Why go on a deluxe trip to play the very best courses of Scotland, the birthplace of golf, with a high-end tour operator like Perry Golf or Haversham and Baker, when you just read about the courses instead?
For the same price.
I kid you not. If you thought you seen it all, buckle up, because you have not seen what is being touted by its publisher as the most expensive golf book ever produced.
The price tag? $4,600.
“The Golf Links of Scotland,” is, to quote from the press release, “an ultra-deluxe, hand-tooled leather-bound tome that surely will be recognized as the ultimate hole-by-hole tour of the venerable Old Course at St. Andrews, as well as a tribute to 18 other top Scottish seaside links.”
It is being released on September 14th, which gives you exactly 3 months and a week to cash in your IRA to buy a copy as a Christmas present. The book is a collaboration between respected golf photographer and St. Andrews resident, Iain Macfarlane Lowe, and former Golf Magazine publisher George Peper.
Of course, it is a limited edition – only 150 copies will be printed. It will examine in detail every hole on the Old Course using an interesting new concept of transparent overlays on aerial shots to show lines of play and yardages. The release explains that this will be “combined with the wisdom of ‘local knowledge’ professional tips [to] serve as a valuable guide to successfully negotiate the course.” They dot mention how you are supposed to carry it around the links, but I guess if you can buy this book, you can just get a second caddie to read it to you throughout the round.
After 130 pages devoted to the Old Course, Book Two covers eighteen other Scottish gems in an additional 170 pages. For those of you who lost count, that comes out to just over $15 a page. Links courses warranting such luxurious coverage include Turnberry (which I love), Prestwick (ditto), Royal Troon (which I hate), and Royal Dornoch, Carnoustie, Muirfield, Royal Aberdeen, North Berwick and Kingsbarns. I love Kingsbarns but feel its newness is immediately suspect in such classic company. The again, I am not the target audience. If I had $4600 to blow without concern, I’d go to Vegas and enter a poker tournament.
Finally, each oversized, leather-bound copy features 23-carat gold leaf inlay and includes “an exclusive, unpublished photograph printed on the highest quality fine art paper and bound into each book,” signed and numbered by Lowe and “suitable for framing,” though if it’s bound into the book it would be hard to frame, I would think.
But hurry – after New Year’s the price jumps to five grand. For real.