- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (April 25, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446527637
- ISBN-13: 978-0446527637
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,678,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fore! Play: The Last American Male Takes up Golf Hardcover – April 25, 2001
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It was only a matter of time before Bill Geist, the comic bard of suburban life, collided with the royal and ancient game. "Golf fever. It's serious, it's viral, it's epidemic, and," he observes in Fore! Play, "unlike West Nile no one is spraying for it." And if it hasn't thoroughly infected him, too, it's at least brought out enough writer's curiosity to spur an odyssey in search of why the game casts such a spell over so many devoted pilgrims.
His curiosity hits most of the expected stops on a beginning golfer's journey, and at times--his community night-school golf lessons, his interview at a ritzy country club, brief chronicles of trouble-filled rounds with his wife and son--he hits with enough spin to keep the humor pin-high and his narrative moving. But this is, in the end, an old story, one that every golfer has likely experienced and heard before, and Geist brings little new to it beyond his wry persona. More often than not, he winds up in a rough of his own making, reaching too hard for laughs that just aren't there. His Geistian golf definitions and tips ("Don't bend over to tee up your ball with a bag full of clubs over your shoulder or they'll spill out and make you look like Jerry Lewis") are simply silly when they're not out-and-out sophomoric. Of course, golf does have a knack for bringing out the worst in people. When Geist swings too wildly for a laugh in Fore! Play, the consequence is inevitable: he shanks it. --Jeff Silverman
From Publishers Weekly
Geist, humorist and regular CBS commentator, takes on one of the most popular American pastimes, despite his obvious skepticism about golf's appeal. Geist (Little League Confidential) resents hearing his friends endlessly discuss their latest golf outing or having to schedule his dental appointments around his dentist's games. "What is it about this sport? Is it a sport? I mean are there teams? Uniforms? Stadiums? Coaches? Cheerleaders? Hot dogs and beer? Bench-clearing brawls? Any of that stuff they have in real sports?" he quibbles. Ever the adventurer, Geist attempts to understand the widespread enthusiasm for the game by enrolling in an indoor class at a New Jersey elementary school in the middle of winter. The six lessons are just enough to get him started, and Geist goes to the driving range and then to the actual course. Disregarding his snail-paced improvement and persistent dislike of the game, he checks out the necessary paraphernalia at a Golf Merchandise Show, where he learns that there are special performance socks ("Now, how, exactly, will these socks perform for me?"), hand lotion, golf tension bands and so much more. He makes lots of suggestions for enriching the culture of golf, from playing in the carts, "polo-style," to introducing a little spirit via cheerleaders, pep bands and bonfires. Geist's amusing, inimitable style will engage sports and humor fans alike, with particular appeal for those golf widows and widowers who share his displeasure with the game. This light, delightful jab at a leisure-class sport comes just in time for the spring golf season.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.