A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee

A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee

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by Tom Coyne
     
 

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The hysterical story bestseller about one man's epic Celtic sojourn in search of ancestors, nostalgia, and the world's greatest round of golf

By turns hilarious and poetic, A Course Called Ireland is a magnificent tour of a vibrant land and paean to the world's greatest game in the tradition of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. In his

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Overview

The hysterical story bestseller about one man's epic Celtic sojourn in search of ancestors, nostalgia, and the world's greatest round of golf

By turns hilarious and poetic, A Course Called Ireland is a magnificent tour of a vibrant land and paean to the world's greatest game in the tradition of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. In his thirties, married, and staring down impending fatherhood, Tom Coyne was familiar with the last refuge of the adult male: the golfing trip. Intent on designing a golf trip to end all others, Coyne looked to Ireland, the place where his father has taught him to love the game years before. As he studied a map of the island and plotted his itinerary, it dawn on Coyne that Ireland was ringed with golf holes. The country began to look like one giant round of golf, so Coyne packed up his clubs and set off to play all of it-on foot.

A Course Called Ireland is the story of a walking-averse golfer who treks his way around an entire country, spending sixteen weeks playing every seaside hole in Ireland. Along the way, he searches out his family's roots, discovers that a once-poor country has been transformed by an economic boom, and finds that the only thing tougher to escape than Irish sand traps are Irish pubs.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Equal parts touching, wry, and hilarious."
-New York Times

"There is no golf trip like an Irish golf trip, and Tom Coyne has risen to meet that road. I look forward to reading this again. Pack it with your sticks."
-Bill Murray

"Witty and winning...A joy from start to finish."
-Wall Street Journal

"Like the country itself, Coyne's book is an affable ramble through a charmed land."
-Chicago Tribune

"A Course Called Ireland explores the history of the land being traveled and pauses for tales both tall and short, as well as, in this case, for pub songs. Coyne finds plenty of all of the above from Kilkee to Kerry, the long way. Golfers reading this book may wish they'd been walking by Coyne's side."
-Boston Globe

"A delightful and fun book."
-Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"A really good read."
-The Modesto Bee

Tom Coyne's 16-week jaunt through the Emerald Isle led him on a path through all of the country's 38 seaside golf courses and into dozens of its most friendly watering holes. Very few of us have the time, money, and/or stamina to replicate Coyne's pleasurable long walk, so this smooth blend of golf writing and travel narrative serves as the perfect weekend substitute for his four-month pleasure trek.
Publishers Weekly

In this cheerily self-deprecating work, Coyne-an Irish-American Philadelphian who never knew much about his roots and avoided exercise-describes how he undertook a wildly ambitious plan to spend four months playing over 40 golf courses in Ireland and getting to them by walking. Coyne's tiredness quickly translates into hiker's euphoria; however, he has a tougher time facing the Irish breakfast every B&B owner serves him (sausages, rashers, beans, soda bread-"an afternoon of wincing regret"). Having already written a couple of books on golf (e.g., Paper Tiger), Coyne knows his way around a course, but more importantly, he also knows better than to bore readers with monotonous accounts of hole after hole. His style is more that of the travelogue, as he's bowled over by one astoundingly beautiful and windswept course after the next. By the time Coyne gets to Ulster, it's clear that golf is by far the least interesting thing for him, as the author packs his humorous narrative with historical tales and travel anecdotes about the small towns he passes through and the many pubs he stops in along the way. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592405282
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/02/2010
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
194,653
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

What was daily existence like at the time of Christ? In a unique style that melds historical spadework, journalistic investigation, and contemporary travel writing (and emphasizing at the outset that this is not about Jesus Christ), Korb (coauthor, The Faith Between Us) focuses on the granular details of life in Palestine in the first century, contending that it "was a time of insurgency, banditry, widespread soothsaying and prophecy, political backstabbing and religious uprising." He begins each chapter with one or more quotes from the New Testament and then delves into an aspect of first-century life in Palestine; chapters focus on themes such as money, home, religion, baths, health, war, and death. Readers will learn why coins featured no portraits or heads and how waste was disposed of during the 75-year period—a time of crisis and cataclysm—between the birth of Jesus and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. VERDICT Heavily footnoted yet eminently readable, Life in Year One will appeal to casual readers as well as scholars who enjoy chasing down citations and scouring bibliographies. In short, it is intriguing, entertaining, and, most important, informative. World travelers, historians, and religious scholars will also appreciate it.—C. Brian Smith, Arlington Heights Memorial Lib., IL

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"Equal parts touching, wry, and hilarious."
-New York Times

"There is no golf trip like an Irish golf trip, and Tom Coyne has risen to meet that road. I look forward to reading this again. Pack it with your sticks."
-Bill Murray

"Witty and winning...A joy from start to finish."
-Wall Street Journal

"Like the country itself, Coyne's book is an affable ramble through a charmed land."
-Chicago Tribune

"A Course Called Ireland explores the history of the land being traveled and pauses for tales both tall and short, as well as, in this case, for pub songs. Coyne finds plenty of all of the above from Kilkee to Kerry, the long way. Golfers reading this book may wish they'd been walking by Coyne's side."
-Boston Globe

"A delightful and fun book."
-Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"A really good read."
-The Modesto Bee

Meet the Author

Tom Coyne is the author of the novel A Gentleman’s Game and cowriter of the screenplay for the novel’s film version, which starred Dylan Baker and Gary Sinise. He is a contributor to Golf Magazine and teaches creative writing at St. Joseph’s University.

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A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Holiday More than 1 year ago
This is simply one of the best books I have ever read. I am of Irish ancestry on both sides of my family. My parents, before they died, urged me to travel to Ireland, as they had, to soak in the culture and connect with distant relatives. Coyne's book has provided the impetus for me to begin to make plans. "A Course Called Ireland" is far more than a mere diary of playing the links courses while traveling on foot, visiting pubs, and frequenting the many bed and breakfast landmarks of the Emerald Isle. Coyne's work is really about the spirit of a people who appreciate what the land has given. Being a writer myself, I never have time to read a book twice. But, I guarantee this one will be read again. That's the highest praise I can give. By the way, my sports editor says it's the best book I've ever loaned him. Perhaps there's a raise in my future. Thanks, Tom Coyne. Paul Daley, Lowell Sun Newspaper
DMDcrimereader More than 1 year ago
This book is for anyone who has dreamed of dropping everything and playing some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Tom Coyne did just that and in this part travel, part golf journal he takes the reader from Shannon airport to the north, east, south, and west coast of Ireland all the while playing every true links course along the way. The most amazing thing about this journey is that Coyne's only form of transportation was his own two feet. The writing style is relaxed and very humorous but the book shines when Coyne allows the reader to see Ireland through the changing emotions he experiences on this once in a lifetime journey. Highly recommended for not only golfers but for readers who enjoy interesting travel stories.
grazd More than 1 year ago
Pretty much the same thing, over and over. I walked 20 miles, I played golf, I drank in a pub, I slept, I got up and did it again.
SunnyFlaLaw More than 1 year ago
Let me just start by saying that yes, I'm a golfer (or wannabe, if you look at my stats, ha). But it's not my "life" and I am truly NOT interested in "golf" things (other than wacking that ball around for 18 holes). So don't feel like it's not for you if you're not a golfer. After reading many regrettable biographies (etc.), I almost gave up on new books for the Classics....until I stumbled onto this little gem. Turns out, this was (by far) my favorite book of 2010--hands down! The author (I guess a pro golfer but I'm not that big on the pro golf scene) spent months WALKING his crazy self around Ireland to golf as many links as he could, and kept a diary (I suppose) along the way. While the idea had me interested, the story itself paid tenfold, and I couldn't keep away from the book. And yes, he does describe the links he plays along the way, but it certainly is only a fraction of the story (really). He may have gone there to golf, but the new world he experienced is really what this tale is about--the beautiful countryside, a different way of life, friendly and inviting people, Irish food, the crazy weather that kept him humble...and even the "bad" that went with it (bleeding feet, rabid dogs, deuce-dropping visitors...). I wish there were more books like this, because I would buy every one of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a simple ready and entertaining throughout. The author did a great job of describing his experiences as he traveled by foot across Ireland. While this is considered a book about golf, it is much more about the people of Ireland. I loved it and would recommend this book to anyone who has been to or wants to travel to Ireland, especially if you love the game of golf.
focusforward More than 1 year ago
I found this book by accident. I realized, after, there was no accident. The timing of finding this book was impeccable...just what I needed to get the laughter started again. There was a daily desire to pick up the book to get another glimpse of Tom Coyne's real experience--which was never without a sense of humor. Who doesn't want to laugh? Coyne also shows how much stamina the human body has contained within itself. Pure enjoyment! This read is in my top five.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking to read a book for abosolutely pure enjoyment which includes an insight into the character of a people and a country, I heartly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very high on my very short list of "Most Entertaining" books. Just imagine if I knew more about golf and Ireland. I've given it as a gift to family and recommended it to my golfing friends.
terjer More than 1 year ago
Great read! The stories and adventures in Ireland were priceless. I almost wish that I were a golfer to experience the beauty of the golf courses in Ireland. This is a wonderful book to give to your favorite golfer.
guinnessluvr More than 1 year ago
An avid, but struggling, golfer (isn't every golfer?) of Irish descent, I found this book to be one that I couldn't put down. I DO think you need to have some love of golf to really enjoy this book to the fullest, but I don't think the Irish heritage is a requirement. Coyne is, simply put, a born storyteller with the ability to make his adventures during his journey vivid and entertaining. I have given at least six copies of A COURSE to friends, all golfers, and they've all been in total agreement. Brilliant writing...you'll want to visit Ireland the next day!
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This book is an unforgettable mix of humor, history, Irish culture and travel adventure, with golf courses being the connecting threads. Completely enjoyable for any armchair travelers with some appreciation for golf.
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James Howard More than 1 year ago
Wish I could repeat the walk - but since I won't I'm glad Tom did.
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