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Just a Range Ball in a Box of Titleists Hardcover – March 31, 1997

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In his 20-plus years as a touring pro, CBS golf commentator Gary McCord may never have won a tournament, but all those hours on the course obviously honed his skills as a raconteur. His memoir, filled with pithy observations of his fellow pros, is funny and self-effacing, enjoyable from tee to green.

From Booklist

McCord injected new life into the pious world of professional golf commentating when he arrived in the CBS booth more than a decade ago. Whether unabashedly criticizing poor play or flamboyantly inventing his own language (in McCordspeak, "Grow hair, ball" means "Slow down"), McCord has managed to infuriate traditionalists and captivate the average fan. (His image as a maverick was only heightened when he was banned from Augusta National, home of the ever-so-stuffy Masters, for saying that the course's notoriously fast greens must have been "bikini-waxed.") Unfortunately, McCord's nineteenth-hole humor works much better delivered in short bursts on television than it does in print over a full-length book. His stories about his own mediocre career on the PGA Tour or about hanging with the boys at San Luis Rey Downs (his local course, sort of a Tin Cup, California style) are amusing enough, but extended to essay length, they often seem forced, the premises belabored and the punch lines flat. And when he tries to really extend himself--as in a mock Shakespearean version of the "The Globe Open" starring the earl of Palmer--the results are, to use one of McCord's favorite terms, roadkill. Still, as Putnam's 125,000 first printing indicates, there are plenty of golf fans out there, many of whom respond to McCord's irreverence. Expect demand, but most readers will quickly realize that McCord should stick to sound bites. Bill Ott

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (March 31, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399142339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399142338
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By joe_n_bloe on May 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an entertaining and somewhat peculiar collection of essays from Gary McCord. I say somewhat peculiar, because I'm never sure whether they are truthful or tall tales. Probably somewhere in between. But what does it matter whether they're literally true or not--it's not as if I have some kind of personal reference what life on the PGA TOUR is like.
McCord has been funnier and is funnier when he's speaking. This book has a weird, atmospheric style. More deadpan than you'd expect. It's as if he's speaking parables to you and you're never quite sure which parts are supposed to be funny. There's something else about the style ... as if he is trying to stay one notion ahead of the reader, which he accomplishes by leaving out a thought or two from time to time. I can't say it's bad, but it's not what one would expect.
I'd rate this 3-1/2 stars but I'm stuck with whole numbers. It's definitely better than average ... but not great. If you want side-splitting, colorful tales, you'll want to check out Peter Dobereiner's work. This book provides a stranger, more meditative experience.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who has read a lot of inane sports book (if you took out all the f-words in Lenny Dykstra's book, it wouldn't even make for a pamphlet) but this clearly is the worst book ever published by someone who can seems to be able to speak English.

He is entertaining and witty holding a microphone and in the forward, he pretty much admits he just took the money but clearly so did the "editor" and publisher - nothing wrong with that - we don't expect most sport bios or sport commentary books to be very substantial in tone or language but to be pointless, dull and pointless and dull - yes, it's that's pointless and dull.

The premise seems pretty simple - basically give us a rundown on the year on the PGA Tour - give us insights or take us there? Doesn't sound too difficult. Can't write - not a problem - why not just talk into a recorder and someone can type it up, an editor can move things and so forth but to fail on every level?

Nearly every sentence starts out with one idea and wanders off to another completely.

After being a golfer and a commentator for nearly 20 years, you'd think he'd offer some insights - any insights? Except that golf is hard and sometimes unfair ... really? Is it saving it all for the TV?

Funny stories? Nope. Says some stories are funny but can't them to us or writes it in such a manner, it's not funny.

He's infamous as an announcer for being banned from the Masters Tournament - how about setting the record straight? Nope. Gives us some general info everyone knows and then goes into another subject IN THE SAME CHAPTER.

On TV, he is a raconteur and witty but gives ZERO evidence here.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
McCord's story about the annual ex-wives' golf day at his home course is, by itself, worth the price of admission. It is the funniest, most wicked thing I have ever read.
I don't make a habit of reading Pro golfers' memoirs (except Jack's,big John's and, of course, our Greg's), but I am glad i made this book another exception to the rule. It is a collection of very short stories about his life on the Tour and his golfing adventures with his club mates. You couldn't invent the profiles of some of his mates. Birds of a feather....?
Gary throws a lot of adjectives and adverbs into some of his sentences and sometimes get tangled up amongst them. As you would expect he doesn't take himself too seriously and is often the butt of his own jokes. No doubt this is why we don't get his account of his famous conversation with Hogan, and the low down on his eviction from Augusta.
Buy, Buy, Buy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Randall Burgess on December 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are familiar with Gary McCord then you should know that he is a little off the wall. Therefore, it wasn't a surprise that this book was off the wall. As a golfer, reading this book helped me to relax and enjoy the game more. It also helped in putting a smile on my face. This is not a book that should be taken seriously. Rather, it is a book that can help you find joy in the little things you do.
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By A Customer on July 25, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Gary decided to write a golf book that has neither the wit nor the accuracy of his usual on-camera comments. Loosely strung together stories, non-stories and poems (apparently concocted with the help of the Oxford Standard Dictionary at his side)leave this reader wondering what the author was striving for. Be prepared for repetitive references to Fairway Louie and be sure to overlook the typos the editors failed to catch. Or, in the best case, avoid the book altogether
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