Golf's Iron Horse

The Astonishing, Record-Breaking Life of Ralph Kennedy

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About The Book

So many works of golfing history focus on the greats: the best players, the most prestigious championships, the hardest courses, and the like. But most avid golfers are average players, relishing in the joy of the sport itself. In Golf’s Iron Horse, celebrated golf writer John Sabino chronicles the previously untold story of Ralph Kennedy, a golf amateur whose love of the game set him on par to play more courses than anyone before.

A founding member of Mamaroneck, New York’s prestigious Winged Foot Golf Club, Kennedy had long been an avid golfer when he met Charles Leonard Fletcher in 1919. When the Englishman told Kennedy that he had played more than 240 courses in his lifetime, Kennedy took it as a challenge and became determined to play more.

In a feat that caused the New York Sun to declare him “golf’s Lou Gehrig” in 1935, Kennedy succeeded in beating Fletcher’s record, and then some. He played golf on more than 3,165 different courses in all forty-eight states, nine Canadian provinces, and more than a dozen different countries during his forty-three year love affair with the game. In addition to the 3,165 unique courses he played, the unrelenting Ralph also played golf a total of 8,500 times over his lifetime, the equivalent of teeing it up every day for twenty-three straight years. Lou Gehrig’s seventeen years in professional baseball pales in comparison.

This intriguing story includes details of the special conditions under which he was able to play the Augusta National Golf Club and the unique circumstances of his visits to Pebble Beach and the Old Course at St. Andrews. Perfect for golf aficionados, Golf’s Iron Horse will inspire every reader to tee off at a new course.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.

In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Skyhorse (February 2017)
  • Length: 312 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781510713475

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Raves and Reviews

“A profound, compelling tribute to one driven man with an undying love of a sport; it feels real and satisfies the golf devotee’s hunger for statistics.”
-Publishers Weekly

“In Golf’s Iron Horse, John Sabino has uncovered more factoids on hidden golf legend Ralph Kennedy than I could ever dream of finding.”
-Tripp Bowden, author of Freddie & Me

“This charming biography tells the little known story of a real golf fanatic.” -BookFilter

"'Iron Horse'" is a splendid travelogue through one man’s golf obsession and the sport of golf’s evolution from the hickory era to the modern game." -Cliff Schrock, The Bookshelf

"Kennedy [is] a textbook illustration of an avid golfer." -Golf Association of Philadelphia

Golf’s Iron Horse is a terrific snapshot of a bygone era of golf, and a fun ‘beach read.’ Recommended.” –GolfBlogger.com

“Sabino animates Kennedy’s inspiring odyssey... In discovering his motivation, it inspires our own.” –Colorado Avid Golfer

“A profound, compelling tribute to one driven man with an undying love of a sport; it feels real and satisfies the golf devotee’s hunger for statistics.”
-Publishers Weekly

“In Golf’s Iron Horse, John Sabino has uncovered more factoids on hidden golf legend Ralph Kennedy than I could ever dream of finding.”
-Tripp Bowden, author of Freddie & Me

“This charming biography tells the little known story of a real golf fanatic.” -BookFilter

"'Iron Horse'" is a splendid travelogue through one man’s golf obsession and the sport of golf’s evolution from the hickory era to the modern game." -Cliff Schrock, The Bookshelf

"Kennedy [is] a textbook illustration of an avid golfer." -Golf Association of Philadelphia

Golf’s Iron Horse is a terrific snapshot of a bygone era of golf, and a fun ‘beach read.’ Recommended.” –GolfBlogger.com

“Sabino animates Kennedy’s inspiring odyssey... In discovering his motivation, it inspires our own.” –Colorado Avid Golfer

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More books from this author: John Sabino