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

by Tom Coyne

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592405282
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/02/2010
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 56,017
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tom Coyne is the author of A Course Called Ireland and A Course Called the Kingdom. He is also 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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Disclaimer: This excerpt contains adult language and may not be suitable for all readers.
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Excerpted from "A Course Called Ireland"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Tom Coyne.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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

Customer Reviews

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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.
santhony on LibraryThing 10 months ago
In 2006, I was fortunate enough to experience a golf trip to Southwest Ireland, playing a few of the courses visited by Coyne. That trip added immeasurably to my enjoyment of this book, and in the event of a return trip, I will certainly reread this book and follow some of the author's suggestions.Tom Coyne, a golf writer and PGA Tour wannabe, plans the ultimate Irish golf trip, planning to play every links course in Ireland, via a counterclockwise circuit of the island, BY FOOT. This latter condition, though perhaps adding somewhat to the book's allure, was really somewhat silly, and likely added nothing to his enjoyment or understanding of the island or its people, other than to add a month and a half of walking time.Doubtless, Coyne's itinerary provided him a far deeper understanding of Irish culture than that enjoyed by most week long golf trips, housed in upper scale resorts catering to Americans, however, walking between the towns added little. It was the days and weeks spent in modest bed and breakfasts and neighborhood pubs that added spice to the trips. More such time could have been spent were it not for the hundreds of hours spent by Coyne slogging along Irish highways and beaches. But, of course, it was the walking tour that added the cache to the journey and doubtless provided the media exposure that he required to finance the trip and publicize the book.Overall, this was a very entertaining travelogue, however I was at times put off by Coyne's repeated references to "rich Americans" and "luxury tour busses" in an almost sneering, holier than though tone. It was rich foreigners and money spending tourists that allowed construction and maintenance of many of the courses that Coyne played, professed love for and rarely had to pay a penny to play (trading upon his notoriety to access such courses as Old Head and Royal County Down).Also offputting were Coyne's moments of amateur psychological analysis. Sure, by virtue of the months he spent among the Irish people, he achieved an understanding and insight few of us would have an opportunity to garner. However, he trades on this experience to make some truly astonishing assumptions. (SPOILER ALERT) Most troubling was a situation in which Coyne and two of his traveling companions of the moment (he cycled through a variety of friends and relatives throughout the trip) became so inebriated that they actually crapped on the floor of their bedroom. While acknowledging the horror of the offense, Coyne spends the next several pages assassinating the character of the bed and breakfast owner who had the effrontery to track down the offenders, who had attempted to run away without taking responsibility for their actions. Coyne attributes this to an overly familiar culture and whines that he will always be identified in the region for the offense, of which he was certainly guilty.In all his bemoaning of "ugly Americans" and luxury tour bus inhabitants, I doubt any have generated the bad will toward golfing tourists that Coyne and his companions did by crapping on the floor of a bed and breakfast and then running away.
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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