THE MAJORS by John Feinstein


In Pursuit of Golf's Holy Grail
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With his usual acuity, Feinstein looks at the four most important tournaments on the men’s pro golf calendar, narrowing the focus of his monster bestseller, A Good Walk Spoiled (1995). Spread throughout the year and known simply as “the majors,” the Masters, the British Open, the US Open, and the PGA Championship serve as touchstones of golfing achievement. To play successfully year in and out without winning a major essentially brands a golfer as a footnote. Even to have won several majors without bagging at least one of each casts a shadow on a legacy, as is the case with Greg Norman, who remains to many the “best never to win the Masters.” Conversely, a talented but inconsistent pro like John Daly secured immortality by shocking the world with his 1991 win at the PGA Championship. Taking readers to all four majors, Feinstein dispenses his usual complement of insights, observations, and copious knowledge of golfing lore and legend. Summaries of the majors’ origins and histories are interspersed with a chronicle of 1998 tournament action. Setting the scene for the ’98 majors, Feinstein profiles important players who would factor in their outcomes, among them: Tiger Woods, who ran away from the field in the ’97 Masters, only to be pulled back in the following year; and Payne Stewart, who after enjoying great success in the mid-1980s, was back again in the hunt at the ’98 US Open. Feinstein probes the relationships between players and sponsors, arguing that pacts can become problematic when sponsors’ equipment hurts their players” game. He also follows around some hard-luck cases, showing how grim life on the tour can be for those living hand-to- mouth and week-to-week. If there is a flaw to this solid and respectable, if unspectacular effort, it’s that the events Feinstein chronicles will seem familiar even to golf fans who only occasionally follow the game in the sports pages or on TV. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-316-27971-4
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1999


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