Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Match – The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever

As part of my Blog I want to include reviews on Golf books I have read. A few years ago I had the opportunity to read “The Match” written by Mark Frost. For those of you that enjoy golf history, this book is a must read. Without giving too much about the book away here are a few reasons why you should read this book. First, it is a true story with numerous eye witness accounts to the events in the story. Second, the book is set on the Monterey Peninsula, namely on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Cypress Point Golf Club. Third, the book features Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward. Oh, and Eddie Lowery, who if you recall was Francis Ouimet’s caddie when he won the US Open in 1913.

This book is exciting from beginning to end and has a lot of great stories from players of the Hogan and Nelson era. Unlike today, the players of that era did not have every single golf shot recorded and taped. So, much of what we know about their careers is in written print. This book exemplifies how good the players were in that era. It also examines the decisions that went into how and why players chose to become “touring professionals.” Remember in those days the players were not being paid big money in purses and endorsements to play professional golf. Many good players had to decide between “Club Pro” jobs, remaining amateur and touring the country as a player.

Here is the quote by Ken Venturi on the back cover of the book;

“The Match was a dream I never thought would come true. If I hadn’t been there I wouldn’t believe it myself, and if you know anything about sports or the game of golf, once you pick up this book you won’t put it down. No one will ever see an event like this again. Fiction can’t touch it.”

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

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