Earlier this summer I came across an old book called The Art of Golf- out of print in the UK since 1892. An absolute classic of the game it's very rare and costs a fortune if you find a first edition. It's written by a baronet - Sir W. G. Simpson, twice Captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers - and is a worthwhile yet humorous attempt to garner all golfing knowledge to that date in one volume. Concerned with mindset as well as method it makes a fascinating effort to explore and explain the artistry of golf. I loved every page and so, following the massive success of Night Climbers last year I thought I'd republish this title too and Peter Alliss kindly wrote an introductory note for this edition. Simpson does deal with the serious aspects of how to actually play the game better but there is a lot of dry, sardonic humour throughout.
"The ‘Dynamite’ is a very powerful weapon. It is a club in the
face of which is inserted a small cartridge which explodes when
the ball strikes it. With this club a good driver has been known to
get past the long hole at St. Andrews in one shot. Loading for each
drive is, however, so inconvenient that the dynamite has not come
into general use. Besides, the trouble, the expense, and danger
connected with it are so considerable as to make it unpopular - it
would be rash to start on a round without a surgeon to carry the
clubs, and surgeons of course charge more than ordinary caddies."
"A perfectly unconscious style in a grown man is very rare. It will oftenest be found among professionals whose education does not tempt them to think."
"Between him and them is one nearer and dearer – his partner. It is not selfish to crush the enemy; it is duty – duty to the partner. What are the tears of two enemies to the joy of one friend?"