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Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey Of A Lifetime Paperback – October 1, 1997


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Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey Of A Lifetime + A Son of the Game + Faithful Travelers: A Father, His Daughter, A Fly-fishing Journey of the Heart
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553375644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553375640
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Dodsons always knew where to go to solve their problems: the golf course. For decades, father and son took refuge there together; in the game, they found connection. Dodson fils's memoir of his last lyrical golf excursion with his father, taken through England and Scotland in the months before his father's death, is alternately heartwarming and heartbreaking. Final Rounds is as straight a shot into the heart of golf's magnetic hold on golfers--and the tie that binds fathers and sons--as a 300-yard drive that splits the fairway.

From Publishers Weekly

In 1994, Dodson, a contributing editor and columnist for Golf magazine, visited the major courses of England and Scotland, an unusual trip because he was escorting his father, a man in his 80s, a diabetic who had recently been diagnosed as having terminal cancer. During their travels, each told the other details of his life previously not revealed as they reveled in their mutual love of the game. The book is about golf, to be sure, and the author can wax lyrical about it, seeing in the game "a power that was simultaneously as visible and elusive as moonlight on the water." But it's primarily a memoir about the relationship between a father and son, achieving the insight that "a man is never finished being a son" because he never forgets his father's influence. Both father, nicknamed Opti because of his upbeat view of life, and son assumed that the trip would mark the end of the older man's life, but he lived many months longer and died at home. The concluding chapters are powerful and deeply moving so the book's appeal should extend beyond golf addicts.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

If you are an avid golfer and have a golfing father you will love this book.
Charles Sicotte
I suspect that while Final Rounds tells me a great parallel story for my life, that it won't necessarily do so for my kids.
MagicSkip
I promise you, sirs...the last thirty pages of this book will be moist with your soulful tears.
Joseph Frederick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MagicSkip VINE VOICE on October 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a son of depression/WWII era parents, I often consider how the times affected my parents attitudes in life, compared to my own (born in the 60s) times. Now as a parent of two young teens, I also ponder how they will see those comparisons with my times. More importantly, I look for ways to take the eternal "life lessons" that I learned from depression era parents, and communicate those lessons to my Nintendo & Harry Potter generation kids. This book gives the answer -- it's in time and activities shared together.
My own father, a WWII B-17 navigator and POW, like Brax Dodson, had experiences that I simply can't fathom, that shaped his attitude and outlook on life. I could FEEL this book -- I grew up with my own "Opti". We golfed together, and he taught me about life. Unfortunately, like James Dodson, I was often too stubborn, too headstrong, or just too stupid to listen. Sometimes the wisdom of the prior generation is not so timeless. Sometimes the ways of our elders just don't fit the newer times. And sometimes they do, and us younger folks aren't smart enough to see it.
Dodson does a solid job of recognizing all of that, in a style that is self-effacing and self-deprecating enough to show that he honestly appreciates the wisdom of the ages. As I read, I kept yelling at the book "you ass, shut up and listen to the old man!" And then I would recall one of the many times when *I* should have shut up and listened to the wise words of my father, in a similar situation.
I *SO* wanted my dad to love this book, but he didn't particularly care one way or another. I still want my kids to read and love this book, though I've yet to inspire them to set Harry Potter down long enough to pick this up.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Murdo M on March 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am scottish and learnt the game of golf from my father when I was 8. My father and I played courses all over scotland as well as in the united states. The game taught me much about myself, but also much about my father. Though nothing like "Opti", my father had his own valauble pieces of advice that he passed to me. I moved to Japan at 22 and two years later found out my father had a year to live. I was stunned and returned immediately to be with him. In fact he only lived 2 months, but in that time he and I played two more games of golf, only a stones throw from the course mentioned in this book, Gullane.

Now only 4 years on I found this book and on every page it strikes a chord with me. I remember my father and thank him for teaching me this wonderful game. As a scot, I of course have an unrelenting love for the game and reading this book and seeing courses in there that we played together is truly moving.

Not often does a book compell me to write a review, this book however makes me feel like a simple review will never do justice to how much I enjoyed this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Clarity O. Thought on November 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
A wonderful account of a father and son coming to grips with the father's impending death. The father and son achieve a relationship not often sought by a parent and child. Without over-romanticizing the point, the book also nicely describes the unique and intimate experience that comes with spending time with someone on a golf course. Unfortunately, because "golf" is included in the subtitle, this book will be read almost exclusively by golfers. What a pity, because the real story is so much more. A touchy-feely book for sure, but one of the best "autobiographical" stories I have read in a long time. Makes me wish my father played golf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Cicogna on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
James Dodson understands how golf can bring two people together.
The emotions involved here with the game are very real and very powerful. For two family members, in this case, a father and son playing golf to get in touch with each other, speaks volume about the game itself. The father has only a short time to live, and decides to spend time with his son while playing golf. Very touching. This is what this game can do to people. In his book, James brings the two together with brilliancy. Golfers who love the game so much will understand. For those who do not play it or who do not understand the traditions associated with the game will have a hard time come to terms with what it means to be on a golf course.
The author brings together history, emotions and life experiences which become priceless as you reach the final chapter of this wonderful book.
Good show and great swing Mr. Dodson !!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sheena Willough on August 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
i am a passionate scratch golfer and just lost my father....reading this book brought back so many strong memories about the game and the passion my dad and i share for the game, as well as the bond we had and still have. The author delivers great passion in his writing, the course of Scotland are heavenly, and having played st andrews, i know how special it must have been to have that final stroll with his father, wow, that was moving. I suggest this book to anyone that wants to feel good about themselves, their family relationships and to experience the internal love of golf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is, without exception one of the finest books I have ever read. Mr. Dodson and his father share an exceptional tie that every father and son should strive for. I continue to watch my relationship with my own father grow, and now know that I will have something to pass on to my children as well. Congratulations, Mr. Dodson on a wonderful literary work. I would reccomend this to anyone who has ever been a father or a son.
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