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I Call the Shots Paperback – May 5, 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Miller, former golfer and golf analyst for NBC Sports, and Yocom, a senior writer for Golf Digest, offer commentary on acclaimed players; observations on the game, the players and the future of the sport; and discuss strategies, great courses and changes in the game. Perhaps most importantly, Miller speaks his mind, especially about poor sportsmanship. The first chapter is entitled "Welcome to Smackdown Golf : The decline of etiquette in today's game" and starts, "The best U.S. Open performance of all time was by Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach in 2000. The worst performance at a U.S. Open was also provided by Woods that year." Miller explains that Tiger Woods pulled off to the side after the second round and loudly cursed. Miller acknowledges that the microphones should not have been so close, but says that Woods should have restrained himself. In Miller's view, this incident is another example of how some of the unpleasant behavior of players in the NBA and NFL is now evident in golf. There's more than observations, here, though. Miller has strategies on form and technique that will benefit serious golfers. Fans of Miller, golf addicts and even weekend duffers will enjoy this lively book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Miller, former U.S and British Open champion and currently golf's most outspoken television commentator, proves equally unbuttoned in print. He gets right to it in the book's first chapter, on the "dreaded C word," choking. Golfers despise talk of choking, but Miller refuses to avoid the topic, not only detailing instances of his own collapses but also analyzing notorious cases of gracelessness under pressure from such top pros as Greg Norman, Jay Haas, and Mark Calcavecchia. The text proceeds in anecdotal fashion, through the obligatory chapter on Tiger Woods (Miller doesn't think he'll break Jack Nicklaus' record for most major tournament victories) to musings on favorite courses and stupid rules. (Weekend golfers will enjoy the rant on the absurd length of modern courses.) Throughout, the tone is chatty but frank. Along with his willingness to criticize, Miller isn't shy about handing out compliments when he feels they are deserved: his tribute to Nicklaus is notable for both its insight and its affection. Most golf commentary is overly sanitized and lacking in substance. Miller reverses the formula. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (May 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592400728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592400720
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,513,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An interesting read, and precislely the kind of from-the-hip commentary you would expect from Miller. But the book is also an editorial mess. Sloppy, sloppy sloppy. Aside from a variety of sentences with missing words, the book at one point reports that Hal Sutton played a Ryder Cup match against himself! Mickelson's career earnings are variously reported at "$23 million" and "roughly $25 million" and the citations come only 10 pages apart from each other. How hard is that to get right?

Miller also repeatedly contradicts himself. In an early chapter he calls Woods "the best player the world has ever seen." Later he says of Nicklaus, "I remain firm in my belief that he is the best who ever lived." Which is it? By the way, still later Miller lists "the five greatest players who ever lived," and Woods is not included.

It's fine to shoot from the hip, but in the context of a book, where you have time go back and edit, there is no excuse for such a shoddy display. Plus, how much credence can you give to a writer who thoughtlessly contradicts his own strongly-stated opinions and doesn't take the care to fix sloppy errors prior to publication? It shows a lack of the regard for the reader.

I can only imagine the harsh criticism Miller would dish out to a golfer who conducted himself in such an unprofessional manner. It seems the sign of an unhealthily inflated ego to take pride in doling out no-holds-barred criticism of others, while holding oneself to the most meager standards.

He labels his "friend" Jay Don Blake a "mediocre" player and suggests he really isn't trying hard and is taking advantage of the Tour's exemption system at the expense of hungier, more deserving players. He no doubt considers that admirable straight talking.
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By A Customer on June 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting book, because Johnny Miller is an interesting guy. But MY GOD whoever edited this thing should be fired immediately! I have never seen so many mistakes and contradictions in a book in my life.
Here is just a small sampling:
1. When Miller talks about the "Tiger Slam," he gets the tournaments wrong AND the years wrong.
2. On one page he states that Tiger is "a very good putter, but not a great putter." Then, on a later page he states that "Tiger is a fabulous putter." Well, which is it, Johnny, very good, not great, or fabulous?
3. Miller states that Tom Watson won six British Opens, when in fact he won five. He states that Hale Irwin won two U.S. Opens, when in fact he won three.
4. Here is my favorite one of all: Miller exalts in the fact that his U.S. Open record score of 63 at Oakmont in 1973 "has stood up for more than 40 years." That's mighty impressive, Johnny, especially considering the fact that 1973 was only 31 years ago.
Now, any one or two of these mistakes could be easily forgiven, but there are literally dozens of them - so many, in fact, that it becomes distracting. The only thing that saves the book is that Miller is so opinionated on so many subjects that it actually does make an interesting read, despite the embarrassing lack of editing.
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Format: Hardcover
Miller rates a par for the book (if that's damning by faint praise, so be it) but the ghost writer, editor, and publisher should get a DQ (disqualified) for the effort. The misprints, factual errors, bad grammar, and typos detract to the point of cancelling out anything good Miller says. I wanted to like this book because Miller himself is so likeable and his TV commentary is so good,but thanks to the poor production value it's as hard to enjoy as a triple bogey. For instance,two questions: did Seve win three times on the PGA tour(pg 202)or six times(pg 203)? And how do you hit a ball with the clubshaft perpendicular to the ground? To do that, it would have to be dangling from your hands like a plumb bob. Maybe Johnny can demonstrate that during the rain delay at the British Open.
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Format: Hardcover
First, I agree with the many reviewers here regarding being amazed at the many factual errors in this book. (Any halfway decent knowledgable golf fan could have edited this in one sitting.) Irwin, Casper, Tiger, Ballesteros, Faldo etc. all had their records misrepresented in the pages (i.e. both Faldo and Seve had identical records on the PGA tour, which is 9 wins if you count their British Open wins, or 6 wins if you count only American wins. Johnny claims that Faldo had the better record.) Also, in his section on the best of today's players, he of course talks of Tiger, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Mike Weir, even Sergio Garcia and David Duval (??), but neglects to talk about Vijah Singh !! That was an annoying ommission that I couldn't understand. But all in all, if you can somehow ignore these amateurish mistakes, this is an interesting golf book from a former Hall of Famer turned great announcer who isn't afraid to give his opinion. He gives a good argument as to why Tiger will NOT break Jack's record of 18 majors, and that might be worth the price of the book. He also gives a decent analysis of the best dozen golfers he's ever seen up close (from Jack to Lee to Seve to Lanny), and THAT might also be worth the price of the book. And he gives a good analysis of the best golf courses he's played (and why Shinnecock is even better than Pebble Beach.) And he also has a good chapter on chocking, and names names (i.e. Tom Kite, Mark Calcaveccia, Greg Norman, Hale Irwin, Seve Ballesteros, even Lee Trevino.) I liked the book a lot, and if not for the stupid factual errors (and ommission of Vijah) would have given it 5 stars.
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