The Kingdom of Golf in America
By Richard J. Moss
(University of Nebraska Press, Hardcover, 9780803244825, 400pp.)
Publication Date: June 2013
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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.