Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Old School Tuesday - "The Match" is a GREAT read.....



If you have not read Mark Frost's great book "The Match", I highly recommend you do one of two things immediately:
(1) Click this LINK and order it right now, or
(2) Get up from whatever you are doing, and motor down to the local bookseller and snag a copy.

Whether you are a "golf historian" or just a casual golf fan, this book completely rocks. It's the tale of a match play contest between two teams - Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson - two of golf's greatest players vs. two up and coming amateurs - Kenny Venturi and Harvie Ward. In addition to some very cool background info on the "Crosby Clambake" (now the ATT Pebble Beach Schlepapalooza), the book also includes a hole by hole account of this epic throwdown/showdown.

"The Match" was played at Cypress Point (the uber-exclusive Monterrey Peninsula private club), and really makes you feel like you are there - complete with detailed descriptions of some of the most beautiful and breathtaking holes in all of golf. The backdrop of the entire story,however, is the collision/conflict between the emerging Professional Tour and the whole "gentlemen's amateur" scene - very interesting and enlightening for anyone who cares about golf.

I'm reading the book now for the 3rd time, and it's as good as it was the first time. If you haven't read this one, get busy - you will enjoy the trip.


Sidenote - One of the really interesting things is to compare the REAL celebrities who used to play in the "Clambake" vs. some of the uh, "celebrities" that you saw last weekend. Let's just say that fat dude from "Mall Cop" and "Shankapotamus" Romano would not have been drinking martinis with Bing and his crew...

4 comments:

Vince Spence said...

Fabulous golf book. I found it unbelievable that Eddie Lowery, Francis Ouimet's caddy in his Open win at Brookline, ended up being the California car dealer who sponsored both Venturi and Harvie Ward and was key putting "The Match" together...

The library also has this book and about 1,000 other golf titles.

Jeff Goodman (Goods) said...

Read it. Great book and actually makes a golf match sound interesting on paper.

Harvie Ward is a story in itself, as is Hogan.

Vince Spence said...

A friend of mine replaced Harvie Ward at the Grand Cypress about 20 years ago. He told me Harvie knew a million people by name and two million knew him. I'll bet for the most part, very few people under 60 barely know of him or even his name. He was a helluva player...

I learned some stuff I did not know in the book.

iQuest Golfer said...

I couldn't put the book down. Fost is an excellent writer. This book would make a great movie. I'm sure that Eddie Lowery was "piss and vinegar" back in the day.