CLASSIC GOLF: The Photographs of Walter Iooss Jr.

Walter Iooss, Jr., Author , intro. by Rick Reilly. Abrams $35 (210p) ISBN 978-0-8109-4983-6

Iooss, a veteran photographer for Sports Illustrated , has bundled more than 40 years of beautiful photography into an uninspired collection. Arranged roughly chronologically, nearly all of the photos are of the game's most recognizable players—Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicholaus, Lee Trevino, Gary Player and Tiger Woods. A few miscellaneous shots of less famous golfers and gaping spectators are scattered throughout, which only makes them seem like afterthoughts. Iooss has a knack for capturing the players in revealing moments both on the course and off, and many of the pictures are truly striking and iconic. Others, however, are either portraits or staged publicity shots that appear misplaced, even boring in comparison. The pictures are memorable, yet the layout does little more than display them. Pictures frequently spill across pages and are cropped in unusual ways. In a few instances, the design adds depth to the presentation—such as when two photos of Jack Nicholaus (one taken in 1966, the other in 1977) are displayed on facing pages, showing an ageless expression and swing. The collection would have been greatly improved by adding short descriptive passages. Rick Reilly's glib introduction provides some minimal historical context. However, while pictures are purportedly worth a thousand words, this book could have used a few more of the latter. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
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