The Kingdom of Golf in America


The Kingdom of Golf in America

Richard J. Moss

400 pages


June 2013


$39.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

March 2020


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eBook (PDF)

June 2013


$39.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

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.

Author Bio

Richard J. Moss is John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History (emeritus) at Colby College and the author of Golf and the American Country Club and Eden in the Pines: A History of Pinehurst Village.


“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 in America 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

“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

"[Richard J. Moss's] own love for the game is infectious."—Henry Allen, Wall Street Journal

"A historian specializes in the past, but Moss casts a sharp eye on the game's future as well and his conclusion is sobering."—Dennis McCann, Wisconsin Golfer

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. From Nothing to Something

Chapter 2. Golf Literature

Chapter 3. Clubs and Courses

Chapter 4. Golf before the War

Chapter 5. Golf and World War I

Chapter 6. Golf’s Golden Age?

Chapter 7. Golf in the 1930s

Chapter 8. Golf and World War II

Chapter 9. Hogan, Snead, and Nelson and the Rise of the Modern Touring Pro

Chapter 10. The Golf Community in a New Age of Affluence

Chapter 11. Golf and the Age of Television

Chapter 12. Golf and the Two-Party System

Chapter 13. Understanding the Golf Community

Chapter 14. Against the Wind

Appendix A: Golf, Parks, and the American Lawn

Appendix B: Golf Courses in 1920

Appendix C: The <SC>pga</SC> in 1935

Bibliographical Essay


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