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Missing Links Paperback – May 19, 1997


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Missing Links + Shanks for Nothing: A Novel + Who's Your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great, and Reprobates of Golf
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (May 19, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385488866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385488860
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly comes this spoof of all things golf and country club. Missing Links recounts the tale of a coterie of golfing friends who ply their hobby at Ponkoquogue Municipal Golf Links and Deli. An 18-hole garbage dump with hazards that include a concrete river surrounded by a chain-link fence and the pillars of the elevated train that runs through the course, it is reputed to be the worst golf course in America. One day the group inadvertently discovers that all along they've been playing right next door to the Mayflower Club, a true golfing Eden. The rollicking plot includes a bet to see who will be first to sneak in a round at the Mayflower, as well as the narrator's attempts to reach some sort of reasonable understanding with his overbearing father. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Some time ago, Reilly, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, contributed a humorous article about the Ponkapoag Golf Club, aka Ponky, a blue-collar golf course in Canton, Mass. The author's first novel returns to Ponky?changed here to the Ponkaquogue Municipal Course and Deli in Boston's working-class neighborhood of Dorchester?for a rollicking tale about a grungy group of "Ponkys" who aspire to play at the Mayflower, a nearby elite, invitation-only course. Narrator and Ponky leader Raymond Lee Hart initiates a group bet to see which member of his regular foursome can become the first Ponky to play at the snooty club. The Ponkys' schemes include a night raid on the Mayflower, a forgery scam and a pair of romances that offer potential access to a Mayflower foursome. Reilly resolves the bet halfway through the novel but saves his funniest moments for a final play in which Hart and another Ponky square off against Hart's stuffy, domineering father and a second Mayflower member. The humor occasionally flags, particularly when the author takes the father/son conflict a bit too seriously, and a working knowledge of golf is required to appreciate much of the funny stuff. But from scratch players to duffers, all who spend their leisure time chasing the little white ball will relish this wry tribute to the game.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I figured that the book would be just one big laugh.
Brian Siegel
I highly recommend this book to all golfers and non-golfers alike; it's that good!!!
Jason L. Lopez
This is by far one of the funniest books I have ever read.
J. Kamm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kim Harlow on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Think you play good golf? Try hitting a 3 iron "...while keeping one foot on a sprinkler head that never goes off..." Welcome to Ponkaquogue Municipal Golf Course! Named by Golf Illustrated as 'possibly the worst golf course in America', Ponky, as the course is called, is the setting for Rick Reilly's incredibly funny novel, Missing Links. The story-teller and main character of this off-the-wall saga is Raymond Lee Hart. Anxious to go on the tour, his dreams are put on the line when he plays the match of his life with his father. "...my father hasn't talked to me in 5 years..." Raymond says, "...but that's o.k., I haven't listened in 10." You'll also meet Hoover, "an irredeemable hack," Crowbar; Thud; and Two-down, so named because he always says, "Boys, the bets don't start until I'm two-down." Then, after playing "...like a diseased yak on the first four holes...he comes barreling back making pars from behind dumpsters and bottoms of lakes." Rick Reilly has written a fast-paced,riveting story. The knock-out one-liners will get you going and the all-or-nothing finishing game will keep you hooked until the last page. Read Missing Links and you'll never see golf in quite the same way again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brian Siegel on May 20, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start out by saying that this is the best book I have read since the last Reilly book I picked up (Who's your Caddy?). I'm sure everyone know who Rick Reilly is, he is the ONLY reason to read Sports Illustrated. This novel is no exception to the Reilly Rule (Read anything he writes). I would read the phone-book cover to cover if he wrote it. Missing Links is the story of a group of "chops" that play on the worst muni in the country (Ponky). When I started reading it I was hooked right away, the characters are original and pretty funny as well. The writing is pure Reilly at his best, witty as well as poignant. I found myself laughing out loud on the NYC subway,which got me a few looks from the other passengers. I figured that the book would be just one big laugh. I was wrong there was actually a part or two that got you all misty! Still the events of the book are so funny don't be surprised if you miss your stop on the train or stay up all night to finish the book. My favorite part was how Two-Down got the Lexus! Pure Genius! Just take my word for it and buy it. You will NOT be sorry.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
The hardback edition of Missing Links is the best novel written about the game of golf. Rick Reilly captures the fun, friends, and atmosphere of the game with amazing clarity. To capture this setting a certain number of off color words are required.Imagine my suprise when I bought the paperback version and found that it had been edited. Now we can ponder the deep literary meaning of the words "frick" and "boink". Buyer beware! The paperback version is not the same.I have never known of a book to be edited between the hardback and paperback versions. I urge readers to obtain the first edition not this edited watered down version.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book Missing Links by Rick Reilly is a book about a group of low class friends who play at the worst golf course in America called Ponky. The group of friends, called Chops, loves their golf course even though it is inhabited by a sewage treatment plant and run down billboards, and where the cups are pulled out of the ground like volcanoes. Other than the Chops unstable jobs, Ponky is their life.
One day while the Chops were playing a game with another frivolous bet on the line Crowbar, a fat chop who never plays golf, said something to disturb Hoover, a 120 pound die hard golfer. Hoover got so mad he took out his 16 foot ball retriever and swung it at Crowbar. Hoover missed and ended up making a large hole in a hedge through which they could see the Mayflower Country Club, the snootiest most exclusive club in America, right next to the worst course in the world.
The Chops were mesmerized by the beauty of the Mayflower and Two Down made a bet where everyone put in [money]whoever played the Mayflower without any other Chops with them got the money. Everyone tried hard to get into the Mayflower, but the Mayflower only invites people with [money]who are the descendants of the people who came to America on the Mayflower. To find out what happens you will have to read the rest of the book.
I recommend Missing Links to any golfer that has a good sense of humor. Reading this book will make any day better and give you something to think about when you are sad. The characters in the novel are simply hilarious and unforgettable. The book makes you feel like your life is a little better and it adds a smile to your face.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ravi Desai on December 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book to read. It centers around a group of friends(the chops) who play at Ponkaquogue Municipal Golf Course(known as Ponky) and Deli, the single worst golf course in America. One day they discover that Ponky is next to the Mayflower, an exclusive upper-class golf club, They make a bet to see who will be the first to play at the Mayflower. The bet ends up affecting their friendship and their lives. After many (often hilarious) schemes, things work out for our heroes. Reilly is best known as a columnist for Sports Illutrated and this is his first novel.. As such it is a great effort. He creates a memorable group of characters and while the plot is often predictable, there are some great one-liners and very funny conversations..
A nice fun read - ideal for a flightor trip.
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