NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Globe-trotting golfer Tom Coyne has finally come home. And he’s ready to play all of it.
After playing hundreds of courses overseas in the birthplace of golf, Coyne, the author of A Course Called Ireland and A Course Called Scotland, returns to his own birthplace and delivers a rollicking love letter to golf in the United States.
In the span of one unforgettable year, Coyne crisscrosses the country in search of its greatest golf experience, playing every course to ever host a US Open, along with more than two hundred hidden gems and heavyweights, visiting all fifty states to find a better understanding of his home country and countrymen.
Coyne’s journey begins where the US Open and US Amateur got their start, historic Newport Country Club in Rhode Island. As he travels from the oldest and most elite of links to the newest and most democratic, Coyne finagles his way onto coveted first tees (Shinnecock, Oakmont, Chicago GC) between rounds at off-the-map revelations, like ranch golf in Eastern Oregon and homemade golf in the Navajo Nation. He marvels at the golf miracle hidden in the sand hills of Nebraska, and plays an unforgettable midnight game under bright sunshine on the summer solstice in Fairbanks, Alaska.
More than just a tour of the best golf the United States has to offer, Coyne’s quest connects him with hundreds of American golfers, each from a different background but all with one thing in common: pride in welcoming Coyne to their course. Trading stories and swing tips with caddies, pros, and golf buddies for the day, Coyne adopts the wisdom of one of his hosts in Minnesota: the best courses are the ones you play with the best people.
But, in the end, only one stop on Coyne’s journey can be ranked the Great American Golf Course. Throughout his travels, he invites golfers to debate and help shape his criteria for judging the quintessential American course. Should it be charmingly traditional or daringly experimental? An architectural showpiece or a natural wonder? Countless conversations and gut instinct lead him to seek out a course that feels bold and idealistic, welcoming yet imperfect, with a little revolutionary spirit and a damn good hot dog at the turn. He discovers his long-awaited answer in the most unlikely of places.
Packed with fascinating tales from American golf history, comic road misadventures, illuminating insights into course design, and many a memorable round with local golfers and celebrity guests alike, A Course Called America is an epic narrative travelogue brimming with heart and soul.
Golf writer Coyne (A Course Called Scotland) traverses fairways and putting greens across America in this entertaining blend of travelogue, memoir, and sports writing. Determined to learn the history of golf in America, he set out to play the 51 courses that have hosted a U.S. Open, sprinkling in existential reflections along the way. After playing the Flying Goat on Shelter Island, for example, he muses that maybe he's looking "for a playground from which I couldn't pull myself away." He hits the green with poet Billy Collins and actor Bill Murray, who doesn't play around when it comes to hitting balls. ("We were used to watching his larky play at Pebble Beach, but the truth was, Bill Murray was a grinder.") At Florida's famed retirement community, The Villages, he discovers 50 courses in its 32 square miles "simply put, golf heaven" while his round in Pinehurst, N.C., reminds him of his first time on the links in Ireland. At the end of his yearlong endeavor, Coyne concludes that his travels may not have made him a better golfer, but they did make him want to live a life that matters. Golf nuts will be tantalized by the glimpses of America's premier courses, while those looking to book an epic post-pandemic golf trip will find plenty of inspiration.