Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ancestral Links

Each man’s journey in life - and golf - is special and unique. Each step we take or each swing we make is different from the last and peculiar to each one of us. It is only when we pause during the journey and take time to look into the past that we get a true meaning as to who we really are. Each one of us should be required to take time for such reflection somewhere along the passage.

John Garrity has done this and then put it on paper for us to read in his latest volume ANCESTRAL LINKS: A Golf Obsession Spanning Generations. Garrity is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated (still active) and contributor to Golf Magazine. His other books include such titles as Tour Tempo and Tiger 2.0.
With ANCESTRAL LINKS Garrity takes us on a two-part adventure. On a somewhat self-imposed writing sabbatical in Ireland Garrity’s mission is to explore and discover his ancestry, obviously Irish and heavily steeped in golf while simultaneously attempting to conquer the devilish par-4 seventeenth at the Carne Golf Links. It is these two quests that constitute the essence of the book. He skillfully weaves these concurrent pursuits throughout the book by alternating chapters that focus on the goal.

The story of Garrity's search for his paternal ancestral links is skillfully done so as not to bore us with a scavenger hunt for relatives. We can feel his anticipation and his joy as he looks under the leaves of the family tree. Yet at the same time these chapters did not hold my attention as well as those which chronicle his determination to conquer Carne.

So, for the golf fanatic, the real story is the details of his mission to conquer the seventeenth hole at the Carne Golf Links. Carne is located in the town of Belmullet on the northwest coast of Ireland and it is a true links course artfully carved along the coast and through the dunes. Garrity holds the belief that he can play the seventeenth, a long difficult par-4 in 90 strokes. That's playing three balls at a time on six different occasions. He brings us on this odyssey sharing the physical and the emotional. To get a better feel of what he is up against, I recommend that you explore the Carne Golf Links website. http://www.carnegolflinks.com/index.html

I also advocate that you delve into this volume to discover how one golf fanatic satisfies his golf fantasies.

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