The history of golf is fascinating and this book by Mark Frost is a classic. I had read a brief excerpt in Golf Digest when the book was first released and with my full intention to buy the book and read, I promptly forgot about it.
It wasn’t until a trip to a Dick’s Sporting goods after Christmas while at my in-laws, that I was re-introduced to the book. At the store, while my wife was looking at some ski boots, I went over to the golf section. It was empty except for one elderly gentleman who worked in the department. We struck up a conversation and soon the golf anecdotes started flying.
After sharing a few stories and triumphs he asked me if I liked to read. I said yes, and then he asked me if I was interested in golf history, to which I also responded yes.
He told me about The Match. And I vaguely recalled my intention to read it before. As he told me more about it, I knew that I was going to read it. My wife came over and joined me, listened to a few of his jokes, and then said that we had to go.
Luckily at Christmas I had received a gift card to Borders, and when I was back in my home town, I went out and got the book. The timing couldn’t have been better as I promptly got knocked out by a cold and had to stay in bed for a days. I started reading and instantly became absorbed in the book.
Part of it’s allure to me, is the history of golf as a gentleman’s sport. During the time of The Match, the professional game hadn’t yet become what it is today. Amateurs played because they loved it, at the highest levels without any thought of turning pro. It is amazing to read about that history. I love the game as it is today, but Mark Frost does a masterful job of creating a sense of time and introducing the real life people who took part in the match.
If you enjoy watching the Bob Hope Classic and any other celebrity pro-ams, you should read The Match. Although there is no guarantee that reading this book will make you a better player, I believe that it will make you a better golfer. The people, settings, and stories within the story of The Match, will give you a different appreciation for this game we all love.