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Mark Wagner

Native Links

Native Links

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PRE-ORDER. SHIPS IN AUGUST.

 

Native Links: The Surprising History of Our First People in Golf is an entertaining and insightful narrative that makes the case that, as with the DNA of the country's history, Indigenous history is a leading strand and that is true for golf as well.

This book gathers gripping stories and long-lasting oral histories about our First People. The story begins with Oscar Smith Bunn, A Shinnecock Montauk Native who played in the 1896 and 1899 U.S. Opens. Through Orville Moody's triumph in the 69th U.S. Open, to a new generation of players that includes Notah Begay lll and Gabby Lemieux, Native Links makes an engaging case that you cannot tell the story of golf in this country without including our First People.

And, while many in the golf industry are in a ‘hold’ pattern, even after the surge in outdoor activity during covid, according to Golfweek, “there is one group of builders as bullish as ever on course construction: Native Americans.” With Fee to Trust programs, in successful advocacy, litigation, and lawsuits, with #Land Back, with the revenues from gaming, many tribes have built museums, archives, government centers and—surprise—golf courses. The result is a new generation who harken back to a long history of players and teachers for whom the ancient stick-and-ball game has been another way of finding home.

Finding the elders or those who knew the elders, and meeting a new generation of Native golfers, the author writes, “I would be smudged, taken for a rat, taught (Arnold Palmer’s) perfect grip, and lose matches to Rod Curl and Steve McDonald among others. Still, all I wanted to do was find a home in these shared stories.” This history is indispensable for all who want to know the whole story.

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