responsibility for all of us who call ourselves golfers to protect. It is a responsibility that we must hand on to future generations, and by doing so retain that which the great champion Sir Henry Cotton described as something "more important than just a game."
In The New Encyclopedia of Golf I have tried to give a flavor of what this game of golf is about, its history, its statistics, the people who have influenced its development, and the great courses upon which it is played. If I have succeeded in even a small way to do any justice to such a wonderful subject, I will be very thankful for that bag of cleeks all those years ago.
Copyright © 2001 by Malcolm Campbell.
Meet the Author
Malcolm Campbell has lived in Scotland-the birthplace of the game-all his life. He has been a sports editor, category-one golfer and golf club administrator. In 1981 Campbell joined Golf Monthly and turned it into Europe's most widely read golf publication. For ten years he covered all the major golf championships, interviewing the leading golfers and playing the world's top championship courses. In 1990 he decided to pursue a wider career in golf journalism and golf consultancy. Foreword by George Bush, the 41st President of the United States of America. Alick A. Watt, a former professional and one of the world's foremost authorities on early golfing equipment, has one of the finest collections of golfing memorabilia in the world today. Bobby Burnet is the former Historian to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and an internationally respected authority on the history of golf. Brian D. Morgan is indisputably the world's leading photographer of golf courses. His work has been published in numerous magazines and at countless exhibitions, including the Nikon Gallery in New York's Rockefeller Center.
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