We are always on the look-out for new and unique golf collectable books that are not published by large publishing houses. This month we hit the mother lode with Tom Morris of St. Andrews The Colossus of Golf 1821-1908. This very high quality book written by David Malcolm and Peter E. Crabtree fits all the criteria we like in high-end golf books: it is well researched, produced with exceptional care and was issued in a limited edition.
The Subscribers ‘87’ Edition
The book was published in two editions by Rhod McEwan Golf of Scotland. The Subscribers ‘87’ Edition is limited to only 87 copies, one for every year of Tom Morris’s life. This edition is bound in full green harmatan leather, has gilt tooled emblems to spine in compartments, gilt dentelles, silk endpaper and a full leather slipcase. This edition has four additional facsimilie reproductions of important historical documents related to Tom Morris. As if that weren’t enough, there is a Royal Bank of Scotland R & A 250th Anniversary commemorative five pound bank note tipped-into the book, bearing an image of Tom Morris, the first time a golfer has been portrayed on a British banknote. The last two digits of the serial number correspond to the number of the copy.
The Keeper of the Green ‘395’ Edition
The book was also produced in a limited edition of 395 copies with a protective slipcase, also produced with a binding that is half-leather, using top quality harmatan leather.
The book is a biography of one of the seminal figures in the history of this great game. As the authors note, it has been one hundred years since the Reverend W.W. Tulloch published the only other biography of Old Tom Morris (pictured below). The book is the result of more than fifteen years of research and contains new and hitherto (you have to love this British word) unknown material.
Biographies of Old Tom are not cheap. A copy of either the 1908 biography or the 2008 biography are going to cost you north of $1,000. The 1908 has proven to be a valuable edition to the golf library. No doubt the 2008, being such a high-quality limited edition, will also be a good investment.