GOLF, a tribute (Europe) – originally published November 2005
We were intrigued by a recent announcement of a new golf book published by booksinspired based in Belgium. The book, called GOLF, a tribute (Europe) is 248 pages and is limited to 3,000 numbered copies. To call the book large is to understate the case. The books dimensions are:
· 60 x 70 cms (1.97 x 2.46 feet) when closed
· 60 x 140 cms (1.97 x 4.92 feet) when opened
Notice the measurement is in feet and not inches. The book is photographed by Kurt Deruyter and the text is written by David and Patricia Davies. It features twenty-six courses in Europe and is of very high quality. Each book is manually bound in a leather finish using organically treated leather and is signed both by the photographer and Seve Ballesteros. The book is so large that it comes with its own presentation table. The book pushes the boundaries of publishing, both in its size and the quality of the publishing. The book is printed on 200 grade Job Art Parilux print paper, which is very high quality. This edition of the book is known as the Art Edition and is priced at $5,700 based on current exchange rates between the Euro and the US dollar (4,400 EUR).
The book also comes in a limited edition of 26 copies, known as the Special Club Edition. The publisher is issuing one unique version of the book for each club featured. In other words, this unique copy is dedicated to one club although it also covers all 26 clubs. This version of the book has many special features including a binding made of special calf’s leather, a unique wrapper around the book and a wooden slipcase. The Special Club Edition also comes with two art prints of the featured club which are selected and signed by the photographer and by Seve Ballesteros. This limited edition of 26 is priced at $12,000 per book (10,000 EUR).
To quote from the publisher: “Open this book and you will be overwhelmed by the photography. A specialized large-format photographer, Kurt Deruyter, has been sent all over 26 of the most beautiful courses in Europe to catch the unique atmosphere of these special places. 156 full page pictures (58 x 68 cm) of the astounding scenery golf can provide. The size and quality of the pictures allow you to feel as if you are on each course.”
The book was originally conceived to include twenty-five top courses in Europe, but a new Arnold Palmer designed course in Kazakhstan was so spectacular that the publisher decided to expand the book to twenty-six. The publisher envisions this book to be one of four of a series they plan to publish over the years. This book covers Europe; the second planned book will focus on Asia, the third on the United States and the fourth on the rest of the world.
The publisher has taken a novel approach to the book that is focused on a much broader audience than the golf book collector. They market the book in Europe as a work of art through design shops, photo galleries and places that we would certainly consider non-traditional from a book-sellers standpoint. They have positioned themselves as a luxury publisher, crossing over between book publishing and art.
The choice of courses is certainly eclectic. Getting a good geographic diversity was important in selecting the courses as was the course’s beauty. Thus, the courses represented don’t represent all the top championship courses in Europe; however, there are some off-the-beaten-path gems thrown in such as Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland that are certainly worthy. Keep an open mind and you will be rewarded with the courses selected.
The Special Club Edition of the book is a truly unique one of a kind collectable. We can envision that the editions from some of the more storied courses on the list such as St. Andrews, Muirfield and Royal Birkdale would be snapped up rather quickly. To some degree, this book marks the logical endpoint of where limited edition books can go: a limited edition of one.
While the prices may be on the high side, so is the quality of the book. The publisher has clearly positioned themselves as the book equivalent of staying at a Four Seasons or driving a Rolls Royce. Looked at as a work of art, rather than simply a book, the pricing is more logical, given that the book can be used as a showpiece in a room or at a golf club. If you are interested in either of these books, please contact us and we can order one with your own personal dedication sheet bound in. In addition, the buyer gets to choose the color of the leather: either burgundy or ivory.
The twenty-six featured courses are:
Zoute Golf Club
Rungsted Golf Club
Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club
Wentworth Golf Club
Golf de Chantilly
Hamburger Golf Club
Falkestein A-Rosa Sporting Club Berlin
Ballybunion Golf Club
The K Club
Golf Club Biella “Le Bettule”
Republic of Kazakhstan
Zhailjau Golf Resort
Royal County Down Golf Club
San Lorenzo Golf Club
Penha Longa Golf Resort
Le Meridien Moscow County Club
Loch Lomond Golf Club
Saint-Andrews Old course
Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre
de Noordwijkse Golfclub