The R&A - Working for Golf

Club Historian picks up Herbert Warren Wind Book Award

  • Peter Lewis wins USGA Herbert Warren Wind Book Award
  • Recognition for seminal book ‘Why Are There Eighteen Holes?: St. Andrews and the Evolution of Golf Courses, 1764-1890’
  • Book documents events in the evolution of 18 holes

Peter Lewis, the emeritus historian of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, has been presented with the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) Herbert Warren Wind Book Award for his seminal book ‘Why Are There Eighteen Holes?: St. Andrews and the Evolution of Golf Courses, 1764-1890’.

Established in 1987, the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award recognises outstanding contributions to golf literature. Named after 20th-century American golf writer, the award acknowledges and encourages outstanding research, writing and publishing about golf. It is presented by the USGA Golf Museum.

“I am deeply honoured and absolutely delighted to win this award,” said Lewis before the awards ceremony staged in Washington last weekend.

“When writing the book, I set out on a journey to discover why 18 holes became the ideal number for a golf course, why St Andrews was considered ‘the home of golf’ and how the Royal and Ancient Golf Club became a governing body of the game. These are simple questions that turned out to have complicated answers. 

“It is very gratifying that the Herbert Warren Wind Award Committee enjoyed musing over my conclusions.”

In ‘Why Are There Eighteen Holes?: St. Andrews and the Evolution of Golf Courses, 1764-1890’, Lewis documents events through the 18th and 19th centuries to establish the reasons behind why there are 18 holes on a golf course. The book also documents the history of golf courses in Great Britain before 1890, exploring how golf was established and the role that St Andrews and the Royal and Ancient played.

“Peter Lewis’ scholarly reputation goes side by side with his love of the game, and it shows in this work,” said Adam Barr, Director of the USGA Golf Museum. “Deeply researched yet engaging and accessible, this volume will be pulled off shelves again and again by those seeking insights into some of the game’s most hallowed traditions.”

Peter Lewis
Peter Lewis, the emeritus historian of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

Lewis was a director of the British Golf Museum between 1988 and 2009 and Historian to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews between 1992 and 2000. He was then Heritage Secretary to the Club from 2001 to 2009, and was also The R&A’s director of film archive and then director of historical research. After retiring last year, Lewis was given the title of emeritus historian of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

He has authored and co-authored a number of titles on the history of golf, including Art and Architecture of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, Challenges and Champions: The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, 1754-1883, Traditions and Change: The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, 1939-2004 and Good Men Remembered: A Tale of Golf, Empire and St Andrews.