Posted on 28 July, 2022.
Mr. Mulligan-The Life of Champion Armless Golfer Tommy McAuliffe
This remarkable true story brings a whole new meaning to the word "champion." It's one of the most inspiring memoirs I've ever read.
Mr. Mulligan is the uplifting true life story of world-famous champion armless Golfer Tommy McAuliffe (1893-1967). Through the turmoils of the Great Depression, the golden days of Vaudeville and World War II, Tommy McAuliffe, who lost both arms in a tragic street car accident at the age of nine, thrilled audiences around the world with his golf tricks and later in life touched their hearts with this inspiring story and 'No Handicaps' life philosophy.
In the early 1900s a nine year-old boy lost his arms to a horrific streetcar accident. It would be understandable if he spent the rest of his life “settling for less.” But young Tommy McAuliffe simply refused to do so. Instead, he became a powerhouse of positivity, tough love, and sheer determination as evident in his personal philosophy of “No Handicaps!” His life is told in Mr. Mulligan – The Life of Champion Armless Golfer Tommy McAuliffe. It’s one of the most remarkable and inspiring memoirs I’ve ever read.
In golf, a “mulligan” is a “do-over.” This uplifting true story shows how Tommy McAuliffe chose a life “do over” after his accident and how he became a world-famous champion armless golfer, vaudeville act, devoted husband and father, and tireless champion for the physically challenged, among many other accomplishments.
Buoyed by a loving Irish family and deep personal faith, Tommy McAuliffe’s story is one of determination, unrelenting positivity, and laser-focused single-mindedness. Besides learning to play the most frustrating game in the world, golf, McAuliffe also performed in a highly popular vaudeville act doing golf tricks, worked for Curtis Airplane Company during WWII, and was a tireless advocate for the rights of the physically challenged.
Indeed, Tommy McAuliffe was a force to be reckoned with. His goal was to “spread the gospel that there is no handicap in life except a mental one.” He didn’t just preach it. He lived it.
For example, when Tommy saw how far too many people viewed the physically challenged as “helpless individuals looking for a handout,” he set out to change the perspective. He declared, “They forget it was brains and their proper use which made them a success and not the fact they carried two arms and legs.” Also: “Every citizen, every employer, every new business owner should agree that there should be fair wages and opportunities for all, in spite of any real or perceived handicaps. We should make this the law of the land, and we will.”
McAuliffe’s quick humor and skill in golf, despite his affliction, helped him become a prime mover and shaker in getting various rehabilitation and other laws passed giving handicapped citizens equal protection and opportunities under the law.
And when Tommy McAuliffe set out to do something, you better get out of the way. Because as detailed in this nimble memoir, McAuliffe’s life demonstrated that nothing is impossible with the proper mindset and effort.
Told by the subject’s grandson in an upbeat, ebullient style that’s both bright and witty, this story is thoroughly engaging and highly readable. The timeline is a bit rough in places and has some redundancies. The text could benefit from a professional edit. But these are minor issues and do not detract from this amazing life story and “Mr. Mulligan’s” legacy of hope, faith, and “No handicaps!”
Finally, Tommy McAuliffe’s true story brings a whole new meaning to the word “champion.” So if you’re looking for an inspiring true story, grab a copy. It will make you want to stand up and cheer!
My score: 4.5 out of 5
Kristine earned her Bachelor's degree in Communication/Print Media from Biola University. Her background is in marketing and public relations. Kristine serves on the Board of her local library. A frank but fair reviewer, she reads an average of 350 books a year thru a wide variety of genres.
"Way to go Tommy! I really enjoyed this book, the Author writes exceedingly well. Impressed. Pictures are wonderful and the Dedication is very sweet. Liked the addition of the Senate, congressional awards! It was an enjoyable read!"
"This real life true story shows what can be done by the human mind! I was rootin for Tommy every step of the way. Near PAR Golf with no arms? Simply amazing! The Author has a simple style and never gets in the way of the story. If there was anything lacking it is more detail. The book is short and too the point. But it is a page turner and it shows what one man can achieve and that; “There really is no handicap in life but a mental one.” As this is the Author’s first book, I can’t wait to see what he writes next!"
There are a lot of explanations as to why things are the way they are. The book is a coming to age narrative. We follow the life of 'Mr. Mulligan’ from the time he was a boy till his adult life. Thinking about what transpired and the events after the tragedy, this is the most remarkable person I have read about. The author did justice to this book. His descriptions were vivid, easy to follow and created an imagination in the reader's mind. The characters were well described, and the events were well connected. This made it very fast-paced. The writing is immaculate and simple, easy for everyone to get through. The only thing I did not like about the book was how short it was. Otherwise, this book will make you love golfing and believe in yourself."
A Complete Inspiration!
Tommy's journey as "the golfer with no arms" is an incredible one. Lovingly told by his grandson, readers get a behind the scenes look at who Tommy was when he wasn't performing on the golf course. Reading about how he lost his arms at the age of nine in a horrible accident, and the determination it took to live a fulfilling life (complete with multiple kids and grandkids), I found myself tearing up at the sheer resilience of this man. Truly an inspiration!"
This is an amazing book about Tommy McAuliffe, written by his grandson and namesake. Tommy lost both his arms in a freak streetcar accident at nine years old. He overcame a series of immense challenges on his journey to become a newsman, a magazine publisher, a world traveler, a writer, an advocate for rights for the disabled, a vaudeville performer, a champion golfer, and a motivational speaker. His personality was larger than life, and his achievements were astonishing. Tommy’s life philosophy of “No Handicaps” really resonated with me. I enjoyed this book so much and highly recommend this incredible story to anyone.
This is one of the most inspirational books I've ever read. I enjoyed it from cover to cover, and I am now a proud adopter of the 'No Handicap' philosophy. Thank you, Mr Mulligan, for leading such a motivational life, I wish I had known you.
The world needs more people like Tommy McAuliffe. This is a heartening biography of a man who overcame all adversity after losing his arms in a streetcar accident when he was a young boy. The true manifestation of “when one door closes, another door opens,” Tommy made a conscious decision not to let his disability run his life. He accomplished so much. His positive attitude and tenacious spirit shine through these pages. What an inspirational read! This is a good story for anyone needing a pick-me-up and a reminder that limitations of the body shouldn’t limit the mind.
The personal becomes the heart of this story. In “Mr. Mulligan” author Tom Patrick McAuliffe recounts the life of his grandfather, Tommy McAuliffe, who lost both arms at the age of nine, but went on to experience some celebrity for his talent as a golfer. The senior McAuliffe then used the power of his celebrity to advocate for the disabled. It is a life anyone would find inspiring, but the heart of the story is the admiration the author feels for his grandfather. McAuliffe personalizes an autobiographical story with his grandfather’s words and his own recollections about the man, so readers truly feel the power of his grandfather’s advocacy—and also his eternally positive personality. This emotional connection forges a connection between the reader and Tommy McAuliffe; they are able to know him not just by the facts of his life but by the way he shaped those close to him. Historical documents and pictures round out this moving portrayal.
Tommy's journey as "the golfer with no arms" is an incredible one. Lovingly told by his grandson, readers get a behind the scenes look at who Tommy was when he wasn't performing on the golf course. Reading about how he lost his arms at the age of nine in a horrible accident, and the determination it took to live a fulfilling life (complete with multiple kids and grandkids), I found myself tearing up at the sheer resilience of this man. Truly an inspiration.
Written by his grandson, Mr. Mulligan is an account of the life, philosophies, and legacy of the armless golfer Tommy McAuliffe. The writing is detailed and factual without being cold. In fact, because it was written by such a close family member, it feels as if you are getting a very intimate look into Tommy’s life. I found his philosophies of “no handicaps” and “mind over matter” to be most valuable, and it’s incredible to see what he was able to achieve despite the significant hurdles in his life. Tommy is an inspiration to golfers and non-golfers, and his wit, humor, and determination really come through in this biography.
Even though this book simply narrates the life of Tommy McAuliffe, it was such a motivational book. Our limits are within ourselves. What we think, how we view ourselves, and the effect of what other people say about us determine our future and lives. This book is evidence enough that your life is yours. That outside noise should not guide how you live your life. The book is a coming to age narrative. We follow the life of Mr. McAuliffe from the time he was a boy till his adult life. Thinking about what transpired and the events after the tragedy, this is the most remarkable person I have read about.
The author did justice to this book. His descriptions were vivid, easy to follow through, and created an imagination in the reader's mind. The characters were well described, and the events were well connected. There are a lot of explanations as to why things are the way they are. This made it very fast-paced. The writing is immaculate and simple, easy for everyone to get through. The only thing I did not like about the book was how short it was. Otherwise, this book will make you love golfing and believe in yourself.
I enjoyed every word in this book. What started as a biography ended up to be the most inspirational and important lesson about human spirit and willpower. Highly recommend to everyone looking for some motivation in their life.
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