Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not another golf book

I was expecting to get that line thrown at me on numerous occasions, but so far (200 courses played) only the Secretary/Manager at Stackstown has burdened me with it. And when I explained why my book would be different he replied that there were plenty of websites that did the same thing. He was kind enough to give me a web address for one, but after a brief shiver of fear I found that the site was nothing like my book. For one thing it doesn't rate courses against a common set of criteria; for another it doesn't tell you much about the experience of playing golf or what you can expect in terms of fun and challenges. It has plenty of things that my book doesn't have (hotels, food, history), but my book has always been about the golf.

I'm happy to mention that Darren Clarke designed a course - because that will attract many golfers - but I'm not writing a paragraph on how James Braid walked around Mullingar 80 years ago, sticking tees in the ground to mark where the holes were to be. Why? Because that information can be found anywhere. I'm trying to write something new, something that any golfer can pick up and say:

"Great, I always wanted to know if Muskerry was any good. Sounds like a pretty course that I'll really enjoy. I can't afford to be wild off the tee - too many trees for that - but I love downhill drives and greens that are thrilling to hit into. OK, so there may be some steep climbs but that only adds to the challenge."

And then, when he gets to Muskerry, he finds exactly what he expects, so he can enjoy himself to the full. Am I wrong?


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