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Men in Green Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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2016 Book Awards
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“Until roughly the mid-1980s, the PGA Tour really was a tour, not the geographically-dispersed collection of big-money events that it is today. The players and often their wives drove from event to event or hopped on chartered flights together. . . . In a new book, Men in Green, author Michael Bamberger re-creates that tour through a series of surprisingly candid interviews with players, caddies, wives, and others who were there. It is a world of booze-fueled friendships and feuds, of deep bonds and annoyances, of hurts that still fester and memories that still glow. Braiding it all together is the power and addiction of golf. . . . Bamberger doesn’t flinch at portraying the Tour’s earthier aspects. Drugs, sex, and alcohol, although not sensationalized, take their appropriate place in his narrative. But the book is overwhelmingly a love song. . . . Above all, what comes through is the sense of the Tour back then as an extended family, sometimes dysfunctional but never dull.” —John Paul Newport, The Wall Street Journal
“Michael Bamberger is a hard-boiled reporter with a sly wit, but his bottom-line virtue is empathy. That’s made him the most penetrating and insightful golf writer of our time. Men in Green is Bamberger at his best: revealing secrets, puncturing myths, adjudicating never-settled feuds. His new book has the suspenseful urgency of a detective novel, a cast of characters out of a Fellini movie, and the heart of a Charlie Brown Christmas special. If I could have only one golf book on a deserted island, Men in Green would be that book.”
—John Garrity, author of Ancestral Links
“Compelling . . . This is the golf version of Roger Kahn’s classic The Boys of Summer . . . A fascinating portrait of a time in golf much different than the corporate version of today.” —Chicago Tribune
“Men in Green is peppered with appealing vignettes—such as Billy Harmon on what Bob Goalby said to himself standing over a four-foot putt on the last hole of the 1968 Masters—but Bamberger has a higher purpose. Identifying legends and trying to find out what makes them tick, he and Donald provide exceptional insight into some of America’s greatest players over the last half-century.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Poignant . . . Consistently entertaining . . . Whether it’s Gay Talese profiling heavyweight boxer Floyd Patterson, John McPhee describing the artistry of basketball great Bill Bradley, or Roger Angell writing anything about baseball, the best sportswriting is about more than the sport that is its ostensible subject. That’s what makes Michael Bamberger’s Men in Green, nominally a book about what Bamberger calls eighteen ‘legends of the game,’ one that will appeal to more than passionate golf fans. Less concerned with birdies and bogeys than he is with exploring the stories behind the lives and careers of his subjects, Bamberger matches a keen eye for the sport that’s been the subject of two of his previous books—The Green Road Home and To the Linksland—with a knack for getting his subjects to share their candid reminiscences in revealing fashion.” —Harvey Freedenberg, Harrisburg Magazine
“To be cherished . . . Will entertain and enthrall . . . A nostalgic visit and reminiscence with those who fashioned golf history.” —Golf Digest
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The only redeeming value of the book is the tidbits about Arnold Palmer and Ken Venturi, which were somewhat interesting. His chapter on Jack Nicklaus near the end was also very good. Otherwise this is a forgettable book and mostly a waste of time.
|Length: 2:29 Mins|
I invite you to watch my video review, which hits what I consider the high points. Best chapter in the book: Interview with Conni Venturi.
Also enjoyable: Description of the famed rules disagreement between Palmer and Venturi on the 12th green of the 1958 Masters.
While I commend the author for devoting pages to some of golf's less celebrated characters, occasionally those sections drag on a bit too much.
Additionally, anyone who has read golf magazines and books for decades, as I have, will consider some of the stories too overworked. Even so, recalling those pioneering PGA players helps us realize that golf had an era before touring pros enjoyed multiple opportunities to become millionaires in their first few years on the circuit. In the 1950s, even Arnold Palmer won the National Amateur while he was a paint salesman, and then spent his early months on the tour pulling a lodging trailer across the country.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Michael B is a mediocre writer, writing about his mediocre life and his mediocre friend Mike Donald who lost the US Open to a real champion. Yawn.Published 7 days ago by xzy
Excellent book about a bygone era of golf and the insight of the tour. Thought the writing about Palmer was well done. Read morePublished 12 days ago by JWI
This may be the best golf book I've ever read. Bamberger tells wonderful stories about some of the greatest legends in the game. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Botts
Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Ken Venturi's mother's name was misspelled throughout the book? It should be Ethel not Ethyl. Read morePublished 26 days ago by K. Miller
Mike and mike...too good. Legends of the game holding your hand through their best or worstPublished 29 days ago by Kindle Customer