Savour every minute of the Ryder Cup countdown as the famous match prepares for its long-awaited return to Scotland with a fantastic new book which looks at the history of the event.
WITH less than 500 days to go until the 2014 Ryder Cup gets underway at Gleneagles, it is fair to say excitement is well and truly building ahead of the famous match making its return to Scotland.
Indeed, not since the 1973 battle between GB&I, as it was then, and the USA has the Ryder Cup been contested in the home of golf, so it is no surprise that there is such anticipation building.
Tickets are on-sale now and the volunteer programme attracted a record number of applicants. Scottish folk, it seems, just can’t wait to be a part of this historic occasion. All of this makes the release of a brand new book all about the match and its Gleneagles destination so well-timed.
Entitled Jewel in the Glen: Gleneagles, Golf and The Ryder Cup, the book has been researched and written by Ed Hodge, a former Gleneagles caddy and golf office employee. For Ed, its publication fulfils a lifelong ambition of writing his first book to celebrate golf at the resort during one of the most exciting times in its history.
Produced in association with The Gleneagles Hotel, Jewel in the Glen: Gleneagles, Golf and The Ryder Cup is published by Arena Sport, an imprint of Birlinn Ltd, and will be available later this summer, first in hardback and then later in ebook format, ahead of the Ryder Cup taking place on the resort’s PGA Centenary Course in September 2014.
We, at Scottish Club Golfer, have had a sneak peek at it and, trust us, if you love golf and are amongst the ever-swelling throng getting excited at the Ryder Cup’s imminent return to the country, you absolutely have to get a copy.
Spanning 240 pages with wonderful photography, Ed - now the PR & Media Executive for the Scottish Golf Union - paints a unique portrait of Gleneagles and Scottish golf as a whole, using his extensive local knowledge and great passion for his subjects.
Tracing the history of the Ryder Cup back to the famous forerunner match at Gleneagles in 1921, the book intertwines the histories of the coveted prize with the five-star Hotel’s own rich heritage. Through a series of in-depth interviews, an array of national and international celebrities reveal what the Ryder Cup and Gleneagles mean to them while examining the impact the tournament will have on the local community and the wider Scottish society, culture, and economy.
As well as a host of interviews with local personalities, Ed spent two years tracking down the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Sir Jackie Stewart, Andy Murray, Kenny Dalglish Stephen Hendry and many more leading sports names and celebrities for contributions.
Indeed, Nicklaus, the 18-time major champion who designed the PGA Centenary Course, has written the foreword while Montgomerie, the Ryder Cup legend and Johnnie Walker Championship chairman, provides a hole-by-hole guide to the course.
“We all have dreams and I’m delighted to have fulfilled one of mine with this publication,” said Ed, who grew up in Braco, Perthshire, and now lives in Linlithgow, where he is a member at Kingsfield Golf Centre.
“Given my passion for Perthshire, golf, Gleneagles and the Ryder Cup, it’s been a delight to work on this project. It’s a hugely special time for Gleneagles as 2014 is also the 90th anniversary of the hotel, and I’ve enjoyed speaking to so many differing personalities to document the history of golf at the resort and share their love of the resort.
“Numerous people have assisted me, but the support of all at Gleneagles, especially Billy Murray and Dorothy Welsh, has been pivotal. Working closely with Jack Nicklaus and his team, in particular, has also been an absolute honour.”
Ed’s passion for his subject matter shines through in a book, which has been thoroughly and painstakingly researched, something which Nicklaus himself is hugely appreciative of.
“Gleneagles is among the great places in the world to visit and play golf, and we are highly confident the PGA Centenary Course will showcase itself and Gleneagles well in the 2014 Ryder Cup,” explains the Golden Bear in his foreword. “Given my association with Scotland and Gleneagles, it was a privilege and pleasure to have the opportunity to contribute a foreword for Ed. His book offers insightful reflection and a wonderful celebration of golf at Gleneagles.”
‘Jewel in the Glen: Gleneagles, Golf and The Ryder Cup’ can be purchased from early August at The Gleneagles Hotel, from all leading bookshops and online, or directly from the publisher with free P&P at www.birlinn.co.uk. Follow Ed’s book updates on Twitter: @edhodgegolf