Scotland is calling

 

“Golfers, Scotland is calling.” by Taba Dale.

This is a book that I am happy to review predominantly for the American market. It comes from Taba Dale of Clare House publishing, of whom Jim Davis of the Golf Heritage Society of the U.S. says “few writers import such a sense of delight as Taba Dale”.

Taba Dale by John Kelly

American Taba has spent many holidays visiting the historic golf courses of GB&I and stays with her partner in Lahinch, West Ireland in the summers. Rather like Craig Morrison in an earlier book review, she has built up connections that introduce her into the heart of the finest Scottish golf clubs.

Her 150 A5 pages of “Golfers, Scotland is calling“ is an updated catalogue from an earlier 2016 book “Stroll on the old lady” containing interesting personal stories and anecdotes from St Andrews, Prestwick, Aberdeen, Musselburgh, Machrihanish, Dornoch and now Askernish.

The aspect of Taba’s writings that sets her apart is her emphasis on ‘beauty’. In much the same way that ‘beauty’ runs through conservative philosopher Roger Scruton’s writings, it is also much to our benefit with Taba’s.

She has her own way of describing what FineGolf calls A wildness tamed with a natural roughness’.

Askernish has these attributes in abundance and though she misses mentioning an important historical fact that it was Jim Arthur’s heir, Gordon Irvine, who initiated the building of this course and set down the parameters that attracted the new pilgrimage to this place that pays homage to the values of traditional golf, Taba still instinctively recognises that this course has a special and in many ways a unique beauty.

She is honest in admitting her difficulty in relating to the extraordinary natural greens that are not mown every day and are cut at around 6mm by the one full-time greenkeeper and to her credit understood having to navigate the course by relying on only your eyesight. (The modern chemical and gizmo reps find this club an arid sales desert).

She nevertheless is on surer ground with her discussion of the art of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfer’s Muirfield metal gate that is intriguing; a topic that many have considered but not questioned as they enter that club.

It is this aspect of golf as a work of art that most interests her and makes the book an enjoyable read.

$14.95 from www.clarehousepublishing.com  Also available on Amazon

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