A physical therapist compares his life to a round of golf to determine his score in this debut motivational memoir.
The legendary Ben Hogan once likened life to golf: “As you walk down the fairways of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” Huu, a golf enthusiast, takes Hogan’s metaphor further, breaking the 80-plus-year human life into 18 holes and assigning them each a par. “What kind of round have you had so far?” asks the author. “And most importantly, how are you going to finish out this round, the one and only precious one that’s been given to you in this one life that you have to live?” Using his own life as an example, Huu offers an analysis of how the rules of golf overlay neatly onto the experience of growing up and meeting challenges. From losing two balls right at the beginning of the game (the death of his father and his family’s escape from Vietnam) to securing his first birdie (proposing to his wife) to some unlucky shots (like having his business destroyed by Hurricane Katrina), Huu proves that most “holes” in life are a mixed bag. All readers can do is add up their strokes, learn from their mistakes, and try to make up for it on the back nine. Huu writes in a cheerful, self-deprecating prose that easily synchronizes the languages of golf and autobiography: “Because of wonderful people like them during this rough period in my life, I will generously give myself a lucky two-putt from here, to close out the hole with a humbling score of only a double bogey, 6.” For those who don’t know the game well, the author takes time at the beginning to explain the rules and scoring system. For those to whom this sounds like an intellectual exercise taken too far, Huu’s system is actually quite revelatory. The book is perhaps oversaturated with quotes by author Tony Robbins and the like, and certain chapters of Huu’s life are more intriguing than others. But his call to play less conservatively and practice mindfulness is good advice for “golfers” of any age.
An inspirational and illuminating exploration of a golf metaphor.