Archive for the ‘First Editions’ Category

From Tee to Cup by Reg Manning

May 1, 2012

How many Pulitzer Prize winners have covered the subject of golf? As far as our research can uncover, three: John Updike, John Cheever and Reginald Manning. The two Johns are well-known fiction writers, but who exactly is Reg Manning? Manning won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Known as the “Cactus Cartoonist” because he spent his life working in Arizona, he drew more than 15,000 cartoons for the Arizona Republic and his work was syndicated in 170 newspapers. Manning’s signature includes a drawing with his trademark of a smiling cactus and can be seen on the bottom right of the book jacket below.

From Tee to Cup (Donovan & Jerris M9220) was Manning’s only book related to golf and it is a unique book. Published by Reganson Cartoon Books in Phoenix, Arizona in 1954, the book is 111 pages. Murdoch’s The Library of Golf 1743-1966 gives the book a nice mention. Its uniqueness comes from the fact that the book was intentionally printed with a hole in it. The hole is meant to represent an actual golf hole and Manning drew his illustrations with this in mind.

An example of how Manning uses the hole in the book to build his illustrations around is below:

Manning was an avid golfer and like all of us had his ups and downs with the game. As he writes in the book, “This book about golf is not written in a spirit of revenge. I would never do or say anything to detract from the game. But golf is tough.”

Website of Valuable Book Group, LLC

Our Favorite Golf Books

February 1, 2012

Through 2006 over 15,500 golf books have been published, and it can be daunting to find the best ones. It has been five years since we last published a list of our favorite golf books, so here is an updated listed, which has now expanded to three pages and boils it down to less than fifty.

How does one pick their favorite golf course, or their favorite city or favorite restaurant? Well, it’s not easy to pick your favorite golf books, either. One way to pick your favorite is to create multiple categories, like we’ve done, and make a couple picks in each. The books listed below would all make great gifts for the serious golf fan and cover a variety of price ranges.

Club Histories
1. The Valley Club of Montecito 1928-1998
2. Garden City Golf Club: A History 1999
3. Sunningdale Golf Club 1900-2000
4. Pine Valley Golf Club: A Chronicle. Shelly Warner, 1982
5. The Definitive Guide to The Hotchkin Course – Woodhall Spa. Latham. 2004
6. Golf at Merion. 2005
7. Prestwick Golf Club A History and Some Records. Shaw. 1932
8. The Evolution of the Links at The Royal County Down Golf Club. Latham. 2006
9. The Story of Golf at The Country Club. De St. Jorre. 2009
10. Somerset Hills Country Club 1899-1999
11. Royal & Ancient Golf Club St. Andrews. Three volume set by John Behrend
12. The Story of Seminole. Dodson. 2007

Our favorite club histories all share two things in common. First, they are about world-class golf courses. And second, they all have the power to transport you to the course and really give a feel for what it is like to play there. There is nothing worse to us than a club history that just goes through the minutes of board meetings and tells esoteric facts about the course. All these books deliver on both fronts.

Great Writing

1. Following Through by Herbert Warren Wind. 1985
2. Down the Fairway by Bobby Jones. 1927
3. The Best of Henry Longhurst. 1978
4. The Story of American Golf by Herbert Warren Wind. 1948
5. Golf Dreams by John Updike. 1996
6. Golf on the LMS by Dell Leigh. 1925
7. The Making of the Masters. David Owen. 1999
8. Wodehouse on Golf or The Clicking of Cuthbert by P.G. Wodehouse.

These six authors won’t let you down. Wind is the most precise and gripping, Longhurst the wittiest, Updike the most insightful. Jones to this day has some of the best observations about the game and Leigh takes you back to a different era; you can feel what golf was like in an earlier period. Owen’s book is the single best written about the Masters. Wodehouse was one of the best writers of the 20th century in or outside of golf.

Picture Books/Coffee Table
1. Legendary Golf Clubs of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Edgeworth and de St. Jorre. 1999
2. Legendary Golf Clubs of the American East. Edgeworth and de St. Jorre. 2003
3. Where Golf is Great. James Finegan. 2006
4. Planet Golf. Darius Oliver. 2007
5. Creating Classics: The Golf Courses of H.S. Colt. Peter Pugh. 2009
6. The Scrapbook of Old Tom Morris. Joy. 2001

Maybe we’re simple minded, but we refer to these books more than any other in the library. The Legendary Golf Clubs books quite literally transport you to these elite and private courses. We’ve raved about these for years and our enthusiasm is still going strong!

Reference Books
1. The Game of Golf and the Printed Word. 2006. Donovan & Jerris. For the serious collector of golf books, lists every golf book published through 2005.
2. The Book of Golfers by Daniel Wexler. 2005. Comprehensive coverage of golf’s historical figures, a small but very detailed bio on each is included.

1. The Greatest Course That Never Was by J. Michael Veron. 2001
2. The Greatest Player Who Never Lived by J. Michael Veron. 2000

Veron is not a well-known writer, but none-the-less we find his golf fiction quite good.

Improving Your Game
1. Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by Dr. Joseph Rotella. 1995
2. Zen Golf by Joseph Parent. 2002

Both are concise, simple and actually help both in life and golf (is there a difference?)

Best Produced
1. Golf: The Badminton Library. Large Paper Limited Edition of 250. Horace Hutchinson. 1890.
2. British Golf Links. Large Paper Limited Edition of 250. Horace Hutchinson. 1897.
3. A Royal and Ancient Game. Large Paper Edition of 50. Robert Clark. 1875.
4. A Golfer’s Gallery by Old Masters. Darwin. 1920

The first time I saw the large paper editions of these books my jaw dropped. Wow! Although all four were published in the nineteenth or early twentieth century, the quality of the bindings, paper, print and illustrations to this day still set the standard. You may need a home equity loan for these four but they are cornerstone collectibles.


1. The Life and Work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie. Doak, Scott and Haddock. 2001
2. The Links. Robert Hunter. 1926
3. Golf Architecture in America. George Thomas. 1927
4. Golf Architecture. Alister MacKenzie. 1920
5. The Evangelist of Golf. George Bahto. 2002
6. The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes. George Peper. 2003
7. The Confidential Guide to Golf. Tom Doak. 1996

Who doesn’t like to compare their opinion of a course to Doak’s ratings and strong opinions? Since the National Golf Links of America never published a history, Bahto’s is the next best thing and offers great insights into C.B. Macdonald. Thomas’s book is probably the most influential in terms of architecture ever written.


1. Scotland’s Gift. C.B. Macdonald. 1928
2. The Walter Hagen Story. Walter Hagen. 1956
3. Down the Fairway. Bobby Jones. 1927
4. Bobby Locke on Golf by Bobby Locke. 1954

The personalities of all these golfers come out in their biographies. Macdonald’s strong will and arrogance. Jones’s grace and class. Hagen’s unique and fun approach to life and golf and Locke’s grit and determination.

website of valuable book group, llc

Golf Books with Pictorial Covers

January 1, 2012

Can you ever judge a book by its cover? In the world of golf books, if you are collecting for the long term, perhaps you can, since they are among the most collectible.

This month we feature twenty-three golf books with great eye appeal. It is too bad that the quality of book cover illustrations has deteriorated over the years. These featured gems offer a look back at how a bit of extra care and design made such a difference. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, as these worthy books illustrate. Who hasn’t at times felt like the golfer pictured on Hillinthorn’s Your First Game of Golf (D & J H17500) which was done over 120 years ago?

Of our featured books, fifteen have the pictorial images as part of the cover, and in our view are the most interesting. The Golfing Swing (1913), Inspired Golf (1921) and Locker Room Ballads (1925) have pictorial labels added to the front covers. The last four books featured have their fabulous images on dust jackets, proving that jackets don’t have to be bland, like many of today’s sadly are. We have listed the books in chronological order to give the reader a sense of how designs have evolved over the years. The hey-day was in the Victorian, pre-war era.


Your First Game of Golf was published by Day & Son and notes that they were 25 years lithographers to the queen.

Horace Hutchinson’s
Hints on the Game of Golf
A very early illustrated cover




















Modern covers don’t have to be bland or generic. The Pulitzer Prize winner John Updike actually designed the cover of his Golf Dreams himself. The Australian edition of The Golfer’s Bedside Book also represents another nice modern cover.




website of valuable book group, llc

Golf Book Prices Rebound

September 15, 2011

As the summer auction season winds down, we would observe that prices of quality golf books are on the rebound. August was an interesting month at many levels in our part of the world. We suffered from twin rarities in August, for this part of the world at least, an earthquake and a hurricane. As we look ahead to a productive golf season (our favorite time of year to play), we thought it would be interesting to reflect back on recent trends.

We wrote back in October 2009 that book prices had peaked in 2006-2007, along with almost every other asset class except gold, it seems. Based on our own recent activity and the health of the auction market, prices are clearly on the rebound, especially in the higher-end of the market and in quality, rare titles.

Two good examples:

The Masters Tournament written by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones in 1952 sold for $4,200 at auction. This rarity was prepared “in appreciation to those who have actively contributed to the success of the Masters Tournament…It also represents an effort to respond to enquiries concerning our tournament organization, its policies and its methods of operation” and rarely comes up for sale or auction.

The other spectacular book that sold was a special edition of 100 prepared by Charles Blair Macdonald specially for the founding members of the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, NY.  Published around 1912, it is a small book at only 24 pages and contains a letter from Macdonald to the founders as well as their agreement establishing this world-class haven.

The price of this rarity? $9,600.

Although the above two books are so unique they don’t have good comparables, some good quality books with comparables do indicate the trend continues up. A limited edition copy of Macdonald’s Scotland’s Gift with the rare slipcase sold for $8,400, which was a nice jump up from a prior auction sale in 2009 when a similar copy went for $6,000.

Time to break out the champagne and start to shop around for a vintage  Austin-Healey to tool around in? Probably not, but it is nice to rebound a bit.

website of valuable book group, specialists in golf books

The Story of Golf at the Country Club

June 1, 2011

We have always taken an unusual approach to writing about golf books. Rather than just copying press releases or dust jacket blurbs, we actually read the book. It was with great anticipation that we bought The Story of Golf at The Country Club, which was published by the club in 2009. The Country Club (Brookline, MA) didn’t really need another club history, having produced two before, in 1932 and 1982. Lovers of golf history should be glad they did.

Written by John de St. Jorre, the book raises the standard by which club histories will now be judged to a new level. The book is so well done it was the winner of the 2009 USGA Herbert Warren Wind Golf Book Award, the second time a club history has received this honor (the first was Heather and Heaven by Phil Pilley in 2003 regarding Walton Heath). We have written about books authored by de St. Jorre before, as they are some of our favorite golf books: the Legendary Golf Clubs series and the Links Club history. The winning streak remains in tact with this beauty.

Larry Hasak designed the book, which is illustrated with more than 200 photographs, many of them not seen before in the previous histories. The book was published in a limited edition of 1,300 in a green hardcover with gilt borders and the Country Club mascot on the cover. It is accompanied by a hard green slipcase, also with gilt borders and the club logo on the front.

The book is chocked full of both black and white and color photos and iillustrations. One that stands out is a crisp group picture of the 1910 U.S. Amateur held at The Country Club. Charles Blair Macdonald is seated in the center of the photograph with his fellow competitors surrounding him. They are all dressed very smartly in suits, wearing the fashion of the times: straw hats and bowler hats. Macdonald looks so powerful you can almost understand how he was able to bully himself into a victory in the first U.S. Amateur. The other competitors around him look in awe. Macdonald is often described as larger-than-life and it is evident in this dramatic photo.

The Country Club has a rich history, which is detailed in the book. In addition to being a founding member of the USGA and hosting 15 USGA championships, the club has an interesting history aside from golf. In its early days, it had a racetrack with a grandstand and a steeplechase course. I have been fortunate to have played at The Country Club and fondly remember the breadth of the non-golf activities such as curling, ice skating and tennis and the book gives a good feel for them.

The amazing stories of Francis Ouiment’s victory in the 1913 U.S. Open and the American victory at the 1999 Ryder Cup are well known, and they are given their approporiate place in the book. What gives the book depth is the rich history and detail Hasak and de St. Jorre present on lesser known, but still very important parts of The Country Club’s history such as Amateur and Women’s competitions.

A non-golfer who read this book without any prior history of the game would not only learn about the history of The Country Club, but also would have a very good history of the game itself in the United States. This is both a testament to the importance of The Country Club in the game and to the way the story is brought together.

I’m sure de St. Jorre and Hasak had thousands of pictures to draw from when compiling the book and their curatorial skills in selecting the appropriate ones is outstanding. The pictures are weaved into the text in a way that makes history come alive. The Story of Golf does a great job combining text and images seamlessly into one narrative where they feed off each other. Additional standout pictures in the book are: a full page image of Ted Ray with a pipe hanging out of his mouth; Ouimet shaking hands simultaneously with Vardon and Ray in a crumpled suit after his playoff victory; a picture of a young Bobby Jones with his wife, and a color photo of Francis Ouimet and Jack Nicklaus. The picture of the European Team at the closing ceremony of the 1999 Ryder Cup truly looks like it was taken at a funeral.

It has been a while since I turned every page of a golf book with rapt attention and a smile on my face at all times. What a book.

website of valuable book group

Golf Clubs as Bird Sanctuaries

April 1, 2011

The rarest Bobby Jones golf book? Golf Clubs as Bird Sanctuaries, published in the 1920s by the National Association of Audubon Societies. The 64 page softcover book was put together by the Golf Club Bird Sanctuary Committee which included both Bobby Jones and fellow future Augusta member and golf writer Grantland Rice (see our October 2010 newsletter for more on Rice). The book isn’t dated, but was published in the late 1920s.

The President of both the National Association and the Golf Club Bird Sanctuary Committee was T. Gilbert Pearson, who was one of the founding members of the conservation movement in the United States. The National Association of Audubon Societies is now called the National Audubon Society. The cover of the book includes a picture of an idyllic golf course on rolling hills with birdbaths, bird houses and enough birds flying overhead to give Alfred Hitchcock ideas.

The book was published because the Audubon Society got frequent requests from golf clubs about how to make their courses friendly to attract and retain birds (we’re assuming that the dreaded Canadian Geese were excluded!). On second thought, attract birds for what purpose? “Pheasants are quick to avail themselves of protection. On shooting days they often parade up and down the green on golf course sanctuaries to the distraction of passing gunners.” Imagine putting that in your club newsletter today?

The book is quite well done and profusely illustrated. It is very practical and has chapters dedicated to Winter Feeding, Planting to Attract Birds and Fruits Attractive to Birds.

Some of the pictures can only be described as bizarre; page thirty-two has a young woman dressed like a Greek statue eating grapes off a tree. The committee also had a good sense of humor; in the back they list a rogue gallery of enemies of birds with ominous looking pictures: Owl, Opossum, Weasel, Rat, Skunk, Raccoon and Gun! They advise the greens keeper, “One does need to be alert, however, for the occasional criminal.”

The back cover illustration has a golfer in the rough mistakenly playing his ball and a small bird is nearby quoted “Hey! That was my Egg !x?!!” and miraculously the egg cracking open in mid air with a newborn chick flying out.

“The cheerful sons, the bright bits of color and the amusing antics of the birds are a decided asset to any club wherever located.”

Leave it to Bobby Jones to combine ornithology and golf.

the Website of Valuable Book Group

The Golf Links of Scotland

January 1, 2011

The most expensive golf book ever published? Thus is the claim of the publishers of the new limited edition book by Iain Macfarlane Lowe and George Peper. I guess they didn’t get the memo about the Great Recession, issuing such a high-end book in the current environment of austerity. For the record, the most expensive golf book ever published was Golf: A Tribute (Europe) which was so large it came with its own table and was priced at $5,200 (see our newsletter of December 2005), $800 more than the $4,600 price of Golf Links of Scotland.

Lowe and Peper both live in St. Andrews, the former was editor of Golf Digest for a long time, and has written extensively about St. Andrews. The book is limited to an edition of 150, with 145 made available for purchase. The book is “two books in one” according to the publishers. Viewed in this way, I suppose at $2,300 each, the book is a dramatic bargain. The first portion of the book focuses exclusively on the Old Course at St. Andrews. The remainder of the book focuses on other Scottish courses including Prestwick, North Berwick, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and Royal Dornoch, with eighteen additional courses in total.

The oversized book measures 12 inches by 13 ½ inches with four double gate folded sections that when folded out represent 32 pages.  The two authors get an “A” for spin when discussing the book, using realtor-like descriptions in hushed tones and speaking of , “Picked Nigerian leather”, “cured and dyed in Scotland” and “bound by hand”.

If all 145 copies sell for their $4,600 list price, the gross sales of the book will come in at $667,000. Perhaps we’re in the wrong business. I’m sure the book cost a nice sum to produce, especially considering the fact that the leather binding contains a 24-carat gold leaf inlay. We wish the publishers and authors well in their endeavor.

St. Andrews – The Home of Golf

Several month ago we chronicled a list of all golf books published about St. Andrews. Apparently 76 books wasn’t enough to cover the rich history of the home of golf. Another new entrant was recently published titled St. Andrews: The Home of Golf co-written by Henry Lord and Oliver Gregory with photographs by Kevin Murray.

click on image to purchase on Amazon

This coffee table book celebrates this haven of the game through pictures in 224 pages.

Website of Valuable Book Group, LLC

Scotland’s Gift by C.B. Macdonald

December 1, 2010

“Per Mare Per Terras” translates from the Latin as ‘By Sea and By Land’ and is the motto of the Macdonald clan. These words adorn one of the rarest of collectible golf books: the limited edition of 260 copies of Scotland’s Gift written by Charles Blair Macdonald and published in 1928. Each book was signed by Macdonald on the limitation page and was issued with a slipcase, which is seldom seen today. Donovan & Jerris describe Macdonald perfectly, “Tall and broad shouldered, with a regal bearing, Charlie Macdonald was formidable, pompous, and arrogant.”

The frontispiece of the book (seen above) contains a reproduction from the painting by Gari Melchers presented to the Links Club by Henry C. Frick. The painting still hangs in The Links Club today on East 62nd Street in New York and depicts Macdonald at The National Golf Links with a caddy. Those who have been privileged enough to visit the aptly named C.B. Macdonald room at the rear of the Links Club can attest to how special a painting it is.

The book is “Dedicated to my grandchildren and golfing posterity,” and includes a picture of his own statue on page 296, seen below. The imposing statue now dominates the library at the National Golf Links of America.

Scotland’s Gift is quite an eclectic book serving partially as an autobiography and partially as a history of the game. It includes a detailed account of the design and construction of the National Golf Links of America. It contains fabulous old black and white pictures of the National including the 1st, 4th, 6th, 12th and 13th holes and Macdonald’s thinking about the course: “When playing golf you want to be alone with nature.”

There are six un-numbered pages tipped into the limited edition book, each with a color illustration, three more than the standard trade edition of the book:

1. Frontispiece of C.B. Macdonald
2. Mr. Henry Callender between pages 36 and 37
3. Master Alexander Macdonald of Macdonald between pages 54 and 55
4. A caricature of C.B. Macdonald between pages 126 and 127, seen below
5. Engrossed resolution Lido Golf Club between pages 238 and 239
6. A picture of the U.S.G.A. Cup between pages 268 and 269

I am especially fond of the chapter “Rambling Thoughts” which includes such gems as “So many people preach equity in golf. Nothing is so foreign to the truth. Does any human being receive what he conceives as equity in his life? The essence of the game is inequality, as it is in humanity.”

I always wondered about the origin of the phrase “Far and Sure,” as it is used throughout the golfing world. Macdonald explains it: “James II on one occasion chose a cobbler for a partner to aid him in winning a wager from two English noblemen who had challenged him to a foursome. Winning the match, he gave the money to his partner, John Patersone, who built himself a house in Edinburgh with the golfer’s motto over the door, “Far and Sure.” The book is filled with such wonderful anecdotes and stories. Like Bobby Jones’s and Walter Hagen’s autobiographies, you really feel like you know the man when you finish Scotland’s Gift.

Scotland’s Gift was also published in a red cloth standard trade edition in 1928 (D & J M1720). Both the limited edition and the standard trade edition have a fold-out map in the rear of the National Golf Links. The color map folds out to twenty-four inches and shows the routing and all the holes at the National with key features such as hollows, marshes, bushes and bowls. The bathing house depicted to the right of the eighteenth green no longer exists today.

Website of Valuable Book Group

Garden G. Smith – Golfing Books

November 1, 2010

We all know how obsessive this game we love is. Like playing the game itself, collecting golf books can also be an obsessive passion. Rather than just lining up books on a shelf, we have always prided ourselves on actually reading the fantastic literature golf has inspired. A real sleeper among our collection of books belongs to Garden G. Smith. Smith wrote three golf books between 1897 and 1907 and he is worthy of some attention.

Smith writes in a pithy, easy to read manner with a very dry sense of humor. His best book, Side Lights on Golf, published in London in 1907 (D&J S23650) includes gems like this, “…the best we could find to say of golf around London was what the curate said of his bad egg, “Parts of it are excellent.” It’s amazing to remember how much the game (and course conditioning) has changed in the last century before tri-plex greens mowers. Imagine these hazards, also in his discussion of golf around London, “In the growing months grass grows on it so fast that constant mowing is necessary all over the course, and if the ground is at all soft the horse’s feet and the turning of the machine create evils almost as great as the long grass itself.”

Smith was an early editor of Britain’s Golf Illustrated and also wrote for The Globe, The Tatler, Cassell’s Magazine, The Badminton Magazine, The Golfers Magazine and Golf Magazine. In addition to his solo books, Smith also co-authored one of the giants of golf literature, The Royal & Ancient Game of Golf with Harold Hilton (D&J H17890). The large paper edition of this title is one of the most impressive golf books ever published.

Other gems from Side Lights, “There is a melancholy dirge that haunts the golfer’s ear and affrights his soul, whenever he sees his ball speeding towards the undelectable country of Hazard. The burden of that dirge is ‘Lost Ball, Lost Hole,’ and the phrase is pregnant with a presage of irrevocable and irremediable doom.” And, “Hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions, but it is to be feared that the hazards of golf are covered with a flooring of bad words.”

The World of Golf, published in 1898 by A.D. Innes & Company (D & J S23680) was produced as part of the Isthmian Library series, which covered a variety of sports. Publishing as part of a larger ‘series’ was in vogue during this period witnessed by the Badminton Library among others. The book has nice chapters on all the standard bearer golf courses of the time including Hoylake, Prestwick and Sandwich. As usual, Smith is to the point, as in the chapter on Golf in America, “The poor man has no place as yet among American golfers, and the sport remains as distinctly exclusive as is polo or yachting.”

The book is very interesting and chocked full of useful historical information for those interested in how golf clubs operated at the turn of the twentieth century, including the cost of fees and memberships. In addition, the book is filled with facts about the length of golf holes and course routings; the book is especially interesting in this regard since it describes the original course at Shinnecock Hills in detail. It is striking how much almost all of the courses mentioned have changed substantially since they were built.

Smith’s first book, Golf, published in 1898 is a book of instruction and learning targeted towards a reader who is just picking up the game explaining rules, etc. Smith and his brother were founders of the Aberdeen University Golf Course and he was also an amateur painter. Our research could undercover no clues on why he was given the unusual name of Garden.

Website of Valuable Book Group, LLC

Grantland Rice

October 1, 2010

“Golf is twenty per cent mechanics and technique. The other eighty percent is philosophy, humor, tragedy, romance, melodrama, companionship, camaraderie, cussedness and conversation.” The author of this gem deserves to be highlighted in our review of golf books. One of the most oft quoted lines of sports wisdom of all times, which I have used many times with my own children, was also written by Rice, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”

A scratch golfer and friend of Bobby Jones, Grantland Rice started covering the great man from when he was just fourteen years old. An avid golfer, he played any day he could and brought his golf clubs with him when he traveled. In addition to Bobby Jones, Rice was also friends with Babe Didrikson.

When I grow up, I want to be Grantland Rice. He was a member of Augusta National, Maidstone Links in East Hampton, Englewood in New Jersey and the Lakeside Golf Club of Hollywood. Rice and his wife would check into the Beverly Wilshire for the winter season when in L.A. His contract with the New York Herald Tribune in 1925 paid him $52,000, the same amount Babe Ruth made playing for the Yankees that year!

His playing companions at Lakeside Golf Club included Bing Crosby, Oliver Hardy and Thomas Montague. Montague is an intriguing golf story written about by Leigh Montville in The Mysterious Montague. Rice trumpeted him as one of the best players he had ever seen. Rice was a double major in Greek and Latin from Vanderbilt, where he played varsity baseball. Although he was exempt due to his age, he enlisted and served in the Army in the First World War.

Rice’s most famous work related to golf is The Duffer’s Handbook of Golf, published in 1926 by Macmillan (D & J R7750), which he co-authored with the illustrator Claire Briggs.

One of the most unusual covers of any golf book is the limited edition of 500 of The Duffer’s Handbook (D & J R7720), which was made of a plaid fabric that is subject to chipping, fraying and moth eating. Those in excellent condition are thus prized.

Rice wrote The Bobby Jones Story: from the writings of O.B. Keeler, published in 1953 in the U.S. and the U.K. One of the lesser known works edited by Rice is Fore-With a Glance Aft, published in 1929 by Conde Nast (D & J R7480) which features Bobby Jones on its cover.

Rice is generally credited as the first sportswriter of the modern era to create stars from sports heroes. Among the stars he is credited with highlighting are quite a collection of talent. In addition to Bobby Jones it includes Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Knute Rockne, Jack Dempsey and Bill Tilden.

Charles Fountain’s biography of Rice, Sportswriter: The Life and Times of Grantland Rice says that Rice made more money than any sports figures in the 1920s with the exception of the boxer Jack Dempsey.

Rice was also well known for his work in college football, selecting All-America teams beginning in 1925. In addition to serving as the editor of American Golfer Magazine Rice also wrote Baseball Ballads, a book of poetry dedicated to baseball. Rice’s autobiography, The Tumult and the Shouting was published in 1954. We don’t have enough space to give full due to Rice’s whole career. It was impressive, spanning 53 years, producing 67 million words, including 22,000 columns and 14 books, but hopefully we’ve sparked your interest in this unique character in the history of golf.

website of Valuable Book Group, LLC


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.