Book Review: “The American Golfer” by Anthony Robinson

Candidly I read “The American Golfer” as a favor to a friend who is the son of the author, Anthony Robinson.  It’s a rare fictional golf piece that entertains me, let alone moves me.  “The American Golfer” did both.  An easy and compelling read, I am delighted to offer a full endorsement of Mr. Robinson and his work.

While the setting is Ireland with the background of golf, for me “The American Golfer” is more about the movement of life and relationships, growth and love, and history that transcends the golf scene.  If you are a golfer, you will understand and savor the knowledge and storytelling that Anthony Robinson offers and appreciate its main character.  If you are not a golfer, that matters little.  You may pick up a better understanding and appreciation for the game, and there is plenty of romantic and historical intrigue to attract you.

Set in 1998, the protagonist is Charlie Kingston, an American golf touring professional who after losing his daughter, his marriage, and his PGA TOUR Card goes on a hiatus to search for the gravesite of his great-grandmother in Ireland.  In the process, Kingston discovers much more in the way of giving, romance, political intrigue, violence, and self-discovery.   On at least two occasions he crosses the lines of acceptability, but also shows a good heart in many other circumstances, and eventually realizes that he cannot be bought and must be true to all. As interesting to me were Charlie’s two female leads, Lora and Fiona, and the way their characters developed.  As Charlie faces his golfing journey, he likewise follows the twists and turns of life. For me the most compelling message is that life is all about relationships and transitions and how we, like Charlie, follow its path and detours and move on.

Golf gets this story started, but Anthony Robinson is a talented storyteller with a message that for me transcends the game.  At a time when golf novels usually bore me, “The American Golfer” entertained and moved me.  Count me as a new Anthony Robinson fan and I’d love to see this tale as a movie though the screen may not match his storytelling.  I am pleased to give “The American Golfer” a hearty and enthusiastic two thumbs up!

The book, “American Golfer,” is available on

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