In the Zone -- A Novel About Championship Golf

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9780966436617: In the Zone -- A Novel About Championship Golf
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This is a novel about a professional golfer competing in the PGA TOUR's premier event, The Players Championship. The intent of the book is to portray realistically the drama and excitement of championship golf. The central character, Jeff Taylor, is a veteran PGA TOUR player struggling within a career crisis, and beginning, at age 43, to doubt his competitive skills. It has been nearly ten years since his last Tour victory, and his continuing eligibility to compete in Tour events is in jeopardy.

Preparing for the first round of the Championship, Taylor begins to sense the return of the self-assuredness that characterized his play in the prime of his career. He begins to play well, entering the athlete's serene and super-confident state-of-mind often referred to as The Zone. With the aid of a more positive attitude and his long-time caddie, Sand Wedge, Taylor successfully negotiates the difficult Stadium Course with a first-round score of 65, and becomes the Championship leader.

But other matters vie for Taylor's attention, threatening to distract him from his focus on the Championship and his place within the Zone. Japanese businessmen hold an ambush press conference to announce a lucrative proposal regarding a new "World Tour." The PGA TOUR Commissioner believes the proposal is ill-conceived, and would damage the institutions currently involved in professional golf, and ultimately not be in the best interests of the game or the players. The Commissioner seeks Taylor's assistance, as a popular, veteran player, in persuading the rest of the players not to support the World Tour proposal.

Taylor also has to deal with the re-emergence of his relationship with his former significant other, Sandy. The emotions she stirs in him make him realize that in recent years he has lost track of what is truly important in his life. He begins to appreciate that she and their former environment (Taylor used to live in the beach near where the Championship is being played) are the real assets of his life, and that his career as a professional golfer is just a job, important to be sure, but not his entire life.

Taylor' realizations help him to begin resolving his professional and personal conflicts, retaining his position within the Zone as he competes for the Championship and, in the process, unlocks the doorway to his future.

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From the Author:

My goal with In the Zone was to tell a story within the framework of a major golf championship which captured the drama and excitement of the sport while remaining faithful to the subject matter. World-class sporting events involve much more than the competition "inside the ropes." Professional golf is also "big business" filled with interesting people attempting to resolve difficult problems. In the Zone offers the reader a rare, "insider's" viewpoint on the competition, the politics and the people involved in the fascinating world of big-time professional golf.

From the Back Cover:

Gary Crist's novel, In the Zone, is a remarkable achievement of getting it right. This story, told against the background of the PGA TOUR's big event, The Players Championship, is a first hand look at the world of professional golf, its drama, its politics, its business. Mr. Crist has been there and in this entertaining novel, he takes us there. (Jack Whitaker, Golf broadcaster and commentator)

Gary Crist takes us deep inside the PGA TOUR with his compelling tale In the Zone. He vividly creates the characters and captures the tempo of what has become the Greatest Show on Grass. It's an under-par winner. (Jay Randolph, Golf broadcaster and commentator for the Sports Channel)

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Gary M. Crist
Published by Down the Middle Pr Inc (1998)
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Gary M. Crist
Published by Down the Middle Pr Inc (1998)
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