Tommy's Honor

The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
Narrated by: James A. Gillies
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bringing to life golf's founding father and son, Tommy's Honor is a stirring tribute to two legendary players and a vivid evocation of their colorful, rip-roaring times.

The Morrises were towering figures in their day. Old Tom began life as a nobody - he was the son of a weaver and a maid. But he was born in St. Andrews, Scotland, the cradle of golf, and the game was in his blood. He became the champion golfer of Scotland. As "Keeper of the Green" at the town's ancient links, Tom deployed golf's first lawnmower and banished sheep from the fairways.

Then Young Tommy's career took off. Handsome Tommy Morris was a more daring player than his father. Soon he surpassed Old Tom and dominated the game. But just as he reached his peak, Tommy's life took a tragic turn, leading to his death at the age of 24. That shock is at the heart of Tommy's Honor. It left Tom to pick up the pieces - to honor his son by keeping Tommy's memory alive.

Tommy's Honor is both fascinating history and a moving personal saga. But this audiobook isn't only for golfers. It's for every son who has fought to escape a father's shadow and for every father who has guided a son toward manhood, then found it hard to let him go.

©2007 Kevin Cook (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Golf history at its absolute best." ( Booklist, starred review)

What listeners say about Tommy's Honor

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An interesting sports history lesson

I’m a sports history buff, but most of my interests and reading have only gone back to the 1930s. Golf though is a much older sport than basketball, baseball and football and since I was about to visit Scotland and the Old Course, I wanted to have a better working knowledge of what I was seeing. The Morris father-son combo really were innovators of the game. Each won four British Opens. Until recently that was the extent of my knowledge on the duo. Looking at their records both set victory margin records that would not be surpassed until Tiger Woods came along and even Tiger needed 72 holes instead of the 36 holes in which the Morris duo set their records. Despite the great play of both, Old Tom’s greatest contributions to the game probably lie with course design and course maintenance. He designed more than 60 courses in Scotland. Although the Old Course at St. Andrews far outdated Old Tom, he is given credit for making it what it became while serving as greens keeper for 40 years. Old Tom invented top dressing of greens, changed the standard and eventually the rule of golf to use tee boxes and was the first to use hole liners which set the standard size of a hole that is still used today. Young Tom was simply put golf’s first superstar. There are many ways to judge who is the greatest of all-time in any sport. If you look at overall career, then Jack Nicklaus is the clear winner for golf. However, if you look to the golfer’s period of dominance of the competition, then Tiger Woods, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Young Tom have excellent cases. Young Tom died at 24, but not before winning the world’s only major at the time, The British Open, four times in a row. Two of his victories were by double digits in a 36 hole tournament! It was a very interesting book. I learned a lot. If you like Mark Frost's golf books, you should enjoy this one as well. The narrator for the audio version also did an excellent job of reading it.

1 person found this helpful

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Like going back in time

Great history of the early game told in a way that is humorous and entertaining. Cook writes in tremendous detail, but it adds to the story rather than boring the reader/listener. Gillies' reading is in the way of an old storyteller that makes you feel like you are there. (It is actually even better if played at 1.2x speed - it seems to add more excitement to his voice!) I will watch the movie after the book, but fear the movie will disappoint after this fine reading of the original story. Highly recommended

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I absolutely loved this book!

Great historical accounts of the pioneers in modern day golf along with captivating stories. My kind of book!

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Must read for golfers

This was a great read on one of golf's greatest founding fathers, Old Tom Morris, and his son, the "Tiger Woods" in golf's nascent professional era just past the midpoint of the 19th century. Kevin Cook did impeccable research on his subjects, and any avid follower of golf should know more about Old Tom, and his son, and what they, particularly the father, contributed to the game. When you watch "The Open," especially when it takes place at the venerable St. Andrews Old Course, you ought to tip a figurative bonnet to the white-bearded old gentleman who was its most renowned greenskeeper. One thing that impresses is how remarkably well the early pros like Young Tom played, with crude wooden clubs and gutta-percha balls that hardly resemble the fine equipment golfers play with now. The story of the Morris father and son duo never sags, and I had to admire Old Tom for what he endured, losing Young Tom tragically at an early age, his wife, and his other sons and daughter, all before he passed on accidentally when he was in his mid-80s. A recommended book, and I also recommend the Audible version, narrated impeccably by James A. Gillies.

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Outstanding

Kevin Cook weaves together many facts and tidbits of early golf into a very enjoyable narrative. Well deserving of the USGA's Herbert Warren Wind book award. The narrator for the audible version enhanced the book.

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Great golf story

Really enjoyed this. Well written. Great history and a fascinating story. I recommend checking it out.

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Best golf book since " The Greatest Game"

Wonderful story. Great narration. If you enjoyed any of the Robert Frost golf books, definetly check this out.