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A Feel for the Game: A Golfing Life

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Ben Crenshaw is one of the finest professional golfers of the modern era, winner of two US Masters among nineteen PGA tournaments, and member of four US Ryder Cup teams, twice on the winning side. But perhaps his supreme achievement was to captain the 1999 American Ryder Cup side to victory for the first time in six years, after an astonishing last-day fightback in controversial circumstances. The Europe captain. Mark James, has already published the bestselling Into the Bear Pit: now it's Crenshaw's turn. In his thrilling inside account of one of the most remarkable golfing contests ever, Crenshaw counters the well-worn European allegations of bad sportsmanship after the Americans hysterical scenes on the 17th green with his own outspoken criticisms of the Europeans for unacceptably slow play. But A Feel for the Game is much more: the story of a man's lifetime in golf, over forty years from taking up his first hickory-shafted putter as a boy back in Texas, to his second US Masters win in 1995, when already well into his forties, on the idyllic Augusta National course whose splendour he eloquently describes. He muses on the unique appeal of another favourite course, St Andrews, offers moving recollections of past mentors and colleagues like his coach, Harvey Penick, author of the bestselling Little Red Book, and his larger-than-life Ryder Cup team-mate Payne Stewart, and wonders about the future for a game that nowadays sees legendary courses overpowered by super-fit players wielding hi-tech clubs. And also it offers fascinating revelations about this courteous and undemonstrative man often nicknamed 'Gentle Ben': the temper that saw him, memorably, break his favourite putter during the 1987 Ryder Cup at Muirfield; the sentimental significance of the last Ryder Cup venue, where Crenshaw played his first major amateur tournament back in 1968; and how his friend - now President - George W. Bush inspired that historic comeback at Brookline with a reading of Colonel Travis's last letter from the Alamo. Frank, thoughtful and revealing, A Feel for the Game is a model golfing autobiography, and an enormously topical sports book. Hide synopsis

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