The Seed of St. Andrew: The Untold Story of the Rise of Golf
Golf may be the most ancient sport still played today. Its origins are unclear, obscured by the mists of time. The fragments we are left with seem random and unconnected, and so the rise of golf seems largely by chance. But is it?
This book looks back at the key events and people in golf's history, and uncovers how they may be connected. Beginning with the shipwrecked relics of the Apostle Andrew and progressing through King James V, Old Tom Morris, Francis Ouimet and Bobby Jones, do patterns emerge that suggest a master plan behind this game? And why would such powers be interested in the spread and growth of what is essentially a leisure activity?
These ideas are further explored through the journey of one family's place in these stream of events - how does golf shape their lives. Read about a trek to pick up the game and play better, culminating with a trip to storied Cypress Point.
Fittingly, a Biblical-type language is used to portray the unique perspective of this story. Higher powers do seem to be involved.
Reading time is about two hours.
Discovery of the gutta percha ball
"And Reverend Patterson was a holy man with a curious mind, and he sent for an idol from India to perhaps help him understand their ways, but maybe to just fill an empty spot in his study with an unusual piece. And this idol was packed with a curious material, a rubber-like substance from a native tree in the Far East. . .he came up with the idea to refashion it into a new type of golf ball
by melting it down and rolling it into a sphere, which would then wonderfully harden when it cooled. And the reverend hurried out to the links, and found to his great joy the ball worked well. . .and true to his nature and calling but unwise to his pocketbook, was liberal with his new invention and failed to file any sort of legal protection, which soon spread to many players and manufacturers alike."
Old Tom Morris at Prestwick
"And as Tom [Morris] and Nancy settled in Prestwick, his most important task was designing and building the new golf course. And so he spent many days walking the land and getting to know it, for he felt he needed to discover a course more than he needed to create one, and he wanted nature to be his partner and not his servant, though he had little choice since he lacked capital and equipment for heavy earth removal and shaping."
"Now golf teaches perseverance and persistence in the face of bad luck and bad lies and bad weather, and thus the golfers had developed some of this during their years of practice. . .and Bobby Jones likewise needed to learn this, for despite all his natural talent and early success, he had a short fuse and little patience when things went wrong, as they always do during a round. And his low point may have come during the British Amateur of 1921 when he stormed off in the middle of a miserable round at St. Andrews, voicing his great displeasure at how and where he was playing. And like many things in life, he ended up loving most that which he despised at first, and returned a couple times to St. Andrews, winning there in 1930 as a part of his famed Grand Slam."