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Golf Meets Literature

Introducing a new Feature Writer - Cara E. Kilgallen


As the managing editor of World of Golf, we are trying something a little different from the normal golf news that you see on other golf sites. With that in mind, we are pleased to introduce Professor of English, Cara Killgallen who joins us as a regular feature writer. She will be submitting a series of regular features that combines two of her passions - golf and literature. Below, Cara introduces herself and her goal as a feature writer.


Cara Kilgallen in the university classroom

As a passionate professor of English with a deep reverence for golf, I hope to highlight the rich literary tradition underpinning this graceful game. “Golf literature is like one of Bubba Watson’s famous drives,” says John Coyne, “long and high and very deep.”

Through my research, reading, and teaching on American literature and sport, I have discovered just how profound golf writing can be. Yet the overwhelming number of books and blogs about athletics focus on baseball, football, basketball, and soccer. And so much golf journalism emphasizes the technical side of the game, rather than the aesthetic aspects to this most elegant art and sport.

My contribution to World of Golf fills this gap, awakening readers to the game’s non-elitist elements while at the same time exposing its aesthetic aspects. I envision a series of articles covering a wide array of topics and themes central to this sport: class consciousness; the environment; immigration; humor; spirituality; to name a few.

My plan is to anchor this column in the fiction and nonfiction of John Updike, whose prose considers existential questions about humanity and one’s place within the universe. Readers may seek relief from their golfing frustrations in Updike’s rich contributions to the game.

I also aspire to reach a wider reading public rather than a purely academic one. I am a teacher and scholar of American literature, so accustomed to writing scholarly articles, but embrace this opportunity to address a larger, non-academic audience. Just like mastering a new shot or adjusting to a different swing, I welcome the challenge of adapting to a new style of writing that conveys what W. Timothy Gallwey calls the “seductive quality” to the game and the tremendous “lure of golf.”


Cara E. Kilgallen is an Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Languages & Literature at Sacred Heart University. She is currently on sabbatical as the departmental chair. In addition to her grandparents with whom she first gripped a golf club, she cites her father as one of the main inspirations for her love of golf.


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