With very few exceptions--think Dan Jenkins's Dead Solid Perfect
and Steven Pressfield's The Legend of Bagger Vance
--golf's most notable fictions are generally consigned to the imaginative mathematics that weekend duffers jot down on their scorecards. Consider The Greatest Player Who Never Lived
a truly rare birdie then. It's a thrilling golf novel that not only captures the game, but transcends it.
J. Michael Veron's engaging fantasy begins when young law student Charley Hunter accepts a summer internship at the Atlanta law firm in which the great Bobby Jones was once a partner. Assigned to catalog Jones's dusty files, Hunter comes upon an intriguing correspondence that hints at an extraordinary story. True to his name, Hunter then sets out to learn the truth behind the unlikely exchange of letters between Jones, golf's erudite and nonpareil pillar, and a semiliterate phenom named Beau Stedman, who, on the verge of golfing greatness in the early '30s, disappeared under the cloud of a murder charge. With Jones's secret help and support, Beau manages to survive. A fugitive determined to honor his golfing destiny, he emerges here and there to play the greatest golfers of the era. Hunter isn't satisfied just with uncovering Beau's past, though; his obsession turns into a search for Beau's present, with unexpected complications.
The novel is filled with lots of good golf, and with good writing about golf's enigmatic hold on those captivated by the game. But Veron, a Harvard-educated lawyer, aims beyond golf here--and holes it. In Player, he's crafted a solid legal thriller that smartly confronts issues of character, truth, justice, and guilt, which are, of course, pretty much the same issues every golfer confronts the moment he or she steps up to the first tee. --Jeff Silverman
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for J. Michael Veron and The Greatest Player Who Never Lived
“J. Michael Veron’s first novel is golf’s literary rookie of the year.”
— Dave Anderson, New York Times
"Talk about a well struck first shot. Michael Veron hits a literary hole-in-one…a tale that mixes crime, mystery, and courtroom drama."
"Solid as a shot that nestles up to the cup from a 3-wood distance...a golf whodunit, southern style."
—-Pat Sullivan, San Francisco Chronicle
“A page-turning mix of golf history and mystery, almost as if John Grisham played 18 holes with Bagger Vance and decided to write about their day together.”
—-San Diego Union-Tribune