The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf

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9781504658607: The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf

[Read by Robertson Dean]

A must-listen for millions of sports and history fans -- and all who have ever dared to reach for their dreams.

Francis Ouimet and Harry Vardon came from different worlds and different generations, but their passion for golf set them on parallel paths that would collide in the greatest match their sport had ever known. A young Massachusetts native, Francis was only three years removed from his youthful career as a lowly caddie. Harry was twice his age, the greatest British champion in history, and innovator of the modern grip and swing. Through exacting hard work, perseverance, and determination, Harry Vardon had escaped a hopeless life of poverty; the unknown Ouimet dared to dream of following in his hero's footsteps. When the two men finally came together in their legendary battle at the 1913 US Open, its heart-stopping climax gave rise to the sport of golf as we know it today.

Weaving the stories of Ouimet and Vardon as his narrative, Mark Frost creates a uniquely involving, intimate epic that is equal parts sports biography, sweeping social history, and emotional human drama. The Greatest Game Ever Played is a must-listen for millions of sports and history fans - and all who have ever dared to reach for their dreams.

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About the Author:

Mark Frost received a Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination for the acclaimed television series Hill Street Blues and was co-creator and executive producer of the legendary television series Twin Peaks. In 2005 he wrote and produced The Greatest Game Ever Played, a major motion picture based on his book of the same name. An avid golfer, Frost lives in Los Angeles and upstate New York with his wife and son.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* The story of Francis Ouimet, the first amateur to win the U.S. Open golf tournament, is just too good to be true: it's Rocky without the sequels, it's Jack without his beanstalk, it's Tiger without Nike. But it's true, and as told by veteran thriller writer Frost, it's the most compelling sports book since Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling Seabiscuit. Born in 1893, Ouimet grew up poor, directly across the street from The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, where Boston's blue bloods tried their hands at the new sport of golf. The game caught young Francis in its grip, and despite his father's disapproval, he became a caddie at the club and taught himself to play. Frost jumps between Ouimet's story and the surprisingly similar saga of British champion Harry Vardon, who was also born poor and contended with a disapproving father. Frost builds his characters--not just Ouimet and Vardon but also Francis' caddy, 10-year-old Eddie Lowery--with the skill of a novelist (occasionally but believably using invented dialogue). The climax of the narrative--the recounting of the 1913 U.S. Open at Brookline, where the unheralded, 20-year-old Ouimet beat both his idol Vardon and the other reigning British professional, Ted Ray--is genuinely exciting, a marvelous re-creation of a signature moment in golf history. Underdog stories have become among the sappiest cliches in pop-culture's arsenal, but this one reminds us why they worked in the first place. Bill Ott
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