Tom Coyne is an American writer and professor. Coyne has published three books, A Gentleman's Game (2002), Paper Tiger, and A Course Called Ireland as of 2009. A Gentleman's Game was adapted into a full length film starring Gary Sinise and Dylan Baker. Coyne attended the University of Notre Dame, and then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he is now an English professor at Saint Joseph's University.
A Gentleman's Game
Tom Coyne's first novel, is A Gentleman's Game, a coming of age novel made into a movie chronicling a summer in the life of thirteen-year-old Timmy Price (Mason Gamble), the relationship with his father, Mr. Price (Dylan Baker), interactions with members of the private golf club to which his accountant father belongs, including pompous Charlie Logan (Philip Baker Hall) who one never quite accepted what he said as true, various golf course employees, particularly self-assured fellow teenaged caddy Jamie Bryne (Justin Goncalves) and black grounds manager Walter Kane (Henry Simmons), and a golfing Amateur Champion turned landscaper Foster Pearse (Gary Sinise) that disappeared from the world never to defend his title.
Timmy struggles that summer with finding his place in the world and coming to terms with how people behave and what values he will follow in life. He is found to have talent as a golfer and along with Jamie caddy to make some pocket money. Jamie may do it more as a means of helping out the family as his father John Byrne (Michael Della Femina) is a delivery driver for the Inquirer newspaper. Despite the association Timmy has being the son of a club member it is to Jamie that receives an invitation from the club president Richard Norton (Greg Wood) to use his pool since it is only going to waste.
It is while golfing with his father that he learns about self-honor and responsibility which is challenged while on the course with other members that culminates in two incidents: they are in a father/son competition with another member whose son makes a move that is not legal and since golfing is without designated judges one must be the judge of their own actions and behavior Timmy calls attention to the action to which the other club member calls forth his being older and a long term member entitled he and his son to be accorded the respect to not be held accountable.
In another round father and son are witness to Charlie going off on his caddy Walter being so unconcerned for his behavior calling him many derogatory names due to the bad results of his own golfing. This was much to the surprise of Walter who did all he could to not act upon Charlie and Timmy's father called for Walter to mind his behavior. From this action Timmy gets the attention from his fellow caddies.
In an effort to learn more about technique Charlie recommends Timmy be tutored by Foster if they can find him. Initially Foster discourages Timmy from the association but through Timmy's actions comes to be accepted by Foster and learns some golfing improvement along the way that Timmy recommends that his father incorporate into his game gives from the father a greater appreciation of Timmy's skill.
Initially, Jamie appeared to be a guy set with the world by his attitude and interactions caddying at the club. While socializing, Timmy finds that Jamie's life is far from self-assured with a mother he knows nothing about and little interaction with his father. With Timmy, Jamie gets the idea to secret on the golf course a gun of his father.
The movie climaxes with a round competition followed by a banquet and fireworks display. Mr. Price partners with his lawyer friend Alfred D'Angelo (David Zayas) and as the winners that day attends the a banquet which Timmy would rather miss. During the banquet members congratulate Price and Alfred for their success but when D'Angelo offers interest in joining the club he is told that they will keep it in mind and walks away without any further communication. Before the fireworks happen Timmy takes a walk about the golf course and comes upon Jamie's father who is standing next to Norton's car, says to Timmy that he is waiting for Norton for some unspecified reason but which Timmy perceives to be an attempt to hurt Norton. Timmy finds Jamie cowered in the delivery truck and the latter tells Timmy what was the cause of stop caddying at the club. Timmy fears for Norton's life and goes for the gun and finds that it is gone, the fireworks start giving Timmy the idea that Jamie's father has done something, the banquet room hears the gun shots and everyone goes out into the parking look to see Norton's car damaged.
Timmy takes the lead and says before the crowd that Norton just missed John Byrne and that Jamie was not his friend. The associations within the club are so that charges are never brought against John. In the conclusion of the film, Timmy finds a letter from Foster Pearse explaining that he would be away for a while to make amends for his reason for leaving the game of golf and attempting to commit suicide, that at least one thing said by the pompous Charlie was true and that as Timmy went thorough life he did not allow the world of the golf club to influence his basic beliefs.
Paper Tiger is a true story about Tom Coyne's journey into the world of professional golf. Coyne's odyssey would include leaving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to live in Florida. Coyne would enlist the help of swing doctor Dr. Jim Suttie and go through rigorous weight training in preparation. Coyne would also seek sports psychologist Dr. Robert Winters to help fulfill his dream. Coyne would go from a 15 handicap to a plus, but would not play well enough to gain entrance to stage one of the PGA Tour's qualifying school. Coyne would play numerous mini-tour events, including a Nationwide Tour event, and play against teenage golfing phenomenon Michelle Wie in a Public Links qualifier.
A Course Called Ireland
Coyne's next project took him to the links courses of Ireland; not just to play some rounds but to play the country itself. Coyne walked around the perimeter of the Republic and Northern Ireland, without the use of any transportation, playing the courses en route: 36 courses, 648 holes, over 2,000,000 yards.
The resulting book was published by Gotham Books, and released on February 19, 2009.
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