by Andrew C. Mutch, Ph.D.
I’ve been hesitant to post a book review of Crump’s Dream: The Making of Pine Valley / 1913-1936 because I haven’t found anywhere that the book can be purchased and I like for the books I review to actually be available for purchase somewhere online. My web queries have not yielded even a used copy at Amazon or eBay, and a Google search returns absolutely no mention of this recently published tome. After spending quite a bit of time with the book I decided that despite the lack of availability I was going to go ahead and share some thoughts on it.
As some may know 2013 was the 100 year anniversary of Pine Valley Golf Club. To celebrate, the club released a special anniversary logo and towards the end of the year the long awaited book Crump’s Dream: The Making of Pine Valley / 1913-1936 was finally ready for its limited release. This 224 page opus is to golf literature what the Sistine Chapel is to art . . . nothing less than a masterpiece of the highest order. Opening the book is like boarding a time machine that takes the reader back to another time when golf was first finding its way in this country and great men of passion like George Crump were leading the way.
The book begins with the details of the club’s early history and ends with a wonderful photo tour of all 18 holes. Throughout the pages the text is highlighted with wonderful old images of everything from the elevation drawing of a proposed, but never built, new clubhouse from the 1920s to the individual hole illustrations and recommended routing done by Harry S. Colt. Also featured are dozens of other Pine Valley artifacts such as a series of original deeds of land, a 1913 share of Pine Valley stock and numerous relics from the 1936 Walker Cup.
End to end Crump’s Dream is loaded with beautiful vintage photography in black and white and wonderful sepia tones. At times the course is nearly unrecognizable with its vast expanses of sand that almost look like snow in the old photos and the conspicuous lack of trees. Don’t expect to see a single modern digital photo in this text, it is all about celebrating the early days of one of America’s finest golf clubs.
This book is an absolute must have for any serious golf library. If you find yourself in the pro shop at Pine Valley Golf Club it would be very strongly advisable to pick up a copy for yourself . . . and one for a appreciative friend. Best. Golf. Book. Ever.