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The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever Paperback – March 17, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Frost masterfully puts the reader not just on the scene, but in the time, too, with terrific storytelling."―The State (South Carolina)
"It's difficult to beat a good golf book, be it a good yarn or a picture book. . . . The golf is spectacular, the course more so, the descriptions luminous."―USA Today
"The untold story of golf's greatest money match, featuring Hogan and Nelson at Cypress Point, comes to life in Mark Frost's gripping new book, The Match."―Golf Magazine
"Frost captures an elusive magic in this improbable matchup and what it meant for those who played and witnessed it."―Publishers Weekly
"The Match was a dream I never thought would come true. If I hadn't been there I wouldn't believe it myself, and if you know anything about sports or the game of golf, once you pick up this book you won't put it down. No one will ever see an event like this again. Fiction can't touch it."―Ken Venturi
Top Customer Reviews
He was right. It is a magnificent event, with Eddie Lowery of Ouimet fame (Frost's other excellent golf book) and George Coleman arranging a bet pitting Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson against Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward. He sets up the match at renown Cypress Point by setting the stage with all the characters and their development, weaving a fascinating stream of characters such as Bing Crosby into the showdown.
He gives the replay hole-by-hole interspersed with the background development of each player, such as would haunt most of us walking to play the next shot. This makes for rather dramatic reading as one can't wait to hear what unfolds on the next swing and hole.
For the avid reader of golf as this reviewer, I knew most of the background on all the players except for Harvie Ward, whom I could not recall ever hearing about, but he certainly was a remarkable player. All three thought this of him. Venturi said one time at Augusta when asked about Ward, "Take Nicklaus at his best, and Ward at his best. I'll take Ward." Quite the compliment.
This is treasured golf lore, which will serve our sport well. Certainly hope that Frost will follow this one as well with a movie version. Please?
I also looked forward to this read because I had heard that "The Match" takes place at Cypress Point and I've always dreamed of playing that course, so it was a treat to walk and play it with some of the greatest golfers of all time. In case you haven't heard, the center piece of this story is a casual best ball match play round between Ben Hogan and Bryron Nelson (representing the pros) and Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward (representing the amateurs). The time is 1956 and Venturi and Ward are the last of the gentleman amateurs playing at the highest levels of the game. The event is precipitated by a bet instigated by none other than Eddie Lowery, the pint-sized ten-year old caddie from "Greatest Game" who has (believe it or not) become a millionaire California car dealer. This connection to the earlier book is more than a coincidence and Lowery becomes more important to the story than one might expect.
I'm going to go so far as to say that this book is required reading for any serious golfer. On one level learning more about the life story and personality of these great players as well as that of Cypress Point and the Crosby Clambake are quintessential elements of the glory of golf in America. As before, Mark Frost does an amazing job illuminating this background (including the best recounting of the famous Hogan comeback after his accident that I've ever read.) But there's much more beyond all this.Read more ›
At the outset, readers should accept the fact that Frost's title for his third golf book is hyperbole. Indeed, one can search its pages in great detail and never find an answer to how the game of golf changed as a result of the 18-hole practice-round match pitting professionals Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson against amateurs Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi. While substantial money may have changed hands as a result of the contest, very few sports fans were even aware that it had occurred. Contemporary professional golfers probably pass out more in tips than the four players battled for on this day.
Setting that aside, Frost describes far more than a competition involving four men. Through his words readers gain a portrait of the status of professional and amateur golf in the 1950s, as the beloved and respected amateur golfer would now take a backseat to a new era of professional golfers and their fans.
The money men behind the contest were Eddie Lowery and George Coleman, wealthy businessmen who loved golf and betting on it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you love golf and you love history, then you'll love this true golf history book. It is a must read! Venturi's right, fiction can't touch this!Published 1 day ago by J. Syverson
Good story compromised by author's awkward writing style. He uses far too many semicolons and hyphens, causing sentences to ramble, lose focus, and confuse this reader. Read morePublished 17 days ago by JPM
An extraordinary story full of the history of golf. Amazing detail of an golf match over half a century ago. A must read for golfers.Published 21 days ago by J
One of the best sports books I've ever read detailing the rise of modern golf.Published 1 month ago by Garett Houston