Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Review: “The Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime”

I’ve always romanticized the thought of a “regular game.” You know, playing with the same group of golfers, at the same course, on the same day, at the same time. The routine seems comforting, I suppose.

Alas, I’ve never experienced this to its fullest. League night at Maple Ridge (Ashtabula, Ohio) just didn’t tick all those boxes. Noted author James Dodson has enjoyed this treat, however, and eloquently described it in his latest book - “The Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime.”

Dodson dedicated a chapter to the lasting friendships he made with three fellow golfers - Tom Dugan, Sid Watson and Terry Meagher - during his early years at Maine’s Brunswick Golf Club. Much like his father’s golf pals before him, Dodson’s foursome shared the highs and lows of life together (both on and off the course), all while playing the game they loved.

Perhaps one day, when my kids are grown and leave the nest, my wife will kick me out of the house for a few hours every week and I’ll stumble onto a regular game of my own. Until then, I can live vicariously through Dodson’s former group and enjoy Dugan’s improbable ace during one of their cherished Wednesday matches.

The Range Bucket List is so much more than a chapter on golfing buddies, of course. From meeting Bobby Jones to saying goodbye to Arnold Palmer, Dodson walks the reader through a lifetime of golf. Heck, even the prologue is entertaining - with a kid’s “Things to Do in Golf” list inspired by the King, himself.

Reading books like The Range Bucket List isn’t just learning about someone else’s experiences. It’s an invitation to remember your own history - much of which gets pushed to the back of your mind, replaced by more pressing needs. Like the aforementioned ace by Tom Dugan. That took me back to the one-and-only hole-in-one I’ve witnessed in person - Rusty Wagner on the third hole at Maple Ridge.

My advice: Pour yourself a drink, find a comfortable spot, and enjoy The Range Bucket List. Think about all the great times you’ve had in golf and imagine what’s still ahead of you.

Order a copy HERE.

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