"Think country-club clinic meets Navy Seals training. I will pay any price, bear any burden, leave my home to follow the seasons, build my own swing studio in the basement, construct a practice green in my backyard. . . . Everything the big boys have access to, I want double." Like most amateur golfers, Tom Coyne had often wondered whether the pros won because they were more talented or because they were more obsessed. Overweight and burdened by a 14 handicap, he decided to find out for himself what it takes to play like a pro.
Charting his journey, which included hiring top golf gurus such as Dr. Jim Suttie—Paper Tiger takes readers from the Michelob tournament (a win for Tom) to the Australian Tour—where forty-mile-per-hour winds and a driving rain scare off his Japanese partners. With each chapter, he tracks his weight alongside his handicap, pursuing his dream with a reckless abandon that comes to involve hardcore diets, pricey technology, even psychologists. With echoes of Dead Solid Perfect and Who's Your Caddy? Tom brings his uniquely edgy, deeply human perspective to a game that can simultaneously bring out the best and the worst in everyone who tries to master it.
The title is a sly acknowledgment on Coyne's part of the karmic debt his memoir owes to George Plimpton, but while Plimpton merely finagled his way onto the PGA Tour, Coyne (A Gentleman's Game) sets himself a higher goal: by dedicating a solid year to improving his golf game, he hopes to actually pass the qualifying school tournament that would allow him to compete as a professional. Believing that the difference between good and great golfers is consistency, Coyne moves to Florida for the winter for intensive training with swing doctors and sports psychologists, staying out on the course until his hands bleed. He faces the inevitable (and sometimes unexpected) setbacks with resigned humor, as he comes to realize that his year's age difference with Tiger Woods is the only thing he'll have in common with the champ. (In fact, it takes all the skill he can muster not to wind up DFL "Dead Fucking Last.") Coyne treads a fine line between sarcasm and sympathy in his observations of his competitors, and though he occasionally gets lost in big-picture ruminations, his quest should resonate with weekend golfers who dream of going all the way.
Humorous and Informative
Great book for any golfer who thinks they have what it takes to play with the pros.
Fantastic read for the golf lover!
Loved this book
As a fellow person who's passionate about golf I can say this book has given me a fun new insight onto how hard it really is to make it. I laughed hysterically a few times, and wish I had the balls (no pun intended) to take a leap of faith at just about anything and put as much passion as Tom Coyne has into his golf experience. What a great read.