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Getting Up & Down: My 60 Years in Golf Hardcover – April 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I have long admired Ken Venturi, who represents everything that is pure and proper about this wonderful game. Watching him lead the U.S. to victory in the 2000 Presidents Cup was a tremendous thrill." -George Bush, 41st president of the United States

"His record as a player was exceedingly rewarding, yet far too short. Injuries ended that segment of his life. But what a blessing for all of us....the perfect spokesman for his sport--the welcome guest who came into our homes 20 weeks a year, shared his stories, and bared his soul." -from the Foreward by Jim Nantz

From the Inside Flap

Ken Venturi was already a highly regarded amateur when he burst onto golf's center stage at the 1956 Masters. The confident 24-year old from San Francisco led the field after the first, second, and third rounds, bidding to become the first amateur to win the prestigious event. He carried a four-stroke lead into Sunday's final round, only to watch in disbelief as the tournament slipped out of his grasp. In a matter of hours, with a disastrous 80, he went from within inches of the sport's pinacle to the depths of despair-and he hadn't even turned pro yet. That he would do seven months later. And in the first of a series of remarkable career-defining comebacks, he gamely overcame the devastation of his very public defeat at Augusta to prove himself to be one of the game's brightest young stars. Venturi became a fixture on the top 10 of the money list, rebounding from, of all things, another heart-wrentching defeat at Augusta in 1958. Regarded as one of the best players in the world following the 1960 season-he came so close again to winning the green jacket-Venturi soon sustained a series of injuries related to an automobile accident. His game suffered badly as a result, and he began to tumble down the money list. By 1963 he found himself struggling to gain invitations to tournaments that had once rolled out the red carpet for him. Thus began Venturi's greatest comeback of all, as he reinvented himself and his game heading into the 1964 season. After more than three years without a win, Venturi again shook the golf world by winning the 1964 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club outside Washington, D.C. To this day it remains one of the most inspiring performances in golf history. Venturi somehow managed to hold off the field despite literally staggering from heat prostration on the final day. That incredible Open victory highlighted the best year of Venturi's career, but again, adversity was not far behind. A debilitating case of carpel tunnel syndrome left him without full use of his hands forced him to end his playing career before it ever reached its once unlimited potential. But he rose to challege yet again, carving out a legendary 35-year broadcasting career as the voice of golf for CBS television. It was in that capacity that the viewing public grew to know and love Ken Venturi, who wore his heart on his sleeve and wasn't afraid to tell it like it was. Getting Up & Down is written in the same manner, providing an honest, emotional, and sometimes searing look at Venturi's life, his roller-coaster playing career, and the game to which he has devoted a lifetime.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572436069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572436060
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,806,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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A must read for every golf fan.
DOMINO WEST
He claims that he decided not to go public earlier with his allegations because "if anything, going public would damage my fragile image even further."
Amazon Customer
Well done Mr. Venturi, and thank you for sharing your life story with us.
Debra Mancuso

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Come back --- underdog --- fighter --- champion --- commentator. These are words about Venturi, who it seems most of his life was always dualing with himself against others to show them what he was made of: toughness and talent that could and would succeed in winning.
He suffered through much: hand injuries, marriage trauma, etc. But the biggest hurdles were those letdowns, those meltdowns which occur in sports when one is so close to seizing the brass ring, only to have it slip out of grasp. As Venturi would describe, someone else always played phenonemenal to do just that. He would be a previous generation's Greg Norman.
Anyone who was so close and fondly associated with the likes of Nelson, Sarazen and Hogan, now this is a special person. Or for Vince Lombardi to admire the look in an competitor's eyes, this is a special golfer. One who endured severe heat and win his country's national golf championship in the doing, this is a special golfer.
This carried over in his broadcasting. Concise, poignant, to the point. Let the golf describe most of the action. I like millions admired and respected his great gifts for commenting, but never really knew about the stammering. Maybe the greatest hurdle of all. What courage he showed and can encourage all who have such to do the same. A man of principle.
Somehow as good as this read was with all the fascinating stories and incidents, I thought it was slightly "I oriented" too much. Thus, four not five.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jj bruno on September 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Not only read Ken Venturi's book, but read the many different reviews here. To those who accuse Ken Venturi of sour grapes and whining about his close Masters losses, I say that every golf tournament has two stories to tell. Everyone loves a winner obviously, but the guy who tasted victory and had it snatched from his hands also has an interesting story to tell. If Greg Norman or Tom Weiscopf ever write their autobiography, or Sam Snead could tell his story of the '39 US Open, it too would strike some as just sour grapes. Doesn't make their stories any less valid. As for stories of gamesmanship, rule bending, and maybe even (borderline) cheating, why do so many golf fans show a willingness to believe it about some major champions (like Seve Ballesteros, Vijah Singh, Gary Player) but find it implausable when discussing someone like Arnold Palmer? Are they still so childlike in their awe of their golf hero that even firsthand reports are automatically dismissed? Reminds me of what Tommy Bolt always said about news stories of his club throwing. He said that Arnie threw as many clubs as he did, but the stories never stuck. Anyway, a good book, Ken. And I too miss your voice on TV, particularly at the Masters.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wow. Ken Venturi should have never allowed this book to go to print. Did he not realize how he paints himself in his own autobiography as a bitter, selfish, whiny, excuse-making old coot? On virtually every page he shows himself to be as self-centered and clueless as they come.
He basically accuses Arnold Palmer of cheating. Not only Palmer, but Gary Player and a couple of lesser known golfers such as Al Besselink. But its not the "tattletale" nature of the book that most grates on the nerves - its the constant attempt to portray himself as a corageous underdog battling and overcoming the odds. And all the while making excuse after excuse for his own shortcomings both on and off the links.
Several times in the book he makes the comment that "no one ever laid down for me," particularly referencing Arnold Palmer's U.S. Open loss to Billy Casper when Palmer blew a 7-shot lead on the back nine. "Palmer never faltered like that when I was chasing him," he whines. In fact, he whines about Palmer incessantly. He obviously has no love or "like" for Arnie at all.
One of the most amazing (and distasteful) stories pertains to Venturi's friendship with Frank Sinatra. Venturi spends several pages painting the picture of how he and SInatra were inseperable friends, and reveals that he was moved nearly to tears when Sinatra once introduced him to a crowd as "my brother." Yet when Sinatra lay ill and dying, Venturi refused a request from Sinatra's wife to come and visit the great singer before he passed away. Venturi's lame excuse: "I couldn't bring myself to go. I wanted to remember him as the great man he was." Way to go, Ken, leave your own "brother" alone on his death bed. Boo hoo hoo, you selfish putz.
OK, OK, I won't say anymore in case you actually still want to read this book. But be prepared - you will probably come away, as I did, with an altered image of Ken Venturi. A negative image for sure.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Winn on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Too young to know Ken Venturi as anything but the voice of CBS golf, his story as a golfer is phenomomal. His heartbreaks in the game were many and tend to overshadow the triumphs but this a great story of the human spirit. Some of the most interesting parts of the book are the stories behind the 3 Masters defeats('56,'58 & '60) and the 1964 US Open victory. The "inside" the ropes stories about some of the "Gods" of golf will make most rethink the images that have been fed to us through the years. Don't get me wrong as you would expect, Venturi does it with class. The other thing that will surprise his fans from the broadcasting days is his behind the scenes intensity as a player and as the winning captain of the 2000 Presidents Cup team. I checked it out from my library but will be buying it because it is a story I want my sons to read some day. You will not be disappointed!
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