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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Prof. Jeff Silverman's book on the Merion Golf Course

Prof. Jeff Silverman’s history of Merion Golf Club, Merion: The Championship Story, has just been published.  The Merion course, in Ardmore, is one of the most famous in the country, and was the site of the U.S. Open (for the fifth time) last summer. The history of the course includes a few figures with literary connections, such as the golfer Edith Cummings, who became the model for Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby (also the first woman athlete--and only the fourth woman--to be on the cover of Time Magazine).  In addition, the legendary Bobby Jones, who completed a Grand Slam of golf’s major tournaments at Merion in 1930 (and who had been an English major at Harvard) used a driver he named Jeanie Deans, after a character in Sir Walter Scott’s 1818 novel The Heart of Midlothian.  Finally, Prof. Silverman notes the appropriateness of the day on which the 2013 Open at Merion ended: June 16, 2013.  June 16, the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses is set, is celebrated internationally as Bloomsday--which makes it fitting that the winner was Justin Rose, whose last name evokes a flower.