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The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf Hardcover – November 3, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Before Arnold, Jack and Tiger, there was Bobby. After winning the Grand Slam of golf in 1930, Jones stood like a colossus over the American sporting scene. He is the only individual to have been recognized with two ticker tape parades down Broadway's Canyon of Heroes. Frost (The Greatest Game Ever Played) has written a swift, surefooted account of Jones's remarkable life and career. From Jones's precocious early days on the Atlanta links to his sudden retreat from the media spotlight, Frost covers every detail. The self-taught Jones began playing serious tournaments at 14 and quickly moved into the ranks of the world's best players. In 1930, he won the four major tournaments of the time: the British Amateur, the British Open, the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur, which sportswriters dubbed the Grand Slam. Following this success, Jones promptly retired. Later diagnosed with a rare nerve illness, he lived out his life as golf's elder statesman. While Frost's eager prose has an engaging, "you are there" quality, for nongolfers the question is whether they actually do want to be there. Frost strains to place Jones's achievement in the broader context of American history. As bedside reading for the literate duffer, this is a hole in one. For the average reader, it's a bogey. 15 b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In 2002, Frost retold the story of amateur golfer Francis Quimet's 1913 victory in the U.S. Open (The Greatest Game Ever Played).Now he re-creates another classic episode in golf history: the Grand Slam won by Bobby Jones in 1930, the only time the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, British Open, and British Amateur tournaments were ever won by the same person in the same year. As in the Quimet book, Frost builds to the climactic event with plenty of fascinating backstory, both about Jones' young life as a golf phenom and about the sports-crazy 1920s. He also delves into Jones' delicate psyche, revealing the building pressures that led to Jones' retirement from competitive golf after his unparalleled triumph. Because the story of the Grand Slam requires nearly shot-by-shot recounting of multiple golf tournaments, this book loses some of the tension and high drama that Frost was able to build in his earlier work, which climaxed more dramatically. Still, this is an excellent book of golf history, albeit not quite The Greatest Game Ever Played. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (November 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401301088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401301088
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MARK FROST is the bestselling author of The Greatest Game Ever Played, The Grand Slam, and the novels The Second Objective, The List of Seven, and The Six Messiahs. He received a Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination for the acclaimed television series Hill Street Blues, was co-creator and executive producer of the legendary ABC television series Twin Peaks, and in 2005 wrote and produced The Greatest Game Ever Played as a major motion picture from Walt Disney Studios. Mark lives in Los Angeles and upstate New York with his wife and son.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Mr. Frost's exceptional new work, The Grand Slam. Not only does the author provide you with tremondous insight into Jones' character and personality (something he does, by the way, without engaging in the incessant psychobable that characterizes so many other modern biographies), he tells a great story. And even though you already know the outcome of the major tournaments in which Jones competed, Mr. Frost creates such suspense that you find yourself sliding forward on the edge of your chair as the players approach the 18th green of the final round. Also, Frost does an exceptional job of placing the evolution of Jones' career in the context of American and European history. His vignettes on World War I, the Jazz Age, Harding and Hoover, and the Great Depression add a great deal to his narrative. And his potrayals of Walter Hagen, the first prima dona on the American golf scene, are a joy to read. Even if you are not a golf fan, you will like this book. If you enjoy the sport, then you will love it. Well done, Mr. Frost.
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Format: Hardcover
I shy away from thick books like this one. But when I started reading GRAND SLAM I was drawn in and knew I would go the distance. The author has done an amazing research job and the characters all come to life. American history is also woven into the story in an interesting way that enlarges the scope of the book. True, I didn't know a lot about Bobby Jones so this was, in a sense a primer for me. It also filled in my knowledge of other golfers at the time such as Walter Hagen.

An interesting side note is that, as Mark Frost points out, East Lake Country Club, in Jones' native Atlanta, was an incubator for golfing talent. Besides Jones, another golfer, the longest hitter, Mike Austin, practiced at East Lake Golf Course during that time. His story is told in the fascinating book IN SEARCH OF THE GREATEST GOLF SWING.

The only omission from GRAND SLAM is a more detailed analysis of Jones's swing. What made him such a great ball striker? Also, the book gets into idol worship at times. But the author certainly makes his case convincingly. Read it -- you'll be glad you did.
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Format: Hardcover
With the publication of THE GRAND SLAM: Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf, author Mark Frost has firmly established his credentials as a golf historian of great acumen and a writer of outstanding ability. In 2002, Frost detailed the beginning of modern golf in America in a critically acclaimed book, THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, the saga of then unknown American amateur Francis Ouimet and his victory over the golfing giants of Great Britain in the 1913 U.S. Open. That historical epic was a national bestseller, won the Book of the Year Award from the United States Golf Association, and was selected by Travel and Leisure magazine as one of the top 25 golf books ever. THE GRAND SLAM is a seamless extension of the Ouimet saga into the next significant era of sports history with an exhaustive portrait of golf immortal Bobby Jones, his domination of the game of golf in the Roaring Twenties, and the interaction of golf and American life in that era.

Ouimet defeated golfing giants Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in his Open upset. After the tournament was completed, Vardon and Ray began a tour of the United States before returning to their homeland. One of their stops took them to the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Eleven-year-old Bobby Jones was a spectator at that match. Several weeks later, young Jones accomplished his first milestone in his golfing career when he posted a score of 80. Three years later, at the age of fourteen, Jones became the youngest player ever to qualify for and play in a U.S. Amateur Championship. For the next seven years he struggled to overcome self-imposed feelings of inferiority and a violent temper before finally winning his first U.S. Open Championship in 1923.
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Format: Paperback
Purchasing this book I had expected nothing more than the chronicle of Bobby Jones' assualt on the 4 golf majors of 1930. I got so much more. This book is certainly one of the better biographies I've ever read. Though Frost never goes too in depth into the private life of Jones, the writing style is exceptional, the sports action is compelling, but the most amazing thing is how the entire thing is brought together and every new section begins with an exceptional framing of where the event stands within the confines of history. Truly an amazing first rate bio.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting. Upon completing GRAND SLAM by Mark Frost, author of THE GREATEST GAME EVERY PLAYED, I took a moment to read some of the other reviews here on Amazon. I was not surprised by what I found. One, however, struck me. The review was titled, "The Tiger Woods of Another Era." Indeed!

The fact is, Bobby Jones was and is irreplaceable. Period! Frost's marvelous biography, if read carefully, paints such a portrait that honest assessors of the game of golf have no choice but to agree with Oscar Bane "Pop" Keeler: "There will never be another like him!" Not the Tiger Woods of another era. Far from that. Frost's volume clearly points out that every other golfer -- from Hagen to Sarazen to Palmer to Nicklaus to Woods -- is but a shadowy also-ran when compared to the inimitable Robert Tyre Jones, Jr.

GRAND SLAM tells the story of Jones' unlikely and never again equaled feat of winning all four of golf's major championships in a single calendar year. And if you are remotely interested in the game of golf -- beyond taking the sticks out once a year -- you cannot read this book and come away with any other notion than that, very likely, the greatest golf every played on this planet was played some 80 years ago! And there is nothing wrong with that fact. Who says that, as time passes, we need to see better and better golfers? Just because the equipment is supposedly better and the conditions are supposedly better doesn't for a minute mean that the best to ever tee it up has already finished his round. And please don't come to the table with arguments that today's competition is greater or that life on tour is harder or that today's Majors are more rigorous.

Yes, there is Eldrick Tiger Woods and, yes, there is his amazing Tiger-Slam. A great sporting event in its own right.
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