Synopses & Reviews
"Golf and The American Country Club tells us how elite, white Victorian America nurtured a game that made Tiger Woods a household name. In doing so, it provocatively offers the country club 'as part of the social capital that makes democracy possible,' despite its reputed history as a privileged, exclusive place for fat-cat Protestant white American men."
-- Peter Levine, author of Ellis Island to Ebbets Field: Sport and the American Jewish Experience
"Golf and the American Country Club
is an immensely interesting history concerning a subject intrinsic to the art form of designing golf courses. The business world of golf yearns for history related to its industry, and this volume provides historic information that business people seek."
-- Geoffrey S. Cornish, past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects
The evolution of the country club as an American social institution and its inextricable connection to the game of golf.
Often seen as anti-egalitarian and elitist, the country club has provoked strong responses since its initial appearance in the late 1800s. Golf, another elitist identifier, was commonly dismissed as a pseudo-sport or even unmanly. Where and how had the country club and the game of golf taken root in the United States? How had the manicured order of the golf course become a cultural site that elicited both strong loyalties and harsh criticism?
Richard J. Moss's cultural history explores the establishment of the country club as an American social institution and its inextricable connection to the ancient, imported game of golf. Moss traces the evolution of country clubs from informal groups of golf-playing friends to "country estates" in the suburbs and, eventually, into public and private daily fee courses, corporate country clubs, and gated golfing communities. As he shows, the development of these institutions reveals profound shifts in social dynamics, core American values, and attitudes toward health and sport.
In this entertaining cultural history, Moss explores the circumstances that led to the establishment of the country club as an American social institution and its inextricable connection to the ancient, imported game of golf. Moss traces the evolution of country clubs from informal groups
of golf-playing friends to “country estates” in the suburbs and eventually into public and private daily-fee courses, corporate country clubs, and gated golfing communities. The book shows how these developments reflect shifts in American values and attitudes toward health and sport, as well as changing social dynamics.