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Historical Dictionary of Golf


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Golf has been called the greatest of all games, but it has also been derided by none other than Mark Twain as nothing more than a good walk spoiled. Traditional teaching holds that golf originated in Scotland around the 15th century. However, there is historical evidence of games similar to golf being played in the low countries of Europe back in the 13th century. Over the many centuries of golf's evolution, the balls used have changed greatly, as have the clubs, the holes, the courses, and the entire game itself.

Historical Dictionary of Golf presents a comprehensive history of the game through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, photos, and over 300 cross-referenced dictionary entries on places, teams, terminology, and people, including Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sörenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Phil Mickelson, and, of course, Tiger Woods. Appendixes of the members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Major Championships of Golf, the International Team Events, and the Professional Tour Awards are also included.

Historical Dictionary of Golf is the third volume in the Historical Dictionaries of Sports series. Its format and content are similar to what has been presented in the other volumes in the series. A comprehensive history of the sport is revealed through a chronology, introductory essay, main dictionary section, a 72-page bibliography, photos, and 11 appendixes. The chronology records golf's first date as 1297, the year in which a golflike game called kolven was played on February 26 in the Netherlands, not in Scotland, where most people believe golf originated. The introduction adds immensely to the value of the volume by showing the historical arc of the sport. The main dictionary section has 300 cross-referenced entries on places, teams, terminology, and people. Most of the entries are golf biographies. This volume should find its way into most library collections.

Written by two independent scholars, the Historical Dictionary of Golf is an extensive, detailed review of the sport that covers everything from rules/regulations, equipment, courses, and tournaments to top golfers and influential figures. The dictionary opens with a list of acronyms and abbreviations, followed by a long chronology of the sport starting at 1297 and extending to the present. The 300-plus dictionary entries that follow are usually a couple of paragraphs long (some entries are more extensive). Entries do not include photographs or charts, just a narrative. The dictionary also features over ten appendixes, including a list of men's and women's major professional and amateur champions, professional tour awards, and members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Also included is a section of photographs with more than 18 pages of current and historical figures. Perhaps the volume's best feature is the exhaustive, topically organized bibliography that serves as a comprehensive listing of the literature related to golf. Lower-level undergraduates through practitioners; general readers.

Orthopedic surgeon Mallon and Jerris (director, U.S. Golf Assn. Museum) cover golf from the sport's 13th-century origins to events in the 21st century. An annotated chronology starts in 1297 with a Dutch golf-like game called kolven and ends by summarizing events in the PGA and LPGA in 2009. The dictionary entries provide information on diverse topics: terminology, rules, equipment, courses, competitions, and biographies. Appendixes (11 in all) provide information on the World Golf Hall of Fame, U.S. champions at various levels, international champions, professional tour awards, and other awards and are followed by a bibliography....Mallon and Jerris's valuable guide to the historical development of the game will appeal to individuals interested in golf, the history of sports, and leisure studies. Highly recommended for specialized reference collections.

The third volume in Scarecrow’s new Historical Sports Dictionaries is a welcome addition to reference literature on the history and culture of golf. Arranged in alphabetic order, more than 300 names, places, terms, organizations, and events chronicle the history of the game. With an extensive chronology that runs from 1297 to 2009, the book provides cross-referenced entries on players (men and women), terms used in the game, top golf courses, and key tournaments. The Historical Dictionary of Golf is a useful ready-reference book.

Historical Dictionary of Golf is comprehensive and detailed covering many aspects of the game and the different personalities involved in various roles.

Product Details

  • Title : Historical Dictionary of Golf
  • Authors:
    • Mallon, Bill
    • Jerris, Randon
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • ISBN: 9780810874657

Bill Mallon, M.D., is an orthopaedic surgeon who is in his second career, as he previously played for four years (1976-79) on the U.S. PGA Tour. During his golf career, he won over 40 tournaments, both amateur and professional. For his contributions to the Olympic Movement, he was awarded the Olympic Order in Silver in 2001, and he has previously co-authored three editions of the Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement for Scarecrow Press.

Rand Jerris has been the director of the United States Golf Association Museum since 2002, serving also as director of communications for the USGA since 2009. He has contributed numerous articles on golf history and art history to a variety of popular magazines and academic journals, and served two years on the board of the International Sports Heritage Association. For his contributions to golf history, he was awarded the Joseph Murdoch Medal by the British Golf Collectors Society in 2007.


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