Synopses & Reviews
One mans quest to uncover the roots of his familys obsession with golfa journey that takes him to his ancestral home in Ireland, to Scotland, and to the American heartland.
John Garrity is well known in the golf world for his writing for Sports Illustrated, Golf Magazine, and on Golf.com. In this new book, Garrity travels to the remote corner of Ireland from which his great-grandfather left for America, now home to a majestic golf course. There he discovers why local farmers spent seven years carving the course out of unforgiving terrain, using only rakes and spades for their work. From there, he visits Musselburgh, Scotland, where his maternal ancestors played golf before the first thirteen rules of the game were written there in 1774, and to Wisconsins St. Croix River Valley, where his father learned the Ancient Game.
Part memoir, part travelogue, and all golf, this book is for the enthusiast, the casual fan, or just the curious. The story of how golf altered three small-town landscapes and forever changed one family will captivate readers and inspire them to find lifes greatest treasures in their own family tree.
Poignant and revealing.
Garrity offers some wry insights into the sport of golf.
Lively, humorous, and informative
a deeply personal and soulful journey by
an exceptionally talented writer.
"Garrity's odyssey is green, Irish, wry, wistful and inspiring. His book is a jig in a bunker surrounded by a field of dreams. It's magical."
Michael Bamberger, author of To the Linksland
Part family memoir, part travelogue, Garrity offers some wry insights into the sport of golf and the often profound reasons why hitting a small ball into a hole means so much to so many people and why they would travel to the ends of the earth (or at least to Scotland and Ireland) just to have the honor and pleasure of doing so.
Sports Illustrated senior writer John Garrity retraced his roots the old-fashioned way: by poring over documents, hunting down distant relatives and playing some of the British Isles finest courses. Who said you cant mix family business with pleasure?
[Garrity] is a formidable talent
After all, this is a man who, in an erstwhile SI series called Mats Only, found entertaining things to write about his compulsion for beating balls at practice ranges. In Ancestral Links, his themesparticularly a messy family lineage and mortalityare far weightier. Garrity is more than capable of carrying that load.
[Ancestral Links is] part memoirthe recollections of both his father and brother, both recently dead of cancer, are poignant and revealingpart golfers travelogue, and part search for roots
Garritys humility and ingratiating style softens the inevitable envy problem (Why him and not me?) that often makes reading golf travelogues a mixed blessing.
I was enthralled by this fine book
Garrity has written a heartfelt elegy to his parents and brother framing his emotions and reflections amid the rugged and inspiring links of Carne. A sense of loss shadows the book but also self-discovery, hope and redemptive love
Theres much to relish in this book and you dont have to have played Carne or Irish links or even been to Ireland to appreciate it
Garrity has taken it all in and the reader goes along for a wonderful, insightful ride.
Terry Moore, Michigan Golfer
One man's "poignant and revealing" quest to uncover the roots of his family's obsession with golf-in Ireland, Scotland, and the American heartland.
In Ancestral Links, senior Sports Illustrated writer John Garrity takes readers on a fascinating golfing odyssey. First he returns to the majestic seaside Carne Golf Links in a remote corner of Ireland, from which his great-grandfather left for America. Next he visits Musselburgh, Scotland, where his maternal ancestors played golf before the first thirteen rules of the game were written there in 1774. And in Wisconsin's St. Croix River Valley, Garrity revisits the New Richmond Golf Club, where his father learned the ancient game. At every stop on his journey, Garrity reflects on the life and career of his beloved late older brother, Tom, a former tour player.
Part memoir, part travelogue, and all golf, Garrity's story of how the sport altered three small-town landscapes and forever changed one family is a captivating and unforgettable tour of the links.
About the Author
John Garrity, a Golf Writers Association of America award-winner, is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and a regular contributor to Golf Magazine and Travel and Leisure Golf, among other publications. He’s authored over a dozen books. He lives in Kansas City.