One Country Club Drive

Stories Across Three Generations of Greenskeeping

Non-Fiction - Sports
272 Pages
Reviewed on 12/01/2020
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Author Biography

Marty Peck grew up living on the grounds of a historic private golf club, at a time when champion golf professionals actually toured local clubs for exhibitions. He was born into a humble, hard-working family that was widely known in the world of Greens Superintendents. He lived many a golfing fan’s dreams while playing and working on the links, experiencing the sport from behind the scenes. From a young age he dreamt of following the greenskeeping footsteps of his father and grandfather, yet ultimately broke family tradition to make his mark as an engineer and lighting designer. Writing this book has allowed him to relive the antics of his youth and pay homage to his family’s 90-year golf legacy. Proceeds from the book are donated to Alzheimer’s research.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

One Country Club Drive: Stories Across Three Generations of Greenskeeping is a nonfiction sports memoir written by Marty Peck. Battle Creek Country Club and the Dutch Colonial home gracing the entrance at One Country Club Drive was the home, workplace, and playground of three generations of Pecks, beginning with the author’s grandfather, Andy Peck. For Marty, growing up in the house and with a whole golf course, complete with a lake, woods, and swimming beach as his playground, was paradisaic, even with the inconveniences such as the dreaded shower in the basement and the oddities of a house that never seemed to catch up with modern necessities. Marty learned so much from both his shared experiences coming of age on the course along with his two best friends and the lessons imparted by his dad and grandfather, as they passed on the secrets of how they kept an amazing course healthy, green, and alive.

I loved every minute I spent reading Marty Peck’s One Country Club Drive. There’s something in this book for everyone. Golfers will love learning the intricacies behind making the course they play on perfect and reading about the author’s experiences and acquaintanceship with notables such as Arnold Palmer. Those who enjoy coming of age memoirs will appreciate the antics and adventures Peck and his friends had as they grew up in what had to be a paradise for a kid who loved the outdoors as much as Peck did. Those who enjoy reading about society and the well-heeled will find their niche covered here as well. And the Macgyver set will love every moment spent reading about Marty and his dad’s continual tinkering and sometimes brilliant inventions. This is a marvelous read, well-written and filled with anecdotes, historical photos, and the endless affection of the author for his family and the life they shared in the historic Dutch Colonial home. One Country Club Drive: Stories Across Three Generations of Greenskeeping is most highly recommended.

Jamie Michele

One County Club Drive by Marty Peck is an anthology of stories that traverse three generations of greenkeepers at the private golf club of Battle Creek Country Club in Battle Creek, Michigan. Peck's family had lived on the course for three generations and the book leads with his own experiences being raised on the links in what would ultimately be the last of the Peck family's 91-year reign at the helm of the course's most important role. Peck shares stories of a childhood filled with famous encounters, water slides without mercy, and explosive chemistry experiments. While many readers will be able to identify with Peck's upbringing minus the golf course, his grandfather's and father's stories weave together a legacy that began with a men's only nine-hole course to the complete evolution of what golf in the United States is today.

The combination of photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence excerpts, maps, documents, and a whole host of other additions elevate an anything-but standard memoir to a fantastic history lesson by Marty Peck. One Country Club Drive has a coffee table quality to it and reads so comfortably that it's easy to get lost in it. I grew up in a golfing family, my 4'9” grandmother who moved to the states from the Philippines had a handicap of four, and as a kid, I spent many, many hours complaining from a golf cart. My favorite parts of the book were actually less to do with golf and more with just the mind-blowing amount of history divulged. Sure, there's a photograph of Arnold Palmer with his name stuck to the back of his shirt with paper, but step beyond that and imagine a genuine record of genealogy and social change that spans from the horse and carriage to watching a man walk on the moon, and you get a sense of the enormity of Peck's accomplishments. This is a fantastic compilation and I'm so pleased to have read it.

Lesley Jones

For almost 100 years, three generations of the Peck family had the privilege of living at One Country Drive Club, a golf course that would transform their lives and the lives of the community. Beginning in 1919, Grandpa Andy Peck built the original course using teams of horses. Over the next few decades, Andy's son Harold would be born and face the daunting task of trying to fill his father's shoes. Harold proved to be a true visionary and, over the next 41 years, would completely transform the golf course into a true beacon of light for the community, drawing celebrities and famous golfers to its green. Follow the family's escapades, setbacks, celebrations, and tragedies through the years. From fires, armed robberies, and floods, nothing was going to stop the Peck family from realizing their dream. Filled with photographs and personal accounts, One Country Club Drive by Marty Peck is the historic journey of a family steadfast in their determination to succeed.

This fascinating story is not just an inspiration to anyone who has a vision but will also take you back to your own childhood innocence. The stories were so interesting and I loved to see how the machinery changed over the decades. I could not believe they actually weeded the entire green by hand. Harold was amazing; his ideas and dreams for the course were extremely ambitious. He achieved so much not only on the golf course but as a father and husband, a person that you aspire to be. The photograph of him staring out of the window onto the course as he neared the end of his life was an extremely powerful image. Marty's exploits with his friends were hilarious, he was a natural-born entrepreneur. From his casino idea in the basement to the slip-n-slide, but the collection of fish for the pond story was my favorite. One Country Club Drive by Marty Peck not only makes you appreciate the importance of realizing your dream and persevering through setbacks but also sharing stories with future generations so that visionary men such as Andy and Harold are not forgotten.