It’s not often that good news pops through the letterbox but the arrival “The Irish Majors”, a new book chronicling the feats of a golden generation of Irish golfers, most definitely belongs in that category.
Penned by the estimable Philip Reid of The Irish Times, a fellow traveller on a road that has led to seven major wins by four Irish golfers over the past five years, it’s unquestionably a must-read for anyone with even a fleeting interest in the game and its greatest championships.
Fred Daly’s Open victory of 1947 had attained almost mythological status for Irish golf by the time Pádraig Harrington ended 60 years of waiting with that epic play-off victory over Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie in 2007. Little did we know that Harrington’s triumph would be only the first of seven Irish wins from 22 Majors, culminating in Rory McIlroy’s second career win at this year’s US PGA Championship.
That’s a strike-rate matched only by the powerhouse that is the United States and for those wondering how in the world a tiny island off the west coast of Europe managed such a feat, “The Irish Majors” gives you the inside track in such a way that you will feel like you are reliving those magical moments.
From Harrington’s three wins to those breakthrough victories by Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke and the record-breaking feats of McIlroy in the US Open and the US PGA, the author has brilliantly captured the essence of those extra special weeks.
It’s an essential addition to the library of any sports lover and who knows, it may require a second edition should an Irishman finally complete the Grand Slam and add the elusive, Masters green jacket to the collection in the coming years.
“The Irish Majors” by Philip Reid (Gill & Macmillan, €16.99)
Buy on-line (includes Kindle links)