Sunday, August 16, 2015


Just finished reading this wonderful book, written by Robin Down, the treasurer of Allendale Golf Club in Northumberland.   Now I`m a bit fussy about what I read and I confess to having a limited `taste` - certain authors, certain subjects - and I tend to read a novel, then a non-fiction book, then a novel and so on.   This book, however, seems to cover both in that it provides fascinating glimpses of history combined with snippets from the author`s life story, his passion for motor sport and, of course, golf.

He took it upon himself to embark on a journey from his home course in Northumberland through the west coast of Scotland as far north as Durness in Sutherland.  As he went, he played golf on courses which were out of the way, where you put your green fees in honesty boxes and which had unexpected stories to tell.  For example, the cover photograph is taken from the third green of the remote Traigh golf course looking over to the isles of Eigg, Muck and Rhum near Arisaig in Scotland`s West Highlands and it was here, I discovered, that there was a major training base for SOE Special Operations during World War 2.

His descriptions of playing the courses are vivid and informative - you can almost imagine what it`s like to be playing in the wild places he visited -but I suppose my only disappointment with the book was that the author, whilst by no means a champion golfer, is clearly infinitely more accomplished than I am.   But then he doesn`t have my `value for money` golfing philosophy which insists that, having spent all that cash on the gear, clubs, balls, green fees, etc., I then try to hit the ball as many times as I can.  And most times I succeed.

So, if you like golf, motor racing, history, wild places and lyrical prose, then this book is for you. Well, it`s my kind of book anyway.

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