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The Bookshelf: To The Linksland

Many fans of golf have become familiar with writer Michael Bamberger through his work with Golf.com, Sports Illustrated, and his latest novel on Tiger Woods, but dig back almost three decades and you’ll find some of his most intriguing efforts.

In 1985, with his real job as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer supporting him, the native New Yorker produced his first book. That work, The Green Road Home, chronicled his time as a caddy on the American pro golf circuit.

While benefiting greatly from his ability to tell a story, travelling the circuit truly did not live up to Bamberger’s expectations so he hatched another plan.

That scheme would become “To The Linksland, A Golfing Adventure.” Published in 1992, it recounted his journey to travel and sustain himself (and his wife) while working as a caddy on the then nomadic European Tour.

As a result, he soaked up far more colour that he could have ever dreamed of on the U.S. Tour, and engaged in an enthralling wander that makes you wonder where it will lead next.

A Little Bit Of Everything

The book succeeded and continues to attract an audience for various reasons. It relates on many levels.

Bamberger attaches himself to another golf dreamer, somewhat proficient player Peter Teravainen, and the two lead a comedic caravan that acts as a travelogue, golf story, and a look in to the psychology of an independent pro athlete.

The mix comes up a winner and has made it a staple on my shelf for decades, a book that I reach to every few years as a reminder of what pro golf once looked like.

There are plenty of light-hearted moments that will provoke laughter, and others that will have you reaching for a map to start charting your own golf travels.

With an opening scene involving a golf bag and sitting on the cold floor of a train station in the South of France, it pulls you in and does not let go.

Copies are still easy to find and they are worth seeking out.

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