THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

Andy North, Author, Burton Rocks, With, Chris Berman, Foreword by
Andy North, Author, Burton Rocks, With, Chris Berman, Foreword by with Burton Rocks. St. Martin's/ Dunne $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-28797-9
Paperback - 238 pages - 978-0-312-30288-7
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In the entertaining foreword, ESPN personality Chris Berman asks, "So why a book about Andy North?" Why indeed. Granted, winning two U.S. Open championships is a rare accomplishment, achieved by only 11 other players in golf history, and North's work as a commentator for PGA Tour events on ESPN is often humorous and clever. However, North's book is neither, plagued by clumsy structure and rambling asides. Part One recaps North's personal life and career, a subject with variety when about other sports superstars, but, unfortunately, all too familiar about golf personalities. Nothing new here except for the unique fact that North hit his wife, Susan, on the head with his ball three times during tournament play. In Part Two, North shares technical advice on specific shots and situations. In one poignant aside, he observes that you can play golf at five or 85, and thus it is the only sport grandparents can play with their grandchildren. Part Three offers anecdotes and appraisals of some of golf's legends, including Palmer, Nicklaus and Snead, while Part Four features random thoughts and gripes about courses, armchair golfers and the media's lack of appreciation for the LPGA. Unfortunately, coauthor Rocks's (A King's Legacy: The Clyde King Story) text reads as if it had been transcribed verbatim from a tape recorder. Tangential thoughts and disjointed time lines often leave the reader confused. North has some interesting insights into the game of golf, but they might have been better appreciated in several smaller, more specific volumes. (Apr.)

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