I Hate to Lose: How a Little-Known, Handicapped Black Man Beat the Best of the Best on the PGA Tour. Charlie Owens: His Life and Timesby Charlie Owens, Ed Smith
Though he was severely crippled from a Korean War injury and was blind in one eye,
I Hate To Lose is a story of courage and inspiration and how one little known African-American who grew up during the depression in Florida overcame poverty, prejudice and severe physical handicaps not only to play on the PGA Tour, but also to beat the best professionals of his era.
Though he was severely crippled from a Korean War injury and was blind in one eye, that didn't bother Charlie. After a career in the PGA, at the age of 57, as a member of the Senior PGA, he just put two crutches in his bag, drove his ball down the middle of the fairway off the first tee in the first round of the 1986 U.S. Open and then bravely hobbled on those crutches out to take on the best and the healthiest in the world-the USGA would not allow him to ride in a cart.
When he first qualified in 1972 for the PGA, he was teased and derided as the "crippled, blind, cross handed guy". Not only were his knees shot, he'd had a stroke and was blind in one eye and he never changed his backward, upside down grip that he'd always used as a young boy. People were amazed that he could even hit the ball let alone launch it on 300-yard drives with old Persimmon-headed woods. Nevertheless, in 1966, he won 18 of the 21 events he entered.
Today Charlie Owens is 76 and his story must be told. The only remnant of his incredible narrative other than this book is a single scrapbook of short newspaper articles that he still cherishes. However, I Hate To Lose is not just another sports story, or another golf book.
Charlie overcame just about every adversity: physical, mental and financial that a man could withstand and still emerged a champion among champions, not only in the game of golf, but also in the game of life.
- iUniverse, Incorporated
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