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A Course Called Ireland

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  319 ratings  ·  49 reviews
An epic Celtic sojourn in search of ancestors, nostalgia, and the world's greatest round of golf In his thirties, married, and staring down impending fatherhood, Tom Coyne was well 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 had taught him to love t ...more
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Published February 19th 2009 by Gotham Books (first published January 26th 2009)
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Todd
Disclaimer: I don't think this was the most well written book of all time or even worthy of 4 stars but I will freely confess my rating may be influenced by one of the following: my love for Ireland; my love for golf; my admiration for the task that Tom completed. At times I felt it plodded along as if I was on one of his epic walks but to be fair I did finish it with a deeper love of Ireland and it's people which I can't imagine would make the author unhappy. I will even admit to getting choked ...more
Mike Fitzgerald
Story about playing golf around Ireland, literally. While he certainly writes about some of the more than 900 holes of golf he plays, most of the book is about is travels as he walks from course to course, covering over 1,000 miles, all on foot. I like the way the author writes, light, sometimes self-deprecating but always humorous. Sure he sometimes goes overboard in setting up his eventual literary punch lines, but he does so in a fun way. You do not have to be a golfer, Irish or a previous vi ...more
Kathleen
A delightful book.
Mike
Beer, Golf, Ireland - seemed like the perfect book for me,and it was pretty close. A doughy sports illustrated writer decides a golf trip with a twist is the way to find himself again, and maybe somehow pay for itself with a book. While I'm not sure this has mass appeal necessarily, there are a lot of doughy 20 to 40 year old males with Irish or other western europe roots who golf that this book targets very well. Coyne found himself at a crossroads in life, and upon remembering a golf trip year ...more
Philk81
Tom walked around the perimeter of Ireland with golf clubs on his back - played some 56 links courses, met up with friends and relatives, braved extreme weather, narrow roads and roving dogs and had one heck of an unfortunate incident in one B&B - and captured it all with wit and understated writing.

I would dock this at least half a star for the paucity of photos included (and he described people taking pictures at various points) - the black and white snaps don't do this justice. Inexplica
...more
Jessica
I'll admit, I would have never just picked this book up on my own, but since it was Chandria's selection for book club, I gave it a whirl. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good travel book and I have played golf (not for many, many years) so it had potential to be worthwhile. I finally cracked it open the Sunday before book club and delved into it. Looking up four hours later and halfway through the book, I was pleasantly surprised.

The author was pretty self-effacing and humble, knowing full wel
...more
Dan Panke
Author Tom Coyne takes a walk around Ireland playing links golf courses in the trip of a lifetime. In 16 weeks he plays nearly 60 courses, 900 holes, takes over 4,500 strokes, plays close to 2 million yards of golf course, and walks more than 1,000 miles between clubs. A Course Called Ireland is a journey that I admire and would love to take on at this point in my life. However, there just isn't enough money in the bank account to get me there.

I enjoyed A Course Called Ireland more for the inter
...more
Woody Sanderson
As one of a foursome planning a golf trip to Ireland later this year, I found this to be a terrific book. But it is so well-written and descriptive that it will please audiences well beyond Saturday duffers. I am looking forward to a somewhat more comfortable trip than Coyne took, but thanks to his book, it will be a more enlightened one.
Kevin
The concept here is simple: A guy decides to walk all the way around Ireland playing as many golf courses as he can. It's more a travel book than a golf book (a lot of local flavor and a lot about the difficulties of actually walking all around Ireland). I really enjoyed most of this, although I have to admit I started trying to read it twice before I broke through the 50 page mark. A non-golfer could easily read this and enjoy the Irish parts without really being too bothered by the golfing pie ...more
Gerald Matzke
This was an enjoyable journey around Ireland. Tom Coyne took up the personal challenge to walk around Ireland and play every golf course along the way. His account of the trip included not only brief descriptions of the golf courses but also the pubs he visited and the variety of accommodations that he experienced. His humorous style kept this from being a boring travelogue of one stop after another. The reader got to experience the rain, fog, as well as the dogs of Ireland. If you are a golfer, ...more
Bennett Blau
Great read! Funny and lots of good "slice of life" experiences plus enough about courses to make a golfer really want to head to Ireland!
Bob
This review is from the perspective of someone who planned a trip to Ireland for 8 men and for over a year either called someone there or emailed a golf course or B&B planning the trip of a lifetime...the author was spot on in descibing the beauty of the country...the golf courses...the people...the food...problems with dogs...."The Incident"....issues with the narrow roads (I had a wreck)...and especially Ballybunion...Ive been there..enough said...

Wonderful book...if you have a passion for
...more
Paul Lord
For the lover of the links game, this is a terrific read that will bring back memories aplenty for those who have been, light the imagination of those still having not made the trek, and propel one into their next links adventure on the teddy bear isle. On my way!!!!
Jody
I enjoyed Tom Coyne's self-deprecating humor and found his journey inspiring in theory, although I'm no golfer. For me, this was an enjoyable read interrupted by a few too many detailed descriptions of various golf courses :).
Also, the pictures contained within the book are in black and white and do little to convey the stunnning aspect of Ireland's landscapes. Check out the author's website to see color versions.
Recommend this book to golfers who would understand the jargon!
Cindy
I started reading this book because my husband is currently reading it as well. It's really actually pretty good. I'm not a golfer like him, but I can't seem to stop reading it..

What's interesting is that Coyne has found out that Irish pubs are not like American pubs. The main difference is that Irish pubs don't have televisions! (Gasp!) Pubs in Ireland are actual social buildings where people interact with one another - be it stories, singing and/or playing and instrument.
Royce Aldridge
I truly enjoyed the jaunt through the linksland. I've often pined for that wonderful course at the southern tip of Kinsale, Ireland. I backpacked around Ireland in the summer of 2001 & found myself at a hostel right next to the course. I've vowed that I will play it before I die. Coyne played it for me & described it with vivid detail. The lucky sod. It is every married guy's dream. A solo trip to play as much golf as one can handle in Ireland. Coyne is my hero.
Mike
Whether or not you are interested in golf, if you enjoy adventure walk books this one will keep you entertained from cover-to-cover. Although I enjoy golf and reading golf history, reading about golf scenery on courses I'll never play doesn't hold my attention. But reading about slogging on a 1,000 mile walk meeting people and telling stories is a must. Several times I laughed out loud. The book is well balanced and should be enjoyed by the golfer and non-golfer alike.
Colette
I don't golf, but this guy is a funny writer--I couldn't put it down, but almost regretted when his journey came to a close. Predictably, the book really made me want to go to Ireland. Coyne has a talent for properly timing "the reveal" on every anecdote. That, and you just have to admire the guy for walking more than 1,000 miles in four months, after never having gone for a hike in his life. Warning: It wasn't proofread very well...
Glynn
This is a pretty great book even if you are not a golfer. It is a fun read as the author walks and golfs the whole perimeter of Ireland wearing the same pair of shoes the whole way. Over 1000 miles of walking. He visits lots of pubs and has many outrageous adventures besides playing the amazing golf courses. Anyone who enjoys a travel book, golfing, or just reading about good times will enjoy this book. Highly recommended.
Gregory Barron
A must read for anyone who is interested in golf and/or Ireland
John
Incredible story of what had to be an awesome adventure. I found myself very jealous of someone who could take four months just to play golf. I would have driven between courses though. Great book to read leading up to a golf trip to Ireland. After having been there, I can't believe he walked along very narrow roads with 100 kph speed limits!
Grant
Entertaining, but (for me) could have used an editor. I like Michael Bamberger's To the Linksland better as far as European golf travelogues go (To the Linksland is leaner and more varied). Like Paper Tiger, it feels like a very complete account of Coyne's experiences -so if you're into reading every detail, you may like it better than I did.
Maribeth
This book was not on my reading list, but after listening to Paul laugh so hard and pick up an Irish brogue, I thought what the heck. It is less of a golf book than it is a traveller's journal of his WALK aroung Ireland. It is a very easy and good read.
Bryan
awesome...everything he mentions about Ireland, the people, and the golf courses (at least the ones I played) was spot on. from Big Brother to TG4 and Fishy Fishy in Kinsale made me feel as if he was with us during our time in Ireland. Loved this book.
Dana Johnson
a hilarious read for all that love a great adventure!!! please enjoy my interview with tom coyne plus our favorite quotes from the book @ http://www.wonderlustadventures.com/2...
Pat
i strongly disliked this book - an American sportswriter decides to walk across Ireland carrying a set of golf clubs and playing golf as he goes. I really did not like the author or his attitude. Too bad because I was expecting to like it.
Tad Deshler
This was a reasonably entertaining read, especially since I like Ireland and walking, but I'm not really that into golf, so the frequent superlatives bestowed upon the various links courses were somewhat lost on me.
julie
While I'm not a golfer (other than on the Wii) I can't wait to get my hands on this and really immerse myself in the setting and atmosphere! This is being sent to me as a Goodreads First Reads win.
Lynne Ward
I love reading travel books and this was really fun. I didn't understand half of the golf terms but I loved the idea of walking all over Ireland playing the courses. Very readable.
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