Brassies, Mashies, and Bootleg Scotch


Brassies, Mashies, and Bootleg Scotch

Growing Up on America's First Heroic Golf Course

Bill Kilpatrick

176 pages
8 photographs


October 2011


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

A hundred years or so ago, kids growing up in St. Andrews, Scotland, kids like Bill Kilpatrick’s father, took to golf as naturally as to breathing. Accordingly, the prevailing opinion was that any layabout could play golf, whereas a greenkeeper was someone to be reckoned with. And a greenkeeper (a term much preferred to “golf course superintendent”) was what Kilpatrick’s father became. Kilpatrick’s memoir of growing up on golf courses is at once a window on another time—when golf was played mainly with balata balls, hickory shafts, and handmade spoons, mashies, and cleeks—and a ground-level view of what maintaining a golf course meant when artisanship, instinct, and experience carried the day.

A charming narrative of a boy’s relationship with his adored, occasionally impatient, and always forgiving father, Brassies, Mashies, and Bootleg Scotch takes us to some of the most notable golf clubs in America and introduces us to a delightful cast of characters, from giants of golf history to behind-the-scenes eccentrics to walk-on stars like New York Giants pitcher Hal Schumacher. Readers get a rare glimpse of a vanished world through Kilpatrick’s recollections of the daily routines of his father as a dedicated greenkeeper and of his own experiences as a caddy on the courses that were his family’s way of life.

Author Bio

Bill Kilpatrick has written articles for magazines such as Parade, Popular Mechanics, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Field & Stream, Esquire, Fly Fishing, and True. Before “retiring” he was a general features writer, columnist, and golf writer for the Fort Myers News-Press.


“I enjoyed this immensely. Beautifully written, I was transported back in time and imagined I was on the links playing along with the author.”—Iain Mossman, PGA professional

"Amid the crisply described and warmly nostalgic anecdotes, a theme emerges: golf courses were different, far richer places in Kilpatrick's father's day than they are today, in our technologically powered age of titanium drivers and automated watering systems."—Bill Ott, Booklist

"In only 162 pages author Bill Kilpatrick gives us a well-written look at golf in the post-World I era. . . . I love this book. It's a page-turner."—Bob Spiwak,

"Brassies, Mashies and Bootleg Scotch by Bill Kilpatrick is a charming account of growing up on golf courses in the 1930s."—Bob Koczur, Golf Today

"Brassies, Mashies, and Bootleg Scotch oozes golf nostalgia. . . . An ideal gift for lovers of the ancient game, especially older dads and grandfathers."—Tom Lavoie, Shelf Awareness

"This is truly a book that should be in any superintendent's library, as it tells the real story of where we have come from."—Melvin B. Lucas Jr., Golf Course Management

Table of Contents


1. The Founding Father, Part I

2. Good-bye, Charlie

3. Weed No More

4. Mixing It Up

5. A Badge of Honor

6. The Grass Was Greener

7. Boy Explorer

8. The Way It Was, Part I

9. Off Limits

10. An Authentic Master

11. A Picasso I Never Was

12. The Really Hard Stuff

13. Tote That Bag, Watch That Ball

14. All on a Golden Afternoon

15. All the Jolly Fellows

16. Having a Ball

17. The Way It Was, Part II

18. Landmarks

19. Never Again

20. The Founding Father, Part II



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