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To the Linksland: A Golfing Adventure Hardcover – June 4, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (June 4, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067084182X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670841820
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Many have written lyrically about the wonders of golf in Scotland and its inherent magic, which is the focus of the second half of Michael Bamberger's lovely ode to the game. But it's the book's first half that makes it as essential as a putter for anyone willing to go deeper into golf's heart. Here, Bamberger explores the eternal mystery of golf: "More than any other athlete, the professional golfer looks normal; his physical ordinariness is a ubiquitous reminder of our limitations. So what makes him so special?" He searches for his answers the hard way: he lugs a golf bag around for a season as a caddie on the European tour. Even if the golfing grail he sought remains elusive, his narrative drives straight into the game's psyche through a colorful, witty, and poignant portrait of his months on the fairways with Peter Teravainen, the practicing Buddhist, Yale-graduate journeyman grinder whose bag he toted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This will appeal only to a special sort of golfer, one who shares the author's near-mystical view of the sport. A sportswriter for the Philadelphia Inquirer , Bamberger took a leave of absence in 1991 to caddy on the European tour and to seek the roots of golf. He caddied for the first portion of the year with fellow American Peter Teravainen, who was having his best season ever. Abandoning his caddying efforts Bamberger, with his wife, then went to Scotland, where he learned that linksland is the word for "the earth at the edge of the sea--tumbling, duney, sandy, covered by beach grasses"--and fell in love with the concept. In his play on the very challenging courses there, he came to terms with his golf game, which improved markedly, and, in a sense, with himself. The book has a certain bizarre interest.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
86%
4 star
9%
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See all 22 customer reviews
The best book I've ever read -- not just the best golf book.
John Mischke
I've bought several copies of this book over time-- I keep lending them to friends and never getting them back-- that I've lost track of who's got what.
Robert Bolongaita
Great inspiration to life life to it's fullest and take the road lesser travelled.
JP

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fitzwilliam on November 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a very well written book that is as much about people who love the game as it is about the links courses referred to in the title. The author takes us on a pleasant 7 month journey that includes his experiences as a caddy on the European professional tour, and subsequently an extended vacation in Scotland where he plays numerous linksland courses.
We are introduced to numerous acquaintances, most of whom claim golf as an important part of their lives and heritage. As a result we learn a good deal about the early history of the game, the modern game (as of 1991), the differences in the casual golfer's approach to its play in Scotland/Europe and the U.S., and personal glimpses of some of the players who have had an impact during the past 150 yrs.
We are also introduced to a number of golf courses in a way that includes not only the usual topical descriptions (length, greens, hazards, flora etc.) but also Bamberger's emotional response and evaluation after having played them.
I don't usually enjoy this type of odyssey but the author's relaxed style, the people he meets, and his experiences at play in golf's homeland made this a thorougly enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
To the Linksland has something for everyone: a look inside a pro tour, an intimate view of Scottish golf, and, most of all, an accurate depiction of the never-ending quest for improvement and the associated cycles of hope and despair that all golfers experience. Bamberger manages to evoke these weighty themes without crossing over the line into contrived mysticism or gross sentimentality. I re-read it every spring, when it's still too cold to play but I need a golf fix. My favorite golf book, it captures the true spirit of the game!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a sheer joy to read. It makes you want to hit the road, to hit the ball, and very far. This book convinces you that golf is the game born between the land and the sea. The linksland. It links us back to the elements. Do you remember a memorable passages on mental golf in Knowlson's superbe biography of Samuel Beckett? Bamberger's book is the best companion for mental golfing on a sleepless night, too. I enjoyed every line of it. It also contains a miracle. The books anti-hero, Peter Teravainen, won the Japan Open! I translated this book into Japanese. It was the high moment of my life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is on one of the best, most-enjoyable reads in the ever-expanding (and oversatuated) literature of golf. Bamberger, of course, is now an esteemed writer for Sports Illustrated, and his "beat" now takes him well beyond the 19th Hole. Anyone familiar with Bamberger's writing knows, however, that no matter his subject matter, from Mike Piazza to the "unorthodox" high school basketball player featured in SI two weeks ago, Bamberger's real subject is the athlete him/herself - his/her family, "roots", inner make-up, obstacles, goals, etc. "To the Linksland" remains essential reading for anyone who wants to see how a now big-time writer thinks and has always thought about sport. And it deals with the game that Bamberger not only loved first, but also best.
Bamberger's golf pedigree is unblemished. His mother has never, to my knowledge, ever even picked up a stick (unless it was a putter Bamberger kept in his bed while still in high school). His father swings a mighty driver but alas, if he makes contact at all, it is with G-d's great earth not the ball. But the writer's brother is the sorriest duffer of all. For, you see, unlike Bamberger Sr., Bamberger Brother has tried. And tries. To hit the golf ball. Forget the IQ cut-off, the Bamberger Brother scores closer to his LSAT. How do I know all this? So I'm not so objective. I am the Bamberger Brother. But order the book anyway - you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Morgan Maxwell on February 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Before he undertook the real world of work and marriage, Michael Bamberger embarked on his own golfing journey, first signing on as caddy for an idiosyncratic European Tour journeyman, then pursuing his own golfing muse in Scotland. In a relatively slim volume, Bamberger captures and conveys the feel of the European Tour and its personalities, from the literate caddy's point of view; and his own experience with a legendary teacher is no less than a love letter to the birthplace of golf. You will reread it often to remind yourself why golf is a wonderful game, like any love affair equal measures of rapture and despair. And you will make gifts of it to your friends, because Bamberger says it all as we wish we could.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Bolongaita on August 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love playing the game, this is one heck of a great read. Thank you Michael Bamberger!!! I've bought several copies of this book over time-- I keep lending them to friends and never getting them back-- that I've lost track of who's got what. Now we've been planning a trip to retrace your steps in the book and play those awesome courses. That would be the golf vacation of a lifetime! And oh, I recently bought another copy and this one I'm keeping for myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
As many have already reviewed, this book overcomes the temptation to do the mystical thing with golf. Most of us aren't into that (maybe that's the reason we're not scoring those low numbers). This book is about caddying on the European tour and life on that tour we're not exposed to as much as our own here in the states. As Crenshaw wrote about this book: "joyously reflective of why and how we play the game of golf." Must read for golfers!
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