Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review of "Playing Through"

Sadly, the golf season is nearing an end here in the Northeast and that means the clubs will have to go into storage for another winter. But just like needing to get that last round in, I had to read at least one more golf book before the clubs are put away.  This collection of essays on the recent era of the game was an excellent read.  Here is my review of "Playing Through."

“Playing Through: Modern Golf’s Most Iconic Players and Moments” by Jim Moriarty

Golf, professional, history

Publish date:
October 1, 2016

288 pages

5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

Golf can be both a beautiful and cruel game at the same time. Whether it is the joy of seeing Tom Watson’s chip into the 17th hole at the US Open in 1982 or the questionable behavior of players and fans after the United States won the 1999 Ryder Cup, one cannot dispute the unique stories that are created from the sport.  Jim Moriarty captures these emotions and more in this collection of twelve essays of the sport.

Covering the time period from the early 1980’s to the present, Moriarty writes on a wide range of topics.  In addition to Watson and that historic Ryder Cup victory, he writes about the humanity of the game by describing the path taken to greatness by some of the game’s biggest names:  Phil Mickelson, John Daly, the late Payne Stewart, Juli Inkster and Tiger Woods. However, the topics that one would expect when writing about those golfers are not what he covers.  For example, the essay on Inkster concentrates on her reflections on many of the greats in women’s gold such as Kathy Whitworth and Judy Rankin. Stewart’s chapter is as much about his struggles with attention deficit disorder as much as his championships.  Woods even gets a fresh look, which is mighty difficult considering his professional and personal life has been scrutinized by many. 

All of this would not be possible without the fresh writing by Moriarty. Having written on the sport for over 30 years, he takes that experience and his observations and crafts them together to bring together a collection of essays that any golf fan or player will enjoy. Blessed with a talent for excellent storytelling, the reader will feel like he or she has personally known the players covered in the book for many years.  The book is a treat to read and is one that can be pulled off the shelf later and still be as fresh as that ball that just fell into the cup.

I wish to thank University of Nebraska Press for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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