"WITHOUT SO MUCH as a glance behind us, despite the excitement we had experienced only a few moments earlier, Tail Gunner and I marched briskly down the steep slope at the back of the 11th green at Doonbeg Golf Club in westernmost Ireland. As we made our way around the corner of the shaggy dune on top of which the 12th tee (466 yards, par 4) is perched, we were startled to overhear Papageno’s opening aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute being sung in beautiful German..." Read the rest of Chapter One
The Doonbeg Ghosts by Ivan Morris
When certified golf nut Ivan Morris and his friend James Carew (aka Tail Gunner) were young, they vowed that whichever of them made it heaven first would somehow find a way to notify the other about the quality of golf in the after-life. Tail Gunner was the first to cross the great divide - and he kept his word, appearing in a dream to reassure his friend that golf in heaven is just as on earth: paradoxical, frustrating and endlessly fascinating.
Then one momentous day, during a round of golf on Ireland's Doonbeg course, the ghost of Tail Gunner turns up, not only to play alongside Ivan, but also to introduce him to the ghosts of some of golf's most famous and influential characters: incomparable champion Bob Jones; 'founding father' Old Tom Morris; Sir Alex Shaw, pioneer of golf in Ireland' legendary golf course architect Dr. Alister Mackenzie; and a host of other players, writers and course builders. With his other-worldy companions, Ivan travels through time to visit the great courses of Ireland and the world, along the way encountering Greg Norman, Darren Clarke, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and other leading exponents of the modern game, and all the while debating the rich subject of golf - courses and techniques, personalities and philosophy.
"Humourous, thought-provoking and highly entertaining, The Doonbeg Ghosts is an affectionate tribute to this complex multi-faceted sport by one of Irish golf's best-known and most enthusiastic addicts."
"well-written... romp through time and space"
"undeniably fun to read... with a tumbler of Irish whiskey at your disposal" Ivan's Latest
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We asked Ivan for his thoughts on this book, almost decade on...
"If you are an author, your books are like your children and you shouldn’t
have favourites but I cannot help myself saying that my third (of six)
offspring, The Doonbeg Ghosts, is ‘the special one.’
The fact that my favourite golfing partner since our teenage years, Tailgunner James Carew, was the inspiration for this unlikely, otherworldly golf yarn makes it so. That Sidney Matthew, the author of thirteen books on the great American golfer, Bob Jones, told me that I ‘got’ Jones’s personality to a ‘tee’ is one the most satisfying compliments I have ever received as a writer."