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Ancestral Links: A Golf Obsession Spanning Generations Hardcover – March 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Hardcover; 1ST edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451225910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451225917
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,674,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sports Illustrated writer Garrity offers a twist or two on the familiar golf-travel memoir. Combining some casual genealogy with an extended stay at one of the UK’s great but relatively little-known golf links (Carne, in Ireland’s remote County Mayo, home of his father’s family), he sets out to explore the Garrity “golf obsession,” which began with his garrulous father, who learned the game on a ragtag course in Wisconsin, and extended to his older brother, Tom, who played briefly on the PGA tour in the 1960s. What results is part memoir—the recollections of both his father and brother, recently dead of cancer, are poignant and revealing—part golfer’s travelogue, and part search for roots. Golf is the cartilage that holds this enterprise together, whether it’s Garrity living out his brother’s dream of playing Carne’s seventeenth hole six times consecutively with three balls, 18 holes in all, or following the footsteps of his mother’s ancestors to Musselburgh, Scotland, where golf was played in the 1700s. Garrity’s humility and ingratiating style softens the inevitable envy problem (Why him and not me?) that often makes reading golf travelogues a mixed blessing. --Bill Ott

Review

“Poignant and revealing.”
Booklist

“Garrity offers some wry insights into the sport of golf.”
Chicago Tribune

“Lively, humorous, and informative…a deeply personal and soulful journey by…an exceptionally talented writer.”
Michigan Golfer

"Garrity's odyssey is green, Irish, wry, wistful and inspiring. His book is a jig in a bunker surrounded by a field of dreams. It's magical."
— Michael Bamberger, author of To the Linksland

“Part family memoir, part travelogue, Garrity offers some wry insights into the sport of golf and the often profound reasons why hitting a small ball into a hole means so much to so many people— and why they would travel to the ends of the earth (or at least to Scotland and Ireland) just to have the honor and pleasure of doing so.”
Chicago Tribune

Sports Illustrated senior writer John Garrity retraced his roots the old-fashioned way: by poring over documents, hunting down distant relatives and playing some of the British Isles’ finest courses. Who said you can’t mix family business with pleasure?”
Golf Magazine

“[Garrity] is a formidable talent… After all, this is a man who, in an erstwhile SI series called ‘Mats Only,’ found entertaining things to write about his compulsion for beating balls at practice ranges. In Ancestral Links, his themes—particularly a messy family lineage and mortality—are far weightier. Garrity is more than capable of carrying that load.”
Golfweek Magazine

“[Ancestral Links is] part memoir—the recollections of both his father and brother, both recently dead of cancer, are poignant and revealing—part golfer’s travelogue, and part search for roots…Garrity’s humility and ingratiating style softens the inevitable envy problem (Why him and not me?) that often makes reading golf travelogues a mixed blessing.”
Booklist

“I was enthralled by this fine book… Garrity has written a heartfelt elegy to his parents and brother framing his emotions and reflections amid the rugged and inspiring links of Carne. A sense of loss shadows the book but also self-discovery, hope and redemptive love… There’s much to relish in this book and you don’t have to have played Carne or Irish links or even been to Ireland to appreciate it… Garrity has taken it all in and the reader goes along for a wonderful, insightful ride.”
—Terry Moore, Michigan Golfer

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gary Van Sickle on April 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Best by-god book ever written about the Carne Golf Links, which I was fortunate enough to play with Garrity himself, one day in a 60 mph gale. The course is great fun--you've gotta go, to quote Gary Player's World Golf Hall of Fame commercial. It's just as much fun to read Garrity's quirky quest to battle the brutal 17th hole, and his sneaky Irish travelogue as he tracks down his family tree. (It's a pine, I think--I hope that doesn't give away the ending.) There is no fellow golfer more delightful to spend time with than Garrity (the author one America's Worst Golf Courses, a great book that got little attention because the publisher misplaced most of the printing run), whether on the course or in print. Read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nancy J. Steele on May 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr Garrity makes you feel the wonderment and excitement as he discovers his heritage. I felt like I was on the trip with him. This book would delight anyone, but especially anyone who loves golf and/or Ireland. I enjoyed this book so much that I am going to buy extra copies to give as gifts to my golfing friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles A. Lund on February 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work was not based on a buddy trip or a travelog about Irish golf as told from the perspective of someone driving in a frenzy to play as many of the great courses of Ireland as possible in a small amount of time. It was based on an extended trip to Belmullet and Carne Golf Links, off the beaten path from the usual assortment of Ireland's great golf courses, and deals with family heritage experiences, loss, and remembrance.

I traveled solo for five weeks in Ireland last spring and spent time in Belmullet and Carne, catching the course on a sunny and windy day in May. The back nine was stunning and included some of the most interesting and challenging golf holes encountered in my experiences on 23 different links courses. Garrity writes about golf in a way that can appeal to the solitary golfer like myself who enjoys quiet times on golf courses in remote parts of the world in scenic areas. The vistas from the back nine at Carne were stunning and the play was quite limited on the day I was there. Garrity's choice of number 17 as one of golf's most challenging holes and the manner in which he relates playing the hole to his love for his older brother was extremely touching. The travel experiences and his contact with locals in search of information about his heritage makes the book neither a travelog type work nor an extended course review. He did incorporate interesting Ireland golf history information related to Eddie Hackett, Ireland's generous architect who built courses with little if any compensation during a time when well known course designers from this country were billing vast sums for expensive projects involving lots of earthmoving and five star infrastructure to cater to the super rich.
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By P. Schultz on July 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book especially if you have played Carne. I played last year and am going back to play it again this year. Garrity does a wonderful job of making his "ancestral links" interesting, as well as his playing the 17th hole at Carne over and over and over again. So, if you are into golf or just your human connections, this a book for you. Wonderful.
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