In the eyes of many golfers, Tom Coyne has seen it all. Or at least most of it. As the author of the best-selling “A Course Called” series, Coyne has lugged his clubs throughout Ireland and Scotland in pursuit of the game’s secrets. And now he’s working on the mind-boggling cross-country itinerary for his latest book, “A Course Called America,” which “Talking GolfGetaways” hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch discussed with him in Episode 129. Coyne returns to the podcast in Episode 130 so he can tackle our Emergency 9 questionnaire, highlighting his favorite courses, resorts and destinations while discussing lessons learned through his golf travels.
The author (who is also a professor at St. Joseph’s University) spans the globe with his answers. And, not surprisingly, a few of his thoughts trace back to the United Kingdom where Coyne has spent many days on foot and in rental cars exploring the best of links golf — from seaside routings few know exist to the marquee courses that make up golfers’ dreams.
But don’t worry, North America is not forgotten in Coyne’s Emergency 9. His “What’s at the Top of Your Own Bucket List” answer is a relatively common one for the podcast — but one that Bunch and Laurance vow to help make a reality so that Coyne can add a new friend and “character” to his upcoming book. And the discussion of what makes a great golf-lodging experience centers on two “Talking GolfGetaways” favorites from Wisconsin and Nova Scotia.
And then there are the non-course-related questions in this Emergency 9 golf-travel quiz. Can haggis really be the best thing he’s ever eaten? What’s the piece of apparel Coyne can’t live without when traveling the world? Who are the most interesting people with whom he’s golfed? (Hint: a Shark is involved.) And, finally, what animal does Coyne use to stamp his balls — and how, exactly, can you stamp your own?
In the end, though, the episode closes on a more reflective note, as the philosopher in Tom surfaces for a short verbal essay of sorts on fun in the context of what makes golf courses “great.”
“That’s why I love links so much — standing over a shot and having 10 different ideas in your head,” Coyne says. “That is … well, it can be a little confusing, but it’s just joyful. Because having to pick one of those ways — you know, I’m going to bump a 7-iron instead of hitting a full pitching wedge — and then executing it, and then it working? It is this moment of genius where you feel like you invented golf. You know, you’re like, ‘Look what I did!’ I’ve invented a new way to play golf. Links courses let you do that on every hole.”
To learn more about Coyne’s books — “A Course Called Scotland,” “A Course Called Ireland,” “Paper Tiger” and “A Gentleman’s Game” — visit his website at TomCoyne.com.