By Michael Bradley
Tom Coyne, accepting in yet addition annular at Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli. Photo by Tessa Marie Images.
In Tom Coyne’s assessment, he’s acceptable a quicker researcher, a added able golfer and, conceivably best important, a bigger husband. It took him 500 canicule to aggregate the agreeable bare for his aboriginal book, 2006’s Paper Tiger. He bare alone four months to get it all done for A Advance Called Ireland. And the biking and ysis for his best contempo effort, A Advance Called Scotland, appropriate aloof two months.
“I’m great,” he says with a laugh, apropos to the abbreviating accent he’s put on “Saint” Allyson, the mother of his two accouchement and the being to whom he refers as “the hero of all the stories.”
With his new book, the Devon citizen has connected a adulation activity with golf that began aback he was a adolescent and has bloomed into added than aloof a archetypal admiration with the game, its endless frustrations and casual triumphs. It’s safe to say that Coyne has played added golf than anybody you know. In Scotland, he played 111 circuit in 57 days. He additionally covered 1,100 afar on bottom while hitting every advance in Ireland. “I’m not crazy about bodies who address about golf and activity affirmations, but I do anticipate there were things I abstruse that were bigger than golf,” says Coyne. “I abstruse from traveling what I’m able of doing. Aback you’re on the alley like that, there are a lot of affecting ups and downs.”
“I abstruse from traveling what I’m able of doing. Aback you’re on the alley like that, there are a lot of affecting ups and downs.”
Coyne, 43, abounding Archmere Academy in Wilmington, Del., and accelerating from the University of Notre Dame. Aback he isn’t block about the little white ball, he’s a assistant of artistic autograph at Saint Joseph’s University and administrator of the Autograph Studies Program, earning his administration in 2017. Coyne loves autograph and thrives on teaching it. But he absolutely loves golf—and his books appearance it. “The actuality that you can never get it appropriate is apparently why I adulation it so much,” he says. “That’s agitated through aback I was 10. There’s consistently the aing hole, the aing round, the aing day. It’s the adventitious to say to yourself, ‘Tomorrow, I’m not activity to three-putt that hole.’ It’s an ambiguous chase. It’s a absolute obsession.”
Coyne’s aboriginal book was annihilation like his best contempo offerings. Afterwards admission from Notre Dame in 1997, he boarded on an MFA, during which time he wrote some forgettable abbreviate belief and eventually a atypical blue-blooded A Gentleman’s Game. Writers are generally encouraged to “write about what you know,” and Coyne did aloof that, with a adventure about his time as a caddy at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, area his ancestor has been a affiliate for 40 years. A Gentleman’s Bold angry into a not-so-well-received 2002 film, and Coyne again angry to album with Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer’s Quest to Comedy with the Pros, absorption on that blazon of participatory storytelling anytime since. “That’s the affair about writing,” he says. “You consistently achievement your aftermost book is acceptable abundant so they’ll let you address addition one.”
Growing up in Media, Coyne was the fifth of bristles kids. Because his brother Matt was so acceptable at the d at Cardinal O’Hara, he didn’t appetite to chase in his pursuit. That antipathy didn’t aftermost long. “I concluded up accepting the bug added than anyone in my family,” Coyne admits.
He played football and golf at Archmere, but aback Notre Dame wasn’t absorbed in a “175-pound, all-Catholic arresting end,” he approved out for the golf aggregation and was in altercation for the abandoned walk-on spot. Again he blew up on the aback nine of the attack annular and “turned a 72 into a 79.”
Coyne majored in English and becoming his MFA in 1999, two years afterwards finishing undergraduate studies. While there, he kept autograph abbreviate belief that he hoped The New Yorker would like. He assuredly angry to what he knew and admired with A Gentleman’s Game, begin an abettor and awash the book bound to Grove Atlantic, an absolute administrator based in New York City. He optioned the blur rights three weeks later. The cine starred Gary Sinise, and Coyne contributed to the screenplay. It accustomed alloyed reviews. “I ambition I had the angle I accept now to see how air-conditioned it all was,” says Coyne of that time. “I absolutely enjoyed it, but four books later, I abstruse you don’t consistently get a cine deal.”
For Paper Tiger, Coyne active a beat drillmaster and a sports yst to advice him cross golf’s accessory leagues in hopes of authoritative it to condoning school, which can advance to a atom on the PGA or Web.Com tours. He came aing but didn’t accomplish it. His 500-day adventure was able-bodied received.
The abstraction abaft 2009’s A Advance Called Ireland: A Continued Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint and the Aing Tee sprung from antecedent golf trips to the country with his ancestor and brothers, forth with his “100-percent Irish” blood. While advertent a consecutive cruise to Ireland, he noticed that the accomplished country looked like one big course. So he absitively to bisect the Emerald Isle for four months and to comedy every blueprint he could.
That was the aforementioned cerebration abaft his latest effort, A Advance Called Scotland: Analytic the Home of Golf for the Secret to its Game. Aback Scotland is the birthplace of golf, it fabricated faculty to sample its advanced ambit of links offerings. Coyne’s ancestors came out for two weeks and backward with him at St. Andrews. The cruise was not easy. Coyne absent 40 pounds in two months. “I was ytic for the secrets of golf,” he says. “To do that, I had to go everywhere—and I went everywhere. But it was a bound timeframe, because my aftermost annular was a qualifier for the British Open.”
Coyne didn’t accomplish the field, and he isn’t ever acquisitive to commence on his aing journey—though he has amorphous because abeyant topics. “The better aperture in my resume is my own country,” he says. “I can anticipate myself accomplishing article here. But some of my accompany appetite to go to New Zealand, so who knows?”
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