THE PRO

Michael Shropshire, Author, Mike Shropshire, Author . St. Martin's $23.95 (265p) ISBN 978-0-312-24231-2

A brilliantly comic diversion, this irreverent spoof does for golf what the author's Seasons in Hell did for baseball. That is, it defines the genre in terms of spirited satire. Del Bonnet was kicked off the PGA tour for conduct involving a brown-eyed girl, oral sex and a car crash. Naturally, he also lost his job as a college coach. He has made a hard landing as the pro at Caloosahatchee Pines, a country club for geriatric golfers with "the bone structure of a parakeet" in the snake-infested swamps of central Florida. When a golf club drummer pushes a weird, big-headed "Kryptonite" driver, and Del discovers that it gives his ball super range, he decides to join the $45M Seniors Tour. Since he needs financial backing, Del's friend, groundskeeper and snake rustler Doublewide (for his house, not his size) McBride suggests Dottie Ridge, a 70-year-old former Rockette and Chiquita Banana with "the body of a rubber monkey" and control of her senile husband's sizable estate. After a strenuous "audition," Dottie agrees to back Del for a year, and they affectionately dub the club Big Luther (which is what one of Del's ex-girlfriends used to call his biggest asset in the mating game). Doublewide signs on as caddie. Shropshire outdoes himself with eccentric characters on zany outings in one remote city after another with Del and Big Luther taking on the oldest of the best with the priceless advice of Del's father, a con artist and used-car salesman. The locker room patois, much of it scatological, fits the scenario and may limit the audience, but a more hilarious look at the trappings and rituals of a country club sport would be hard to find. (June 8)

Forecasts:Prominent displays and handselling could make this book as a high scorer for Father's Day.

Reviewed on: 06/18/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
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