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What: “St. Andrews & the Open Championship, the Official History”

Author: David Joy, with photography by Iain Macfarlane Lowe

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, 240 pages, $45

The more you leaf through this book, the more intimidating the Old Course at St. Andrews becomes. If the pot bunkers deep enough to swallow half the caddies in Scotland aren’t enough, there are the mounds and swales, the wind, the heather and gorse, the awesome feeling of stepping onto a patch of turf that has been in play for hundreds of years.

All of that is captured in this book, essentially a photographic history of the Old Course and the 25 British Open championships that have been played there. It is a collection of current color photographs by Lowe and archive shots and illustrations from years past, intertwined with text by Joy.

For those who have played the Old Course, Lowe’s photographs no doubt offer reminders of where shots should have been played and where they wound up; for those who haven’t, the lingering feeling is “Is there anyplace safe I can hit a shot on this course?”


Joy writes about the evolution of the course and the Open Championships, the many changes that have taken place since the first Open at St. Andrews in 1873. Tom Kidd upset heavily favored Young Tom Morris that year with a two-round total of 179 and took home a first-place prize of 11 pounds.

Scores, purses, equipment, styles and the tournament itself have changed. But in many ways, St. Andrews, site of the 2000 Open, has remained constant, the Royal and Ancient clubhouse behind the first tee an enduring symbol of golf’s traditions. Joy and Lowe have a reverence for those traditions and the home of golf, and that comes through clearly in these pages.

The book is available in bookstores or by contacting Sleeping Bear Press at (800) 487-2323 or on the Internet at Internet orders save 20% off the jacket price.