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."
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.
"If you've ever played up the 18th fairway of the Old Course, alongside the stately stone dwellings that line it on the right, and wondered what it would be like to live there -- for a month or a year or a lifetime -- you will want to read this extraordinary book." -- James W. Finegan, author of Blasted Heaths and Blessed Greens