I was at the Open Championship at St Andrews in 2015 when I entered one of its many independent bookshops. I should have been watching the golf but there was hardly any play on the Saturday due to the high winds. The choice was simple. Hang around the Old Course in the hope that play would begin again or head into town?
I’m glad I chose the latter. Seeing St Andrews town centre is worth the trip itself. It really comes to life when the Open is hosted there. I was browsing in the bookshelves when I suddenly saw it. Tommy’s Honour by Kevin Cook.
I knew the story of Old Tommy Morris and his younger son. How Old Tom became a founder of our great game and how his son, Tommy Jr, would go on to win the Open Championship three times between 1868-1870. The Championship belt was his to keep and a new trophy was sought. The Belt was replaced with the now famous Claret Jug.
After buying the book I began to read it in the local Coffee Shop where Prince William met Kate Middleton. Whilst I never found my princess as I drank my latte, I did fall in love. Not with a person but with a book.
Engrossed with the story and its characters, Cook’s wonderful narrative of father and son rivalry had made an impact on me. The father who liked traditions and knew his place against the younger son whose ambitions were much higher. With the Cathedral only a short walk away I decided to pay my respects to the graves of the two men.
That windy day where no golf was played was saved with a trip around our games fantastic history. Cook’s book has since stayed with me. A reminder of our past, a reminder of our struggles and a timeless tale of the love with have for our families.
At the time I had no idea that the book was in development to become a feature film. It’s something I am already looking forward to seeing. Its trailer has just been released and for those who are interested in the history of our game, it’s a must watch. Popcorn at the ready, tissues in your pocket (you’ll need them) the tale of the Morris family will be there to see.
I only hope that it is as good as the book. In the meantime here’s the trailer.