Title: A Golfer's Life
Publisher: Ballantine Books, New York
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Very Good +
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition
First edition March 1999, stated; first printing, full number line. Signed by coauthor James Dodson on the title page: "James Dodson." Book is unmarked; spine slant; corners sharp, spine ends bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $26.95); edgewear at spine ends and corners. Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 006100
Synopsis: There has never been a golfer to rival Arnold Palmer. He's the most aggressive, most exciting player the game has ever known, a dynamo famous for coming from behind to make bold last-minute charges to victory. To the legions of golf fans known around the world as "Arnie's Army," Palmer is a charismatic hero, the winner of sixty-one tournaments on the PGA Tour and still going strong on the Senior PGA Tour. But behind the legend, there is the private Palmer--a man of wit, compassion, loyalty, and true grit in the face of personal adversity.
Golf-crazy as far back as he can remember, Arnie followed his dad, "Deacon" Palmer, the head greenskeeper, around the Latrobe Country Club fairways; as a youth he played at dawn before the club members arrived (the only time he was allowed on the course); by the time he graduated from high school he was headed for the national circuit. His rise to fame was meteoric, and by the 1960s he had emerged as one of the few American athletes the public truly cared about--a vibrant, daring, handsome sports celebrity who attracted wild crowds and enormous television audiences whenever he played and whose charisma propelled the explosion of enthusiam for golf in the sixties.
Writing with the humor and candor that are as much his trademark as his unique golf swing, Palmer narrates the deeply moving story of his life both on and off the links. He recounts his friendships (and rivalries) with greats of the game, including Jack Nicklaus, his enduringly happy marriage with Winnie, his legendary charges to triumph and his titanic disasters, and his valiant battle against cancer. Returning to the Senior PGA Tour with unmatched zeal after his recovery, Palmer reminded fans of his unfaltering heroism--and the world of golf is thankful.
From small-town boy to golfing legend, Arnold Palmer has lived one of the great sporting lives of the twentieth century. Now, with the help of acclaimed golf writer James Dodson, he has created one of the great sports autobiographies of our time.
Review: From his first steps onto the public stage, this true icon of sport exuded an aura more inviting than off-putting, and his substantial record--92 titles worldwide, four Masters championships, a U.S. Open crown, and back-to-back British Open victories--speaks for itself. So does his autobiography. It is friendly, chatty, honest, passionate, long on spirit, and deft with the anecdotes it shares. As a storyteller, Palmer is as down the middle with the failures and hard times as he is with the remarkable triumphs. He writes thrillingly about golf at its most competitive; probingly about his rivals, particularly Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus; revealingly about the extended slump that followed the '64 Masters, his last win in a major; fairly and nobly about his own legendary status; emotionally about his family and his complex relationship with his father; and quite movingly about both his and his wife's battles with cancer: "The very word...used in the same sentence as Winnie's name struck cold terror in my heart."
If A Golfing Life sometimes finds itself ankle-deep in the rough of its own sentimentality--"I'm damned proud of my efforts"--it also surprises with unflinching candor and self-awareness: "Walking down the fairway, shaken to the core," he concedes of his titanic collapse in the final round of the 1966 U.S. Open, "I doubt if I have ever felt as alone or as devastated on the golf course. I know what a train wreck the world is witnessing." In the end, the volume's real appeal isn't just the charismatic persona of Palmer himself--it's his ability to take aim at the birdies and bogeys of a full life on and off the course and assess them with clarity, charm, equanimity, and wit. --Jeff Silverman
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