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Hit & Hope: How the Rest of Us Play Golf [Kindle Edition]

David Owen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jack Nicklaus once said of the incomparable Tiger Woods (echoing a comment made about Nicklaus by Bobby Jones), "He plays a game with which I am not familiar." David Owen, however, plays a game with which we are all very familiar: He plays in a weekly foursome, takes mulligans off the first tee, practices intermittently at best, marks his ball on the green with his lucky coin (until the luck wears out and another trinket is deemed to have better karma), wore a copper wristband because Seve Ballesteros for reasons beyond understanding said to, and struggles for consistency even though his swing is consistent -- and mediocre. He bets, he wins, he loses, he agonizes, he dreams.

Hit & Hope is as pure a definition of the game of golf as anyone has ever devised. Through the essays in this book, acclaimed columnist and author Owen takes the mundane aspects of the game and our approach to it and stands them on their head, turns them inside out, and lays our follies bare for all the world to see (all the world except ourselves, of course). He does for American golfers what P. G. Wodehouse did for our English cousins, or Jacques Tati did for humanity at large: He finds humor and nobility in our essential silliness, as expressed in our pursuit of a little white ball over a vast (but not vast enough to contain our slices) greensward.

Funny, candid, and thoughtful, Hit & Hope is an invaluable addition to any duffer's bag and the truest commentary on how -- and why -- the rest of us play golf.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Owen, author of The Chosen One (2001), perhaps the best of the early books about Tiger Woods, gathers a selection of his columns from Golf Digest, most of which portray the game as it is played by ordinary mortals. It isn't so much that he tells weekend golfers anything they don't already know about the frustrations of playing a difficult game poorly, but he manages to make it seem funny: "If you could trade I.Q. for driving distance, would you do it? Three hundred yards up the middle every time, and all you'd have to sacrifice would be hardcover books and your subscription to the ballet." What Owen wouldn't sacrifice--for either I.Q. or driving distance--is the camaraderie he enjoys with his pals at the club: outrageous forms of on-course gambling, snow golf, beers on the patio after the Sunday morning round. Golf is all about the special pleasure of shared suffering, and, amid the laughter, Owen drives that point home with all the force of one of Tiger's laser-powered two-irons. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Owen's droll asides are as memorable as a chip-in birdie."

-- People

Product Details

  • File Size: 245 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036QVO8C
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,972,949 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience the Joy --- and Frustrations --- of Golf June 14, 2003
Subscribers to Golf Digest are well aware of David Owen. A monthly contributor to that magazine, as well as to the New Yorker, Owen is also the author of several golf books, including MY USUAL GAME, THE CHOSEN ONE and THE MAKING OF THE MASTERS. David Owen may well be the closest thing we have to an American version of P.G. Wodehouse, the English golf writer.
HIT AND HOPE: How the Rest of Us Play Golf, is a collection of Owen's essays. While many may find comfort in reading about golfing greats, Owen is not the writer to read if that is your interest. David Owen is the golf everyman, writing for those of us who go from despair to jubilation and back to despair in the span of one 385-yard hole. David Owen is a golfer who understands why a round of golf that often begins with unbounded optimism can conclude with total despair. He understands because, like us, he has been there and done that.
From an early essay explaining why Casablanca is the greatest golf movie ever made, to a discussion centering on golf superstitions, to a delightful tale of grown men sleeping over on the golf course, David Owen captures the true meaning and attraction of the game of golf. Golf is more than major championships, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and the legends of golf. Golf is camaraderie, fellowship, and the dreams of the average golfer who firmly believes deep down in his heart that one small adjustment in the swing will cause handicaps to plummet and scores to approach par. Like Owen, we can dream the dream while understanding that it remains an elusive, unattainable objective.
There is something in this collection to entertain every golfer. In "Perfecting Skins," Owen discusses the popularity of the made-for-television golf event, the Skins Game.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Bland June 21, 2013
By MoseyOn
I love golf. I enjoy playing it, even with all its frustrations. I enjoy watching it on TV, even though it lacks action (but not drama). It's a wonderful game. And I typically enjoy David Owen's writing. I first came across his work when he wrote for The Atlantic Monthly and from then on always looked for his articles. Ditto when he migrated to The New Yorker. So, with a game I love and a writer I like, this book should have been a winner. Unfortunately, it was only so-so for me. It's not that the book is bad; it's just kind of bland. Owen is a good writer, though, so even if I didn't really connect with this book, I did appreciate much of what he wrote. An example from one of the best paragraphs in the book: "Despair has the same relaxing effect on a golf swing that self-assurance does, and it's far easier for most of us to come by: Hopelessness is the poor man's confidence."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun golf book from actual experience September 18, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This offers a prospective on golf that deals with actual experience all golfers can relate to. It is an easy read, great for your next plane trip and cheap enough to leave in the seat pocket.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Are you kidding me? June 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Any true golfer would find this boo.k totally silly. I got it as a gift for my friend and after reading it myself I was embarrassed to give it to him
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for everyone who has ever played the game July 11, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Simply enjoyable reading, David Owen puts into words what so many of us experience and feel on a golf course. An everyman, this book brings the game home to all of us who struggle to identify the "elusive unhittable club". I could not stop chuckling and sometimes laughing out loud at his colorful and vivid descriptions of his golf life, buddies and game. This guy would definitely be in my dream foursome! You couldn't have a bad day of golf with him no matter what you shot.
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More About the Author

David Owen is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a contributing editor of Golf Digest, and he is the author of a dozen books. He lives in northwest Connecticut with his wife, the writer Ann Hodgman. Learn more at or (if you're a golfer) at


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