A Woman's Tale of Golf by Frances X. Paulo Huber

A Woman's Tale of Golf

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Huber’s account, in collaboration with PGA pro Frank Lee, of her comical attempts to master a sport that “epitomized absurdity.”

Huber came late to golf. Her new husband assured her: “It’s a great sport for a married couple. Time together outdoors. Just the two of us.” This often hilarious account of her “journey into golf” takes her from bumbling ineptitude beyond proficiency. Initially, she has a jaundiced view of the sport—“a heart-breaking exercise in which the rules and equipment and playing field are stacked against you, making a decent performance difficult and perfection impossible”—and struggles to even make contact with a ball. She has amusingly disastrous sessions with her coaches: “Think about turning around to shake hands with the person behind you,” Vinnie “King of the Swing” Russo says in instructing her how to swing a golf club. “What person?” she asks. A female coach introduces herself by announcing, “It takes someone with boobs to teach other people with boobs how to play golf.” But it’s only with the imperturbable Lee, a Korean-American, as her coach that Huber starts to make progress. “Golf like life,” he tells her. “Nothing always works.” As she proceeds on her journey, Huber has imaginary conversations with various fictitious companions, including Lawrence of Arabia. “Sand shots are simple,” he advises after she plunks a shot into a bunker. “Just take your normal swing.” Elsewhere, a father-and-son coaching team are “golfing Mozarts,” she writes. Huber’s wit and distinctive sense of the absurd—her husband describes her brainwork as a “cross between thoroughly literal and thoroughly imaginative”—bring her golfing journey alive. Huber also provides revealing glimpses of the “ghosts from my past,” taking readers back to an adolescence during which she suffered from depression, and she savors the beauty of a golf course’s “shorn lawns, raked traps, pruned trees and bedded-out flowers.” Still, she tells her husband, “If life were like golf, the human race would have died out centuries ago through mass suicide. Who could tolerate an existence so unfair? Life isn’t like golf in the least.”

A well-laid sense of humor brings this golfing journey alive.

Pub Date: Dec. 28th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4827-1606-2
Page count: 214pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014