Cook takes return trip to Utopia

THE AUTHOR David Cook in front of the “Buried Lies Cemetery” in Utopia, a metaphor for reaching one’s full potential whether in sport or in life. Cook said more than 10,000 “lies” have been buried on the plot.

By Ken Esten Cooke —


After the success of his first book, “Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia,” author David Cook could live anywhere. But he prefers the solitude of Fredericksburg.

Now the author, whose first book struck a chord with golfers around the globe, returns his main character to the links in “Johnny's U.S. Open: Golf’s Sacred Journey 2.”

The book, and movie that starred A-lister Robert Duvall, left readers and viewers hanging on whether a championship putt was sunk or missed.

They were directed to a website that gave the answer.

“More than one million people went to that website, so it hit a nerve,” Cook said in a recent interview. “What prompted me to do this was that there was a lot of interest, and I felt like there was more to the story. When you sit down and write and let an idea germinate and pray over it, what came out was that they buried these lies that held them back in the first book. This book is about finding that unplanted dream seed that got stuck inside of them somewhere along the way.”

The book and movie proved so popular in golf and faith circles that thousands of people made the trek to the tiny burg of Utopia (pop. 227) to visit the golf course where Johnny Crawford (Duvall) mentored the struggling Luke Chisolm (played in the film by Lucas Black).

Right next to the real cemetery in Utopia, a plot of land and sand called “Buried Lies Cemetery” was created with welded arches above its entrance. Cook’s email box and website overflowed with requests numbering more than 10,000 to bury people’s lies. Cook and his assistants printed out and literally buried those lies for his readers. When he resided in Utopia, he put two shovels in the cemetery plot.

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