By John Strege
How does a teenager living in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea and attending a high school there without a golf team satisfy a passion for golf? He doesn't, or so one might surmise.
But that was not a sufficient answer for Martin Rather, a precocious 16-year-old and junior-to-be at the prestigious Friends Seminary. Instead, he rallied enough support to convince the school to start a golf team. But the story doesn't end there. It begins there.
Rather, the grandson of former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, has written a novel around the experience, "Taking the Course," that is now available at Amazon Kindle and was financed through a Kickstarter campaign with an assist from his grandparents. He wrote it when he was 15.
"The way the book came about was that it is such an interesting story, the blends of kids on my golf team," he said. "No one's really written about golf in New York City. So I thought I could provide a perspective into that. And there are not many books out there by teenagers. So I just started to write. It's all based on a true story. A couple of friends edited the book."
Rather plays to a 7.5 handicap out of Seawane Golf and Country Club. Last year, he finished 11th in the New York State Federation Championship. The golf team at Friends Seminary practices at Marine Park Golf Course in Brooklyn and plays matches at Mosholu Golf Course in the Bronx.
"We got enough support together and built a team," he said. "We put the right pieces together and won the league championship last year."
The extent of Dan Rather's contributions included the foreword to the book and an assist in the Kickstarter campaign.
"People may be skeptical," Rather said in a news release, "but all I've done is read the book, marvel that Martin had quietly created it, then helped with some very minor editing and wrote a forward [sic]. This book is all Martin's. And so are the ideas for financing and publishing it. He's independent, likes to do things on his own even when the odds are long."