The Story of Golf

The Story of Golf

by George Peper

Golf Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Masterfully Tells the History of Golf

Where it began, no one knows. The origin is lost in the mists of time. It might have been on a country road in Normandy, or in an alley near the Roman forum. It might have been among the sand dunes above the North Sea, or on a hillside overlooking Peking. It might have been in a field


Golf Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Masterfully Tells the History of Golf

Where it began, no one knows. The origin is lost in the mists of time. It might have been on a country road in Normandy, or in an alley near the Roman forum. It might have been among the sand dunes above the North Sea, or on a hillside overlooking Peking. It might have been in a field in Flanders or a courtyard in London or on the frozen surface of a Dutch canal. No one can say precisely where or when the game of golf was born, but one thing is certain: No other form of recreation has transfixed its practitioners with such engaging appeal.

The Story of Golf by George Peper, the Editor-in-Chief of Golf Magazine, with a foreword by golf great Jack Nicklaus, brings to life the rich history of the game of golf from its origin in medieval times to the present. Along the way Peper recounts historical anecdotes on how the game -- including one that involved golf and the fall of Mary Queen of Scots; the evolution of the rules of the game; the making and remaking of golf equipment; the early masters of the game; the pioneers of the golf course architecture; and the milestone events that shaped the game that we have come to love so much today. As Peper leads us on a stunning tour of the world of golf - past and present - and its most famous golf courses in the world, we see the greatest players of the game in action: members of the prestigious Royal and Ancient Golf Club; the first club for women formed in 1867; the game's first great player, Allan Robertson; Willie Park, the first champion of the British Open; Robert Lockhart, the man held responsible for bringing the game of golf to America; Beatrix Hoyt, who held the champion as the youngest champion until the 1970s - she captured the amateur title in 1896, 1897, and 1898 then retired from the game in 1900; Harry Vardon and the Vardon Flyer; Sam Snead; and Ben Hogan. In addition to these innovators, The Story of Golf highlights the "American Revolution" of golf beginning in the early 1900s up through the golf pros that are household names today - Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and Tiger Woods.

The Story of Golf captures in 200 lavish illustrations and lively prose the events and personalities that have made the game of golf into the world-renowned sport and pastime that it is today. The Story of Golf is a must for every golfer and makes the ideal gift for Father's Day.

About the Authors:

George Peper is the Editor-in-Chief of Golf magazine. Peper has written or edited ten books on golf, including the best-selling Golf Courses of the PGA Tour. Since 1983, he has been Editor of the Masters Annual, the official chronicle of the Masters Tournament, and, in 1994, served as Editorial Consultant to the USGA's centennial film series "Heroes of the Game." He has also served as the principal researcher and scriptwriter for the documentary film The Story of Golf. He lives in Grandview, New York, with his wife Elizabeth, a well-known illustrator specializing in golf courses, and their sons Tim and Scott. Jack Nicklaus, "The Golden Bear," is the all-time leader in golf tournament wins with 18 major championship titles. He is also a prominent golf course architect with nearly 200 courses to his credit and serves as a Special Contributor to Golf magazine.

The Story of Golf is the companion book to the two-hour documentary The Story of Golf produced with the cooperation of the United States Golf Association and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, by Cramer Productions, Inc., in association with the Carver Group, Inc., and distributed by APT Programs for Public Television with funding from Deloitte and Touche.

Editorial Reviews

Michael Solomon
The Story of Golf
It is said that the only golf stories a player likes to hear are the ones he tells about his own game. But whether you aim to wear the green jacket one day or simply yearn to putt into the clown's mouth, George Peper's charming history of the game, The Story of Golf , is an exception to that rule.

Peper, the editor in chief of the sport's bible, Golf Magazine, is equal parts historian and cheerleader (albeit one who roots with golf's understated whisper). He traces the game from its origins — it may have begun in China during the 14th-century Ming Dynasty, in England at roughly the same time, or in 13th-century Holland, where a game called colf possessed Dutchmen, but that is lost to history like a ball in deep rough. The spiritual home of golf, as just about anyone who has ever picked up a club knows, is St. Andrews in Scotland, where the rules of the game were written in 1744 and where the earliest groundskeepers were the sheep who trimmed the grass as they grazed.

From the links of Scotland, Peper introduces us to all the great characters of the game, such as Old Tom Morris, the first pro at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews, who won four of the first eight British Opens, and his son, Young Tom, golf's first superstar, who died "of a broken heart" at 24 after the death of his wife and child. There are, of course, the names one would expect to find in any golf history, like Bobby Jones, who, after winning 13 national titles in eight years, retired at 28 and went on to become America's premier golf-course architect; his masterpiece is the course at Augusta National where the Masters is played. We tee off with Arnold Palmer, whose passionate play was ideal for ushering in the new era of television golf. And Peper makes the case for why Jack Nicklaus (who wrote the book's introduction) is the player of the century. Even Bobby Jones himself wouldn't argue: "He plays a game," Jones once said famously of Nicklaus, "with which I am not familiar."

But what makes The Story of Golf so enjoyable are the smaller stories -- like that of the invention of the wooden tee in 1899. It was patented by George F. Grant, who was one of the first African-American golfers and also one of the first African-American dentists, and who had his tees created for him because he loathed getting his hands dirty as he began each hole. And amid the legendary tournament anecdotes (illustrated with period photographs and images of famous golf holes throughout), Peper offers some lesser-known gems. The famed golf architect Robert Trent Jones, after redesigning the course at Baltusrol for the U.S. Open, was accused by a club member of creating a hole that was too difficult. To answer the charge, he agreed to play it himself with his critic, the club professional, and the chairman of the Open. The other three men hit their tee shots onto the green, and finally Jones stepped up with his five-iron — and aced it. "Gentlemen," he said, "I think the hole is eminently fair."

For a golfer looking to pick up a few tips, there is not much advice to be found in The Story of Golf , but one might contemplate this bit of wisdom from Babe Zaharias, the greatest female athlete of the 20th century and arguably the best woman golfer of all time. Considering her remarkable record — 31 tournament wins, including three U.S. Opens — every weekend hacker would do well to channel their inner Babe: "I just hitch up my girdle and rip it."

Michael Solomon is the Deputy Editor of Mirabella magazine.

Product Details

TV Books, L.L.C.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.44(w) x 10.22(h) x 0.93(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >