A based-on-truth novel set in wartime Los Angeles, during the only year in history the PGA canceled the entire season of professional golf and, surprisingly, the year the 170th Field Artillery Battalion of the U.S. Army actually took over a golf course near Hollywood, California. These facts of history, though highly improbable, yet true, form the setting for a story that rivals anything found in fiction. It’s Army General versus Navy Admiral on the links. Private Evan Wilkins of McCall, Idaho is chosen to partner with the general, laying the groundwork for a story of film moguls and raging passion, distrust and competition, and a commanding officer besieged by jealousy, building toward a climax of friendly-fire murder. This page-turner of a story is for anyone who covets an exciting read, whether it be suspense, romance, military, or a great found of golf.
Shooting an Albatross, Steven R. Lundin’s novel, based solidly on historical fact, is more than a story of golf, or of a country at war. It is an elegant, moving, and sometimes disturbing recount of 1943, the only year in our history when the PGA called off an entire season of professional golf tournaments. It was also the year that the 170th Field Artillery Battalion of the U.S. Army took over the El Rancho Golf Course, becoming uninvited neighbors of the Hollywood movie tycoons living along the back side of the luxurious golf course. A challenge golf match ensues between an Army General and a Navy Admiral, two men who played so badly that they made it a foursome, with each man selecting a partner from the ranks. The general chooses Private Evan Wilkins, a talented golfer from McCall, Idaho, who is quiet, confident, and well liked by the men of his unit. Left to practice through the August summer, Wilkins meets Amanda, the beautiful daughter of one of the Hollywood moguls, and “pairing” takes on an entirely new and exciting meaning. Thrown into this mix is Floyd Akerly, Wilkins’ intimidating commanding officer, whose angry presence is felt at every turn. What begins this novel as the narrator’s poignant interview with the aged Akerly quickly segues into a tale of love, competition, and revenge.