Well, I don’t know whether I deserved it or not, but I got some time off and had a thoroughly enjoyable vacation. Birthday party, baseball game, golf, lake time. It’s all good. Looking forward to getting back to the golf blog. Here are a few things I’m going to write about coming up:
Keep’em in the short stuff.
If you follow my writing at all you know what a huge fan I am of the golf photography by Robert Matre. He’s just posted some of his shots from the US Open on his website.
I highly recommend you go out to take a look … http://www.robertmatre.com/congressional2011. As always it’s a mixture of course shots, player shots, and then my favorites; where he takes regular objects and turns them into extraordinary photographs with the cunning use of angles and composition.
Keep’em in the short stuff.
>I reviewed “Straight Down the Middle” a few weeks ago. http://golferinkilt.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-review-straight-down-middle-by.html. Subsequent to reading the book I’ve had the pleasure of exchanging several emails with the author Josh Karp. You might enjoy getting to know him as I have, so I edited some of our conversations into an interview.
I am surrounded by Cubs fans. I like them individually (some of my best friends) but despise them collectively. My grandfather was a Cubs fan who absolutely and completely hated the Sox because he was a fan of theirs back in 1919 when they threw the world series. That was it for him. He wouldn’t even watch the AL unless it was the all-star game or the series. I probably became a Sox fan just to drive him nuts.
IT’S BEEN ABOUT TWO YEARS SINCE YOU WROTE “STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE”. HOW HAS YOUR JOURNEY BEEN PROGRESSING SINCE THIS TIME? DID YOU BREAK 80 YET?
No, not yet. I only played about 10 times last summer because after 2 years of being paid to play golf part-time the party was over and i had a hard time justifying getting out on the course. That said, I’ve had a few 80s the last two summers. I’m trying to play about once a week this year and i’m finding that even without playing as much as i would like, my game has improved in just about every way except for breaking 80. I’ve managed to sail past the point of implosion when i open 6 over after 3. when i get in the zone or get hot, i don’t think about it in a way that will destroy the feeling, and most of all – even though i want to shoot the lowest score – I’ve detached from results pretty effectively.
HOW HAVE YOU CONTINUED TO APPLY THE LESSONS YOU TALK ABOUT IN THE BOOK?
Well, the three biggest things I take away from what I learned are this:
1) Don’t keep score. I still do, but not with the avidity (if that’s a word) that I once did. I can play hole to hole without thinking about what I’ll have for nine or 18 and if I am counting things up it doesn’t create pressure in the way it once did.
2) Loosen your grip. This is kind of related to #1 and also has improved my game immeasurably. I hit the ball so much better and even when I’m falling apart I remind myself to loosen my grip and it seems to help. and
3) Maybe most importantly, I try to go out and have good swings and enjoy swinging the club, kind of letting fortune take over. Last week was a good example. I was playing in a charity tournament with my dad, my uncle and a friend of my uncle’s. It was a shotgun and i opened 6 over for what would be holes 7-9 on the back. After this I calmed down and started playing really well. I was maybe one over after 6 or 7 and hit a really nice drive and 2nd shot on a par 5. I was 130 away and grabbed my 8-iron, my 125-140 club and hit a great shot, felt perfect, was flying directly at the stick, etc. Even though the ball sailed 10 feet past and rolled off of the back of the green I was still happy with how well I hit the ball and how good it felt. This positive experience kind of negated any disappointment at not putting for birdie.
IN THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK YOU DISCUSSED HOW YOUR SEARCH WAS RELATED TO IMPROVING YOUR GOLF AND YOUR LIFE, BUT IT SEEMS THAT TOWARDS THE END OF THE BOOK IT WAS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ABOUT GOLF. WAS THIS A CONSCIOUS DECISION?
I think I kind of got tired of writing about my anxieties and they began to genuinely subside as the journey went on. I had that moment flying out of Scotland where I felt completely free of everything. It didn’t last, at least not in that pure of a state, but that was a huge turning point for me. I tried to tie it up in the conclusion by acknowledging that I probably wasn’t going to morph into Bing Crosby, but that I was going to continue to meditate and to keep slogging away at both golf and enlightenment.
I FOUND IT FUNNY HOW YOU WOULD TRAVEL TO VISIT ALL THESE DEEP THINKERS AND SPIRITUAL FOLKS TO GET THEIR ASSISTANCE WITH THE MENTAL ASPECTS OF YOUR GOLF GAME, AND THE FIRST THING THEY DID WAS TO TAKE YOU OUT TO THE DRIVING RANGE. WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT THIS AT THE TIME?
That was pretty much the deal. It was one of the things that i thought was hilarious about the entire idea and genre of books, and something I really wanted to explore, this idea that golf and life are somehow linked. Since I’m a journalist I’m pretty much a born cynic, which is usually just an idealist with a bad case of disillusionment. I was fairly dubious about all of it while also kind of believing it and having experienced it in bits and snatches during the course of my having played the game. In the end I think that golf is about as close to spirituality as I will find. I’m unlikely to meditate on the range again, unless I’m with a Shivas Irons outing, but I surprised myself with how I was able to buy into it.
AS I READ SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE BOOK I FOUND MYSELF CONSIDERING A PARADOX: DID YOU HIT GOOD GOLFSHOTS BECAUSE YOU WERE IN A “HAPPY PLACE”, OR DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE IN A “HAPPY PLACE” BECAUSE YOU JUST STRIPED A SIX-IRON. HOW DID YOU HANDLE THIS CONUNDRUM?
I think it may be both. I was much more likely to stripe a six-iron if I wasn’t thinking about my swing or worrying about where the ball would go, while striping the same six iron at a bad moment would definitely improve my mood. The difference was that in the past it would have made me happy and I’d have immediately started worrying about my putt. I learned to take in and appreciate each shot for what it was. The two are pretty well connected to each other and hard for me to separate.
IT SEEMED YOU WERE THE HAPPIEST ON THE COURSE WHEN YOU CHOSE TO NO LONGER CARE HOW WELL YOU PLAYED, YET AT THE SAME TIME YOU HAD A VERY SPECIFIC GOAL IN MIND AS FAR AS YOUR GOLF PERFORMANCE. HOW DID YOU RECONCILE THESE TWO DIRECTIONS OF EMPHASIS?
There is an amazing correlation between the amount I care about my score and the score I actually shoot. This year I’ve had some weird schizophrenic rounds of 50-38, 39-48, 40-49, etc. The difference between the nines corresponds to the amount I am thinking about my score or how hard I am trying. When I finally give that stuff up things get much, much better without my having to do anything but swing a club and forget about the rest.
But, there is a lot of paradoxical stuff in the book and within the genre. I think that’s what attracted me to it. How can one get what they care about by not caring about it? Sounds insane, but is absolutely the truth. The more you do and the less you try, the more good happens.
SOME ASCRIBE TO THE “THINK ABOUT NOTHING” THEORY, WHILE OTHERS ADVOCATE WE SHOULD HOLD ON TO SOME FORM OF A SWING THOUGHT AS WE GO ABOUT HITTING A SHOT. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION?
I ascribe to the idea that I should focus on nothing. If i do focus on something, it is generally a feel. I want the swing to feel good. It needs to be a thought that is vague enough so that I can’t obsess about it. I’ve never done well with guided imagery and visualization. I’m much, much better off working on something that’s difficult to quantify.
>If it’s true what I’ve heard that Jerry Garcia actually carried a 12 handicap at Olympic in the 70s then “What a long and winding road it’s been” may well have been written about a struggling golfer’s journey similar to the one Josh Karp took in writing this book. He’s all over the place. He visits Zen Masters and martial artists, authors, physicists, and philosophers, and his travels take him to Scotland and Wisconsin and points inbetween. Going on the supposition that what works in golf also works in life, he tries to improve his handicap in both fields.
> I picked the right time of the year to read this book. It just fit very nicely to take in a book that is largely about Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson while the PGA Tour was playing it’s Dallas events that are so closely tied to those golfing greats.
>It’s been a good year so far from a Golf Lit point of view, as I’ve had the pleasure of reading not one but two books of original golf poetry. Today’s offering is “Golf Sonnets” by James Long Hale. In his own words, the author is “an avid amateur golfer who freely gives and gets Mulligans, understates his handicap, and desperately needs the proceeds from this book to cover his losses. He owns seven drivers, five putters, and his widow enjoys gardening.”
This charming little book is roughly the size of a golf course yardage guide, and it contains 18 very well written golf poems of very disciplined, consistent syntax. The syncapation is quite Prussian, and the author clearly has wrestled significantly with the content in order to make it fit his meter. The end result is funny and witty and insightful, and it’s clearly the product of a mind who spends many hours a day thinking about the game of golf.
>I love hearing from creative golfers who chose to express themselves in some way other than just another book about some golfer of yore or the magical swing plane discovery they made on some driving range in Omaha, Nebraska.
John Ducker, fellow member of The Golf Space, has produced a great book of short little golf stories, told poetry style. Think of it as “Homer meets PG Wodehouse”.
The author clearly is a devoted golfer himself, and his passion for the game comes through in every piece he writes. His book has 18 stories in it, one for each hole on the golf course. Each little story is accompanied by a gorgeous picture of a golf hole from a course you’ve never heard of.
The stories are told in rhyme, and they’re light-hearted and funny and well written. At times they made me laugh out loud, and even my non-golfing spouse enjoyed the parts I read our loud to her.
Some of John’s stories stem from his own play on the course, and some are sheer fantasy. A handicap-1 playing fortune-teller makes an appearance, as does Madonna, Prince, and Michael Jackson (John is clearly a child of the 80s, which I can relate to). There are cavemen playing on a 20-hole course, and subtle pop culture references throughout.
SCORE: Birdie. Creative, unusual, and stemming from a deep-seated passion for the game of golf in general as well as the author’s own golf game. It’s well written and entertaining. “The Kiss That Caused My Slice” is a great addition to anyone’s golf library, and it may be just the sort of thing that turns your literature-loving significant other onto the game.
>There has been quite a bit of talk on the tweet-wire and in other blogs over the past weeks about what makes a good golf blog. I can’t think of a better way to voice my opinion on the matter than in my own golf blog.
I know I have no right to tell anyone else what they should like, or what’s “right”. This is about the kinds of blogs I like to read, and conversely about the kind of a blogger I want to be.
So, for lack of a better way to organize these thoughts, here are my rules of blogging. Some are things writers should do, some are things writers shouldn’t do. Some are basic, some are pretty touchy. They’re in no particular order, but the more of them you hit the more I’m going to like your blog.
1) Don’t use your blog to try to sell something or some service. I’m not interested. Really, I’m not.
2) Spelling, usage, and grammar. We may be the best hydrated generation in the history of mankind, but we’re the worst writing generation as well. I don’t need “U r”, and I don’t need “their” where “they’re” is correct. I don’t need “here here”, when “hear, hear” is the correct response. And know the difference between “effect” and “affect”, please.
3) Don’t fall for the “easy story” temptation. There was a lot of this going on last year. From KP winning the Masters to Tommie winning The Open, there were easy stories all over the majors last year which did not materialize. As a writer, you have NO RIGHT to complain about how the tournament ends, all you should do is to cover it.
3a) Don’t write about Tiger if he’s not the story this week. He’s the greatest. We know. The fact that he’s working with his swing coach right now is not a bigger story than who won last weekend’s tournament. When he plays, which he does rarely, he’s the story. Other than that, please apply rule 3.
4) Play the game. I play the game. I love playing the game. I struggle with my game. I want to hear about your struggles with your game. This makes it a lot more real. I want to hear about your missed putts and your shots of the year and your shanks and about your solid iron play.
5) Don’t be a news-linker. I don’t rely on your blog to keep me up to date with the latest and greatest golf news. There are trained professionals who do this a lot better than you ever will. Just because you link to some article from golf.com or Yahoo Golf or GolfChannel with a full five word prefix doesn’t make you a good blogger. It just makes you a glommer-onner. If you want to comment on current golf events I would suggest that you, well, actually COMMENT on current golf events, not just link to somebody else’s article.
5a) Keep it personal. I can get news and mainstream media from a lot of other places. Your job is to put your personal twist on A) Current golf events, B) Golf history, or C) The state of your own golf game. If you can’t do either of these three, you’re in the wrong business.
5b) Tell us about your diamonds in the rough. When you do find a cool, unique golf spot on the electronic Internets, do let us know about it, and let us know why you like it. This does NOT include the “Tiger’s not playing next week” blog with a link to golf.com.
6) Pictures. Golf is a very visual game. Whether your story is about a golfer or a golf hole, a picture of it does a great deal to carry the story forward. While a pictures may not literally take the place of a thousand words, that particular saying didn’t spring out of thin air either.
7) Have a friggin’ sense of humor. Golf is a lot like life in this respect: If you can’t approach it’s ups and downs, it’s birdies and sand traps, with an even keel you’re just being blown to and fro by the slings and arrows of outrageous golf fortunes.
8) You’re not Hank Haney. Unless you’re talking about the way a certain technique has helped your own personal golf game, don’t avalance us with glorious golf tips and other magic pills sure to cure our slice, yips, duffs, blades, three putts and chili dips. Guess what? You can’t fix our golf game through a blog. At best you can tell us what worked for you, and we can then make the decision as to whether to apply that to our game.
9) Don’t be TMZ. We love golf, and we love golfers. That doesn’t mean we have an immersurable need to know everything there is to know about every golfer’s private lives. While it’s true that pro athletes who make millions off endorsements for public consumer products don’t have a right to request privacy when it fits them, that doesn’t mean us golf fans want to know and hear your opinions about every single thing that goes on outside the ropes.
>(Traditional Zen Story, paraphrased by Golfer In Kilt.)
Old Alister MacGregor had come over from Scotland, and he had been the Superintendant at The Dunes GC for more than half his eighty year long life. Though he’s now officially retired he still lived above the pro shop, and he still insisted on helping the ground staff around the course. Every single day , rain or shine, you’d see him out there weeding the sand traps, pruning the shrubs, or clearing the clippings off the green.
>Over the past year, I’ve had the honor of reporting on the quality of various and sundry golf publications on behalf of the http://www.thegolfspace.com/ site. I’ve certainly enjoyed this opportunity.
Before going any further, let me make sure I’d be the first to allow that opinions are like bottoms, divided, and a book (or movie, or album) that’s great for one person may or may not be anywhere close to that of another person. Someone recommended a book called “How To Hit Every Shot”, so I thought I’d give it a try. It outlines 101 different golf shots, and expresses methods and techniques for pulling each shot off.
Maybe I’m being picky, but I just don’t think this is the kind of advice we should have to pay thirty dollars for. I love your money more than that. Here goes:
In the introduction to this shot the writer(s) state “Old-school instruction tells you to open your stance, point your clubface at where you want the ball to end up and then swing along your stance line. That’s a lot to think about. There’s a much easier way , and all you have to do is make your normal swing. Follow the instructions at right”.
So far so good. Sounds like they’re about to lay some severly slimmed down and simplified golf lessons on us. So I read on:
“Step 1 – Take aim at the left side of the fairway”. Boy, this sure sounds a lot like you should “open your stance”.
“Step 2 – Open the face”. Given that your stance is already open (or aiming at the left side of the fairway), this pretty much works out to be “pointing your clubface at where you want the ball to end up”.
“Step 3 – Hit the outside. Make your normal backswing and downswing.” If I didn’t know better, I would say this sounds like “swing along your stance line”.
Now, I have no problem with a writer accepting that standard, accepted golf instructions actually were the best way to hit this shot. What I do have a problem with is the fact that they presented their instructional steps as representing a new and revolutionary way to hit this shot, but then they proceeded to take the same steps that they were very quick to put down in the introduction.
There may well be very valuable tips and techniques in this book, but I for one will have a VERY difficult time allowing them to sink in.
>Everybody’s favorite Chicago-area Big Lebowski fan, BeeZee a.k.a. abzgolf a.k.a Brian Zipse, has given me the honor of previewing a manuscript for his burgeoning book “I Hit the Ball Great at the Driving Range, but …”. It’s a compilation of “Dear BeeZee” columns on a variety of topics.
>Forbidden romance meets a caddie’s pipe dream. The club pro and the president’s daughter. A memorable round with the best player in the world. It all gets tossed together in the perspective of that one caddie we all would want to be, the one who’s respected by the top players and who knows things about the course nobody else does.
Greg Norman made headlines a few months ago when he suggested that professional golfers should take a pay cut in light of the financial crisis we’re in. While it may appear inappropriate that a tournament winner will take home a million dollars for a four day tournament while thousands of people are losing jobs and savings due to a near collapse of our financial system, it’s important to remember that for every millionaire on the tour there are thousands of professional golfers who struggle and fight for every single dollar and who are losing money for every tournament they play in. “Golf On The Edge” is the book about these golfers.
“Golf On The Edge” was written by English sportswriter and journalist (and The Golf Space member) Ross Biddiscombe. Ross has been a journalist and writer for over 30 years, working for major daily newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and golf publications like Golf Monthly and Today’s Golfer. He’s a single-digit handicapper, a long time Tampa Bay Bucs fan and marathon runner.
“Golf On The Edge” chronicles one year in the life of seven golfers as they’re preparing to play in the European Q-school at the end of the year. The seven candidates approach Q-school from very diverse backgrounds, from having struggled on the tour last year and having to qualify to being a long time PGA Professional who decides to pursue the dream of a PGA card. Some are young, some are old. Some have been at the top and have fallen down and some have no idea what it takes to bridge the gap between missing the cut and taking a cut out of the winners’ purse.
Each chapter in the book covers one month in the lives of the seven players, and it provides an intimate and honest view into the lives of the players who don’t have the big endorsement contracts and who are covered in the big golf magazines. They’re on the edge of making it, on the edge of making their finances go around, and on the edge of making it big, but they’re also on the edge of sanity and on the edge of risking everything in the pursuit of their dream.
The mental aspects of these golfers’ quest for a tour card is discussed in excruciating detail, and the helplessness they feel when things go against them is covered in painful candor. How do you tell your wife, who’s been supporting your pursuit of the dream for four years, that you want to try it one more year, and that this year it will be different? How do you tell your parents, or your sponsors, or your girlfriend, to get into a hole with you with no guarantees whatsoever that you will be able to get out?
The book concludes with a detailed review of how the players do at Q-School, and it’s an interesting look deep inside the incredible pressure involved in this tournament. Many would argue that the pressure of winning a tournament when you already have your own jet is nothing compared to the pressure of Q-school, where the losers return home with less than nothing, an little more than a job laying tiles waiting for them.
Ross’ writing is eloquent, and his research effort very thorough. The seven stories are told in a very personal manner, and it’s clear the author invested a lot of passion and hope into his subjects. From his voluminous experience he’s able to convey all the different facets of success and failure, hope and despair, that go into these golfers’ journey.
Although the book covers European golfers and venues this will in no way deter you from enjoying the book if you’re not familiar with this environment. The core of the book is in the personal stories of these aspiring golfers.
>The majority of non-fictional books people read are about things or people that we’re interested in, or that we enjoy. Some would say the definition of a good book is if it takes something we already like and makes us value it even more. If this is true, then “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster” is a great book because it increased my appreciation both of Alice Cooper and of the game of Golf.
Most people know Alice Cooper as the 70’s shock rocker, with the funky makeup that inspired everyone from Kiss to Rocky Horror Picture Show, and with stage shows containing more special effects than most movies of that time. Some are aware that he plays a bit of golf as they catch him at the occasional Pro-Am event. Few people know that Alice (as his legal name actually is) is a comfortable five-handicap golfer who plays as many as 300 days a year, both at home in the Phoenix area and when he’s touring.
“Alice Cooper, Golf Monster” is the story of his rise to rock ’n’ roll fame, of his decline into drug use and alcoholism, and of his love for and addiction to the game of golf. It was published in 2007 and co-written by the twin brothers Keith and Kent Zimmerman, who have also written about Johnny Rotten, Orange County Choppers, and a bestseller about the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club. The book is organized into 12 steps, each of which has chapters about Rock ‘n’ Roll and chapters about Golf, which is a nice touch as the subtitle of the book is “A Rock ‘n’ Roller’s 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict.”
The dedication is simple: “My liver would like to dedicate this book to me for giving up drinking and taking up golf.” The book opens with Alice getting invited by Ely Callaway to play Pine Valley. Before the round the over/under on his score was 85, and money duly changed hands. When all was said and done Alice played one of the truly monstrous courses in all of golf in 73 strokes. “Never before has an amateur come here and shot a 73,” the Caddy Master announced.
From a sheer entertainment point of view the book is littered with Alice’s friendships and associations throughout the music and movie industries in LA through his years of living there. It’s not surprising to read about him hanging out with the crème de la crème of the 60s and 70s Rock scene, such as Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, John Lennon and Frank Zappa (Alice got his first break because a friend of his used to baby sit the Zappa kids). What’s more surprising is that Alice would also hang out with a virtual who’s who of non-Rock celebrities, from Salvador Dali and Peter Sellers to The Rat Pack and the Marx Brothers. “We got into the elevator and it’s me, Liza Minnelli, Linda Lovelace, and Chubby Checker all going up to meet Elvis.”
From the aspect of Alice Cooper the man and the human being, “Golf Monster” is highly personal and brutally honest. He openly admits his addiction and his failures, but also talks frankly about the dedication required to get clean, and the tremendous benefits of staying that way.
The book ends like it starts, in the world of golf as Alice shares his “15 tips for Achieving Your Best Game.” Sprinkled throughout the book are stories about the royalties of golf whom Alice has encountered in decades of Pro-Ams.
The writing in “Golf Monster” isn’t exactly fluid, but if you like Rock ‘n’ Roll OR Golf OR celebrities in general the story itself will be plenty to keep you interested. It’s motivational and funny and smart, and it will supply your “Did you know …” drawer for years to come.
In the end, Alice Cooper claims to have received three compliments in his life which he will cherish forever, and they’re indicative of his versatile talents and multi-faceted personality:
1) Groucho Marx saying that Alice Cooper was the last hope for vaudeville.
2) Bob Dylan saying ‘I think Alice Cooper is an overlooked song-writer.’
3) Tiger Woods saying he wouldn’t give me two a side.
>The scorecard for the 2002 US Open shows another Tiger Woods major championship victory, and the leaderboard is littered with the premier golfers of the time with names like Mickelson, Garcia, Faldo, Harrington, and Price all in the Top 10. Tiger was the only golfer to break par, but this being the US Open this isn’t unfathomable, given the way the USGA has been known to condition a course for its premier tournament.
One doesn’t have to look far under the covers of this tournament, however, to find out just how distinctive it was on many levels. It’s this uniqueness that John Feinstein is tapping into and is using to drive the story in “Open: Inside The Ropes At Bethpage Black” published in 2003.
John Feinstein broke through to fame in 1987 with his book “A Season on the Brink”, about a season with the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team and it’s volatile coach Bob Knight. His most famous book about golf was “A Good Walk Spoiled”, which was a #1 bestseller in 1993. “Open” talks the reader through the entire process building up to the 2002 US Open, opening with an unplanned visit to Bethpage State Park in November 1994 by David Fay, then the executive director of the USGA, and ending with Fay driving into the sunset after the Sunday of the championship, listening to the broadcast of the Mets’ and Yankees’ baseball game. There are three recognizable sections to “Open”: The first grabs you, the second slows you down a bit, and the third part celebrates the tournament itself with Tiger’s thrilling finish.
Initially the book deals with the birth and development of the idea to bring the nation’s championship to a municipal course for the first time, and a course that was in fairly rough shape at that. What’s very clear here is the tremendous amount of passion the golf course Bethpage Black inspired in all who played it, worked on it, and saw it. It was truly a diamond in the rough, and eventually more and more people were able to see past the dilapidated condition of the course and see the potential underneath it.
In the middle of the book, or shall I say the muddle of the book, the author spends a little bit too much time describing the background of many of the people involved in bringing this project to fruition. It’s all interesting in itself, and he obviously spent a copious amount of time with the characters who were involved, but I don’t think this section of the book needed to take up this much room.
The last section is the buildup to and the playing of the championship itself. Though the author is obviously biased, it’s clear that the course was as close to perfect as a championship course of this caliber can be. It was sternly challenging, but fair. I found it quite interesting to find out what all goes on behind the scenes at an event like this, and having it end with Tiger beating out Phil on the last nine on Sunday was frosting on the cake.
All in all, “Open” was a very enjoyable read. The author’s tone is light and casual, at times very humorous, and his research and preparation on the subject is spectacular. The book is relevant right now for two reasons: One, the US Open is again played on Bethpage Black in 2009; and two, the author is currently working on a book with Rocco Mediate about the 2008 US Open. This book, allegedly to be called “Are You Kidding Me?”, is due out around the time of the 2009 event.