"Through focus and precision, visualization and imagination, we can begin to appreciate the connections between haiku and golf."

The author is clearly an ardent fan of things ancient. His book highlights the Japanese poetic form haiku and the game of golf, both which have historical origins in the 14th century. Zingg believes he has spotted another connection between the two. The book presents insightful essays introduced by original haiku and arranged in 72 short chapters. These essays honor the world’s best golf courses and provide other little-known or fun facts.

The term "links" derives from the broken Scottish shoreline where small links between sea and town connected pieces of sandy ground, forming an ideal location for the game. One could meet famous people on a golf course all the way back to the sport’s origin. For example, Mary Queen of Scots in 1567 and Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 each played golf on the Musselburgh links in Scotland. In 1893, Bram Stoker visited the area around Cruden Bay Golf Course in Scotland, choosing the abandoned Slains Castle for the setting of Dracula. In modern times, golf’s Ben Hogan and the big three (Palmer, Player, and Nicklaus) have all made their way to Scotland’s shorelines, proving that the area can draw even golf heroes back to the game’s origin.

As for the poetry, the seventy-two haiku he has written for this book prove Zingg learned much from studying Basho, an early Japanese master of shorter poetry that preceded stand-alone haiku. Initially, haiku favored nature as a theme and employed strict standards for syllables (5-7-5) and placement across three lines. The poet has thoughtfully maintained these traditions.

The essays in Zingg’s well-researched book will captivate both golf lovers and history buffs. Snippets of golf information make this compact gem an easy read on a plane flight. The index, bibliography, and listings of persons and courses mentioned in the book are helpful additions as well.

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