Three more books on golf to read when not watching...
the US Open. Let us face it, brethren, the gods of golf have much wet weather in store for the valiant cut-makers over the next three days. If you, as I, can only stomach so many replays, highlights, lowlights and the ilk, then it is time to go to a nearby book store and make a purchase. I’m going to give you three titles from which to choose, each of a different genre.
To begin, “A disorderly compendium of golf” from Lorne Rubenstein (Toronto Star) and Jeff Neuman is a woven amalgamation of factual trivia related, for the most part, to the professional game of golf. It is one of those books that occupied coveted space on one’s reference shelf before the days of instant googlefication. That it was compiled and sold successfully during the Google epoch is quite a coup, thus making it worthy of your hard-earned dollars. Rubinstein is a wily veteran of the golfing world, and his location north of the border suggests that his vision of golf is not myopically restricted to the lower 48 plus the island chain out west. Neuman probably helped, too.
It’s hard to publicly admit you’re close to going nuts. Jim Dodson does that in “A Son of the Game.” Maybe not bonkers, but certainly akimbo enough to call it a mid-life crisis. Dodson doesn’t purchase hand-made Japanese clubs, nor a phat car, nor a trophy spouse. What he does is retreat, revisit, reorganize and ultimately, reinvent. He is quite candid with his life (one hopes it is his life) and takes us along as passengers in the car he loves to drive from the wasteland of New England to the wasteland of south-central North Carolina. Accustomed to telling the tales of others (Final Rounds, The Dewsweepers), Dodson turns inward this time and vents and purges and catharts all that he needs to expunge. Unable to avoid the intercalated story or four, he introduces us to family, friends, former friends and former family, all without straying from his primary task of introducing the reader to him. This one is well worth the money you’ll plunk down; if you have to choose between these first two books, go with Dodson.
I dearly hope that Texas Christian University is as proud of Dan Jenkins as he is of it. The old coot was well seated in the media center at Bethpage this week, resplendent in a purple TCU cap. Already the owner of a copy of “Jenkins at the Majors” and the limited edition bobblehead doll of the man, I did not get greedy and interrupt his conversation to introduce my own self. Instead, I tried to imagine what the inventor of Kenny Lee Pucket and Donnie Smithern, Bad Hair Wimberly and Ginger Clayton, Bobby Joe Grooves and (…the list does go on, doesn’t it) might have saved up from his years behind a typewriter covering golf’s major championships. Truthfully, this review deserves its own column and it will have it later this weekend. For now, this book presents writing that only a wrinkly curmudgeon from a different era could get away with. Jenkins makes some of us recall an era when ethnic and gender slurs were commonplace, honesty was the best policy, and golf clubs were made of materials found in nature. Enjoy his version of “The Little Red Book” as he prepares to sail off into the sunset of the contented old geezer.
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