BLUE FAIRWAYS by Charles Slack


Three Months, Sixty Courses, No Mulligans
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A golfer’s three-month trip playing on 60 courses along the East Coast becomes a journey of discovery in this gently good- humored, easy read. Richmond, Va., newspaper reporter Slack had a personal fantasy: He wanted to shave ten strokes off his game, playing on different public courses, partnering with as many golfers as he could. The book—and the trip—is divided into four regions: New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the South, and Florida’s Gold Coast, with the trip going down Route 1, from Maine to Florida. Slack comments on each course’s history, design, and ambience, noting similarities (player etiquette or, in some cases, the lack thereof), unique characteristics (an alligator lying in wait on a Florida course), and, at times, social significance (Boston’s Franklin Park was saved in the 1970s by a group of black golfers). Slack assesses his own play, relishing the fact that he has the opportunity to reinvent himself at each new golf course. He also goes through self-revelations when he revisits his hometown and when he thinks about his family (his wife was expecting their second child). But most enjoyable are Slack’s accounts of the personalities—young and old, rich and middle-class, male and female—he meets along the way. As one golfer puts it, “I love the challenge, I love the courses. But the best thing is the people you meet.” Slack’s anecdotes and observations give the reader a flavor of the different regions. And through it all, the game of golf, including the experience and camaraderie that come from playing, is celebrated. Golfers and nongolfers will appreciate Slack’s personal journey. All readers will probably fantasize about embarking on a similar voyage to test the truth of the statement spoken by a long time golfer: “Golf is a great game. It’s a tough game. It’s the second-toughest game there is. The first toughest game is life itself.”

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1999
ISBN: 0-8050-5993-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1999


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