Why Golf? the Mystery of the Game Revisited
Simon & Schuster. 2000. (ISBN: 0684867222). Hardcover, 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches. The simple answer to Bob Cullen's titular question is, of course, "Why not golf?" but when has a duffer ever been satisfied with simplicity when a more complex route presents itself? The nature of the game--and the realization that something is just as likely to go horribly on the next shot as it is to go well--produces a species of adherents wracked with doubt, soul-searching, and self-flagellation, a perfect petri dish for observation, experimentation, and meditation. Smart, witty, irreverent, and insightful, Cullen's personal odyssey into the heart of the enigma is as provocative as it is entertaining. Cullen begins with a reading of The Mystery of Golf, Arnold Haultain's touchstone 1908 volume, and ends, as Haultain did, with his acceptance that golf's secret can't be found in any one place. Still, like any good afternoon on the links, he winds up in some pretty spectacular, far-flung, and surprising lies--and truths--along the way. Such as the former Imperial Country Club in Teheran. The minds of Bob Rotella and instructors Bob Toski and Paul Runyon. A chapter from The Biophilia Hypothesis by ornithologist Gordon Orians. The Koran. Harbour View, a state-of-the-art track in Virginia, and Li'l Bit o' Heaven, the scruffy old course run by 1955 U.S. Open champ Jack Fleck in Arkansas. The work of 19th-century Scots novelist George MacDonald. And, finally, his own backyard. Eclectic stuff, to be sure. Haultain remains his caddie throughout; a citation from The Mystery of Golf begins every chapter. "Why is it, let us ask ourselves, that mankind consents to hold prowess in sport in such high esteem?" incites a fascinating contemplation of Tiger Woods as the golfing embodiment of the prisoner who escapes from Plato's cave; it turns wonderfully surreal when Cullen actually confronts Woods with the theory in the press tent following a tournament round. It's just one of the many unexpected and alluring connections that turns Why Golf? (the book) into an irresistible first tee to start searching for the answer to "Why golf?" A journalist and coauthor of several books about golf with noted coach Bob Rotella, Cullen muses about the game in an effort to find out why people are so passionate about the sport and whether there's a unique psychological trait shared by golfers. Cullen doesn't see himself as an expert player, but that has never diminished his enthusiasm for the game, and he'll get out on any course with any pro golfer. For this book, he's interviewed professional golfers, coaches and scientists to find some reasons why the sport is so important to so many people. While Cullen doesn't reach a specific conclusion, he finds that some people align golf with early man's need for hunting and space. According to Cullen, that's why some people simply go from course to course around the world, eager to play in different surroundings. Other people play in anticipation of that rare incandescent moment when they're able to hit a near-perfect shot. One of the most interesting observations here is Cullen's view of older players. Most of the players on the senior circuit still love the game and still see themselves as learning and improving. Serious golf fans who enjoy intellectualizing about the sport will enjoy this book, but ordinary players looking for practical tips should look elsewhere. Hardback with dustjacket - 2000 - good condition - - used books, secondhand books, for sale, out of print books, hard to find books, second-hand books, college books, student books, nonfiction, first editions, signed copies, non-fiction books delivered world wide. Used: Acceptable.
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Book number: 18592
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