Golf Books #352 (The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever )

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Golf Books #352 (The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever )0

In 1956, millionaires Eddie Lowery and George Coleman made an off-the-cuff bet on a golf match and inadvertently set up one of the sport’s most climactic duels; this one casual game has become the sport’s great suburban legend. Frost (The Greatest Game Ever Played) diligently covers the two pros slightly past their prime, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, who squared off against two top amateurs, Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi. It happened in the last hours of Hogan’s playing career, and ten years after Byron had left the stage, but at the near pinnacle of the amateurs’, whose personalities couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed (Venturi the classic up-and-comer, and Ward the inveterate playboy who performed hungover on two hours’ sleep).

The match itself, scrupulously teased out by Frost for maximum drama, is less interesting than the people involved and the historical backdrop. The match happened near the sport’s great cusp, as it transitioned from something for amateurs to a professional career, from a pastime for wastrel aristocrats and entertainers (and Bing Crosby, with his annual booze-soaked Clambake charity matches) to a mainstream suburban obsession. Frost has a penchant toward the florid, but as he writes, Because he was Ben Hogan, and it was just past twilight, and his like would never pass this way again, he captures an elusive magic in this improbable matchup and what it meant for those who played and witnessed it.

About the Author

Mark Frost isthe bestselling author of The Greatest Game Ever Played, The Grand Slam, and the novels The Second Objective, The List of Seven, and The Six Messiahs. He received a Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination for the acclaimed television series Hill Street Blues, was co-creator and executive producer of the legendary ABC television series Twin Peaks, and in 2005 wrote and produced The Greatest Game Ever Played as a major motion picture from Walt Disney Studios. Mark lives in Los Angeles and upstate New York with his wife and son. (source)

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