Less than two years ago Roger McStravick was looking to kickstart his magnificent collection of images and information titled, St. Andrews: In the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris.
Now a year-and-a-half later, the book has won the USGA's Herbert Warren Wind Book Award. You can see my Q&A with Roger here and also get book ordering info in the link.
The USGA's press release on the 2015 Wind award winner:
“Roger McStravick’s St. Andrews: In the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris is an outstanding achievement and a major contribution to the literature of the game,” said Michael Trostel, director of the USGA Museum. “The level of research undertaken to breathe new life into this subject is extraordinary. McStravick’s writing, along with the previously unseen photos of St. Andrews, Old Tom and others from that era, make this a magnificent, one-of-a-kind book.”
“Living in St. Andrews, there is so much history here, but much of it is invisible,” said McStravick. “People know St. Andrews is the ‘home of golf,’ but you wouldn’t know it as you walk through town. I wanted to bring some of these stories to life and help people understand why it’s so prestigious.”
McStravick’s careful curation allows readers to experience the undercurrent of Old Tom’s life and provides a unique perspective on the entrepreneurs, golfers and friends who made a living in the historic town.
Considered the best golfer of his time – he won The Open Championship four times, all at Prestwick between 1861 and 1867 – Morris was also a prolific designer, credited with work on approximately 70 golf courses, including the Old Course at St. Andrews, Muirfield, Prestwick, Carnoustie, Royal County Down and Cruden Bay.
In addition to being a strong supporter of women’s golf, Morris is often credited as being the key proponent of spreading the game worldwide.
St. Andrews: In the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris is the third book in the past decade to win the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award with Morris as the subject matter. Tommy’s Honor, by Kevin Cook, was recognized in 2007, and Tom Morris of St. Andrews: The Colossus of Golf 1821-1908, by David Malcolm and Peter Crabtree, was honored in 2008.
It took McStravick three years to research, write and collate the images for the book. Many people helped in the effort, including descendants of the great golf families and landowners of St. Andrews. The majority of the images came from The R&A, the St. Andrews Preservation Trust, Master Works of Golf and the University of St. Andrews. The book’s foreword was provided by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
“This is like winning the Oscar for golf writers,” said McStravick. “It really is the ultimate and I’m extremely delighted. It’s without doubt the greatest thing I’ve achieved but it could not have happened without the creative genius of book designer Chic Harper and the guidance of historians Peter Crabtree, David Hamilton, Dr. Eve Soulsby and David Joy. I am truly grateful to the USGA and those who supported the book from day one, including my family in St. Andrews and Lurgan.”