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Summer Golf Reading for 2010

Golf Books

Summer Golf Reading for 2010

The ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” is significant these days in the world of professional golf. Late last year, the personal trials and tribulations of Tiger Woods became daily fodder for extensive media coverage, from newspapers to Internet gossip and various sources in between. Tiger has dominated the sport since 1996, having been the number-one ranked golfer for the most consecutive weeks in golf history and the Player of the Year 10 times. He has won 14 major championships, threatening the career record of 18 such victories currently held by Jack Nicklaus, and on several occasions has won these majors by double-digit margins.

Tiger’s dominance in golf is present in product endorsements and tournament coverage. Even non-golfers watch PGA events when Tiger is playing. His endorsements know no bounds, from cars to clothes, and from Gatorade to jewelry. In 2008, he earned more than $100 million in endorsements and winnings.

On a night in November, all of this came to a staggering halt when Tiger’s wife Élan shattered the windshield of his SUV in a domestic quarrel that reverberated around the world. Tiger left the tour to seek treatment for his sexual infidelities. He returned for the first major championship of 2010, the Masters, where he played well but nowhere near the level that fans had come to expect of the greatest player in the world. Weeks later, he withdrew from the Players Championship with a neck injury. As this article goes to press, Tiger has rejoined the tour in preparation for the next major championship of the year, the U.S. Open, to be played Father’s Day weekend at Pebble Beach in California.

Golf’s popularity comes in many forms. Chronicling the game has produced a plethora of books that cover not only the contemporary golf world, but also events from past decades that helped shape the modern game. In addition, golf instruction books are always a major commodity of the publishing industry. Golfers are constantly searching for the Holy Grail that they pray will turn them from hackers to par shooters. They seek out self-help books for some elusive tidbit of information to cut strokes from their score.

Moment of Glory: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf by John Feinstein - Sports

A hint of what to expect in a Tigerless golf world may be found in MOMENT OF GLORY: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf by John Feinstein, who has become the modern equivalent of Bernard Darwin or Herbert Warren Wind, a chronicler of the world of golf.

The Last Putt: 2 Teams, One Dream & a Freshman Named Tiger by Neil Hayes and Brian Murphy - Sports

THE LAST PUTT: 2 Teams, One Dream & a Freshman Named Tiger, by Neil Hayes and Brian Murphy, is the story of the 1995 NCAA team golf championship held at Ohio State University featuring Stanford University and freshman Tiger Woods against college golf powerhouse Oklahoma State.

Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at Oakmont by Adam Lazarus and Steve Schlossman - Sports

As the U.S. Open begins play this week at Pebble Beach, a prominent member of the NBC broadcasting crew will be former Open Champion Johnny Miller. As an announcer, Miller has the ability to stir the pot. He is not reluctant to criticize players in his on-air reporting, nor is he unwilling to call them out for breaches of decorum. On many occasions he will compare present-day golfers unfavorably to those from prior generations. Reading CHASING GREATNESS: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at Oakmont, by Adam Lazarus and Steve Schlossman, might serve as a reminder to viewers and critics of Miller that at least he knows of what he speaks.

To Win and Die in Dixie by Steve Eubanks - Sports

The travails of Tiger Woods remind us that golfers, and indeed all public figures, are often far different than their public persona might indicate. Their private lives often remain a secret to their admiring public. TO WIN AND DIE IN DIXIE by Steve Eubanks is an interesting look at a golfing mystery of the 1920s surrounding a golf professional who changed the sport for all time, yet remains an unknown figure of the game. J. Douglas Edgar was an English golf pro who crossed the Atlantic. Suffering from an injured hip, he was forced to modify what sufficed for the typical golf swing of the early 20th century.

Dream On: One Hack Golfer’s Challenge to Break Par in a Year by John Richardson - Sports

Golfers dream. No matter how poorly one plays, there are occasional flashes of greatness that cause golfers to believe they can harness that moment into an entire round and achieve a career round. John Richardson was a weekend golfer who found it difficult to break 100, so he decided to devote a year of his life with one goal in mind: to shoot a sub-par round.

Play Golf the Pebble Beach Way by Laird Small - Sports

No golf book discussion would be complete without a quality instruction book. This year PLAY GOLF THE PEBBLE BEACH WAY by Laird Small is a book of instruction that has many practical instructional thoughts that will benefit golfers regardless of skill level.