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A Course Called Scotland: Searching the Home of Golf for the Secret to Its Game Paperback – June 4, 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 569 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of the best golf books this century.”
Golf Digest

“Tom Coyne has a knack for setting impossible tasks for himself. . . . Mr. Coyne is back at it again with 
A Course Called Scotland. This time he avails himself of cars, planes, and ferries, but the task he sets is no less preposterous: to play 107 courses in 56 days. . . . Readers who enjoyed Mr. Coyne’s rollicking Irish book will be interested to learn how their fearless travel guide has fared in the intervening years. . . . There’s no less wit in the writing—British weather forecasts, he concludes, are ‘as useful as ashtrays on motorbikes’—and almost as many well-rendered characters, both locals he meets and friends and readers who join him along the way. . . . All the famous courses are here: St. Andrews, Dornoch, Turnberry, Carnoustie. But even seasoned golf travelers will be unfamiliar with many of the courses Mr. Coyne finds. He tees it up where nature carved holes that no architect would dream of, where 12 holes instead of 18 suit the members just fine, and where munching sheep, not mowers, keep the fairway grass short. Does he discover the secret to the game? He finds several, including, most practically, ‘never, ever give up.’ ”
—John Paul Newport, The Wall Street Journal

“They said it couldn’t be done—that he’d never be able to top
Ireland. But with Scotland, he did it. Damn you, Tom Coyne!
—Michael Bamberger, author of Men in Green

“A fast-moving, insightful, often funny travelogue encompassing the width of much of the British Isles . . . One of the reasons
A Course Called Scotland works so well is because Coyne extended an offhanded invitation to listeners of a radio show to join him in Scotland. . . . The eclectic cast of characters who pop up throughout the story underscore the deep connections forged through travel.”
Golfweek

“Coyne has a wonderful way of making the reader feel a part of the quest. You experience his trials and tribulations as well as the sense of wonder and awe that comes with playing golf in Scotland.”
Chicago Tribune

“There is a purity in the Scots’ game that isn’t about manicured greens or a ball’s ‘spin rate.’ Coyne admires their ‘homemade’ swings that merely focus on getting the golf ball around the course and in the hole. He becomes convinced that perfection is an illusion, though a powerful one. He slowly accepts his limitations, one day at a time, swing after swing.”
Bloomberg

“Tom Coyne’s much-anticipated follow-up to his fun book
A Course Called Ireland lived up to my high expectations. Who wouldn’t be jealous of Coyne’s adventures getting to play every links in Scotland? He mixes well his commentary on the courses with the historical significance of each place he visits. This is a must-read.”
Golf Advisor

“The author entertains us with accounts of foul weather, fair friends (one of whom got hit in the face with a drive), and astonishing courses, some dating back centuries. . . . Golfers and golf-o-philes will gobble this down.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In this witty and charming follow-up to
A Course Called Ireland, Coyne continues living a golfer’s dream by playing every links course in Scotland, golf’s birthplace. . . . Enthusiasts will revel in Coyne’s eloquent narration of his course-by-course adventures, while casual fans might be tempted to pick up their clubs a little more often.”
Publishers Weekly

“Fighting through physical exhaustion, self-doubt, homesickness and spates of nasty weather, Coyne knocks out 111 full or partial rounds on 107 courses, sometimes three rounds a day, in his search for the ‘secret’ of great golf. It’s no secret that his passion for the game (and life) shows through on every page, and we get to follow his every step through modern golf’s birthplace.” 
Golf Tips Magazine

“News of a new tale by Tom Coyne is always reason to celebrate—assuming you love golf, irresistible storytelling, a cast of colorful characters and a poignant journey through the birthplace of the game. Lots of us share Tom’s Mitty-dream of running away to the great links lands and the lesser known coastal gems of Scotland. But he’s masterfully accomplished the feat with his charming pilgrimage around the game’s Holy Land that unfolds as smoothly as a fine single malt. Coyne's trademark wit, humor, unerring ear for the locals, and deep knowledge of the game are on full display, rendering this a poetic journey you won’t soon forget.” 
—James Dodson, author of Final Rounds

Praise for A Course Called Ireland

"There is no golf trip like an Irish golf trip, and Tom Coyne has risen to meet that road. I look forward to reading this again. Pack it with your sticks."  
—Bill Murray 

"Equal parts touching, wry, and hilarious." 
The New York Times 

"Witty and winning . . . A joy from start to finish." 
The Wall Street Journal 

"Like the country itself, Coyne's book is an affable ramble through a charmed land." 
Chicago Tribune 

"
A Course Called Ireland explores the history of the land being traveled and pauses for tales both tall and short, as well as, in this case, for pub songs. Coyne finds plenty of all of the above from Kilkee to Kerry, the long way. Golfers reading this book may wish they'd been walking by Coyne's side." 
Boston Globe 

"A delightful and fun book." 
Minneapolis Star-Tribune 

"A really good read." 
The Modesto Bee

About the Author

Tom Coyne is the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Course Called Ireland and A Course Called ScotlandPaper Tiger; and the novel A Gentleman’s Game, named one of the best 25 sports books of all time by The Philadelphia Daily News and adapted into a motion picture starring Gary Sinise. He is podcast host and senior editor for The Golfer’s Journal, and has written for GOLF MagazineGolfweekSports IllustratedThe New York Times, and numerous other publications. He earned an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Notre Dame, where he won the William Mitchell Award for distinguished achievement. He lives outside Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 4, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1476754292
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1476754291
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.9 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.38 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 569 ratings

About the author

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Tom Coyne is the author of the novel A Gentleman’s Game, which was named one of the best 25 sports books of all time by The Philadelphia Daily News. He wrote the screen adaptation of the novel, which starred Gary Sinise, Philip Baker Hall, Dylan Baker, and Mason Gamble. His second book, Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer’s Quest to Play with the Pros was released June 2006, and was an editor’s pick in Esquire Magazine and USA Today, and a summer reading selection in The New York Times. His third book, A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee, was published by Gotham Books in February, 2009, and it chronicles his quest to walk and golf the whole of Ireland. The book was a New York Times, American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble bestseller, and won a silver medal from the Society of American Travel Writers in the category of Best Travel Book of the Year. His next title, A Course Called Scotland, was an instant New York Times bestseller, and A Course Called America will be released from Avid Reader Press in 2021.

Tom is Senior Writer at The Golfer's Journal, and has written for Golf Magazine, Golfweek, Sports Illustrated, and numerous other publications. He earned an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Notre Dame, where he won the William Mitchell Award for distinguished achievement. He lives outside Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters, and he is an associate professor of English at St. Joseph’s University.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
569 global ratings

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Course Well Worth Playing!
By David on July 20, 2021
I finished Tom’s book last week. It was incredibly well written and you felt very much a part of his journey playing golf across parts of England and Wales and all of Scotland on his way to try to qualify for The Open Championship but also in search of a certain peace within himself following a decision to reset his life. On his journey, a wonderful group of people join him and he conveys so well who they are and their time with him. You also read about the genuine friendship he develops with each of them. Beyond enjoying the book as a great read, his journey spoke deeply to my heart as I relived my own walk there in search of God's peace. In 2004, I lost my 19 year old daughter Sally, and niece Grace, in an auto accident involving a drunk driver speeding nearly 90 mph when he broadsided the car they were riding in. Like Tom, I viewed these special places as a refuge and sanctuary to grieve alone and search desperately for God’s peace with life without her. As Tom conveys, there is an unmistakable peace you feel walking courses God created that we just discovered. One we both enthusiastically agree defines this above all others-Askernish. It just doesn’t get any better. Tom’s walk that he shares in the book is heartfelt and special, and one I overwhelmingly recommend to anyone who loves golf, but especially who has played golf along the coast of the British Isles. You will not be disappointed.
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Top reviews from other countries

Ammoairdrie
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 31, 2018
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Davey
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 14, 2020
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D. J. Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars A great and honest read about golf and golfers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 12, 2018
wakey wakey
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book well written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 26, 2020
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James Waters
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 4, 2021