Chasing Dreams in the Boondocks: A Golf Course Comes to Life

Chasing Dreams in the Boondocks: A Golf Course Comes to Life

by Bill Haney


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Chasing Dreams in the Boondocks: A Golf Course Comes to Life by Bill Haney

No one who thought about it twice would move into a century-old house on a failed farm with a mysterious history - just to pursue a quixotic quest to bring a childhood dream to life. No one with any sense would try to build a golf course by hand the old-fashioned way. Not on the slenderest of shoestrings. And certainly not by himself with only a young family to help.

But that's exactly what Bill Haney did.

Chasing Dreams in the Boondocks is the story of a family transplanted from a comfortable college town to a rundown popcorn farm in rural Michigan, "...all because I had to build a golf course," the author admits.

He had no money beyond a modest income as a writer. No formal training as a golf course architect and little experience with construction equipment. His greatest assets were a supportive and resourceful wife and four adventurous and helpful kids (the eldest aged six). Still he was determined to fashion a championship-length golf course on a failed farm that held secrets that had already destroyed many dreams and lives.

What Haney found in the quiet Michigan countryside was far more than he had bargained for. His goal had been to discover the ultimate golf course hidden in those gentle rolling acres, to "restore the land to the way the glacier left it and then build into it a course that fit so naturally it seemed it had always been there." As he went about discovering that, he began to sense that the old house, barns, and land held secrets only vaguely whispered about, mysteries unsolved for generations.

What started as a monumental solo task for one family grew into something greater. One by one, a collection of engaging characters- neighboring farmers, village craftsmen, and area businessmen-put their hands in "to help this fella realize his dream."

In those four years of fighting freakish weather, coping with a growing mountain of debt, and fending off other demons, Haney learned that his wife, children, and new friends taught him more and brought more to the adventure than he could ever have imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780970091765
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Publication date: 06/28/2004
Pages: 410
Product dimensions: 6.16(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Bill Haney lives in the country near Ortonville, Michigan, with his patience-of-Job wife, Marcy, where he is restricted to two pampered golf holes for the pleasure of his six grandkids.

Haney also commutes to New York where he is executive vice president and director of corporate communications for ad agency Foote Cone & Belding. He previously was executive vice president and consultant to the chairman of The MacManus Group. While at MacManus he founded the DMB&B Licensing Group and the DMB&B Public Relations. Haney also worked for the Bendix Corporation and Bendix Aerospace Systems Division in Ann Arbor.

In the world of publishing, Haney was the founder and president of Momentum Books Ltd. in Troy, Michigan, associate director of The University of Michigan Press in Ann Arbor, and director of book publishing at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. For several years he ran his own consulting group focusing on publishers and communication clients.

In addition Haney has written, co-authored, or ghost written many books, as well as numerous articles, short stories, and film scripts. His works have been published in magazines in the United States and Canada and have been translated and reprinted in Europe and Japan.

Haney has strong ties to the world of golf, beginning with his days as a caddie, and continuing through his days as greenskeeper, caddie master, assistant pro, instructor, and recipient of a scholarship for outstanding caddie athletes and scholars.

What People are Saying About This

John M. Delzell

From the very first chapter of this heart-warming book, Bill Haney reaches out and pulls the reader into his dream of building his own golf course. I found myself wanting to grab a shovel and help move the dirt, mow the grass, and then make my way across Willow Creek, walk past the wild strawberry patch, and trudge to the top of Smedley Hill, tee up a Titleist, and yell, FORE! — (Author, Columnist, retired newspaper publisher)

Bruce Fenton

Calling Chasing Dreams in the Boondocks a book about golf is like calling Huckleberry Finn a book about water sports. Never mind if you've never wrought violence on a Titleist, or don't know the difference between a three-wood and Tiger Woods. Boondocks is, more than anything else, a story about family, friendship, hope, and persistence. It is by turns moving, funny, and uplifting and one of the most compelling reads to come down the fairway in a long time. —(Author of The Best, Worst, and Most Unusual and other books)

Ernie Harwell

Bill Haney captures a spirit as American as baseball. With scant resources but lots of heart and passion, he and his little family set out to make an impossible dream come true. Along the way, they found adventures, solved mysteries, and encountered fascinating off-center characters. Chasing Dreams in the Boondocks is a captivating and delightful account of a quest to build a natural golf course. It's as though A Year in Provence came to the American Midwest. —(Hall of Fame baseball announcer, author Tuned to Baseball and other books

Robert Mads Anderson

Chasing Dreams in the Boondocks is so much more than a golf book. Like the encompassing, compelling nature of the game itself, the story starts with a simple goal, yet expands into a tale of insight and human character that is a tribute to the American pioneering spirit. With a keen eye for the emotions evoked from the view of a newly mown fairway rolling over the land, to the rural characters that spring to life from the pages, the author takes us along on a story that grows from the setting for a game of golf to the game of life itself. —(Author of Summits: Climbing the Seven Summits Solo and other books)

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