Former Batesville Resident Pens Humorous Golf Novel

January 28, 2014
Author Donald J. Then is a former resident of Batesville and Hillenbrand Executive.

Author Donald J. Then is a former resident of Batesville and Hillenbrand Executive.

Former Batesville resident Donald J. Then announces the publication of his newest novel, McToon’s Final Shot, a humorous golf story and satire set on a fictional course called The Hillview Club, situated in Morris, Indiana.

Then’s nom de plume is D. James Then.

The premise of McToon’s Final Shot finds the world’s number one golfer, Bobby ‘Killer’ Jackson, coming to Morris to play a private round of golf at famed Hillview with his former college roommate, Percy W. ‘Dubs’ Roberts who is Hillview’s head professional. Their private round will be played on the Monday before the U.S. Open, which will be played in Indianapolis at famous Twisted Stump.

Hillview is one of the world’s top courses (many say it is the toughest), which was designed by local landscaper Goomba Tettrazinni in the 1930s for Hillview’s founder William Hopcandle, an ultra-rich lothario. Hopcandle, who loved golf, owned several businesses in Morris and earned billionaire status by creating the Willie’s Wienerwurst-Brand of hot dogs, which quickly earned the nickname ‘Big Willies.’

Through a series of unique circumstances that are both funny and witty, Jackson and Roberts end up playing local seniors Mac ‘the Knife’ Tanner who is 64 and Angus ‘the Mad Scot’ McToon in a match to end all matches. McToon, an 86-year-old golf instructor of some fame, owns the Penntown Driving Range.

They play the first nine holes for $200 dollars and a case of beer per man and the back nine for a potential one-million dollars for the winning team. The match is also broadcast on The Golf Network for the world to hear.

Along the way, in this comical portrayal of golf and its characters, readers will come to know the players of the match and an array of characters that make Morris a unique and bucolic place in which to live. One reader has described this book as ‘Lake Wobegon meets Tin Cup and Caddyshack. He says it is a “laugh a page.”

Mr. Then, a former member of Hillcrest in Batesville, says, “McToon’s Final Shot is a pure work of fiction. I want to make people laugh, I always wanted to be a gag writer and so I wrote this story. I conceived the story during several trips to Scotland and as I hit golf balls every day. I wrote the novel for golfers everywhere who dream of walking in the footsteps of giants. The story reflects the actions of people I have met at home and abroad, and comments I have heard here and there.”

The novel is a humorous golf story set on a fictional golf course in Morris.

The novel is a humorous golf story set on a fictional course in Morris.

Interested readers can learn more about McToon’s Final Shot, by visiting Then’s website or going to where they can read half-a-dozen chapters.

About the Author: D. James Then, a former Forethought executive, is a resident of Northern Kentucky, a native of Western New York, a former owner and publisher of an award-winning Sunday newspaper, a 30-year marketing executive, and a graduate of St. Bonaventure University’s Journalism School where he received the 1974 Mark Hellinger Award.

Mr. Then retired from Hillenbrand Industries in 2002. He has a master’s degree in management, is a former broadcaster, and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Besides McToon’s Final Shot, Mr. Then has published two bracing novels, That Tender Light (part of which is set in Batesville, IN) and The Heart By Which We Live, both of which are available on, Barnes and, other book sites, or via Mr. Then’s website. To read more about these novels of adventure, intrigue, and rebirth, visit Mr. Then’s author page on In addition to humor and satire, his writing focuses on the nuances that bring people together or pull them apart.


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