Most helpful positive review
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Comments from a Scottish Golfer
on 19 December 2005
I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn about how golf developed in Scotland. It is well researched and broken down into two main parts. 'The Life' and 'The Legacy.'
In 1457 the game was so popular that King James the second of Scotland had to ban it on a Sunday because it was interfering with archery practice. The book looks at the start of golf in Scotland and explains the main reasons why it took until almost the end of the 19th century for the game to start to spread throughout Scotland and to other parts of the world.
The first section covers far more than Willie Park Junior's life as it also gives a synopsis of the history of golf as well as detailing the role Willie Park Junior played in developing the game and encouraging the public outside the main golfing strongholds to play and watch it.
Having started playing golf in 1950 with a set of 1920's ladies clubs, light enough for a young lad, the book made me realise that while I was familiar with and understood most of the golfing terminology used by Willie Park Junior I knew very little about him or his contemporaries. I am indebted to the author for filling this void in such a stimulating way.
In the second section of the book Mr Stephen describes how he played on many of the courses planned by Willie Park Junior and compares the present day courses with the original layouts. His descriptions help the reader to understand why golf courses have had to change over the years as technology improved.
While this book is crammed with facts it is also interesting, entertaining and thought provoking. After reading this fascinating account of how the game developed it left me trying to decide if golf is easier and more fun now that we play on pristine fairways with superbly designed clubs and balls. Are today's golfers more skilful? Was Willie Park Junior the man who took golf to the world?
Every reader has to make up their own mind but I would love to have been able to play on the early courses and face the challenges set by Willie Park Junior. I would be even more interested to see how today's professionals would have coped with the clubs, balls and courses of the early 1900's.
There is no doubt that Willie Park Junior was one of the first all round professionals who used his great skill as a golfer and course designer to take golf to the world.