The French have always had a savior faire and chic that sets them apart. This is no different when it comes to golf books. Their flair also comes in the form of posters used to advertise golf.
Produced in 2002 by Editions Milan, this beautiful, large format book features many stunning posters related to golf. Golf Posters or L’affiche de Golf (Donovan & Jerris O5170) was published in France but translated into English as well along side the French captions. The book was written by Alexis Orloff, a journalist and sports photographer.
The book has a large selection of posters related to golf tourism, which was popular at the start of the twentieth century. Popular destinations were the French Riviera, the Basque Coast, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Two posters related to golfing in Cannes are seen above.
Many of the posters were commissioned by railway companies as a way to stimulate travel, such as a beauty by the G & S W R showing a birds-eye view of Turnberry in Scotland. There are other fantastic ones of the British Isles including St. Andrews, North Berwick, Royal Portrush and Silloth on Solway. The heyday of these travel era posters was between the 1920s and 1940s.
Some of the featured posters were done by famous illustrators including one of the Royal Golf Club at Ostende done in 1903 by Henri Cassiers.
Golfing posters did not die after the era of air travel began. In Europe, and in particular in France, they are alive and well, advertising golf tournaments. The book has very nice examples of Open de France posters, French Masters posters and more, produced well into the late 1990s.
The last third of the book covers advertising posters with golf themes, including this risqué golf themed number for Perrier Jouet. Vive la France!
The book has one annoyance, which is an error in translation. It describes Royal Portrush as being ‘signed’ by H.S. Colt. Initially I thought that he signed the poster of Portrush, thinking that would quite a collectible. When the error was repeated on James Braid and Southport I realized they meant the course was designed by them. Aside from this minor error, the book is quite a treat.
The book was never offered for sale in the United States and is thus difficult to come by.