There is anticipation in the air for the ‘Bump & Run’ golf book, by Australian author Andrew Crockett. Andrew has spent the last two years interviewing the elders of Australian golf, including Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, David Graham, Bill Dunk, Frank Phillips, Bruce Crampton, Jan Stephenson and over a dozen others. With recent confirmation that Adam Scott has penned the foreword and Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player have kindly donated their time, we asked Crockett a few questions about the book.
We have seen a draft copy and the first thing that jumps to mind is how much time has gone into this book.
Some weeks I have worked 70 hours or more, not to mention the travelling and countless hours researching. I am glad people can pick up a draft copy and instantly recognise the amount of time that has gone into it. It is not like a generically published book that has a dozen images sewn into the centre pages, with words each side of it. There are over 200 images in this 246 page coffee table book and I have employed artists to help make it look timeless.
Tell us more about the watercolour art and illustrations
There are four artists that have been employed. The well-known artist Robert A Wade, at 83 years of age has been a member of Metropolitan for over 50 years; his watercolour work is in many of Australia’s premium golf clubhouses and also in St Andrews, Scotland. Harry Daily is more like an Andy Warhol sort of character, based in San Diego. He painted the front cover to my surfing books and has travelled the world with his art; still in his 30s he brings a youthfulness to the book. Jamie Kasdaglis has turned out some dramatic watercolours and also has painted the front cover in a 1930s poster-art style. Sketch Holiday has created all the hand drawn fonts.
Why the elders and what are they saying?
Asking the elders what they think are the secrets to putting; for example, listening to Jack Nicklaus or Sir Bob Charles talk about that and reading it all in one place. That question on putting has all their answers right there on the page, a baker’s dozen of the finest golfers giving us clues that will help our own games. There are a dozen questions they all answer; putting is just one aspect we touched on. It helped my game talking to all these legends; I holed two bunker shots in 9 holes, after talking with Gary Player and shot 71 at The Legends course, after a putting tip from Frank Phillips. My handicap has dropped from 6 to 3 and I haven’t even been playing!
With the elders, I wanted to go back in time to that era where the Australian Open was considered the fifth major. An era where Australia was a golf manufacturing powerhouse, via Slazengers, PGF/East Brothers and Spalding. Researching the Australian Open and how successful it was as a tournament really provides some insight into how Australia can get back on the international radar and have a truly international event. That era, the 60s and 70s was just a fantastic period and not only for golf. I went a little further back in time to dig up folklore from the lives of Jim Ferrier, Harry Williams, Dan Soutar, Carnegie Clark and even Walter Travis. Norman Von Nida comes to life in the book too, which is quite remarkable considering he left us in 2007.
Book publishing has changed a lot in Australia, how have you managed to succeed?
With a lot of luck and good fortune. I am 100% independent from the giant publishers. I try to make books with an artistic sensibility and vintage charm. Commercialism churns out books that are ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ – and I want Bump & Run to be here in November and never gone. You won’t find the book in bookshops; the only way I can make it work financially is to have it available online, where I sell it direct to the readers. Patrons will hopefully see the book at the Australian Masters, World Cup, Australian Open and the Australian PGA – it should also be in the clubhouses and some pro shops; but if people really want to buy it I would suggest telling their wives/families now to bookmark the website and place an order when it goes live on the 1st of November. Peter Thomson saw the book last week and remarked ‘this is a $100 book’ – and it is $100 book in the good old days of publishing, but these days it is a $49.95 book and only available online.
More information www.bumpandrun.com.au