RIVERBANK TWEED AND ROADMAP JENKINS
This tale of two caddies presents an insider's take on the down and dirty side of golf as seen by the guys who carry the bags, with Jenkins being the older African-American bagman who becomes a mentor to Tweeds, the young narrator who opens the book with the story of how he got his original nickname by chucking the clubs of a particularly cantankerous golfer into the water after a difficult round. Neither character ever emerges as anything more than a golf stereotype, but both provide Links with a vehicle for stringing together a series of occasionally entertaining yarns about the sport while chronicling Tweeds's ongoing education as a career caddy. The stories are a mixed bag, with most taking place at a San Francisco municipal course where the decidedly odd cast of players provide the author with a wealth of fine material, although many of the yarns are overblown and overwritten. The most interesting is the saga of an obscure deaf golf pro who turns in a great round at a PGA Open qualifying event, only to be disqualified for playing through a dangerous lightning storm long after play has been stopped. The mentoring chronicle is mediocre at best, partly because of the trite plot line and partly for the abundance of simplistic "life is like golf" nuggets of faux wisdom dominating the narrative. The novel may appeal to golfers based on the author's earlier golf title (Follow the Wind) and his obvious devotion to the game, but mainstream readers will have a tough time swallowing this sugary sweet golf pap. Agent, Jacques de Spoelberch (May).
Forecast:Maybe if Tiger Woods endorses the book... otherwise, over par.
Release date: 05/01/2001