Mark Frost’s “The Greatest Game Ever Played” is considered the definitive work on Francis Ouimet and the 1913 U.S. Open, but Frost isn’t the only writer who has been inspired to create considerable Ouimet content.
Brad Herzog, a California-based freelance writer, teamed with illustrator Zachary Pullen of Wyoming to produce “Francis and Eddie,” a children’s book.
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Steve Guyot of North Attleboro, Mass., is an avid student of golf history who became “absolutely hooked on the 1913 U.S. Open and everything that led up to it.” As a result he created the website 1913usopen.com.
Herzog, who has written more than 30 children’s books, thought the tale of the 20-year-old golfer and his 10-year-old caddie was perfect for the genre.
“It's a timeless story, of course, but even timeless stories may have to be refreshed a bit for succeeding generations,” Herzog said. “Frankly, the sport's well-documented attempts to appeal to kids could start right there – with telling tales that inspire would-be golfers. There are plenty in baseball, for instance, but not enough in golf. Kids are inspired when they see themselves in a story, and in Francis and Eddie they have two protagonists that represent a young person's attempt to prove his worth.”
The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, the book’s charity partner, purchased 250 books for their May 15 centennial gala. The World Golf Hall of Fame purchased a carton of books for its recent induction ceremony. And the first individual sale of a book went to Ouimet’s granddaughter, Sheila Macomber, which Herzog described as “way cool!”
A brief video trailer for the book can be found here. The book is available in both hardcover ($17.95) and e-book ($9.99) forms. A portion of the proceeds from the hardcover sales will benefit the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund.
('Francis and Eddie' author Brad Herzog, left, and illustrator Zachary Pullen)
Guyot played golf “for more years (50+) than I can remember” before developing a circulatory problem in his legs that prohibited him from playing. To remain connected to the game, he began to study its history. That led first to the creation of the website www.thegolfballfactory.com, then www.1913usopen.com.
“Frost called it ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played,’” Guyot said. “I found that to be an understatement.”
Guyot’s main site has a page listing the more than 70 different resources he used to compile his voluminous information about the 1913 Open. As he explains at the top of the page, “When I began writing on the 1913 U.S. Open I thought I would read a couple books like 'The Greatest Game Ever Played' and 'A Game of Golf' and be done with it. Then just for fun I decided to check a couple old newspaper articles and before I knew I was in way over my head. These are the resources I ended up using once it dawned on me it might be a good idea to keep such a list.”
Guyot hopes to be able to resume playing golf before too long. But he won’t give up his history hobby.
“I now find myself being drawn into ‘Long’ Jim Barnes' story,” he said. “We'll see where that goes.”