Shortlisted for the 2023 Sports Book Awards for Best Sports Writing of the Year
Shortlisted for the USGA Herbert Warren Wind Book Award
The Long Golden Afternoon tells the story of the transformative generation of golf that followed the rise of Young Tom Morris - an era of sweeping change that saw Scotland's national pastime become one of the rare games played around the world.
It begins with the first epochal performance after Tommy - John Ball's victory at Prestwick in 1890 as the first Englishman and the first amateur to win the Open Championship - and continues through the outbreak of the Great War. If Tommy ignited the flame of golf in England, Ball's breakthrough turned that smoldering fire into a conflagration.
The generation that followed would witness the game's coming of age. It would see an explosion in golf's popularity, the invention of revolutionary new balls and clubs, the emergence of professional tours, the organization of the game and its rules, a renaissance in writing and thinking about golf, and the decision that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews must always remain the sport's guiding light.
'A beautifully crafted examination of a period in the history of golf that will never again be witnessed. It is not to be missed' - Jim Davis, The Golf
Stephen Proctor has served as a senior editor at The Baltimore Sun, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Houston Chronicle. A native of Maryland, he graduated from The American University in Washington and was later awarded a John S. Knight Fellowship in journalism at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He is an avid golfer and has spent the past decade studying the history of the royal and ancient game. Monarch of the Green is his first book. He lives in Malabar, Florida.
"With his beautiful use of language, Proctor has Bernard Darwin's gift of bringing a moment to life. Delightful and insightful, capturing the very spirit of the age, The Long Golden Afternoon is an instant classic."
~Roger McStravick (golf historian and author)
“It is beautifully, but digestibly detailed. Stephen's writing style is that of an exemplary journalist providing a commentary and observations utilising contemporary press reports, scorecards and his knowledge of this period in history.”
"This excellent book, that brings to life many of our heroes, will simply encourage a legion of golf history devotees and it should be heralded for this."
~Through the Green
"What a fabulous addition to golf history. The tale of the late Victorian transformation of golf has finally found a storyteller worthy of the story."
~Waterstones Bookseller, St Andrews
"If you have not already taken a dive into golf history, this is a good book to start; if you have, it is still very much worthwhile."
"Proctor's skill with the language is crisp and fluid ... a beautifully crafted examination of a period in the history of golf that will never again be witnessed. It is not to be missed."
~Jim Davis, The Golf
"I couldn't recommend it more highly... it's a magnificent book."
~Andrew Thomson, The Firm and Fast Golf Podcast
"If his first book betrayed Proctor’s love for golf history, his second confirmed his rare ability to recount it."
~Links Magazine, 10 Best Golf Books of 2022
"A very charming and richly detailed history of the game from 1864 until the start of World War I."
~Alan Shipnuk, The Fire Pit Collective
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