Fore! Play: The Last American Male Takes up Golf / Bill Geist

Book Cover Fore! Play: The Last American Male Takes up Golf
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/ Bill Geist
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
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Sales Rank: 2578880
ISBN-10: 0446678473
ISBN-13: 9780446678476

It was only a matter of time before Bill Geist, the comic bard of suburban life, collided with the royal and ancient game. "Golf fever. It's serious, it's viral, it's epidemic, and," he observes in Fore! Play, "unlike West Nile no one is spraying for it." And if it hasn't thoroughly infected him, too, it's at least brought out enough writer's curiosity to spur an odyssey in search of why the game casts such a spell over so many devoted pilgrims.

His curiosity hits most of the expected stops on a beginning golfer's journey, and at times--his community night-school golf lessons, his interview at a ritzy country club, brief chronicles of trouble-filled rounds with his wife and son--he hits with enough spin to keep the humor pin-high and his narrative moving. But this is, in the end, an old story, one that every golfer has likely experienced and heard before, and Geist brings little new to it beyond his wry persona. More often than not, he winds up in a rough of his own making, reaching too hard for laughs that just aren't there. His Geistian golf definitions and tips ("Don't bend over to tee up your ball with a bag full of clubs over your shoulder or they'll spill out and make you look like Jerry Lewis") are simply silly when they're not out-and-out sophomoric. Of course, golf does have a knack for bringing out the worst in people. When Geist swings too wildly for a laugh in Fore! Play, the consequence is inevitable: he shanks it. --Jeff Silverman
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