What is the meaning of golf? This is the challenging question that Craig Morrison poses and does a rather good job of answering in his new ebook.
Over 18 well-crafted chapters following the flow of the Old Course at St Andrews – the length of each chapter corresponds to the length of each hole of golf’s “Grand Old Lady” – Craig Morrison seeks to find the beating heart of golf through its history, its tournaments, its characters, stories and challenges.
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This is a book that all lovers and fanatics of the game will appreciate and associate with. We all experienced the feeling of heartbreak Morrison describes in chapter one when Tom Watson narrowly failed to become Open champion at the age of 59 and how that “so close yet so far” tale encapsulated the full gamut of golfing emotions – possibility, expectation, belief, doubt and finally disappointment.
Morrison is clearly an aficionado of the game and over the pages he shares his knowledge of and passion for the sport. He travels to Dornoch where he finds links golf of the most pure and spiritual kind. He soaks up the history in St Andrews and the rugged beauty of golf in Ireland. He visits Augusta and pulls no punches when it comes to describing the more authoritarian aspects of club and tournament. That’s a theme throughout – Morrison is not afraid to speak his mind and his opinions on Tiger Woods and Donald Trump will have most nodding their heads in quiet agreement.
There’s plenty of history to be enjoyed too, from early stuff, the very beginning of golf even, to more recent competitive action. The chapter on The Open Championship provides excellent accounts of some classic recent Opens of particular significance to the author.
As the book approaches the turn… chapter nine that is… there’s a lovely interview with the late John Jacobs in which the founder of the European Tour covers everything from Laddie Lucas and Douglas Bader to curing a chronic shanker.
Morrison talks about his own golf too, in a very amusing and self-deprecating fashion, but it’s clear he has played, and still can play a bit. His attempt to shoot level par for nine holes at Burnham and Berrow (over eight consecutive circuits) will strike a chord with every aspirational golfer. You’ll need to read for yourself to find out if he’s successful.
He plays hickory golf, plays golf with his pals and with strangers but always with a curiosity to find out what makes them, and perhaps him, find the game so compelling. As the round, ok ebook, draws to a close, there’s a brilliant chapter on Seve and it all ends in France where Morrison decides he needs to write a book about golf. Quite clearly he follows through with that ambition and he does a tremendous job. The Meaning of Golf is a funny, observant and insightful book that all those who have an interest in this great sport will thoroughly enjoy.