Jun 1, 2012

The Downhill Lie, by Carl Hiaasen

This is not a book that any non-golfer would even remotely be able to understand, but those of us who do golf understand it all too well, and empathize deeply with Hiaasen's plight. This little book is the journal of Hiaasen's return to golf after thirty-five years, and it is quite a bumpy one. He plunges into the game, buying club after expensive club and gadget after useless gadget in the hopes that he can become a consistently decent player. Don't we all... His friends encourage him, yet sometimes can't help but laugh at his well-intentioned and disastrous play. He takes lessons from championship teachers, but nothing seems to help. He can't seem to get into the groove of things and take golf for what it's supposed to be: a game. With characteristic Hiaasen dry humor he recounts every shanked and pulled and sliced stroke; it is, admittedly, a bit like my father's own daily recital of his golf game, and can get to be a little much. The humor, though, and especially the parts where Hiaasen describes his young son's joy at the game as well as his own joy at getting to spend time with him, make it worth while.

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