The Kingdom of Golf in America

The Kingdom of Golf in America

By Richard J. Moss

University of Nebraska Press, Hardcover, 9780803244825, 400pp.

Publication Date: June 2013


For golf's true enthusiasts, the game is far more and far more complex than a simple hobby, commodity, or slice of the sports industry. It is a physical and mental place to be, a community. It has a history, a hierarchy, laws, a language, and a literature. And in Richard J. Moss, it has a chronicler.

From its beginnings in the northeastern United States in the 1880s, golf has seen its popularity, and its fortunes, wax and wane, affected by politics and economics, reflecting tensions between aristocratic and democratic impulses. "The Kingdom of Golf in America" traces these ups and downs, ins and outs, in the growth of golf as a community. Moss describes the development of the private club and public course and the impact of wealth and the consumer culture on those who play golf and those who watch. He shows that factors like race, gender, technology, suburbanization, and the transformation of the South that shaped the nation also shaped golf. The result is a unique, and uniquely entertaining, work of cultural history that shows us golf as a community whose story resonates far beyond the confines of the course.

Praise For The Kingdom of Golf in America

“Richard J. Moss is the leading historian of golf in America. A scratch golfer as well as a crack scholar, Moss brings his clear yet sympathetic and deeply knowledgeable eye to this very fine new book. The Kingdom of Golf is the best study we have yet of golf’s by turns snobby, democratic, and in any event surprisingly large place in the fabric of American life.”—Orin Starn, author of The Passion of Tiger Woods
-Orin Starn

“Any book by historian [Richard] Moss is a reason for celebration, especially when the subject is golf, a game he understands far better than most. With The Kingdom of Golf in America Moss has provided a richly detailed and brilliantly nuanced account of the game’s social growth in America, must (and delightful) reading for anyone who wants to understand how golf got into the bloodstream of a community and a nation. He beautifully reveals the scope of our enduring love affair with life’s most complex and social game. Bravo.”—James Dodson, author of Final Rounds and American Triumvirate: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and the Modern Age of Golf
-Jim Dodson