Introducing the inaugural selection for the online book club you never knew you wanted (or needed):
St. Andrews Sojourn by George Peper
First, there’s an Amazon link to purchase the book through the image above, but I’d encourage you to either support your local bookseller or utilize your public library. Second, the back of the book reads as follows:
The Old Course at St. Andrews is the great hallowed ground of golf, and it was there that George Peper was playing in 1983 when he hit a slice so hideous that he never found the ball. But in looking for it, he came across a for sale sign on a stone town house alongside the famed 18th hole. Two months later he and his wife, Libby, became the proud owners of 9A Gibson Place. Twenty years later, they moved in and settled in the “Auld Grey Toon,” in the land of golf, single malt scotch, haggis, bagpipes, and television licenses, where the neighbors had accents thicker than a North Sea fog.
When he isn’t attempting to break par on the Old Course, Peper immerses himself in the local golf culture: He learns the rituals for ordering a drink at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (est. 1754), where he becomes the first American elected to the Club Committee; endures homesickness (in the form of “Pre-Masters Post-Partum Syndrome”); and meets intriguing locals such as his neighbor Gordon Murray, quite possibly the only caddie to store his caddie bib in the trunk of a Mercedes, and Wee Raymond Gatherum, a magnificent shotmaker whose diminutive stature belies his skills.
Wry, warm, and witty, St. Andrews Sojourn will delight anyone who has played—or dreamed of playing—the Old Course.
In other words, a wonderful way to mentally prepare for the Open Championship in July!
So what’s this all about? Think Oprah’s Book Club, but golf focused. I’ve long been envious of folks belonging to vibrant book clubs, and have always hoped to use the NLU platform to start something similar. In my mind I envision a new book selection each month, though I think each book will have a two-month timespan (one month to read, the next month to discuss). I want to use the Refuge for a home to discussion, and then hope to augment that with some sort of author interview in podcast or written form (whenever possible). At the very least I figure we can use the whole experiment to find and explore titles we may not have gotten to on our own. I think it’s going to be golf books exclusively, but let’s reserve the right to wander outside the game, especially if certain ideas and topics can be tangentially tied back to golf. In other words, it’s going to be a feel-as-we-go process. Ride along for as much or as little as you wish!