Scotland: Home of Golf - Photography by Iain M. Lowe and Christopher J. Lowe - Text and Illustrations by David Joy
It’s been a good couple of years since we featured a golf book review – Keith Cutten’s The Evolution of Golf Course Design was the last one in January 2019 – so we’ll remedy that situation now with a look at Scotland: Home of Golf, which was published late last year.
There can be no argument with the title – Scotland is the home of golf. The book contains lavish photography from the talented father and son team of Iain and Christopher Lowe, with David Joy providing the narrative (alongside a selection of artistic illustrations) taking the reader on a captivating journey around some of Scotland’s finest golf courses. All three men reside close to St Andrews and each is steeped in the royal and ancient game: Iain and Chris are credited with a number of photographic golf book titles and David’s The Joy of Golf is due out in 2022. In 1999 David and Iain co-produced St. Andrews & The Open Championship: The Official History.
Designed to “brighten your day; to re-kindle happy memories of previous trips or maintain your desire to visit Scotland with club and ball,” the book showcases fourteen links layouts – all but one of them currently ranked in our Scottish Top 20 – which epitomise all that’s good about Scottish golf: from historic old courses that have been hundreds of years in the making to modern designs fashioned in the new millennium.
Starting with the Championship course at Carnoustie, there’s a wonderful selection of ground and aerial photography produced for every chosen layout and the historical text is suitably embellished with lovely hand-drawn illustrations of famous players who’ve made their mark during various championships, challenge matches and other golfing events down the years.
You’ll find illustrations of all the golfing greats, beginning with “the triumvirate” of Taylor, Vardon and Braid, who claimed a total of sixteen Open titles between 1894 and 1914. There are also short profiles of Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan, followed by Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman; all of whom have contributed to the rich history at many of the courses that come under the spotlight in this book.
Iconic holes are also given extra prominence on every course so, naturally, the par five 6th (“Hogan’s Alley”) at Carnoustie is featured, along with the par three 8th (Postage Stamp”) at Royal Troon, the par four 17th (“Road”) on the Old course at St Andrews and the par five 3rd (“Cardinal”) at Prestwick. For many, it’s worth the green fee just to be able to tee it up at any one of these holes.
The inclusion of Dumbarnie Links will surprise some, as it only opened a year ago and has barely settled in. Indeed, it’s not yet ranked in any of our standings but it’ll definitely be listed when we reappraise our GB&I charts early next year. And if the positive reviews Dumbarnie has received in the last twelve months are anything to go by, it’s bound to make a big impression.
There’s a small section at the back of the book with a sample of other courses that didn’t quite make the cut, but Gleneagles (the only non-links venue covered) reminds readers that there’s more than just coastal golf to be savoured in Scotland. Brora, Crail and Elie are wonderful examples of courses mentioned that fell short of the main selection, though many more, including Nairn, Machrie, Machrihanish and Western Gailes might feel a tad hard done by.
This limited edition book is not a compendium of Scottish courses; it’s a colourful collection of fourteen of the country’s best layouts. Ironically, only fourteen venues have staged The Open championship, therefore the other four courses featured within its pages enable Scotland: Home of Golf to get to eighteen.
Top 100 Golf Courses
PR RELEASE FOLLOWS
St. Andrews, Scotland, June 15, 2021—Stunning air and ground photography coupled with fascinating facts, historical context and meticulously drawn illustrations offer readers a visual journey across 14 iconic golf courses in Scotland, Home of Golf. Iain and Chris Lowe, who specialize in golf course photography, teamed up with Scottish golf historian David Joy to honor the birthplace of golf with this stirring pictorial of 14 “must play” seaside links courses on every golf enthusiast’s wish list.
From the breathtaking grandeur of the Old Course, the oldest in the world, to the Carnoustie Golf Links, home of “Golf’s Greatest Test,” the 14 courses featured in Scotland, Home of Golf represent 600 years of the game’s history. The courses are exquisitely showcased from the air and the ground in captivating photos that illuminate the singular topography and inspired architecture of the links form of golf. Woven throughout is information sharing the rich history of the courses and the greatest players to have played them—there are moments of great sadness, of great joy and incredible achievements. Four modern designs, constructed since 2000, are also included as the most sought-after new links golf experiences. The highlighted courses in order of appearance are: Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, The Old Course, Dumbarnie, Muirfield, North Berwick, Turnberry, Prestwick, Royal Troon, Castle Stuart, Royal Dornoch, Cruden Bay, Trump International and Royal Aberdeen.
“This book is a love letter about Scottish links courses,” Iain Lowe says. “It is our best efforts to show that this is far more than just game of club and ball. It can be a consuming passion.”
Scotland, Home of Golf is the collaboration of the accomplished St. Andrews based father and son photography team of Iain and Christopher Lowe, with expert text and detailed illustrations by noted Scottish golf historian, author, artist and fourth generation St. Andrean David Joy. Joy also is known for his compelling and accurate portrayal of Old Tom Morris in acclaimed performances around the world. Together, the Lowes have four photographic golf book titles to their credit. Iain’s award-winning career of some 50 years includes 25 years shooting Scottish golf courses, and the publication of nine golf books featuring evocative photographic course tours. While Scotland is home to the Lowe’s photography business, they have performed commissioned work around the world in destinations such as the U.S., Cyprus, Morocco, Australia and South Africa.
For more information, please visit www.scottishgolflibrary.com.
Scotland, Home of Golf
Publisher: Iain Lowe Photography
Available from Amazon.com ($45) and www.scottishgolflibrary.com (£29 including free UK postage)