Golfing with Lewis and Clark

My Rediscovery of America

Non-Fiction - Memoir
278 Pages
Reviewed on 12/26/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite

Golfing with Lewis and Clark: My Rediscovery of America by Lex McMillan is an account of the author’s driving expedition across much of the United States. As the title implies, in 2017 McMillan followed the route that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took as they explored the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. In addition to traveling the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, McMillan played golf at 16 courses. In the process, he gathered information about what people thought about the current state of the U.S. by asking them three questions: What is most valuable about America, what is most troubling, and what are one or two things that you would change to make our country a better place? McMillan’s trip took 40 days and he drove more than 9,700 miles. There are numerous photos, most of them relating in some way to the Lewis and Clark expedition. The book concludes with a summary of McMillan’s itinerary.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Golfing with Lewis and Clark by Lex McMillan. The book is remarkable in that it covers diverse topics, and yet weaves them all together in a fascinating, educational, and thought-provoking narrative. The text is part travelogue and part history and geography lessons. It provides thorough descriptions of the various golf courses that McMillan played, written from the standpoint of an average player, which is more valuable than if a professional golfer had written the reviews. The itinerary summary at the end of the book is especially helpful for anyone who might be thinking about driving across the United States. One of the reasons this book caught my attention is that I'm considering a similar cross-country trip. McMillan’s account of his travels helped inspire me to move my plans along. I highly recommend this book for golfers, travelers, those interested in the current political situation, or simply anyone who wants a captivating, well-written, and detailed story.

Essien Asian

The Corps of Discovery expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clarke opened the previously unknown American West, including its people and wildlife, to the rest of the nation and established access across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. When Lex McMillan decided to follow in the footsteps of these great national icons, he had a different conquest in mind as he sought out the best facilities available for his favorite sport of golf along the famous trail. He took considerably less time than would have been the case over two hundred years ago but met an interesting assortment of people who shared their knowledge with him in ways only he can express. Golfing with Lewis and Clarke is his adventure.

Lex McMillan documents his incredible journey with an extremely high degree of detail. He gives the facts and explains his motivations for carrying out this endeavor in a manner that makes it easy to understand for readers. There is so much information here about the popular and lesser-known facts that marked a troubled period in American history that readers will learn something new from this book. It is also nice to note that McMillan evenly balances his golfing activities with historical discoveries. What stands out for me is the set of questions he prepares for the individuals he meets, as their varied responses paint a picture of a nation that has to come to terms with its past and face the present. Golfing with Lewis and Clarke is not the first book to be inspired by the exploits of that famous duo, but it stands out admirably amongst other books in this category.

Alex Ndirangu

Golfing with Lewis and Clark: My Rediscovery of America by Lex McMillan is an engaging travel memoir. After some 35 years of work-related travel, McMillan packs his bags and sets out on a quest to learn more about Lewis and Clark and to test the belief that, despite the troubling features of American life, it could continue to be a beacon of hope for those seeking freedom and economic opportunity. McMillan shares with us the many rediscoveries he makes through the people he meets and the history and richness of the land he explores while following the Lewis and Clark expedition trail. There will be trials and tribulations as McMillan steps into the unknown, but he is a golfer and is used to endless challenges and frustrations. Read along to join in the adventure.

Many of the descriptions in Golfing with Lewis and Clark will tempt you to explore the locales yourself. I'm dying to visit the statue of Sakakawea, a woman whose indomitable spirit was a deciding factor in the success of Lewis and Clark's expedition. There are countless enlightening moments. Thanks to this book, I understand how the two Kansas cities, one in Missouri and the other just west in Kansas, came to have the same name. Lex McMillan shines a light on the political demographics, reflects on the emerging future, and gives insight into what represents the heart of America. The author also addresses the dark times in American history and how they repeatedly demonstrate how Americans have failed to make unalienable rights a guarantee for everyone. Despite these struggles, they have not ceased to aspire, hope, and become a symbol of hope worldwide. I recommend this book to American patriots and anyone who seeks to learn more about America.