• A Course Called Ireland

  • A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee
  • By: Tom Coyne
  • Narrated by: Kyle Tait
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Sports & Outdoors, Golf
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (172 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The must-listen best seller about one man's epic Celtic sojourn in search of ancestors, nostalgia, and the world's greatest round of golf

By turns hilarious and poetic, A Course Called Ireland is a magnificent tour of a vibrant land and paean to the world's greatest game in the tradition of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods

In his 30s, married, and staring down impending fatherhood, Tom Coyne was familiar with the last refuge of the adult male: the golfing trip. Intent on designing a golf trip to end all others, Coyne looked to Ireland, the place where his father had taught him to love the game years before. As he studied a map of the island and plotted his itinerary, it dawned on Coyne that Ireland was ringed with golf holes. The country began to look like one giant round of golf, so Coyne packed up his clubs and set off to play all of it-on foot.

A Course Called Ireland is the story of a walking-averse golfer who treks his way around an entire country, spending 16 weeks playing every seaside hole in Ireland. Along the way, he searches out his family's roots, discovers that a once-poor country has been transformed by an economic boom, and finds that the only thing tougher to escape than Irish sand traps are Irish pubs.

©2009 Tom Coyne (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about A Course Called Ireland

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, author hard to like

This is the 4th golf book by Tom Coyne that I’ve listened to. His first book was golf fiction. Since then all of his books have been first person nonfiction accounts. He is a great writer, but these first person accounts leave me conflicted because although the stories are entertaining, he is just so utterly unlikeable on a personal level that it is hard to root for the person telling the story which puts the reader/listener into an unfamiliar position. This was the first of his “A Course Called” series which currently consists of three books. They are golf travel books. In this one he plays all of the links courses in Ireland and adds in a few others along the way. The catch in this book is that he’s going to walk the course and since he considers the country the course, this means walking while playing AND from course to course. So in his 4 month trip he walks well over 1200 miles while carrying his golf bag and limited travel materials. I try not to do spoilers, but here is just one example of why I find him to be so unlikable on a personal level: for the most part he stayed in B&Bs during the trip. Homes of native Irish people. Throughout the trip, friends joined him for a few days of his journey. During one stretch there were two friends with him. One of them drank way too much in an Irish pub and somehow ended up pooping on the floor of the bedroom of this family’s house. Their efforts to clean the room made it worse. Much worse. Instead of telling the family and offering to pay, they snuck out. Thank goodness the family tracked them down at their next course and with police “convinced” them to pay for the damage. Who does that? Evidently, Tom Coyne. So while I do like his books, I certainly wouldn’t hang out with him.
Kyle Tait read it and does his normally excellent job. He’s read 3/4 of the Coyne books I’ve listened to, so he’s pretty much the voice of Coyne for me at this point.

3 people found this helpful

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Entertaining all the way

TC has a writing style that no adjective could adequately describe. He’s entertaining from the mundane experiences to the once in a lifetime ~ easily my favorite golf author!

2 people found this helpful

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An amazing tale

One of my favorite books ever. An amazing adventure told with great enjoyment. Must read!

2 people found this helpful

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Great story,disappointing inappropriate production

How could you choose this great reader of American and then task him to do something he is wildly unfit to read out loud: an Irish accent? Does no one in the production crew of this company know the difference between the Irish and Australian accent? Does no one at Audible realize how incredibly irritating ( off-putting from your company) it is to hear this wonderful reader of American pretend that he knows Irish accent when all he can do besides American appears to be Australian? You, at this production crew have made a beautiful story into make the most obnoxiously fake and pretentious, and constantly disappointing listen. Who made these decisions? Please don't let them make these decisions again. It makes listening to these wonderful stories impossible. Very unprofessional. Very poorly produced for that reason.

I suggest you make the crew who made these egregiously poor decisions to do this entire production over for free, with someone who can read American out loud and also bless the readers with that gorgeous brogue from Ireland that was withheld from us in this first rendition. If you can't find one person who can do them both then you must fork over the money for two readers.

Thank goodness you didn't make this mistake with a Course called Scotland. Jacques Roy did a wonderful job both with the American and brought a wonderful rendition of the musicality of Scotland to his reading of that book.

I'm going to have to quit listening to A Course called Ireland halfway through because I would rather listen to a teacher scrape his nails on a blackboard for the next 4 hours then listen to this egregious effort and mourn the loss of an opportunity to hear the gorgeous Irish brogue with every Irish word he tries to portray.

When you do make this production crew redo their entire work, please let me know so that I can finally listen to, and finish this story in all its Glory.

Beautiful work, intonation, pace, and a pleasure to listen to you read the American parts , Mr. Tait

Thank you

2 people found this helpful

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Heartwarming Story

Any golfer would love this tale of walking Ireland and playing tge links courses. You don't have to be Irish to appreciate it. but, it does hurt.

2 people found this helpful

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A must read for any golf fan

Fantastic writing, wonderful narration, and enough laughs along the way to keep the non golfer interested while carpooling.

2 people found this helpful

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Coyne is such a good golf writer

Having listened to A Course Called Scotland and absolutely loving it, I jumped at the chance to listen to the predecessor. Wasn’t disappointed. Thoroughly enjoyed!

2 people found this helpful

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Great story

Perfect narrator. Coyne captures the game and the reasons we play it perfectly. love it.

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great listen

very witty and extremely descriptive. definitely worth the listen. you like golf you'll love the book

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Hopefully my bucket list turns into a reality.

To walk over a thousand miles on a beautiful island, meeting lovely people, sharing laughter, tears, pints, chasing family heritage and playing Golf in Ireland! Sounds like a fairy tale that I would die for.

1 person found this helpful