Ex-Rangers chairman Alistair Johnston is to have a new St. Andrews golf book library named after him after he agreed to donate his incredible collection of golfing literature.
The proud Scot, 71, has been involved in the background of Rangers ever since being appointed a director in 2004 and played a key role in getting the club back on track after the events of 2012.
Whilst the Gers are one of the US-based International Management Group vice-chairman’s major passions, Johnston is also hugely interested in golf and golf history.
We talked about his career with IMG, RFC, repping Arnold Palmer, 'Royal Partick', and his incredible collection of golf books.https://t.co/FK3urcWNUW
— Michael McEwan (@MMcEwanGolf) July 15, 2020
Johnston has amassed an incredible amount of golf literature over nearly 50 years, over 30,000 books which include autobiographies, instruction manuals and club histories.
Whilst Johnston revealed he would be handing over his lifetime of collecting to the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) at the beginning of the year, he opened up on the decision in a revealing interview with golf magazine Bunkered, undertaken by Michael McEwan.
“This is something I’ve had in my mind for some time,” said Johnston.
“Whenever anybody has seen it, they’ve been wowed by it and that’s something I’d like for people to enjoy on a bigger scale.
“As a Scot, it means a huge amount to me that so many unique publications will be returning to their rightful location. It was important to me that the collection should be kept together and that’s what the R&A has promised to do.
“It may well take a few years before it’s all up and running but I’m very excited about it.”
Johnston’s incredible collection of golf books will now form the basis of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of golf literature, named the Alistair J. Johnston Library and based in St. Andrews.
Johnston adds up to 800 new titles yearly and publishes an annual bibliography, which currently fills more than 900 pages.
The Rangers director has incredibly rare works, including the histories of up to 4000 individual golf clubs, but there is one piece he values above all the rest.
“I wrote a book with my father called ‘The Chronicles of Golf: 1457 to 1857’,” said Johnston.
“It’s pretty much a complete history of the origins of the game in Scotland and spans between 700 and 800 pages. I guess you could call it my magnum opus. The fact I wrote it with my father makes it extra special.”
It was Johnston’s father who inspired his passion for golf and the sport of Scottish-origin has also formed a huge part of this interesting man’s professional career.
Ex-Rangers chairman Johnston became successful through working with Mark McCormack and the International Management Group and representing some of the world’s biggest and most important people.
This includes legendary American golfer Arnold Palmer, for whom Johnston served as an agent for almost 40 years.
The Bunkered interview is genuinely a fascinating read and will give you an incredible insight into the story of a man Rangers fans will forever be indebted to.
Johnston was infamously ousted as chairman during the tumultuous reign of Craig Whyte but returned as a non-executive director in 2017.
His investment, passion and business knowledge have been invaluable in rebuilding Rangers and he will go down as one of the club’s most important figures of the modern era.