‘Golf and the Railway Connection‘ is a golf book with a difference. Transporting the reader to a bygone era it tells the remarkable story of how the railways came to play such a vital role in the development of golf.
With a railway system more than twice as big as that we have today, at the end of the Nineteenth Century the railway companies saw golfers as an affluent group who should be courted. They did this in a variety of ways. Sometimes they built a station or even a line. Occasionally they financed the construction of a golf course or a clubhouse or a hotel. The use of discounted fares was widespread as was the presentation of lavish silver trophies, the publication of books and advertisements and the printing of posters.
The close connection between the railways and golf lasted until the 1920s with developers realising that building houses around golf courses with good rail communications into the towns and cities could be highly profitable; although, as Willie Park Jnr had discovered at Huntercombe, not picking the right ‘location, location, location‘ was an expensive mistake.
The writer, Ian Nalder, gives a lively account of some of the most enthralling golf courses in the country. He relates something of their history and recaptures the romance and style of the era. Typical of the many anecdotes is the story of how the great Bernard Darwin would regularly travel by train on a Sunday morning from his home in the Inner Temple to play golf at Woking, where he was captain in 1908/9, making his way across Waterloo Bridge carrying his clubs and already wearing his spiked golf shoes.
‘Golf and the Railway Connection‘ 250pp paperback £14.00 from Scottish Cultural Press www.scottishbooks.com
The book features the following golf courses:
Aberdovey, Aldeburgh, Blackwell, Broadstone, Cooden Beach, Felixstowe Ferry, Ganton, Glamorganshire, Goswick, Greenone, Hayling, Holyhead, Huntercombe, Lindrick, Littlestone, Royal County Down, Royal Liverpool, Royal Lytham & St Anne‘s, Royal Portcawl, Royal Portrush, Royal St David‘s, Royal St George‘s, Royal Worlington & Newmarket, Rye, St Enodoc, Silloth, Tenby, Walton Heath, West Cornwall, West Hill, Woking and Worcestershire.
By the same author ‘Scotland’s Golf in the Days of Steam‘ 160pp £9.99 from Scottish Cultural Press www.scottishbooks.com