This story of golf's formative years was first published in 1992. This 2007 edition incorporates the large amount of new documents and other material to have emerged in the intervening 15 years, much of it in response to the original edition of this book.
The period covered is what the author refers to as Golf's "dark ages". This is the period between the first written reference to golf in Scotland in a 1457 Act of Parliament prohibiting the playing of the game (because it diverted men from archery practice) to the first ever "Rules of Golf" drawn up by Edinburgh's Company of Gentlemen Golfers in 1744.
A Swing Through Time sets out to be definitive and authoritative. It does so by in drawing on - and in many cases reproducing - sections of official documents, of diaries, of records of expenditure on clubs and balls, and of publications of various sorts that mention golf, often in passing, but increasingly over time as a subject worthy of exploration and description in its own right. Many of come from the collections of the National Library of Scotland, but a wide variety of sources have been used.
The result will fascinate anyone with more than a passing interest in golf: which now includes a significant proportion of the world's population. Here you can go beyond the opinions of golfing authors about the origins of the game to the source material on which their (sometimes conflicting) views about what many regard as one of Scotland's two great gifts to the world are based.