|Available at Lulu.com.|
Barry Ward is one of the latter, and after a lifetime in golf writing he is still counting his blessings. He calls it his improbable journey, one which came about through a chain of events that almost defies credulity. Now he is sharing that globetrotting golf journey in a collection of stories and essays called Birdies, Bunkers & Bar Stools: Jottings from a Lifetime in Golf Writing, available in paperback and as an e-book at Lulu.com.
Introduced to golf by chance in consequence of an overseas posting, Ward virtually fell into golf writing within weeks of taking up the game and has never looked back. Now, after more than fifty years of travelling the globe reporting on golf, its memorable places and the people who play it at the highest level, he is still playing and writing about the game he adores to distraction. "Envious friends have frequently suggested I find a proper job," he says, "but I can't think of one that would bring such fulfillment and delight. In any event, I think I've left it a bit late to change tack."
Now in his 80th year and as active as ever, Barry decided that the time is right to gather his memories and record them in book form "for my family and friends, and anyone else who loves this wonderful game of ours." Only then did he come to realize the difficulties he faced because "my early material, pounded out on a typewriter for newspapers, had long since gone into oblivion, my files lost for all time after countless domestic moves. Only material produced for magazines in the age of computers and word processors has survived, and indeed not all of that."
So Barry has collated a small selection of the latter, "plus a piece or three dug from the memory bank or plucked from old printed publications that have somehow become fixtures in my golf library."
The chosen pieces were written for various British publications, chiefly Golf Monthly magazine and, in recent times, his website (www.posh-golf-travel.com), but also for Golf Links magazine, the original Golf News, plus a number of trade and consumer publications and newspapers, The Times of London among the latter.
"Like my career, producing the book has been a labour of love," Barry says. "But that applies to anything with golf at its heart. May you enjoy the words as much as I have enjoyed the recollection."
An excerpt from Birdies, Bunkers & Bar Stools on famed golf course designer Pete Dye