Author James Patterson explains what it’s like to write a golf fiction novel


Writing a book can be a daunting task. But writing more than 140? That would seem to redefine the term prolific. Yet that’s how many titles James Patterson has produced, either as a solo writer or co-author, with more than 115 of them becoming New York Times best sellers.

“I have a massive imagination,” says Patterson with a chuckle, his works including thrillers, romance novels, mysteries and young teen books.

The 72-year-old New York native who lives now in Florida is hardly done yet. He has more than a half-dozen books coming out just at the start of 2019, including his latest venture into golf fiction. Miracle at St. Andrews hits stores April 8 and is the third in the series of “Miracle at …” books co-authored by Peter De Jonge. It continues the journey of Travis McKinley, a former advertising writer turned pro golfer, as he struggles to find his way when he loses his senior tour card.

We interviewed Patterson for the latest edition of the Golf Digest podcast and quickly learned why delving into golf fiction was a no-brainer. It turns out Patterson, a former ad writer himself at J. Walter Thompson, plays four to five rounds a week when he’s home, is a 13 handicap and has made six holes in one in his life (to the consternation of his wife, Sue, who only has four.)

RELATED: Catch up on all the Golf Digest Podcasts

In the interview, Patterson explains that he likes to play early in the morning, getting in a quick nine or 18, before returning home and getting back to writing. He discusses what he likes about writing about golf compared to other genres. He also offers some interesting stories about his early years with the game, including a memorable time he helped caddie for Tommy Bolt and saw his well-publicized anger play out, as well as his adventures playing with three different U.S. presidents.

In addition to our discussion with Patterson, Alex Myers, Sam Weinman, Keely Levins and I discuss Paul Casey’s win at the Valspar, America’s new top-ranked women’s golfer and what we expect this week at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Please have a listen:

Miracle at St. Andrews, Little Brown and Company, Hardcover, $26

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