MY USUAL GAME by David Owen


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 Owen's usual game is golf and, as might be expected from the author of The Walls Around Us (1991), this book displays his usual wit. Although he played as a teenager, Owen didn't rediscover his love of golf until he was 36 and a newly transplanted suburbanite. Now he even dreams about golf. This volume essentially is a collection of his magazine pieces on the game (originally published in places as various as Golf Digest and the New Yorker), held together loosely by the subject matter and his loopily funny perspective on it. Over the course of the book, Owen goes to golf school, where he falls in love with a variety of high-tech gadgets; makes the obligatory pilgrimage to Scotland's fabled courses; profiles inventor and club manufacturer Karsten Solheim; plays in the Disney Classic pro-am; reports on the dramatic 1993 Ryder Cup competition; and relates other golfing adventures. Owen is hilariously candid about his own shortcomings as a golfer (although judging from the scores he records as the book goes on, his game can't be too shabby) and about his fascination with the paraphernalia of the sport, from bag tags and golf towels to a wild variety of instructional gimmicks. He is suitably respectful of the game's history and lore without getting sappy about it. As he notes in one typical passage, ``To play the classic Scottish courses is to glimpse the logic that shaped the game we play today. Plus, the beers are bigger and you get to drive on the left side of the road.'' The book's only disappointment is the Ryder Cup piece, which adds little to the literature already accumulating around that contest. Although readers who play will get more out of it, even non- golfers will find much to amuse them in this excellent collection. (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-679-41487-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1995


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