at first I wondered if I had made a good buy. Quickly settled in to the book.full of charm and genuine warmth and kindness for the town, the golf course and its surrounds.Just as the author showed great sadness in leaving Dornoch, I also had equal sadness when the book came to a close. A great book for all true lovers of the game and who realise there is more to it than just your score. If nothing else, it will surely make you want to visit Dornoch, or, as in my case revisit.
This is a good book. I will stress its not at all by Sean Connery, he does write an introduction but is not otherwise involved in the book. Rubenstein is in the fortunate position to be able to take a sojourn from his day job but write a book about it and thus cover his lack of earnings, I'm sure we would all love to do a similar thing.
Rubenstein writes well about the clearances, no doubt it is a potted history rather than a well researched one, nonetheless he conveys the passing of a way of life and the injustices suffered by those who were moved on. His interviews with the local Dornoch folk are somewhat patronising though and takeaway from the book - at the end of the day, Rubenstein is a guest yet some of his comments on people are border line offensive.
As a hacker, Rubenstein tries his best to convince us that golf is a game best enjoyed without worrying about score. Whilst true to a degree, most golfers know that score is an integral part of the game and always will be. There are many 'odd sorts' who head out on courses around the world eschewing company insisting instead that they just prefer the challenge from 'old man par'. In truth though, these are the guys who are dropping a second ball every time its not quite right and couldn't shoot a score if their life depended on it.
So whilst this book is an enjoyable read, it is not as good as Michael Bamberger's 'To the Linksland' or Donnegan's '4-iron in the soul'.
This book is really for people who have been to Dornoch and enjoyed the area and the golf course. For me it brought back many memories of this delightful place which goes back to my first visit in 1957 at the age of 9. I learnt to drive on the old grass airstrip and pestered my parents to take me down there every day! I played the Struie course as a youngster and then the main course as I grew up and my golf improved! Clearly Lorne fell in love with the place as we all did - as a family - and whilst it took him some 30 years to return we went back every year until the late 1970's! I still go back and hanker to be there - it is a place of great solitude and peace. The golf is superb, the beach and dunes are quite beautiful and the people lovely. In this modern world the pace still seems to hark back to earlier times and I can think of no better place to be! Lorne has captured all of this but only someone who has yet to go, will know if it inspires them as much as it did me. The book is worth the read but the place truly deserves a visit.