Final Rounds: A Father, a Son, the Golf Journey of a Lifetime

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A heartwarming holiday gift for any golf fan!

James Dodson always felt closest to his father while they were on the links. So it seemed only appropriate when his father learned he had two months to live that they would set off on the golf journey of their dreams to play the most famous courses in the world.

Final Rounds takes us to the historic courses of Royal Lytham and Royal Birkdale, to the windswept undulations of Carnoustie, where Hogan played peerlessly in '53, and the legendary St. Andrews, whose hallowed course reveals something of the eternal secret of the game's mysterious allure over pros and hackers alike.

Throughout their poignant journey, the Dodsons humorously reminisce and reaffirm their love for each other, as the younger Dodson finds out what it means to have his father also be his best friend. Final Rounds is a book never to be forgotten, a book about fathers and sons, long-held secrets, and the lessons a middle-aged man can still learn from his dad about life, love, and family.

Final Rounds is a tribute to a very special game and the fathers and sons who make it so.
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About the author

James Dodson is a regular columnist for Golf magazine and an editor of Departures magazine. His work has appeared in Gentleman's Quarterly, Travel & Leisure, Outside, and numerous other national publications. He won the Golf Writers of America Award for his columns in 1995 and 1996.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bantam
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Published on
Oct 24, 2017
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781101969496
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Family & Relationships / Parenting / Fatherhood
Sports & Recreation / Golf
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Authorized, intimate, and definitive, Ben Hogan: A Life is the long-awaited biography of one of golf’s greatest, most enigmatic legends, narrated with the unique eloquence that has made author James Dodson a critically acclaimed national bestseller.

One man is often credited with shaping the landscape of modern golf. Ben Hogan was a short, trim, impeccably dressed Texan whose fierce work ethic, legendary steel nerves, and astonishing triumph over personal disaster earned him not only an army of adoring fans, but one of the finest careers in the history of the sport. Hogan captured a record-tying four U.S. Opens, won five of six major tournaments in a single season, and inspired future generations of professional golfers from Palmer to Norman to Woods.

Yet for all his brilliance, Ben Hogan was an enigma. He was an American hero whose personal life, inner motivation, and famed “secret” were the source of great public mystery. As Hogan grew into a giant on the pro tour, the combination of his cool outward demeanor and invincible, laser-guided accuracy on the golf course froze formidable opponents in their tracks. In 1949, at the peak of his career, Hogan’s mystique was reinforced by a catastrophic automobile accident in which he and his wife, Valerie, were nearly killed after being hit head-on by a Greyhound bus. Doctors predicted Hogan might never walk again – let alone set foot on another golf course. But his miraculous three-year recovery and comeback led to one of the greatest performances in golf history when in 1953 he won the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open (something that’s never been repeated).

In this first-ever family-authorized biography, renowned author James Dodson expertly and emotionally reconstructs Hogan’s complicated life. He discovers an intensely honest man handicapped by self-doubt, buoyed by the determination to prove his own abilities, and unable to escape a long-buried childhood tragedy – the core of the Hogan “secret.” Dodson also reveals both the legendary devotion and eventual strain in Hogan’s sixty-two-year marriage, and a Hogan rarely seen by the public: a warm, jovial man whose charitable spirit and sharp business sense enabled him to build the powerful golf equipment company bearing his name to this day. Ben Hogan: A Life is the authoritative inside portrait golf fans have long awaited.
In this celebration of three legendary champions on the centennial of their births in 1912, one of the most accomplished and successful writers about the game explains the circumstances that made each of them so singularly brilliant and how they, in turn, saved not only the professional tour but modern golf itself, thus making possible the subsequent popularity of players from Arnold Palmer to Tiger Woods.
 
During the Depression—after the exploits of Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones (winning the Grand Slam as an amateur in 1930) had faded in the public’s imagination—golf’s popularity fell year after year, and as a spectator sport it was on the verge of extinction. This was the unhappy prospect facing two dirt-poor boys from Texas and another from Virginia who had dedicated themselves to the game yet could look forward only to eking out a subsistence living along with millions of other Americans. But then lightning struck, and from the late thirties into the fifties these three men were so thoroughly dominant—each setting a host of records—that they transformed both how the game was played and how society regarded it.
 
Sports fans in general are well aware of Hogan and Nelson and Snead, but even the most devoted golfers will learn a great many new things about them here. Their hundredth birthdays will be commemorated throughout 2012—Nelson born in February, Snead in May, and Hogan in August—but as this comprehensive and compelling account vividly demonstrates, they were, and will always remain, a triumvirate for the ages.
There has never been a golfer to rival Arnold Palmer. He's the most aggressive, most exciting player the game has ever known, a dynamo famous for coming from behind to make bold last-minute charges to victory. To the legions of golf fans known around the world as "Arnie's Army," Palmer is a charismatic hero, the winner of sixty-one tournaments on the PGA Tour and still going strong on the Senior PGA Tour. But behind the legend, there is the private Palmer--a man of wit, compassion, loyalty, and true grit in the face of personal adversity.  

Golf-crazy as far back as he can remember, Arnie followed his dad, "Deacon" Palmer, the head greenskeeper, around the Latrobe Country Club fairways; as a youth he played at dawn before the club members arrived (the only time he was allowed on the course); by the time he graduated from high school he was headed for the national circuit. His rise to fame was meteoric, and by the 1960s he had emerged as one of the few American athletes the public truly cared about--a vibrant, daring, handsome sports celebrity who attracted wild crowds and enormous television audiences whenever he played and whose charisma propelled the explosion of enthusiam for golf in the sixties.

Writing with the humor and candor that are as much his trademark as his unique golf swing, Palmer narrates the deeply moving story of his life both on and off the links. He recounts his friendships (and rivalries) with greats of the game, including Jack Nicklaus, his  enduringly happy marriage with Winnie, his legendary charges to triumph and his titanic disasters, and his valiant battle against cancer.  Returning to the Senior PGA Tour with unmatched zeal after his recovery, Palmer reminded fans of his unfaltering heroism--and the world of golf is thankful.

From small-town boy to golfing legend, Arnold Palmer has lived one of the great sporting lives of the twentieth century. Now, with the help of acclaimed golf writer James Dodson, he has created one of the great sports autobiographies of our time.


From the Hardcover edition.
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