DIVOTS, SHANKS, GIMMES, MULLIGANS, AND CHILI DIPS by Glen Waggoner

DIVOTS, SHANKS, GIMMES, MULLIGANS, AND CHILI DIPS

A Life in Eighteen Holes
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A lighthearted, breezy look at two very different games of golf: the one that's played by the pros on PGA tours, and ``the Hacker's Game'' that's played by almost everyone else. Sportswriter Waggoner (Rotisserie League Baseball, 1987, etc.- -not reviewed) was rebitten by the golf bug (he'd thrown his clubs into a pond in 1962) while on the Rotisserie League's annual trip to Florida for spring training--but he admits to more ability as observer and reporter than as player. Here, his profiles of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Mark Calcavecchia are admiring but also refreshingly frank--pointing out, for example, that Nicklaus, for all his glory and popularity, isn't much liked by his fellow pros and is often called ``Karnak...because he always has an answer even before there's a question.'' An emotion-laden chapter on Tom Kite, who almost became ``The Best Golfer in History Never to Win a Major'' until his thrilling victory in the 1992 US Open, becomes a tribute to a ``nice guy...the soul of self-discipline, the heart of devotion to his craft.'' Waggoner draws an interesting portrait of the typical pro: 35 years old, 5'11'', married, 1.4 kids, ``born in California, North Carolina or Texas but lives in Florida,'' winner of 3.5 tournaments, earning $303,000 per year and voting Republican ``if he votes at all.'' For the ``hackers,'' Waggoner offers tips on how to watch a golf tournament; on ``Club-Throwing Technique 101: Grip, Proper Alignment, Plant and Release''; and on how to select golf clubs and ``golf stuff'' such as the Golfer's Toilet Seat and specially designed golfer's undershorts. More enlightening are his descriptions of three days spent with Jim Flick, ``the best golf teacher in the world,'' and of a course in zen golf he took at the Omega Institute. Brings a fresh sense of fun to otherwise well-trod fairways.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-394-58005-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1993




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