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on February 6, 2017
I enjoyed every page, every little story, every experience, every feeling, every golf course, every character, every beer. My wife teases me about how long it takes me to get through a book. This one shocked her because I couldn't put it down and read it faster than any book she's seen me read. I read a lot of sports books and books on history...my two favorites. In terms of sports related books and considering pure enjoyment, this one ranks right up there with Moneyball (as a huge A's fan). In my mind, being the mostly Irish golfer that I am, I have planned (fantasized) this grand trip to Ireland and mapped out courses I would play even before stumbling upon this book. Sadly, A Course Called Ireland (and others) is as close as I ever will get to Ireland. So I guess what I enjoyed is living vicariously through Mr. Coyne knowing I will likely never have the opportunity and privilege to "play Ireland." I was glad to get a sense of Mr. Coyne's gratitude and deep appreciation, in spite of his exhaustion and a few dicey situations. What a journey! I was sure glad to tag along.
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on October 3, 2017
Tim Coyne' s "walk through Ireland", while interesting, was hard to read when you know nothing of Ireland. It made more sense after I had been there but the book content still seemed disjointed and rambled. I liked the book but it was hard to read.
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on September 1, 2010
If you're considering reading A Course Called Ireland, Paper Tiger, or Gentleman's Game, here is what you need to know: Tom Coyne studied writing at Notre Dame and attempted to play on their golf team - turned out he was better at writing, proven by his first book - A Gentleman's Game, turned into a movie starring Gary Sinise, Phillip Baker Hall, and Mason Gamble. Mason went on to play the lead role in finally producing a film of Golf in the Kingdom(1972)- the best selling golf novel of alltime (and shot at Bandon Dunes). Tom's next writing project required he spend a year attempting to improve his golf enough to make it thru Q School and earn his tour card - then write about the experience. Paper Tiger was a joy to read and must have been a dream experience to live. A Course Called Ireland was based on this simple premise: I'll walk the entire perimeter of Ireland, carrying my clubs and all that I need on my back with one pair of Keen hiking shoes - and write about it. He journeyed inland, entertained visitors, broke out and traveled small parts by car, but all in all, lived and wrote an incredible story that, like his other books, puts his reader in a place they would otherwise never experience and it's done with great skill, humor, self-deprecation, and incredible passion for golf. If you like Michael Bamberger, James Dobson, or Curt Sampson - you're going to like reading Tom Coyne very much. Enjoy.
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on July 22, 2015
An inspiring and motivational journal of a golf pilgrimage. We read aloud the relevant narrative for each of the courses we played and couldn't have had a more inspiring and motivational prequel.But even better Tom distills the essence of the Irish Links experience....the raw beauty of courses created by nature with understated finishing touches by design....and the craic ....the enduring hospitality and the spiritual connection with courses that have challenged golfers and built enduring friendship and fellowship for centuries. A must read if you're going golfing in Ireland or if you are looking for some ideas for an unforgettable golf experience.
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on April 30, 2013
As far as golfing goes, I consider myself a pretty fair first baseman. I came to the game relatively late -- aged thirty-seven -- and it shows. I didn't read this for the wonderful insights on how to use a sand wedge from the rough, or how to use a putter when just off the green. I read it about Ireland, and that's where it really delivers.

Sure, he's a Domer. And yeah, in retrospect, there were errors, especially when you consider he was traveling with a fan of that other baseball team in Chicago that allows its fans to jump out of the stands and assault first base coaches and umpires. But the book is an enjoyable jaunt and it has its touching moments. I'd like to play a couple of the courses he played just so I could walk around them. And the moment he crosses into Northern Ireland cemented my worst fears about the Six Counties that rightfully belong to the Republic.

If you like golf, this may or may not work for you. But if you like Ireland, if you like doing something just because it can be done, this book is a must read.
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on April 29, 2017
Nicely written, good insights into the people of Ireland and into life in general. This is not a book about how he played each hole on each golf course (which would be a turn-off)....it is much more than that. Thoroughly enjoyable, funny. Even non-golfers would enjoy it.
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on March 16, 2015
This was a very different and interesting book. It's not a fanatical book about gold, it's not an in-depth exploration of Irish culture, and it's not even a physical fitness book. And yet, it includes all of these things in a book that is enjoyable for everyone. At times, it feels a little long, but of course it's a long walk, so that is how it SHOULD feel. The observations about Irish history and politics and history are interesting without being heavy-handed. I enjoyed reading it and, although as it got near the finish I looked forward to the end, I was still a bit disappointed that it was over.
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on February 28, 2015
Great story, but really as much about Ireland as it is about golf. Since I've traveled to Ireland a fair amount, I was familiar with many of the locations Tom Coyne visited. In fact, I followed much of the story on Maps on my iPad, where I could see even the smallest road and "detours" he took. So many things rang true in the book, from the narrow, rock-wall fringed roads to the warmth and hospitality of virtually everyone in Ireland. It really makes me want my next trip to be to some of the out-of-the-way courses and locations that the normal American golf traveler never sees. Highly recommended!
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on August 18, 2015
This book is one of the best travel books I have ever read. His writing is amusing throughout, and he really captures not only the spirit of Irish links golf, but also the essence of Ireland and the Irish people. I read most of the book after returning from a golf trip to Ireland, and could really appreciate the descriptions of the courses I had been too, but I wish I had read the whole thing before the trip. My only reservation is his low rating of Royal County Down, which I thought deserved its ranking as one of the best courses in the world.
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on September 19, 2017
Very enjoyable book. I read it before my first trip to Ireland. Learned a lot about the country, in addition to the golf info. My wife is not a golfer, and she really enjoyed the book as well.
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