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.
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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 OttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved