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Tommy's Honour: The Extraordinary Story of Golf's Founding Father and Son: The Extraordinary Story of Golf's Founding Father and Son [Kindle Edition]

Kevin Cook
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘The best sports books present their heroes as complex people who happen to inhabit the world of games’ Sports Illustrated

‘Kevin Cook tells the story with great tenderness and no little humour. He has done a lot of meticulous research and never puts a foot wrong. Tommy's Honour is the stand-out book on a strong short-list' (for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year) Daily Telegraph

' Cook's idiosyncratic history of the early days of professional golf is detailed, loving, and almost novelistic. He captures the incestuous, money-obesessed, sometimes small-minded world of Scottish golf, delightfully.' '…unquestionably a book rather than a product, written for love and not lolly.' The Guardian

Product Description

The definitive account of golf’s founding father and son, Old and Young Tom Morris. For the first time, the two will be portrayed as men of flesh and blood – heroic but also ambitious, loving but sometimes confused and angry. Two men from one household, with ambitions that made them devoted partners as well as ardent foes.

Tommy's Honour is a compelling story of the two Tom Morrises, father and son, both supremely talented golfers but utterly different, constituting a record-breaking golfing dynasty that has never been known before or since.

Father, Old Tom Morris, grew up a stone's throw away from golf's ancestral home at St Andrews, a whisky-fuelled caddie, a wonderful 19th century character who became an Open Champion three times before running the Royal & Ancient, then sole governing body of the game. His son, Young Tom, arguably an even more prodigious talent than his father, was a golfing genius, the Tiger Woods of his era, who at 17 became the youngest player, to this day, to win the Open Championship. He then went on to win it four times in a row, an unprecedented achievement. On one occasion, father and son fought it out at the last hole of the Championship before the son finally triumphed.

But then came the pivotal day that would change their lives forever, the death of Young Tom’s wife and unborn child. The cataclysmic events of that day eventually lead to Young Tom’s tragic death, aged 24, with his father living on for another 20 years in deep remorse.

So on the one hand, you have the story of one of the most influential figures in the history of golf, a pioneer in the birth of the modern game and of Scottish and Open Championship golf. And on the other hand – and this is the real appeal of this book – you have an extraordinary father-and-son story. It’s for every son who ever competed with his father, and every father who has guided his son towards manhood, then found it hard to let go.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 933 KB
  • Print Length: 397 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007217277
  • Publisher: HarperSport (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008CBD1UA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #119,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I'm an author and journalist who has written about sports and other topics for 25 years. My first book, 'Tommy's Honor', was the U.S. Golf Association's Book of the Year and a finalist for William Hill Sports Book of the Year. 'Titanic Thompson,' a biography of the real-life gambler who inspired 'Guys and Dolls,' was a favorite of the Times and other fine rags. My website is

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary is an understatement 11 Sept. 2008
Not being much of a golf fan, I decided to read Tommy's Honour purely on the merits of its William Hill Sports Book of the Year shortlisting, and I'm very glad I did.

The story revolves around Tom Morris in Victorian Scotland, considered to be the founding father of golf. His golfing prowess is envied by all and sporadically matched by a few, until his son, Young Tommy, takes up the sport and surpasses his father's achievements. To reveal any more would give too much away, but it is a story of tragedy told wonderfully by Kevin Cook, who recreates the age and the golfers with no shortage of skill.

This is a book that will appeal to more than just golf fans, as the centrepiece of the story - the relationship between Old Tom and Young Tommy - is both touching and tragic. Very highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Golf story Ever Told 8 Sept. 2009
Reading this extraordinarily moving tale during the week of the Tom Watson's heroic challenge for the Claret Jug at Turnberry reminded me of sport's capacity to inspire. At a time when the papers are full of rugby cheating scandals, cover-ups and drug issues, this wonderful book made me remember why we bother.

Cook's great skill is not just as a storyteller - although he tells a great story movingly and humorously, without overdoing the sentiment. This was an age of deep rooted class prejudice that prevented a genius like Old Tom from ever being truly accepted amongst the St Andrews gentlemen; something that drove his son to distraction and, sometimes, trouble.

This is an important book because Cook explains the legacy of the founding father and son. Old Tom was a wonderful player bedevilled by an unreliable putting stroke, but he was an innovative and imaginative greenkeeper and course designer whose legacy lived on through his inspiration of a young student who learnt under him - Donald Ross, who went on to build so many of the great courses in America and did so much to popularise the game.

Young Tom's was a different but no less worthy legacy. His playing achievements alone (winning the championship belt outright, becoming the first man to win the claret jug, covering the 12 holes of Prestwick in an unheard of 47 shots) secured his place in the pantheon. But it strikes this reader that his real legacy was that he virtually invented the concept of the touring professional, breaking down class barriers and blazing a trail that travels all the way to Tiger Woods.

This is the kind of book that makes me wonder if we need to put in in the sports section at all. It is ultimately a life-affirming tale that finds, in the long life of a father and the brief but stellar life of a son, deeper truths. It is a great story that immortalises great men. A fantastic book and, in the present climate, timely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 3 Aug. 2009
Having spent most of my childhood golfing and visiting St.Andrews on holidays I was very interested to get hold of and read this book.
I couldn't put it down it was that good and finished it in little over 2 days.
A great piece of history well written and holds your attention
it really felt like going back in time to the time of the Morris's defeating all on the links...truly amazing
well done Kevin Cook
buy this and enjoy !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
For anyone who has ever played the game of golf and has any feel for the history of the game, this is a 'must read' book of the first order. Not only does it cover the history of early professional golf, but talks about the evoultion of St.Andrews, and the creation of Prestwick.

The story of the Morris's is brilliantly told, with real insight and passion for the subject. It's a tragic story in the end, but about 2 lives that were lived to the full, and are worthy of greater consideration by any golfer.

If you only read one book on sport this year, make sure its this one

If you're a film maker looking for a subject to make a truely great film, this would be perfect
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a present to a golfer 25 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
hello, I bought this book for my father, who is a golfing 'nut'!
He read it and called me right away to express his liking of the book, very interesting and very well written... he thoroughly enjoyed it, and he's been golfing for over 30 years it gave him new insight which I was pleased about.
A great present for those 'nutty' about the game.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Cradle of golf 29 July 2010
Several places in Scotland could claim the title "Cradle of golf": Prestwick - the place of the first Open, Musselburgh - the oldest continuously played golf course and home of 5 Open champions, North Berwick - witness of legendary duels between professionals from Musselburgh (e.g. Willie Park) and St. Andrews (Old Tom and Tommy Morris). But this title came for St. Andrews.... Not because of R&A (by the way, Old Tom was never a member as far as I know), but because of beautiful character of Old Grand Man of Golf - Old Tom Morris. His prayers, kindness, stamina, humanity and sacrifice is behind the success of this splendid place. I only regret that I do not speak English better (it is not my mother tongue) to be able to render all my feelings I had during the reading of this book. It became my bible for many months. I wish you same experience with it and also have a nice game when you visit Scotland.
Ladislav (from Slovakia)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for golf fans 18 Mar. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Once you start reading this book I challenge you to put it down, it is impossible!! For anyone that is interested in golf it has everything, history, emotion, facts, and OLD TOM MORRIS, between my husband and myself we have read it at least 6 times! It really is that good!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as pressie for 50 year old who hadn't read ...
Bought as pressie for 50 year old who hadn't read a book in years - as a golf fanatic he is now
thoroughly enjoying this book and re-kindled a desire to read more!
Published 21 days ago by Bluefish
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Fabulous book and very well researched and written. A must read for anyone interested in golfing history
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer. Vivienne
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story setting out how it all began and ...
An incredible story setting out how it all began and how difficult it was. A real insight into golf, St Andrews and the original home of the open - Prestwick! Read more
Published 5 months ago by G K NICOL
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and well written book. However there are ...
An interesting and well written book. However there are other works which give more detail on the life and times of the Morris family.
Published 6 months ago by 2356STOTT
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, couldn't put it down. A great story and a bit of a history lesson too, a must for every avid golfer.
Published 13 months ago by J. Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars I just lived it and loved it
I played every round of every match they played though my heart is sad with the sadness that Tom must have endured
Published 15 months ago by Derek Ashman
5.0 out of 5 stars Tommy's Honour
A friend lent this book to my husband and he thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that he bought a copy for someone else who has an interest in St Andrew's. Read more
Published on 30 Dec. 2012 by JAW
3.0 out of 5 stars Of the product, not the novel...
As I bought this book as a present for my dad, I can't review the novel itself, but would like to leave a note on the quality of the product itself, which was poor. Read more
Published on 17 Nov. 2012 by Elly King
4.0 out of 5 stars Tommys Honour
i would recommended this book to anyone who is interested in the history of golf . a very moving story about Tom Morris and his son,

referred to as tommy throughout... Read more
Published on 25 April 2011 by supaplum
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
This is an excellent book. Must read for all golfers. The author has put a great deal of time and research into a subject that is clearly close to his heart. Read more
Published on 28 Jan. 2011 by dodgy swing
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