The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf

Hyperion
16
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The Greatest Game Ever Played is the story of Francis Ouimet and Harry Vardon, who in pursuit of their passion for a game that captivated them as children, broke down rigid social barriers that made their sport accessible to everyone on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, positioning golf as one of the most widely played games in the world. Ouimet and Vardon were two men from different generations and vastly different corners of the world whose lives, unbeknownst to them at the time, bore remarkable similarities, setting them on parallel paths that led with a kind of fated inevitability to their epic battle at Brookline years in the future. This collision resulted in the big bang' that gave rise to the sport of golf as we know it today.

For Mark Frost, Francis Ouimet and Harry Vardon represent everything that's right about sports in general and sportsmen in particular; gentlemen, champions, teachers, leaders, and each in their own quiet way, heroes. In The Greatest Game Ever Played, Frost attempts to create penetrating studies of both of these men, along with over dozens of the game's seminal figures, within the dramatic framework offered by the tournament when they finally met, one of the most thrilling sports events in history, the 1913 U.S. Open.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hyperion
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Published on
Nov 6, 2002
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Pages
488
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ISBN
9780786869206
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Language
English
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Genres
Sports & Recreation / General
Sports & Recreation / Golf
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed The Greatest Game Ever Played comes The Grand Slam, a riveting, in-depth look at the life and times of golf icon Bobby Jones.

In the wake of the stock market crash and the dawn of the Great Depression, a ray of light emerged from the world of sports in the summer of 1930. Bobby Jones, an amateur golfer who had already won nine of the seventeen major championships he'd entered during the last seven years, mounted his final campaign against the record books. In four months, he conquered the British Amateur Championship, the British Open, the United States Open, and finally the United States Amateur Championship, an achievement so extraordinary that writers dubbed it the Grand Slam.

A natural, self-taught player, Jones made his debut at the U.S. Amateur Championship at the age of 14. But for the next seven years, Jones struggled in major championships, and not until he turned 21 in 1923 would he harness his immense talent.

What the world didn't know was that throughout his playing career the intensely private Jones had longed to retreat from fame's glaring spotlight. While the press referred to him as "a golfing machine," the strain of competition exacted a ferocious toll on his physical and emotional well-being. During the season of the Slam he constantly battled exhaustion, nearly lost his life twice, and came perilously close to a total collapse. By the time he completed his unprecedented feat, Bobby Jones was the most famous man not only in golf, but in the history of American sports. Jones followed his crowning achievement with a shocking announcement: his retirement from the game at the age of 28. His abrupt disappearance from the public eye into a closely guarded private life helped create a mythological image of this hero from the Golden Age of sports that endures to this day.
The Big Miss is Hank Haney’s candid and surprisingly insightful account of his tumultuous six-year journey with Tiger Woods, during which the supremely gifted golfer collected six major championships and rewrote golf history. Hank was one of the very few people allowed behind the curtain. He was with Tiger 110 days a year, spoke to him over 200 days a year, and stayed at his home up to 30 days a year, observing him in nearly every circumstance: at tournaments, on the practice range, over meals, with his wife, Elin, and relaxing with friends.
 
The relationship between the two men began in March 2004 when Hank received a call from Tiger in which the golf champion asked him to be his coach. It was a call that would change both men’s lives.
 
Tiger—only 28 at the time—was by then already an icon, judged by the sporting press as not only one of the best golfers ever, but possibly the best athlete ever. Already he was among the world’s highest paid celebrities. There was an air of mystery surrounding him, an aura of invincibility. Unique among athletes, Tiger seemed to be able to shrug off any level of pressure and find a way to win.
 
But Tiger was always looking to improve, and he wanted Hank’s help.
 
What Hank soon came to appreciate was that Tiger was one of the most complicated individuals he’d ever met, let alone coached. Although Hank had worked with hundreds of elite golfers and was not easily impressed, there were days watching Tiger on the range when Hank couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. On those days, it was impossible to imagine another human playing golf so perfectly.
 
And yet Tiger is human—and Hank’s expert eye was adept at spotting where Tiger’s perfection ended and an opportunity for improvement existed. Always haunting Tiger was his fear of “the big miss”—the wildly inaccurate golf shot that can ruin an otherwise solid round—and it was because that type of blunder was sometimes part of Tiger’s game that Hank carefully redesigned his swing mechanics.
 
Hank’s most formidable coaching challenge, though, would be solving the riddle of Tiger’s personality. Wary of the emotional distractions that might diminish his game and put him further from his goals, Tiger had developed a variety of tactics to keep people from getting too close, and not even Hank—or Tiger’s family and friends, for that matter—was spared “the treatment.”
 
Toward the end of Tiger and Hank’s time together, the champion’s laser-like focus began to blur and he became less willing to put in punishing hours practicing—a disappointment to Hank, who saw in Tiger’s behavior signs that his pupil had developed a conflicted relationship with the game. Hints that Tiger hungered to reinvent himself were present in his bizarre infatuation with elite military training, and—in a development Hank didn’t see coming—in the scandal that would make headlines in late 2009. It all added up to a big miss that Hank, try as he might, couldn’t save Tiger from.
 
There’s never been a book about Tiger Woods that is as intimate and revealing—or one so wise about what it takes to coach a superstar athlete.
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