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Moment of Glory: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf Hardcover – May 13, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews



"John Feinstein...has done perhaps as much for golf writing as Arnold Palmer has for golf."
(Ron Rappaport, Washington Monthly)

"[Feinstein is] one of the best modern day sports writers." (Virginia Golfer)

"Feinstein is the most successful sportswriter in America....He has the gift of re-creating events known to us all while infusing them with excitement, even suspense." (Jay Nordlinger, Wall Street Journal)

"Feinstein writes passionately and sensitively, and his research is top-notch. His access to the players--tour vetrans, rising rookies, and journeymen...weave a compelling narrative." (Tampa Tribune)

"The best chronicler in sports journalism." (Craig Smith, Seattle Times)

"John Feinstein is a reporter par excellence, amazingly adept at getting past the publicity curtain and getting people to open up their live, their hope and fears." (The State (South Carolina))

"John Feinstein has become sportswriting's John Grisham." (David Kindred, Sporting News)

"Feinstein makes you care." (Bruce Fetts, Entertainment Weekly)

"One of the best sportswriters alive." (Larry King, USA Today)

About the Author

John Feinstein is the bestselling author of Let Me Tell You a Story, Caddy for Life, Open, The Punch, The Last Amateurs, The Majors, A Good Walk Spoiled, A Civil War, A Season on the Brink, Play Ball, Hard Courts, and two novels. He writes for Inside Sports, Golf, Tennis Magazine, and Basketball America and commentates on NPR and CBS. John Feinstein  lives in Potomac, MD, and Shelter Island, NY.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; English Language edition (May 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316025313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316025317
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,722,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I can't profess to have read any of John Feinstein's books prior to this one. Once on myself I had a copy of his acclaimed book "A Good Walk Spoiled", but I never knew what happened to it. I considered over the years reading some of his other books, but the reviews always seem mixed, and I found other things to read. Finally I became determined to read his latest offering when I saw it was scheduled for a May release, and I am glad that I did. I'm a casual golf fan these days, and haven't picked up a club since 2003. I'm more likely to turn on the PGA Tour if Tiger Woods is in contention, but at the same time I do keep aware of the other players on the PGA Tour because there are plenty of phenomenal golfers out there. Feinstein decided with this book to focus on the 4 majors of the 2003 PGA season when all of the majors were won by players not named Tiger Woods. Most know Tiger began the process of retooling his swing at this point and only seriously contended at one major that year; the Open Championship.

Naturally Tiger Woods has to be discussed in this book. There is simply no way to write this story without discussing him in some form because it is central to the main point Feinstein makes. The book starts off in June of 2002 during the United States Open at Bethpage Black on the driving range with Tiger and his then swing coach Butch Harmon. At this point Tiger was becoming less pleased with his golf swing, and was looking to improve it in spite of absolutely dominating the majors starting in June of 2000. A month later at the 2002 Open Championship, Tiger would tell Butch Harmon his services were no longer required thus ending their long partnership. Ironically, Feinstein's book comes out a few weeks after Hank Haney decided to part ways with Tiger Woods.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a long time Feinstein fan, I expected a little more. As another reviewer pointed out, there's a couple of basic errors of fact in the book (eg Britain driving on the right side of the road, Phil Mickelson "pulling" a shot into water that runs down the left side of the fairway) which really shouldn't make it into print.

I also found some of the anecdotes were repeated from previous books. It's a little annoying when you start reading a paragraph and you know EXACTLY what's coming next.

Having said that, this book was still worthwhile and I'm glad I took the time to read it. It's a nice recap on the 2003 major season, when four "first timers" won the biggest prizes in golf. The book works even better as time goes by, as you realise what happened to the dreams of the players in the years after their victory, or in the cases of the runners-up, near misses.
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Format: Hardcover
It might take a moment to realize what John Feinstein is talking about when reading the subtitle to his 2010 book, "The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf."

A clue is right on the cover, as shown above. There's a golfer obviously celebrating a victory. Some golf fans might recognize the man on the green as Mike Weir, but maybe not a ton of them outside of Canada.

It's Weir, all right, obviously thrilled about winning the Masters in Augusta. In 2003. That's the year chronicled by Feinstein, a prolific and talented reporter and writer. It's taken a while, but Feinstein has come up with another very readable effort in his usual thorough style.

The 2003 season was unusual for its time because Tiger Woods wasn't much of a factor in the major tournaments. Feinstein starts the book with the story about how Woods went about firing his swing coach at the time, Butch Harmon. Woods, a constant at majors in that era, rebuilt his swing and didn't really come too close to winning of the major championships in 2003. Thus, the door was open, and four men marched through it.

After Weir took the Masters, Jim Furyk had the moment of his career by taking the U.S. Open. Ben Curtis followed in the British Open, winning in the first major he ever played in. Shaun Micheel was only a slightly more likely winner in the PGA.

There's no such thing as an overnight success on the pro golf tour, except for the odd superstar like Woods or Phil Mickelson. Usually it's a long grind, filled with stops and starts. Feinstein gives short biographies of these four champions as they went into the tournament. In their own way, all four are interesting stories.

Then it's on to the tournaments, and Feinstein always does a good job of bringing such events to life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If You have ever read John Feinstein you know what I mean. His book on Bobby Knight was great so I picked this up for my husband, an avid golfer. He is not a reader but he read this and truly enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover
Feinstein just empties his notebooks in this one. He doesn't even take the time to get his facts halfway straight.

He makes a bunch of mistakes such as saying someone was at one under par, then birdied the next hole to go one under par. He says Phil Mickelson pulled his tee shot into the creek at the second at Augusta. Um, the creek is on the left side of the fairway. A right-hander might pull a drive into the creek, but Mickelson, as a left-hander, pushed his drive into the creek. Feinstein says that Ben Curtis, after finishing his fourth round at the British Open, couldn't talk to anyone before any sort of playoff for fear of breaking rules against getting advice. In fact, Curtis could have talked to anyone he chose. The rules only state that you can't get advice while you're playing golf, and he had finished his round, so Curtis wasn't playing golf.

Feinstein says U.S. golfers don't like to play in the British Open because it's just unusual, like remembering to drive over there on the right side of the road. Feinstein actually says twice that Brits drive on the right side of the road, even though, um, the Brits drive on the left side. Feinstein three times refers to Chad Campbell's wife as Pam. Her name is Amy. And, no, Campbell wasn't married previously.

Nitpicking? Not for a writer who claims to be a leading authority on golf.

If he isn't going to take this book seriously, then the rest of us shouldn't either.
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