John Pearson’s Golf

Book review of  John Pearson’s  ‘Golf ‘

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John Pearson, until recently editor of Through the Green, the quarterly magazine of the British Golf Collectors Society, has just published through Shirebooks (who also support the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity) one of the best histories of the game of golf. It is called simply ‘Golf’’.

golf by John Pearson, british golf collectors society, This is a small publication with top-notch photos and moves quickly through the key events of how the ancient game evolved in Society and captures the changes to the ball and equipment, (though a more detailed history of the importance of the ball can be found in Golf Monthly’s 1980 articles by Nick Park which were published in the book REAL GOLF. in 1990). Pearson takes in the golden era of golf course design by gentlemen amateurs and onwards to cover the leading ladies and men professionals and amateurs. In a mere 53 pages his work is jam-packed with all the most interesting facts.

FineGolf  has only one criticism that apart from mention of Allan Robertson and Tom Morris (and here predominantly in the context of being players), there is no mention of the contributions made by greenkeepers or agronomists, those crucial people who have looked after our turf and about which there is more modern controversy than any other element in the game of golf!

This is more clear evidence of the need for golf journalists to get to grips with the subject if the classic game they profess to love so much is not to be swept away by the influence of target-golf. Of course the former is said with tongue firmly in cheek, as the modern retro-trend back to a running game since the millennium has gathered ever greater momentum. One does though wonder how long it will take for more golf journalists (and indeed TV commentators) to catch up and recognise the direction that the game is moving (and the money that will follow in its wake).


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