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NORTON, Massachusetts – Many golfers around the world know Tom Coyne as author of New York Times bestsellers “A Course Called Ireland” and “A Course Called Scotland”. Coyne has written about his journeys, friendships made and golf played. In “A Course Called Ireland”, Coyne treks his way around the perimeter of Ireland (By foot!), playing all the coastal golf courses along the way. In “A Course Called Scotland”, he captures his experiences at over 100 legendary links courses in preparation for his attempt to qualify for the Open Championship.
Coyne’s latest project, “A Course Called America”, will capture his journey across the United States. Coyne will be playing golf in all 50 states and will visit every U.S. Open venue along the way. His travels, experiences and course reactions will be documented in the book, which is set to be published in 2021. Through October, Coyne said he is well over halfway through the journey and has played over 250 courses this year. In his recent pass through Massachusetts, Coyne played 15 courses over an eight-day stretch, which included a quick trip to New York for a day as well.
As he played through the Bay State, Coyne was gracious enough to allow Mass Golf to join him for five of his 15 rounds in Massachusetts. We tagged along on Monday, October 21 as he played three courses on Cape Cod, and then joined him two days later as he played two courses in Marion. We tracked the journey in real time on Instagram (@PlayMassGolf) and provided photo galleries at the end of each day on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
What is it like playing alongside Tom Coyne?
He’s got several courses to play. In trying to play as many courses as humanly possible, Coyne will often experience two or even three courses in one day. These are the courses he played while in Massachusetts:
Oct. 16: Essex Country Club & Myopia Hunt Club
Oct. 17: Brae Burn Country Club & The Country Club
Oct. 19: Worcester Country Club
Oct. 20: Old Sandwich Golf Club & Plymouth Country Club
Oct. 21: Blue Rock Golf Course, Chequessett & Highland Links
Oct. 22: Eastward Ho! & Hyannisport Club
Oct. 23: Marion Golf Course & The Kittansett Club
Oct. 24: Thorny Lea Golf Club
-I’ll Go! When you are playing as many courses as Coyne is, you need to get a move on. “Ready Golf” is what you can expect, and if there is ever a hesitation over who’s up next, you can count on Coyne to chime in with “I’ll Go.”
-He’s played some crazy holes, but Coyne said the 2nd hole at Marion Golf Club might be one of the craziest he’s ever played. It is a short par-4 with an extreme dogleg right that has a stone wall and two trees protecting the football-shaped green.
-The best par 3 he’s played yet is the 3rd hole at The Kittansett Club. The island-like green, surrounded by the beach or water depending on the tides, is 167 yards on the card but usually plays well over 200 yards when accounting for the wind.
-Play On. Sticking to the theme of playing quickly, you won’t see Coyne looking very long for an errant shot. After a quick peek in the area of the missed shot, he will often give a “Play On” in calling off the search for his Titleist Pro V1.
-What’s in his bag? Coyne is a Titleist guy. Driver and Fairway Woods (TS2/3), Hybrid (H1), Irons (AP3), Wedges (Vokey F/S/M grind) and Putter (Scotty Cameron Phantom X8).
-Walking is the preferred method of transportation on the golf course. Not surprising, considering he tried to walk the entire perimeter of Ireland.
-Smooth Swinging. Coyne’s swing is a thing of beauty. It appears slow and smooth but generates plenty of pop. He is an excellent golfer with a Handicap Index of 1.4. One can only imagine how low he could get his handicap if he wasn’t playing new and different courses every single day of the year.
-Friends and Followers are with him everywhere he goes. When you have a golf itinerary like Coyne’s, it’s good to have some company. Through social media, Coyne had different groups of friends and followers for each of his rounds in Massachusetts. He even had a couple of friends fly in from Ireland to play alongside him. Jack Murphy and Cormac MacMullan from the Ardglass Golf Club in County Down certainly helped lighten the mood with laughs on the links.
-Playing Tricks. Coyne played a joke on his Irish buddy, Cormac. By the 17th tee box at Kittansett, there is a giant rock, which Coyne pointed out and convinced Cormac that it was Plymouth Rock. Cormac proceeded to take a number of pictures of the rock, thinking it was the site of the 1620 disembarkation of the Mayflower. After holding back laughter just long enough to tee off, Coyne broke the news to Cormac that his photos were of a random rock in Marion.
-He has some funny stories from his experiences on the course. In a round earlier in the month, Coyne was playing alongside PGA TOUR professional Zac Blair in New York. Midway through the round, he caught one of his drives well and outdrove Blair. When they walked up to their balls, Coyne bragged that he hit it farther than Blair. Having hit his tee shot with a driver off the deck, Blair replied quickly saying, “Dude, congrats…I didn’t even use a tee.” Not having known that Blair was hitting driver off the deck, Coyne said it was quite the humorous and humbling moment for him.