• Two Years in St. Andrews

  • Two Years at Home on the Old Course
  • By: George Peper
  • Narrated by: Fleet Cooper
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

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Two Years in St. Andrews

By: George Peper
Narrated by: Fleet Cooper
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Publisher's Summary

The Old Course at St. Andrews is to golfers what St. Peter's is to Catholics or the Western Wall is to Jews: hallowed ground, the course every golfer longs to play - and master. In 1983 George Peper was playing the Old Course when he hit a slice so hideous that he never found the ball. But in looking for it, he came across a For Sale sign on a stone town house alongside the famed eighteenth hole. Two months later he and his wife, Libby, became the proud owners of 9A Gibson Place.

In 2003 Peper retired after twenty-five years as the editor in chief of Golf magazine. With the younger of their two sons off to college, the Pepers decided to sell their house in the United States and relocate temporarily to the town house in St. Andrews. And so they left for the land of golf - and single malt scotch, haggis, bagpipes, television licenses, and accents thicker than a North Sea fog. While Libby struggled with renovating an apartment that for years had been rented to students at the local university, George began his quest to break par on the Old Course.

Their new neighbors were friendly, helpful, charmingly eccentric, and always serious about golf. In no time George was welcomed into the local golf crowd, joining the likes of Gordon Murray, the man who knows everyone; Sir Michael Bonallack, Britain's premier amateur golfer of the last century; and Wee Raymond Gatherum, a magnificent shotmaker whose diminutive stature belies his skills.For anyone who has ever dreamed of playing the Old Course - and what golfer hasn't? - this book is the next best thing. And for those who have had that privilege, Two Years in St. Andrews will revive old memories and confirm Bobby Jones's tribute, "If I were to set down to play on one golf course for the remainder of my life, I should choose the Old Course at St. Andrews."

©2006 Kevin Pappas (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Two Years in St. Andrews

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

New title: I'm George Peper, and I'm Sooooo Important

The first third of this book was good, because it was all about St Andrews and the life they were experience. Then it turns into George Peper telling us just how important he is, how all the clubs want him, all the people he knows, how he stayed in Jack Nicklaus' home. Real letdown.

2 people found this helpful

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Name dropping at its finest

If you are into a listen just dripping with utter pomposity, then by all means...just constant name dropping mixed with sanctimony over the top.
Don't waste your money.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Story with a hint of Self Satisfaction

I enjoyed so much about this book. First and foremost the narration. It brought life to all the people you encountered. It made me want to have that life.

The only downside to me of this book is the fact that the author (an Ivy League elitist) so smugly had to interject his political views into the book when they were so clearly out of place and not needed to advance the story in any way.

I guess he just had to let everyone know that he and his wife so disapproved of President Bush in the wake of 9/11. While many people I am sure will find that to be an added bonus I found it a turn off. I wanted to listen to this book for many reasons. But political commentary was not one of them.

Perhaps it was his way of alleviating his guilt over being the ultimate privileged white male.

That said it is a fine book that does allow one to dream of escaping to simple life. Even if that simple life requires a lot of money.

1 person found this helpful

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Self-indulgent

As a former ex-pat myself living in the UK, I was embarrassed by how self-indulgent and at times, cringe-worthy sexist, the author appeared to be. I was hoping to enjoy learning more about The St. Andrews community and culture and instead the author spent the vast majority of the book talking about his own golf game and name dropping. I’m sure his intent was well meaning but the book needed a strong editor!

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For golfers, worth a listen

I listened to this because I have a golf trip to St. Andrews coming soon. It was useful from that perspective since it gave the author’s opinions and insights on several of the courses in the area (Old, New, Himalayas putting course, Jubilee). The local characters in the story are fun, as are the stories about the R&A and other golf clubs in the area. If you’re looking to develop a “what to do in St. Andrews” list for things besides golf, this is not the best book for you.

By the way, the reader is great, even when he mispronounces Furyk, Anika, Stableford, Medinah, and Elin!

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  • TT
  • 05-11-19

False Humility and Political Statements

ruined what could have been a pretty good book. the performance was good except for the glaring pronunciation errors. For example, Jim Furyk pronounced as Jim "Furk". if it had only been a few of these, it would be no big deal; but there were quite a few. His Scottish accent was very good, but his attempt at a Georgia or Texas drawl were not even close. it was clear the author did not care for George Bush. I wanted to listen to a book about St Andrews and the Old Course, not his political beliefs. lastly, the author spent way too much time discussing his achievements in which he attempted to disguise his boasting with humility, which in my opinion, anyone could see right through. Yes, there were parts I enjoyed; unfortunately, the parts I would have like to skip outweighed the the parts I enjoyed.

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Great golf book

Any additional comments?

There are so few good golf books. It's almost like authors think golfers will buy anything about golf. Most just insult our intelligence. This one is great. George Peper actually lived at St. Andrews and gives us an incredible inside look into the Holy Grail! Thanks George! I loved your book.

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  • Ian
  • 09-07-16

Great story, shame about the accents!

An interesting account of adaptation to a new life. Not sure that a non-golfer would enjoy the read so much as a great deal of golf centric language is in evidence.

If it wasn't for the narrator's frankly awful attempts at Scottish and English accents, I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more!

1 person found this helpful

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  • James Wright
  • 08-11-22

Great book, bad narration

I really enjoyed the content, but the narration really detracted from how much I enjoyed it. The attempts at the Scottish accent manifests as a terrible Irish accent, bizarrely sometimes with an Eastern European twang! For a book so centered on Scotland and it’s cultural icon of St Andrews I’m baffled as to why someone so utterly incapable of replicating anything close to the Scottish accent was chosen!

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  • "haddockboy"
  • 03-17-22

Wonderful .

A must read(listen) for any golfer . Would be absolute gibberish for any non golfer .
Some dodgy pronunciation from Fleet Cooper but that’s all part of the charm . Loved the idea of American golfers listening to this . A great introduction to St Andrews and Scotland .

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  • Graham Smith
  • 05-22-21

Great story on the spirit of golf an St Andrews

The narration can be annoying at times. For a book based in Scotland it would have been good to have someone who could do a Scottish accent. Similarly, to have done some research into pronunciation of words rather than just reading.

Don’t let this put you off as it was a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

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  • Gordon Johnston
  • 03-24-21

Loved it

I listened to the book and found some of the pronunciation a bit awry but it took nothing away from the intensity of the storyline.
Being a golfer myself I can easily relate to a lot of the narrative.
I found the final chapter very heartfelt and emotional

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  • Gary Tonge
  • 02-22-21

Worth a listen

If you like golf and like StAndrews give it a try. My only criticism is there was too much non golf talk, but enough to give it. Try.

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  • Mike Sandford
  • 01-07-21

Great story... Shame about pronunciation

Knowing several people mentioned in this wonderful story, related to two of them. Just a shame the research had not been done by the narrator. A classic example Elie Golf Club is not Elly and many more names and places mispronounced. Am sure the author would not have made the same mistakes.

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  • m hickson
  • 07-02-18

Great story, builds to a touching finale

Great narrative for anyone interested in golf, St Andrews and Britain as a travel destination. Some shocking accents as you'd expect but a lovely story full of interesting characters. Very enjoyable.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-07-18

Terriible

The narrator's voice was hard to relax with.
And the story just didn't suit I sent the book back pretty sharpish

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  • Lachie Mor
  • 09-09-14

Such a disappointment

What did you like best about Two Years in St. Andrews? What did you like least?

I had read this book when it was published so I had certain expectations of it as an audio book.

What did you like best about this story?

The story itself is an account of George Paper's sojourn in the Auld Grey Toun, some of which affords insights into how an American views the Scots and the manner in which we play golf, but which in other areas evidences the Colonial's odd attraction to the eccentricities of the English middle to upper class which most Scots find ridiculous.

I doubt if Alistair Johnston, a senior executive at IMG would have appreciated being described in the book as a Celtic fan given that he was Chairman of the now defunct Glasgow Rangers in the the years leading up to their sale and eventual liquidation.

What didn’t you like about Fleet Cooper’s performance?

This has to be the worst attempt at mimicking the Scots accent since Brigadoon - cringeworthy throughout. What was even more irritating was the lack of research and preparedness put into the performance. e.g. Michael and Angela Bonallack while no doubt fine people and great ambassadors of the Scottish game are both English and speak with middle English accents although the narrator has them sounding like something from a fictitious Scottish Glen. Other characters sound like Scotty from Star Trek and indeed slip into a Holywood style Irish brogue from time to time. The correct pronunciation of Scottish place names simply requires a bit of preparation and thought.

Do you think Two Years in St. Andrews needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No.