A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee by Tom Coyne, Kyle Tait (Narrator)
Published March 1st 2009 by Avery Publishing Group, Published April 7th 2020 by Tantor Audio
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was a really interesting book. It was part travelogue, part sports story and part human interest. I originally wanted to listed to this one during “Reading Ireland” in March, but got bogged down. With golf season starting, I decided it was time to listen to this story.
Tom Coyne plans a trip to “Golf Ireland”. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, except he is going to walk between courses and from accomodations to accomodations. He was alone for parts of his expedition, and at other times he had friends and family fly over and join him for short periods of time. Throw in that he was backpacking, so he used only 1 pair of shoes the whole four months he was there. I enjoyed meeting the people as he met them, learning about the beautiful countryside, as well as the towns and villages he stayed at. There was a lot of humour in this book detailing some of his exploits, and some sad stories as well. He took a lot of chances, with some villages having nowhere to stay, but the hospitable Irish found a place for him and food as well. I really enjoyed this story and it was like a trip to the backroads of Ireland, a trip I would love to take some day, but I won’t be walking it. The narrator, Kyle Tait did a great job. He used pacing, expression, and intonation to add interest to the story. He also did a great job with the Irish brogue. I enjoyed this audiobook and would like to thank Tantor Audio for generously providing me with a copy of this book. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Book: 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.