Coyne, Tom 1974(?)-
Coyne, Tom 1974(?)-
Born c. 1974. Education: University of Notre Dame, B.A., M.F.A.
Writer and educator. St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA, creative writing teacher.
A Gentleman's Game (novel), Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer's Quest to Play with the Pros (nonfiction), Gotham Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Also coauthor of the screenplay for the film adaptation of author's novel A Gentleman's Game; contributor to Golf magazine.
In his first novel, A Gentleman's Game, author Tom Coyne writes of thirteen-year-old Timmy Price, a caddy at the Fox Chase Country Club where his father is a member and makes him caddy as a lesson in humility. A "natural" when it comes to the game of golf, Timmy is the object of admiration by his fellow caddies and the rich men for whom he caddies. Nevertheless, he is disturbed by the wealthy club members, whose own personal conduct appears to be the antithesis of the honor these men lay claim to as they lie, steal, and even cheat at the sport they call the "gentleman's game." As the novel progresses, Timmy learns of one member's dark secret that results in another disadvantaged caddy no longer coming to work. In the end, Timmy must decide what golf really means to him. Marylaine Block, writing in the Library Journal, called A Gentleman's Game a "believable, wrenching story." Referring to the novel as an "appealing first effort," a Publishers Weekly contributor added that it "is a satisfyingly idiosyncratic coming-of-age story dealing with class, family and the elusive challenge and fickleness of the sport." Bill Ott, writing in Booklist, noted that when the author writes about the game "he writes with conviction and originality."
Coyne turns to nonfiction in his second book, Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer's Quest to Play with the Pros. The book focuses on the author's dream of playing with the pros as he leaves his girlfriend behind and goes to Florida, where he studies under former PGA Teacher of the Year Dr. Jim Suttie. The author ends up training for a year in an attempt to get into the PGA Tour Qualifying School of the Professional Golfer's Association (PGA), which would allow him to compete as a professional. The author recounts how he ended up with more than 50,000 dollars in credit card bills as he hits thousands of golf balls only to find, in the end, that he is only an amateur in both name and talent. "That he didn't make it is not the point of Paper Tiger," wrote David Granger in Esquire, adding that the real lesson concerns the vast differences in talent between professional and amateur golfers. Granger went on to call the book "engaging." A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that the author's "quest should resonate with weekend golfers who dream of going all the way." Bill Ott, writing in Booklist, noted that while the author proved not to have the talent for the pros the book is "more than good enough to tell the story of why." In a review in the Library Journal, Steven Silkunas wrote: "This is an experience readers will be able to enjoy vicariously."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Coyne, Tom, Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer's Quest to Play with the Pros, Gotham Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Booklist, February 15, 2001, Bill Ott, review of A Gentleman's Game, p. 1115; April 15, 2006, Bill Ott, review of Paper Tiger, p. 19.
Esquire, May, 2006, David Granger, review of Paper Tiger, p. 40.
Library Journal, February 15, 2001, Marylaine Block, review of A Gentleman's Game, p. 200; May 1, 2006, Steven Silkunas, review of Paper Tiger, p. 93.
Publishers Weekly, April 9, 2001, review of A Gentleman's Game, p. 50; March 13, 2006, review of Paper Tiger, p. 52.
Notre Dame Magazine Web site,http://www.nd.edu/~ndmag/ (November 1, 2006), "A Swing at Success for Tom Coyne," letter to the editor from author.
Reelwriter.net,http://www.reelwriter.net/ (November 1, 2006), Kelly McCarthy, "Screenwriter: On the Leader's Board," interview with author.
Tom Coyne Home Page,http://www.tomcoyne.com (November 1, 2006).