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Tales from Q School: Inside Golf's Fifth Major Hardcover – May 2, 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Q School (or, more formally, the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament) is golf's Long March, the winding road that aspiring professionals must negotiate if they are to qualify to play on the PGA Tour. Even though the players in the annual event are mainly unknowns, golf fans are fascinated by the grueling, heartbreaking nature of the competition--three separate tournaments during which more than 1,000 aspirants are winnowed down to 30 qualifiers, the survivors of the 108-hole, six-day Final Stage. It's surprising, really, that it's taken the best-selling Feinstein, master of the year-in-the-life sports chronicle, this long to write about Q School. The subject is made to order for his slices-of-life approach. There's plenty of dramatic shot-by-shot reporting here, as Feinstein follows the action at the 2005 Q School, but the core of the book is taken up with getting inside the heads of the competitors, whether it's overmatched also-rans who don't know when to quit, talented rookies seemingly on the verge of great careers, or former champions struggling to hang on one more year. (Masters winner Larry Mize says it all for the last group: "It's been a long time since I had to put my golf shoes on in the parking lot.") What makes this account so compelling is the way Feinstein drives home the point recreational golfers know all too well: golf is, above all, a humbling, even humiliating, game. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


It's clearly a book for golf junkies, maybe een golf wonks. Feinstein introduces such minute details about tournaments that at times it's hard to follow his reading. And this is the abridged version! The stories themselves soemtimes lack the kind of dramatic structure that lets the listener know when one ends and another starts. The author is accepted as narrator, but his volume seldom varies, so it's sometimes difficult to perceive when he's stressing a point. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (May 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316014303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316014304
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
John Feinstein is one of the great sportswriters of this generation...or, at least he was. I love golf and considered his 1995 "A Good Walk Spoiled" to be a classic golf and sports book. He also scored big with "A Season on the Brink" in 1988 and "A Civil War", the great read about the Army/Navy football game. These books are all classics and I thought of Feinstein as one of the true greats in the business. And then came Tales from Q School. This book is about as light as any book I have ever read on content. The type is big and there are few words on each page. You can read a page in about 20 seconds because a page in this book is really not a page at all. It's more like a paragraph or two. The stories aren't that interesting and the book just has the feel of a commercial rush job. I will think twice before investing in a Feinstein book from now on. There isn't anything that interesting in the book and one man's story has the same feeling as the next guys. Frankly, some of these stories are old and have been part of Q-school lore for years. The book just had the feeling of a rushed term paper...his heart just wasn't into this book like some of his others.

This would have been a good Golf Digest article...just cut out a few stories and you have a good article. I read the book in about 5 hours and I read pretty slow...I would not buy this book again. This is a piece of work that Feinstein should be ashamed because we know how capable he is...save your money and time. Feinstein better do better next time or his credibility will be tarnished and that would be a shame.
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Format: Hardcover
if you are one of those golf fans who goes to (...) to study the money list or just loves the drama of individual athletic striving,you will find this book enjoyable. as with his other books on golf feinstein definitely does not bring "it" to the next level as his writing sometimes leaves as many questions as answers,but no one else is telling this story and it is a compelling story or should i say stories. easy to read and the cast of golfers from yale graduates to past major champions are all here struggling with that four letter word....golf.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For several years I have considered John Feinstein to be one of my favorite authors and have read most of his books. His prior golf books were all excellent. He should have stopped, though, with A Good Walk Spoiled trying to characterize Q-school. He did a great job then and a poor job now. I'm beginning to think he's on an annual deadline with his publisher as his last few books have lacked the quality of his earlier ones in an effort to ht a deadline. It was all I could do to finish the book and did only because one of the first stage qualifiers of Q-school will soon be held at our local country club and wanted to get a feel of the pressure from someone who I thought could best articulate it. I should have reread A Good Walk Spoiled. And what's with all the name dropping in the credits. Geez, there must be a lot of famous people that get off seeing their name (again) in print. I'm beginning to enjoy Feinstein more as a radio commentator on NPR than an author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cannot say enough about how dramatic this book is. It touches on all aspects of the human experience, not always nor exclusively pertaining to golf. The reader is sucked in by stores of the everyday Joe going for that elusive goal or dream, and doing whatever they feel is necessary to get there. And not with a very high success rate. Feinstein offers a very personal look at how the Tour operates, and how the golfers are put through one of the most arduous qualifying processes in major sports. After reading this book, I find myself paying much closer attention not only to the Nationwide Tour, but also to the not-so-famous names that pepper the leaderboard on the second and third days of any tournament. Woods, Singh, and Lefty are always around, but when you see that guy who ranks 124th, and has yet to win a Tourney, you can't help but root for him, 'cuz this will very likely be his one time in the sun. And don't ever forget the battle cry of all golfers:

I hate golf, I hate golf, I hate golf; NICE SHOT!!! I love golf!
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Format: Hardcover
Tales from Q School has a fundamental flaw that steals most of its potential charm: Mr. Feinstein thinks he is writing Open all over again. That book was horribly flawed by lots of names and mini-biographies about people that few other than their relatives would want to read about. Tales from Q School has the same flaw . . . along with a new one: Mr. Feinstein decides to teach you everything you never wanted to know about how the format and rules have changed over the years (and repeats the key points ad nauseam throughout the text). Argh!

Q School isn't really Q School any more. It's just a series of annual golf tournaments with qualifying rounds. Depending on where you finish in the field in each round, you may or not be able to advance to the next round or to various professional tours (including the PGA tour).

Mr. Feinstein is fond of proclaiming that almost everyone had to go through Q School to make it to the PGA Tour and that everyone has a great Q School story. So why didn't he just interview 300 players from the past and present and share with us the best 100 or so stories? That would have been a great book.

Instead, he decided to write a history of the 2005 Q School. In the book, he includes a few of the older classic stories. There were also a few compelling stories that occurred during the 2005 Q School. But in between the good stories, Tales from Q School is a yawn.

So why write about Q School? First, few people other than professional golfers know much about it. Second, it's a horrible experience that causes a lot of happy and sad moments. Third, there's a lot of drama involving those who come close to qualifying as they near the end of their rounds.
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