Early Golf Works and Histories

These are the key oldest or rare golf books and histories, shown by the year of initial publication, with very approximate values of recent offers for interest. Details of how to obtain copies or e-copies is given below.


1721 Glotta by James Arbuckle

Reprinted in 1810 with the title Glotta.  From £30,000.

 1743 The Goff  by Thomas Mathison

Editions 1743, 1763 and 1793 all from £80,000. Extensively reproduced, including by Robert Clark in his 1875 work and below.

 1824 Rules of Thistle Golf Club with some historical notices relative to the progress of the Game of Golf in Scotland

Printed by James Ballantyne & Co, Edinburgh. First edition from £14,000 and the Reprint 1866 from £2,000.

1833 Golfiana or Niceties connected with the Game of Golf by George Fullerton Carnegie

Only one first edition copy know. Third edition published 1842 for William Blackwood & Sons and Alexander Hill from £3,500

 1857 The Golfer’s Manual by Henry Brougham Farnie (under the name 'A Keen Hand')

First edition from £4,000. Reprinted Dropmore Press 1947 from £50.

 1862 A Few Rambling Remarks on Golf by Robert Chambers 

Printed by W&R Chambers Edinburgh. USGA 1983 edition from £50.

1866 The Golfer’s Year Book for 1866 by Robert Howie Smith (Ed)

Printed by Smith & Grant Ayr. First edition from £3,000

1870 The Golfer’s Annual 1869-70 by Charles MacArthur 

Printed by Smith & Grant Ayr. First edition from £15,000. 

 1875 Golf: A Royal and Ancient Game by Robert Clark

First edition from £500. Second editions from £100. Reprint of 1893 edition 1975 EP Publishing from £25. More details.

 1875 Reminiscences of the old Bruntsfield Links by Thomas S Aitchison and George Lorimar

Reprint 1902 from £1,000.

 1888 The Golfing Annual Volume I 1887-88 by C Robertson Bauchope (Editor)

Published by Horace Cox, London. First edition from £300 upwards. C Robertson Bauchope died after the publication of the first volume, but there were 22 more editions of the Golfing Annual published by his brother and others.

The Golfers Annual Volumes II 1888-89 to XXIII 1910-11 by John Bauchope (Editor) and David Scott Duncan (Editor). Published by Horace Cox, London. First editions from £100 upwards.

1890 Badminton Library: Golf by Horace G Hutchinson (Editor)

Published by Badminton Library of Sport and Pastimes, London. From £600

1891 Famous Golf Links by Horace G Hutchinson (Editor)

Published by Longmans Green & Co, London. First edition from £500.

 1896 The Golf Book of East Lothian by John Kerr, Minister of Dirleton

T&A Constable, Edinburgh. First edition from £750. Reprint 2009 by Lightning Source from £50. More details.

 1897 British Golf Links by Horace G Hutchinson (Editor)

Longmans Green & Co, London. Limited 250 copy edition from £4,000. First edition from £750. Reprint 2005 by Sports Media Group from £25.

 1898 The Sportswoman’s Library Volume I by Frances Slaughter (Editor)

Published by The Guild Press, Birmingham. First edition from £50. Reprint 2010 by Kessinger Publishing from £20.

 1907 A History of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club St Andrews from 1754 - 1900 by H S C Everard

Published by William Blackwood and Son. First edition from £500.

1908 The Life of Tom Morris With Glimpses of St Andrews and its Golfing Celebrities by W W Tulloch 

Published by T. Werner Laurie, London. First editions from £400

1909 The Aberdeen Golfers: records and reminiscences by Charles Smith

Published by Neill & Co, Aberdeen. First edition from £1,800. Reprint 1982 by Ellesborough Press from £200.


As with books published before 1923, these books are held to be out of copyright and most of them are available as e-copies free or for a nominal cost. Notable sources are:-

Alternatively, ‘Print on Demand’ hardcopies and softcopies can be bought from online printers.

The general book search on which most reputable suppliers list their books, including 'Print on Demand' books is Abebooks but other similar listings sites are available.