This rarity, a YA book about golf, has a sweet swing but a stiff delivery.
Because family money is tight, Bobby takes on too many jobs while trying to help his Mom make ends meet. He’ll need a golf scholarship to go to college. Unfortunately, he must face Blake, a superior but insufferable player, in the Junior Golf Championship. But with the help of the greenskeeper, good friends and an attractive female golfer, Bobby learns how to break the cycle of constant failure. The well-meaning author manages a bit of suspense as Bobby faces down seemingly insurmountable obstacles and strives for victory, but the novel and its characters remain simple and, usually, dry. Most of the sentences are short and lifeless, delivering one fact each. Much of the story is only slightly more interesting than a textbook on golf–though the reader’s desire to see the villain vanquished may pique curiosity. Even then, McIntyre describes the course of play shot by shot, with the resulting scorecards as illustrations. Readers unfamiliar with golf will be lost almost immediately. Nevertheless, there is a sweetness to the book, perhaps arising from its simplicity, that may appeal to those resolute enough to continue after the opening chapters.
For golfers only. (Fiction. YA)