With people spending more time than ever at home as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought we would take a dig into the bookshelf and spotlight some interesting reading material for golfers, be that new books or those of a slightly older vintage.
Blasted Heaths and Blessed Greens. Author: James W. Finegan. First Published 1996
The author of seven books about golf, James Finegan passed away in 2015. Six of those were about golf in the British Isles, and this one is among my personal favourites.
Finegan made dozens of trips to the U.K. and his journeys to Scotland were jealousy-inducing excursions that most golfers could only dream of. While not all have or will make the pilgrimage to the Home of Golf, a copy of the Blasted Heaths and Blessed Greens can transport you there. If only in your mind.
Finegan’s travelogue is a comprehensive one, touching on more than sixty golf courses, and encompassing some 1600 kilometres of landscape. In doing so he touches on the heritage of the clubs and courses, unique features, and breathes life into their portraits with powerful details.
Written in a time before the proliferation on the Internet, it provided a framework from which many could plan their own visits, and inspired many to do so.
From the famed links of St Andrews to the wilds of Machrie, Finegan takes you along with him like a member of his playing group. That made this book an instant classic, and one that continues to be worth a read, almost a quarter century after it was published.