St Andrews author wins American ‘Oscar for golf writers’

Roger McStravick 's book has won top American literary prize
Roger McStravick 's book has won top American literary prize

A recently-launched book that gives fresh insight into the history of the game at the Home of Golf has won St Andrews author Roger McStravick a top American literary prize.

The book, entitled St Andrews In The Footsteps of Old Tom Morris, is the recipient of the United States Golf Association’s Herbert Warren Wind Book Award for 2015 which recognises its high standard of achievement in golf literature.

Researched for more than three years, and released last summer, McStravick’s chronicle of life in St Andrews during the era of Old Tom Morris examines the important role that Morris played in securing the town’s reputation as the Home of Golf.

Mr McStravick said: “This is like winning the Oscar for golf writers.

“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.”

Michael Trostel, director of the USGA Museum, said: “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. The level of research undertaken to breathe new life into this subject is extraordinary.”

Considered the best golfer of his time he won The Open Championship four times, all at Prestwick between 1861 and 1867 Tom 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 honoured in 2008.