MAKING THE TURN by Frank Beard

MAKING THE TURN

A Year Inside the PGA Senior Tour
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Winner of 11 PGA tournaments between 1963 and 1971, Beard, whose golf game and life later ``went to pieces'' because of alcoholism, joined the money-rich Senior Tour in 1989. Here, with the help of Sports Illustrated writer Garrity, he records his every golf shot--and stray thought--on the 1991 circuit. Despite a second-place finish in the 1989 Senior Open, Beard has not become a big money-winner among the 50-and-over pros. The 1991 Senior Tour hosted 42 events with a total purse of $24 million. Beard took home $150,000 in 23 events; Jack Nicklaus, ``the best player who ever lived,'' won $343,734 in just five. The big money, Beard emphasizes, is not shelled out for quality golf or some notion of fierce competition: The ``Senior Tour is built on nostalgia,'' plain and simple, with spectators paying to watch old pros such as Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez, and Sam Snead play together one more time. Often controversial, Beard, who writes a column for Golf World magazine, profiles some of his peers and discusses long-standing rivalries and often petty disputes; grouses about playing ``outings,'' pro- ams for charity for which the pros are paid; complains about caddie fees; and gives a lot of space to describing golf he's watched on TV. A recovering alcoholic, he attends from one to three AA meetings a week and sees a sports psychologist: ``When I play badly I see myself as a bad person.'' His worries about his swing and his confidence are duly noted in the epilogue: ``[my] nervousness and fear jump off the pages.'' And straying yet further from the links, he feels compelled to share even his views on evolution and creation. Fine when Beard stays on the golf course; preachy and self- indulgent when he doesn't.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-02-508060-1
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1992