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Follow the Roar: Tailing Tiger for All 604 Holes of His Most Spectacular Season Hardcover – November 11, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description

With his career at a standstill and his golf game a shadow of its former mediocrity, TV writer and ESPN.com contributor Bob Smiley decided the time had come to turn to the one person who might be able to help: Tiger Woods. So, in January of 2008, Smiley set out to follow the game's greatest player from the gallery for every hole of an entire season and to absorb all that he could.

Smiley traveled from the seaside cliffs of San Diego to the deserts of Dubai, through the hallowed gates of Augusta National, and on to arguably the greatest U.S. Open of all time back at Torrey Pines, where, in a legendary duel with charismatic journeyman Rocco Mediate, Woods won his fourteenth major—on one leg.

Smiley chronicles every dramatic and often hysterical moment of his journey with Tiger, including his off-course run-ins with Arabian sandstorms, ex-con ticket scalpers, and the motley assortment of strangers who became friends along the way.

Told from the perspective of a true golf fan, Follow the Roar is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure through the most spectacular and inspiring season in Tiger Woods's celebrated career. In addition to the thrill of witnessing all 604 holes Woods played in '08, Smiley found in Tiger both inspiration and the gutsy embodiment of what it really means to be an athlete--and a man.

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Bob Smiley

At the risk of receiving hate mail from every PGA Tour sponsor, I need to be honest with you: attending a professional golf tournament is pretty risky. After all, it is the only sport where you can buy a ticket, walk through the gates and, in all likelihood, miss every noteworthy moment. While you're proudly perched above the 18th green, the most electrifying shots of the week are just as likely to be taking place on any one of 17 other holes. But as I learned in 2008, there is one way to hedge your bets: follow Tiger Woods.

Of course even this isn't so easy. You'll find yourself walking for miles and miles under oppressive heat, pressing up against strangers whom you might not want to press up against, and losing your voice for weeks at a time. Now that I think about it, you're really better off just buying my book instead of attempting any of this madness yourself.

Follow the Roar is the definitive account of Tiger's dominating 2008 season. From the are-you-kidding-me highlights everyone saw on TV to the off-camera moments that no other writer witnessed, the book brings the year to life and unravels the mystery of who Tiger Woods really is and how he makes the most frustrating sport in the world look terrifyingly simple.

It's the perfect way to make golf's long off-season just a little bit shorter. If you have any questions, you know where to find me. I'll be on my couch, soaking my feet.

--Bob Smiley

From Booklist

You’re an unemployed writer with an idea: you want to follow Tiger Woods throughout his 2008 season, every hole in every tournament, from San Diego to Dubai to Augusta to wherever he chooses to play. Thanks to an understanding wife, Smiley did just that, but he had no way of knowing two things in advance: it would prove to be the shortest season in Woods’ career, thanks to a disabling knee injury, but it would also be perhaps his most memorable year ever, beginning with four consecutive victories and culminating with a herculean effort in the U.S. Open, playing in excruciating pain but still outlasting Rocco Mediate over 91 holes. And, yes, Smiley was there, somewhere in the gallery, for all 604 holes of Tiger’s year, and he has a book to prove it—a good book, too, both as a fan’s perspective on a stunning display of athletic prowess and as a sterling example of a growing sports-book subgenre: the crazy fan’s extreme travelogue. Give this both to Tiger fans and to anyone who loves demented road trips (Andre Tolme’s I Golfed across Mongolia, 2006). --Bill Ott
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (November 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061690252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061690259
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,235,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

BOB SMILEY began his writing career as a research assistant to the late, great William F. Buckley, Jr. In 2008, he wrote the sports memoir Follow the Roar, chronicling his journey around the globe as he followed Tiger Woods for every hole of an entire season.

He continues to work in television and film, having written for network sitcoms as well as for Fox News Channel's Half Hour News Hour. He's currently writing a boxing movie for Warner Brothers-based Langley Park Productions and recently completed a half-hour pilot for Disney XD.

Though not completely dissimilar, Bob is not to be confused with Bob Smiley the standup comedian.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a golf book collector with over three hundred golf books in my home and many of those are about Tiger Woods. I can honestly say Follow The Roar is the best book i have ever read on the man and gives you a great perspective of the fans that love and admire Tiger Woods so much. It also recaps one of the greatest seasons Tiger Woods has ever had including his unbelievable victory at the US Open from a fans stand point inside the ropes. From Torrey Pines, to Dubai, to Arizona, to Florida, to Georgia and ending at Torrey Pines this book takes you along for Tigers entire 2008 season which included 5 worldwide wins. Great book.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first heard of this book I was afraid that it would be a shot by shot account of Tiger Woods year. After purchasing this book I was quickly delighted to find that it wasn't.

To me, the book is as much about Mr. Smiley as it is Tiger Woods. Its going to the tournaments that Tiger is playing in, and the people that he meets along the way rather than just the 185 yard 6 iron in Dubai. This, along with a witty narrative keeps this book going wonderfully all the way to the finish.

This is a wonderful book and I would recommend it for people that 1. Love golf, and/or 2. Love and/or admire Tiger Woods, and/or 3. Have a sense of humor.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a must for the golf fan - or any dedicated sports fan for that matter. Yes, the book is about Tiger's season, but the real story is the entertaining, season long adventures of the ultimate golf fan - Bob Smiley! Read this and prepare to laugh. The book is entertaining, educational, and a keeper.
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Format: Hardcover
Be warned: "Tailing Tiger for All 604 Holes" is about golf. The review "Tiger Woods and his swinging club" was very misleading.

I'm giving this a 3 and not a 1 because the book itself is actually well written, albeit on a subject I'm not interested in at all.
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Format: Hardcover
My wife and I visited her family out of state this past Christmas, and as a gift my wife bought me this book. From Christmas morning on, my wife and her family did not really get to talk to me very much, as my nose was buried in this enjoyable book.

Bob Smiley's everyman tone and the inviting nature he displayed during his escapades, make this book one that is easy to embrace and identify with. I felt like I walked the courses with him, except without the uncomfortable side effect of soreness.

Although I enjoy both, I am neither an avid reader nor golf fan. However, this book easily held my interest. One can go through this book as quickly or as slowly as desired and get a satisfying experience either way.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was first drawn to Follow the Roar because it was written by a classmate of my daughter. Oddly, I found that Bob Smiley had many of the same feelings about Tiger that I have had. In an effort to root for the underdog, I looked for every reason to dislike Tiger. As I read this book, it brought to the forefront the subtle change in my feelings about Tiger. Yeah, we all want to see the average Joe have his day, but Tiger is so darn good it is hard to not be won over by him. Bob makes this an easy and enjoyable read, while sometimes making fun of himself for things we have all thought or done. A fun book that will be a great gift for your golfer friends.
Eleanor Renshaw, Ventura, Ca
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Format: Hardcover
As a nominal golf fan, I picked up this book with skepticism: could 300 pages of hole-by-hole coverage capture my attention? To my surprise Bob Smiley's international escapades not only kept me reading, but Follow the Roar is quite the page turner. The story is not just Tiger but a traveling memoir in celebration of fandom. At the centerpiece of this great story is one of the greatest seasons of the best golfer ever. Smiley's perspective and Tiger's greatness through adversity create a great read for any sports fan. I've already purchased copies as gifts for my dad and the president of the organization I work for, both avid golfers.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first bought the book, I bought it online, so I had no idea what the background was of the book. I had heard of the author from various articles on ESPN.com, so I thought what the heck. Now, I'm a little bias, as I'm a huge Tiger fan, but I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it because it wasn't a shot by shot detail book, I really liked the travel stories and what it was like to follow Tiger for the entire season. A very great read for any golf enthusiast and I think even a non-Tiger fan can appreciate this book.
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