My book, “Tenby to Celtic Manor.” (Carreg Gwalsch) (on sale from 31 July) is not;
a travel book detailing the 160 mile journey along the A4218, A478, A477, A40, A48, M4, A48 (again), and B4236 between the South West seaside town of Tenby and the imposing Colditz-style fortress on the eastern side of Newport that is Celtic Manor;
a golf instruction book that includes an opening chapter about your grip with illustrations, a chapter dealing with the 10 most common faults all solved by hitting the ball close to where you’re aiming, chapters called, “Putting – The Game Within A Game”, “Understand Your Swing” or “Warming Up Before Your Round”;
A book with a foreword by a famous player I’ve never met (the best I could hope for is Bradley Dredge as my mum knows his mum, slightly) and as a member of Bargoed Golf Club my other link would be that I’ve had a drink or two in the Bradley Dredge lounge;
a book of colour illustrations of me, or more likely Bradley, shot on a Spanish golf course standing in a gorgeous yellow sandy bunker looking wise.
Reviews of the book will not be the same as the reviews of many golf books found on the shelves.
Reviews will not say;
“this book is the defining point of a lifetimes’s theories… free from jargon… contains everything you will ever need to know ” -‘100% Golf’, David Leadbetter;
(the book is) “offering a fast track to a lower handicap for all” – ‘The Golf Instruction Manual’, Steve Newell;
“this eye-opening tutorial will empower golfers” – ‘The Negotiable Golf Swing’, Joseph Laurentino.
People will not say the following about my book;
“this masterpiece of simplicity offers a fast track to a lower handicap for all…each chapter offers fascinating insights that are guaranteed to save you shots. – P. Alliss ;
“it’s about as funny as someone shouting ‘one’ when your ball falls off the tee. – B. Forsyth”
“when I started reading this book I rarely broke 100. By page 10 I was playing in single figures. By chapter 5 I had won the weekly club stableford competition 3 times. A week later I was playing off scratch. By the time I had finished it I was on the professional circuit…… I can thoroughly recommend it. – B. Dredge ”.
What the book is a history of golf in Wales illustrated by a range of diverse golf clubs, with a number of themes running through the book; the role of women, religion, industry, poverty and class.
Extract 1: Acknowledgements
“This book is a selective trawl through the history of Golf in Wales to the present day. I’ve tried to get a mix of large Clubs and small Clubs, members’ Clubs and owners’ Clubs, urban Clubs and rural Clubs. This is a snapshot of golf as I saw it and heard it in the summer of 2010 in Wales.
Many thanks are due for the help, support and patience I’ve had from the Golf Club managers, secretaries, captains, members, Club historians and professionals across Wales. Special thanks to the people who have patiently hunted for papers in the backs of cupboards, answered my queries, sent me notes, records, books and photos.
Particular apologies to the club officials who don’t find their Club in this book. In attempting to give the widest range of Clubs in Wales I’ve had to be incredibly selective – sorry. “
Extract 2 : Origins of golf
The last fifty years of the Victorian era were a time of dramatic change for Wales. The population virtually doubled between 1851 and 1901. In 1851, 35 per cent of the population of Wales earned their living in agriculture. By the early twentieth century this was down to 10 per cent. In 1850 almost all elected MPs were members of the land-owning classes; by 1914 only three of the thirty-four MPs representing Welsh constituencies were part of the landed gentry. The rôle of women was about to change, as was the power of the Church.
Golf, and sport in general, reflected of the changing times. In 1876 the Football Association was formed in Wales. In 1881 the Welsh Rugby Union was formed. In 1888 Glamorgan County Cricket Club was founded. In 1895 the Welsh Golfing Union was formed with a meeting of seven existing Clubs: Tenby, Porthcawl, Swansea Bay, Glamorganshire, Caernarvonshire, Borth-Ynylas, Aberdovey and Merionethshire…
… to Celtic Manor