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Concannon cleverly mixes literary insights from some of the game's greatest writers with little-known but astonishing facts, quirky illustrations, and quotes from ...
Concannon cleverly mixes literary insights from some of the game's greatest writers with little-known but astonishing facts, quirky illustrations, and quotes from golfers around the world. There is wise - and not so wise - advice from revered champions ("Golf is a way of testing ourselves while enjoying ourselves" - Arnold Palmer), skeptics ("Golf is a good walk spoiled" - Mark Twain), and those for whom golf is just huge fun ("On one hole I'm like Arnold Palmer, and on the next like Lilli Palmer" - Sean Connery).
We learn about taking advice from the gurus, the mental and money side of golf, and the ecstasy and the exasperation that it produces. Other themes include the art of matchplay golf, royal players, equipment, caddies and courses. Concannon also delves into the history of the game and reports its banning by worried Scottish monarchs in the fifteenth century and its initial failure to catch on in the USA.
Whether you believe golf to be the finest game in the world, or think of it as "a good walk spoiled", "strenuous idleness" (William Wordsworth), or simply "like love" (Roberto de Vincenzo), or - even worse - you've entertained all these thoughts in the course of a single round, this book is for you.
Author Biography: DALE CONCANNON is among the best-known golf writers working today. A former PGA professional, he is also acknowledged as a foremost authority on early golf history. A contributor to international magazines such as Golf World and Golf Monthly, he is a long-time collector of golfing literature dating back to the nineteenth century. His previous books include Golfing Bygones, Golf: The Early Days, From Tee to Green, The Round of My Life, and Golf: A Photographic History.
Golf keeps the heart young and the eyes clear.
ANDREW KIRKALDY, SCOTTISH PROFESSIONAL OF THE EARLY 1900s
Wherein do the charms of this game lie, that captivate youth, and retain their hold till far on in life? It is a fine, open-air, athletic exercise, not violent, but bringing into play nearly all the muscles of the body; while that exercise can be continued for hours. It is a game of skill, needing mind and -- thought and judgement, as well as a cunning hand. It is also a social game, where one may go out with one friend or with three, as the case may be, and enjoy mutual intercourse, mingled with an excitement which is very pleasing ... It never pails or grows stale, as morning by morning the players appear at the teeing-ground with as keen a relish as if they had not seen a dub for a month.
JAMES BALFOUR, 1887
I have loved playing the game and practising it. Whether my schedule for the following day called for a tournament round or merely a trip to the practice tee, the prospect that there was going to be golf in it made me feel privileged and extremely happy. I couldn't wait for the sun to come up so that I could get out on the course again.
[Golf] is visual; it has texture, it has emotions, it has power.
BETTY JAMESON, FORMER AMERICAN LPGA STAR
Golf is deceptively simple, endlessly complicated. A child can play it well, and a grown man can never master it. Any single round of it is full and tantalizing, precise and unpredictable. It requires complete concentration and total relaxation. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening -- and it is without doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.
ROBERT FORGAN, 1899
No inconvenient reminiscences of the ordinary workaday world, no intervals of weariness or monotony interrupt the pleasures of the game. And of what other recreation can this be said?
A. J. BALFOUR, THE HUMOURS OF GOLF, 1890
Golf in its own special nature of being brings nations together more than any other sport, it is a world-wide pastime.
ROBERT HARRIS, SIXTY YEARS OF GOLF, 1953
Golf may be...a sophisticated game. At least, it is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity. It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul.
For the golfer, Nature loses her significance. Larks, the casts of worms, the buzzing of bees, and even children are hateful...Rain comes to be regarded solely in its relation to the putting greens, the daisy is detested, botanical specimens are but 'hazards', twigs 'break dubs'. Winds cease to be east, south, west or north. They are ahead, behind, sideways. And the sky is dark, according to the state of the game.
SIR WALTER SIMPSON
Golf's lexicon of colourful words and phrases is its crowning achievement. For long after the urge of the ability to play the game leaves us, golf's joyful adjectives and modifiers, its splendid superlatives and unequalled accolades ring in my ear the waves of a familiar sound.
The walking a golfer does is purposeful, and therefore never tiresome; but when five or six miles have been covered by a stout person, a trifle short of breath, and specially if the course be a good deal up and down hill, that player when the last hole has been made will be apt to conclude that he or she has been doing something. And if the score shows that the player has improved since the last game then the wholesome fatigue will be doubly grateful and the next golfing day be looked forward to with pleasurable anticipations.
JOHN GILMER SPEED, THE LADIES JOURNAL, 1894
On top of my interest in the game itself, I took a tremendous interest in the dubs and balls, particularly the latter. I had seen many changes in the golf ball, and I believe the great development in the game of golf is directly attributable to the wonderful strides made by the manufacturers in perfecting the ball and making the game a more pleasant one to play.
Golf a game in which you claim the privileges of age, and retain the playthings of childhood.
SAMUEL JOHNSON, ENGLISH ESSAYIST
Beyond the fact that it is a limitless arena for the full play of human nature, there is no sure accounting for golf's fascination. Obviously yet mysteriously, it furnishes its devotees with an intense, many-sided, and abiding pleasure unlike that which any other form of recreation affords...Perhaps it is nothing more than the best game man has ever devised.
HERBERT WARREN WIND
Golf is eminently a game of relaxation of mind if not of body. To the city man, worn out by want of business, or by too much business, it comes as a boon and a blessing, for it not only gives him the opportunity of obtaining fresh air and exercise, but it also brushes away the cobwebs from his over-tired brain.
S. MURE FERGUSSON, TOP BRITISH AMATEUR, 1914
The Sport of Kings, the pastime of the people, the game of the old and the young, golf can be played by all. All classes may mingle, all shapes and sizes may adapt themselves, the lightweight has an equal chance with the heaviest, all play on the same ground on equal footing. Golf has become International and Universal.
ROBERT HARRIS, SIXTY YEARS OF GOLF, 1953
When I came up, my ball was about three yards from the hole. Two putts made 99. I felt I was now really a golfer.
ARTHUR RAINSFORD, BRITISH WRITER, 1962
The satisfaction of knowing that you may depend upon your partner in every crisis of the game is exactly the feeling that gives quiet confidence and pleasure to the owner-driver of an Austin car.
A PROMOTIONAL ITEM FROM THE AUSTIN MOTOR COMPANY, 1934
The principal qualifications for the game are steady nerve and eye and good judgement and force with an added ability to avoid knolls and sandpits which, in the technical terms of the Scotch game, are called hazards. It is not a game which would induce men of elegance to compete in, but those who have strong wind and good muscle may find it a splendid exercise for their abilities, and plenty of chance to emulate each other in skill and physical endeavour.
ALEXANDER MACFARLANE, GLOBE-DEMOCRAT NEWSPAPER, 1889