This is the book Rick Reilly has been writing in the back of his head since he fell in love with the game of golf at eleven years old. He unpacks and explores all of the wonderful, maddening, heart-melting, heart-breaking, cool, and captivating things about golf that make the game so utterly addictive. We meet the PGA Tour player who robbed banks by night to pay his motel bills, the golf club maker who takes weekly psychedelic trips, and the caddy who kept his loop even after an 11-year prison stint. We learn how a man on his third heart nearly won the U.S. Open, how a Vietnam POW saved his life playing 18 holes a day in his tiny cell, and about the course that’s absolutely free.
Reilly mines all of the game’s quirky traditions from the shot of bourbon you take before you tee off at Peyton Manning’s course, to the way the starter at St. Andrews announces to your group (and the hundreds of tourists watching), “You’re on the first tee, gentlemen.” He means that quite literally: St. Andrews has the first tee ever invented. We’ll visit the eighteen most unforgettable holes around the world (Reilly has played them all), including the hole in Indonesia where the biggest hazard is monkeys, the one in the Caribbean that’s underwater, and the one in South Africa that requires a shot over a pit of alligators; not to mention Reilly’s attempt to play the most mini-golf holes in one day.
Reilly expounds on all the great figures in the game, from Phil Mickelson to Bobby Jones to the simple reason Jack Nicklaus is better than Tiger Woods. He explains why we should stop hating Bryson DeChambeau unless we hate genius, the greatest upset in women’s golf history, and why Ernie Els throws away every ball that makes a birdie. Plus all the Greg Norman stories Reilly has never been able to tell before, and the great fun of being Jim Nantz. Connecting it all will be the story of Reilly’s own personal journey through the game, especially as it connects to his tumultuous relationship with his father, and how the two eventually reconciled through golf. This is Reilly’s valentine to golf, a cornucopia of stories that no golfer will want to be without.
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