Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R and A Golfer's Handbook joins

reference books that are no more
As a golf writer for more years than I care to remember, I am saddened by the news that the R and A has decided to cease publication of the R and A Golfer's Handbook.
After a publishing history dating back to 1899, there will be no 2015 edition.
The reference books that were always at my elbow are, one by one, disappearing.
The PGA in Scotland stopped publishing their "Official Year Book" in 2013.
The Scottish Ladies Golfing Association are not publishing their Handbook this year.
Three cheers for the Ladies Golf Union and the Scottish Golf Union who are still publishing their Yearbooks.
I have relied on yearbooks/handbooks, etc down through the years to tell me who won what title in what year and who played in the Walker Cup and Ryder Cup matches of various years.
Will anybody else miss the R and A Golfer's Handbook? Am I in a minority of one?
The difference between the R and A Golfer's Handbook, of course, was that it between its hard covers it had close on 950 pages of information, invaluable to me. Of all the handbooks, year books and otheer reference books, it was the only one that you had to BUY. The 2014 edition, edited as usual by Renton Laidlwa, cost £30.
Well worth the money, in my opinion.
Its demise is another sign that the printed word, particularly newspapers, will be disappear within the next 50 years, maybe sooner. That's my opinion.
Readers can now get the information a lot faster from websites instead of paying the best part of a £1 for a daily paper - and more for a Sunday paper which is printed by 6pm on a Saturday.
All newspapers' circulation figures have fallen drastically over the last decade.  

Goodbye Golfer’s Handbook

April 21st, 2015

The R and A has decided to cease publication of the R and A Golfer’s Handbook. There will be no 2015 edition. After a publishing history dating back to 1899, one presumes that this decision will not have been taken lightly and is based upon lack of sales, demonstrating lack of interest by the golfing public, despite the fact that the Handbook was sold every year as ‘the ultimate reference guide to the world of golf – a book that no true player, fan or follower should be without’.
So far I have heard few complaints, which may be symbolic of the lack of general interest (or perhaps it’s because this news is not yet widely known). 
By the way, I have a gap in my R and A Golfer's Handbook collection: has anyone got a spare copy of the edition published in 2000?
Geoff Russell, Publisher




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