Editor’s Choice: “A Course Called Scotland” by Tom Coyne

If there’s an upside to the pandemic, perhaps we’ll come out well-read. Suggest Tom Coyne’s “A Course Called Scotland” to your virtual book club — it’s a fun read. The book’s underlying theme is on the cover, “Searching the Home of Golf for the secret to its game.” Coyne’s search is 111 rounds on 107 Scottish links in 57 days, impressive stuff (damn-near crazy). And as you’ll discover, his findings are wise beyond the golf course.

I like the book for its LOL moments and there are plenty. Coyne’s peppered this book with wit and packed it with never-heard-before zingers by Scotland’s funniest caddies.

“Is the cat deid?”
“Sally Gunnell!”
“A quiet Swede named Clem, whom I got to know about as well as a highway toll-taker.”

Golfers will love it as a Scottish links guidebook and checklist. The book is a functional tool you can keep in your golf bag with the tees and ball-markers. It’s got maps, suggested itineraries, lists, places to stay and everything.

“A Course Called Scotland” is also loaded with tee-box-talk fun facts and historical information. Where did “fore”, “bogey” and “birdie” come from? How were bunkers created? You’ll become an overnight golf historian. Imagine the joy of driving your less refined golf buddies nuts with four hours of Old Tom Morris tales and golf history.

I also enjoyed the emphasis on people. Among its many high-marks, golf’s social aspect is perhaps its crown jewel. Coyne tees it up with longtime friends and folks he’s never met — that’s the magic of golf. Several characters are introduced — Garth sounds like a helluva time and I’d like to be friends with Penn. And it was nice to read about those Coyne father and son rounds in-and-around St. Andrews. Those memories will live forever.

But for me, Coyne’s greatest feat in this book is his courage. He’s candid with the real-life challenges of being a father and husband. And he’s transparent with his own demons. It’s hard enough to admit problems to yourself — it takes guts to put them in paperback.

The “search for the secret of golf” is a tall order and Coyne gives it a go, but more importantly inspires the reader to find their truth.

Tom Coyne also authored The New York Times bestseller “A Course Called Ireland” and the forthcoming “A Course Called America” set for 2021.

“A Course Called Scotland” is available by various online retailers: here