“The Secret of Golf” by Joe Posnanski
Golf, British Open, history, biography
June 9, 2015
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
Two golfing legends, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, are the subject of this book that describes the rivalry and eventual friendship between the two men. It starts when the men first meet when Watson was only 17. There were some tense times when both men were on the top of their game and providing drama at several major championships. These stories make up the bulk of the book and they are short, compact, well-written stories.
The best of these anecdotes is undoubtedly the “Duel in the Sun” when the two of them staged an epic shot-for-shot duel for the 1977 British Open championship at Turnberry. The story of this championship is captured so well on these pages that I was getting just as excited reading the story as I was parked in front of the television set 38 years ago as a teenager. Even the early chapters describing the childhoods of these two legends were great reads, something that is not easy to do when writing a sports biography.
However, this doesn’t completely describe the content of this book as there are short chapters with golfing tips and advice from Watson between each chapter of the Nicklaus-Watson saga. Those chapters are titled “Hole ___” appropriately. They range in topic from the mental aspect of the game to shot making tips. The sections on the thinking that goes on during a round were my personal favorites. As anyone who plays golf knows, it is definitely a mental game and these stories were very good advice.
In short, this was one of the better golf books I have read in a long time because of the topics, the writing style and the subject matter. Anyone who was a fan of either of these two men while they were winning major tournaments will enjoy this saga as they went from rivals to friends.
I wish to thank NetGalley for providing an advance review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Pace of the book:
This was a very quick read as none of the chapters were very long and the storyline of Nicklaus and Watson held my interest throughout the book.
Do I recommend?
Whether reader plays or watches the game, he or she will enjoy this book not only about a historic major tournament, but also for the wisdom of the game that Watson shares.
(pre-order links until publication date of June 9, 2015)