Gary Irvine is pretty happy in Ardgirvan, a small town on Scotland's west coast. Only two things would improve his life - children and a lower golf handicap. Both are unlikely. The former because Gary's wife Pauline is intent on leaving him as soon as she's snared Findlay Masterson, the self-made carpet millionaire she's set her sights on. And the latter because, frankly, Gary is an appalling golfer.
Far away from the world of golf handicaps, down in the murky depths of Ardgirvan's criminal underclass, Gary's hapless brother Lee is stumbling from one botched drug deal to another, his orbit drawing terrifyingly close to local crime overlord Ranta Campbell.
Then Gary gets smashed on the head by a golf ball and knocked into a coma. He wakes to find that the neurological trauma he's suffered has resulted in some pretty radical side effects - among them an absolutely perfect golf swing. He wins his local club championship. He breaks the course record. He qualifies for the Open...
Meanwhile Pauline and Masterson have hit upon a plan to help him avoid a ruinously expensive divorce. It's the kind of plan that ends with a funeral. Their stories converge as the two brothers stumble into uncharted territory - Lee towards murder and Gary teeing it up with his golfing hero, Calvin Linklater, the world number one, in the Open Championship...
The Amateurs is a hilarious examination of family and sport, of the ties that bind and how trying to put a little white ball in a hole can literally drive some men insane.
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