The Bar X Golf Course was published in 1933 by Farrar & Reinhart, New York. The Book was written and illustrated by Ross Santee. The Bar X Golf Course is a unique book in a golf collector’s library – it comes with its own golf scorecard.
The book is a fictional account of the world’s largest golf course. As the dust jacket describes it, “The biggest and sportiest golf course in the world. Ride a horse between your shots. Camp out under the stars at night. A Cowpuncher riding herd on every round. 18 good round-up cooks…There were golf sticks and dudes scattered all over the first hole before we caught all the ponies”.
The 159 page book was issued with a scorecard that describes the course. Par is 18 days and the distance is 325 1/2 miles. The first hole is 20 miles and named “This hold is easy”. Hole 16 is 17 1/2 miles long and called “Swim the River”.
The front of the card describes that “It was hard for us to imagine two grown men in rompers traveling from one course to another just to hit a lousy golf ball – then hunt the doggone thing.” The Course Rules include:
1. A ball is out of bounds if it is driven or rolls over a county or state boundary.
2. A ball that lodges in a snake hole may be lifted out
The original price of the book was $1.00. Finding the book today in its original state is difficult – that is, the book, the original dust jacket and the original scorecard in unmarked condition usually fetch around $500.
Ross Santee was a noted artist and illustrator who lived from 1889-1965. Santee’s art was known for its western genre. Santee studied cartooning for four years at the Art Institute of Chicago, and moved to New York City where in the 1920s, he wrote and illustrated for magazines such as Collier’s, Red Book, and Country Home. Santee once worked as a horse wrangler and spent much of his life in Arizona. He published more than a dozen books (although only one on golf) and illustrated more than sixty other books written by others. The titles of his other books reflect the real western flair of his books: Apache Land, Men and Horses, Cowboy, and Ranglers and Rounders.
The Bar X Golf Course is full of black and white illustrations interspersed within the text.
Because the book is a scarce one, a reprint edition was produced in 1971 by Northland Press of Flagstaff, Arizona without the scorecard.