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Hit & Hope

How the Rest of Us Play Golf

Jack Nicklaus once said of the incomparable Tiger Woods (echoing a comment made about Nicklaus by Bobby Jones), "He plays a game with which I am not familiar." David Owen, however, plays a game with which we are all very familiar: He plays in a weekly foursome, takes mulligans off the first tee, practices intermittently at best, marks his ball on the green with his lucky coin (until the luck wears out and another trinket is deemed to have better karma), wore a copper wristband because Seve Ballesteros for reasons beyond understanding said to, and struggles for consistency even though his swing is consistent -- and mediocre. He bets, he wins, he loses, he agonizes, he dreams.

Hit & Hope is as pure a definition of the game of golf as anyone has ever devised. Through the essays in this book, acclaimed columnist and author Owen takes the mundane aspects of the game and our approach to it and stands them on their head, turns them inside out, and lays our follies bare for all the world to see (all the world except ourselves, of course). He does for American golfers what P. G. Wodehouse did for our English cousins, or Jacques Tati did for humanity at large: He finds humor and nobility in our essential silliness, as expressed in our pursuit of a little white ball over a vast (but not vast enough to contain our slices) greensward.

Funny, candid, and thoughtful, Hit & Hope is an invaluable addition to any duffer's bag and the truest commentary on how -- and why -- the rest of us play golf.

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David Owen plays in a weekly foursome, takes mulligans off the first tee, practices intermittently at best, wore a copper wristband because Steve Ballesteros said so, and struggles for consistency even though his swing is consistent -- just mediocre. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker, a contributing editor to Golf Digest, and a frequent contributor to The Atlantic Monthly. His other books include The First National Bank of Dad, The Chosen One, The Making of the Masters, and My Usual Game. He lives in Washington, Connecticut.

"Mr. Owen writes with such felicity and humor about his travails on various golf courses that one indulges him his amateur status."
-- The New York Times Book Review

"Mr. Owen's style might be best described as part John Updike and part Johnny Miller."
-- Newsweek

"Owen's droll asides are as memorable as a chip-in birdie."
-- People

More books from this author: David Owen