Tom Coyne is an American writer and professor. Coyne has published three books, A Gentleman's Game, Paper Tiger, and A Course Called Ireland as of 2009. A Gentleman's Game was adapted into a full length film starring Gary Sinise and Dylan Baker. Coyne attended the University of Notre Dame, and then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he is now an English professor at Saint Joseph's University.
Tom Coyne's first novel was A Gentleman's Game, which was a coming of age novel chronicling the life of a young golfer and his father. The book featured a thirteen-year-old who struggles with accepting the lying and cheating that occurs in the world. The boy must also keep secret a handgun that he and his friend stole from the friend's father at a sleepover. The also rides his bicycle out to see a landscaper who was the only player to not defend his U.S. Amateur title. The landscaper allows the boy to hit range balls that one of his workers takes from a driving range, and explains to the boy that he quit the game because he cheated on the last hole of the Amateur Championship. The landscaper, played by Gary Sinise in the film, tried to commit suicide when driving back from the championship because he could not live with himself winning after cheating.
Paper Tiger is a true story about Tom Coyne's journey into the world of professional golf. Coyne's odyssey would include leaving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to live in Florida. Coyne would enlist the help of swing doctor Dr. Jim Suttie and go through rigorous weight training in preparation. Coyne would also seek sports psychologist Dr. Robert Winters to help fulfill his dream. Coyne would go from a 15 handicap to a plus, but would not play well enough to gain entrance to stage one of the PGA Tour's qualifying school. Coyne would play numerous mini-tour events, including a Nationwide Tour event, and play against teenage golfing phenomenon Michelle Wie in a Public Links qualifier.
Coyne's next project took him to the links courses of Ireland; not just to play some rounds but to play the country itself. Coyne walked around the perimeter of the Republic and Northern Ireland, without the use of any transportation, playing the courses en route: 36 courses, 648 holes, over 2,000,000 yards.
The resulting book was published by Gotham Books, and released on February 19, 2009.