The Caddy Who Knew Ben Hogan

John Coyne, Author
John Coyne, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $23.95 (271p) ISBN 978-0-312-35523-4
Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Paperback - 271 pages - 978-0-312-37125-8
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4668-0648-1
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Known more for his novels of the macabre, Coyne moves onto the links and comes up with a terrific blend of golfing lore, PGA tournament drama and country club soap opera. It's 1946, and Jack Handley is a 14-year-old caddy at a posh country club near Chicago. He loves the game, and his mother needs the money. When Ben Hogan shows up one day to play a practice round before the Open, Jack caddies for Hogan and for Jack's pal, assistant pro Matt Richardson, as the two men play a not-very-friendly round. Coyne's descriptions of the strained practice round and the gripping first day of the Chicago Open are masterful sports fiction, with Jack reliving every drive, chip and putt, adding savvy golf tips and caddy tricks. Add in Jack's entanglement in Matt's secret romance with the daughter of the club's rich and powerful president, and anecdotes of other legendary players (like Jimmy Demaret, Gene Sarazen and Lefty Stackhouse), and the results rank with James Dodson's nonfiction, and John Corrigan's PGA golf mysteries. (May)

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