Two Years in St. Andrews: At Home on the 18th Hole

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 30, 2008 - Sports & Recreation - 336 pages
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The Old Course at St. Andrews is to golfers what St. Peter's is to Catholics or the Western Wall is to Jews: hallowed ground, the course every golfer longs to play -- and master. In 1983 George Peper was playing the Old Course 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 eighteenth hole. Two months later he and his wife, Libby, became the proud owners of 9A Gibson Place.

In 2003 Peper retired after twenty-five years as the editor in chief of Golf magazine. With the younger of their two sons off to college, the Pepers decided to sell their house in the United States and relocate temporarily to the town house in St. Andrews. And so they left for the land of golf -- and single malt scotch, haggis, bagpipes, television licenses, and accents thicker than a North Sea fog. While Libby struggled with renovating an apartment that for years had been rented to students at the local university, George began his quest to break par on the Old Course.

Their new neighbors were friendly, helpful, charmingly eccentric, and always serious about golf. In no time George was welcomed into the local golf crowd, joining the likes of Gordon Murray, the man who knows everyone; Sir Michael Bonallack, Britain's premier amateur golfer of the last century; and Wee Raymond Gatherum, a magnificent shotmaker whose diminutive stature belies his skills.

For anyone who has ever dreamed of playing the Old Course -- and what golfer hasn't? -- this book is the next best thing. And for those who have had that privilege, Two Years in St. Andrews will revive old memories and confirm Bobby Jones's tribute, "If I were to set down to play on one golf course for the remainder of my life, I should choose the Old Course at St. Andrews."
 

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Contents

The Slice of My Life
1
Transatlantic Landlord
5
An End and a Beginning
10
Dogged Pursuit
18
Arrival
22
Two Andrews
26
Round One
29
Molishing
35
Happy Anniversary
137
Other Courses Other Charms
150
Rifts and Schisms
161
A Matter of Trust
168
Itwith Sir Michael
176
Nice Measurements
182
Victorias Vase
186
On His Majestys Secret Service
200

The Saint Hood
41
Perfect Golf
51
In at Last
57
Gordon
65
Show Me Your Papers
74
Window Office
79
The Club
83
Tescoid Anthropology
89
Wooing the Old Lady
97
A Special Experience
106
Pedophile
110
Playing Backwards
114
Having a Wee Flutter
118
Ways to Get on the Old Course
124
A Different World
132
The Night I Kissed the Captains Balls
204
The WedgeAway
213
The Partisans
217
Reunion
224
Winter Wonderland
229
Stalking Prince William
239
Dazzled by a Puffin Crossing
245
Two Trips Home
253
Herbicide
260
Summer Son
266
50000 People in Our Backyard
274
Home
293
Acknowledgments
301
Index
303
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

George Peper, currently editor at large for Links magazine, was editor in chief of Golf Magazine for twenty-five years and is the bestselling author of fifteen previous books. In 1999, his script for the documentary The Story of Golf was nominated for an Emmy Award. He lives in St. Andrews, Scotland.

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