One of the sport’s quiet men reveals a down-home sense of humor in this amiable take on professional golf at the highest level.
No player on the PGA Tour can be said to come out of the ozone to cop a major championship, but although North has twice won the US Open, something accomplished by very few players, he can hardly be called a household name along the lines of Palmer, Nicklaus, and Hogan. The coverage here of his association with professional golf ranges from a résumé of his career to playing tips to anecdotes about playing with the greats. North stresses the joys of golf and a proper attitude toward the game. “Too often people get so focused on the problems that they’re having that they can’t seem to move through them,” he warns sensibly, though he is also fast with the truisms like “life is a journey,” or “life in general is about ups and downs.” Golfers will appreciate the casual tips on pre-shot routines, speed in putting, and club selection, such as the very intelligent remark that “we’d all be better off if there weren’t numbers on the clubs,” which would lead to individual golfers getting better acquainted with what a club can do for them. These are not five-step instructions, but mental games, and North (with the help of veteran sports coauthor Rocks) keeps the advice straightforward and digestible. On occasion, the voice gets a little homey (“What made the seventeenth hole so difficult was there was a mound of about six feet high in the middle of the green”), and profiles of golfing legends are generally of the “he is a terrific person” variety. North’s detailing of exceptional golf holes, though, is like walking the courses themselves.
A pleasing stroll with an agreeable companion whose personality is a step removed from the theatrical Trevino and Rodriguez, but a fairway wood in front of the corporate techno-golfers.