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on 11 September 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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on 8 September 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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on 3 August 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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on 13 February 2009
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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on 25 May 2009
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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on 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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on 18 March 2014
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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on 1 December 2009
A must for any golf fan interested in the origins of golf and modern tournament golf.
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on 29 August 2010
Being keen to buff up my golf history, I purchased this book. WOW! It is written in a light but fascinating manner, totally enveloping you in the life of the Morris's, and to a degree, those they associated with, and indeed the ways of the times. It draws you to open it again and again however you may feel, just to read a few more pages before you go to sleep. The final chapter talks much of what must have been Old Tom's reflections on his life. I am only 38, but reading ths part made me really appreciate the feelings and thoughts one must have when one reaches one's eighties.

Finally, no, I don't believe Old Tom made an error of judgement not telling his son of his wife's troubles in childbirth during that match at North Berwick!
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on 17 November 2012
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. Having paid a reasonable price, I was expecting a standard quality paperback. What I received was so flimsy it was more like a magazine, with a huge advertising logo on the cover (I forget what for). In short, the book looked more like a freebie with the paper that an £8 purchase, and did not match the product picture, so I feel a little short-changed. Nonetheless, I'm led to believe it's a great read, so if quality isn't a concern to you then ignore me completely. :)
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