Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer's Quest to Play with the Pros

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Overview

A lifelong golfer and former caddy, Tom Coyne could drive the ball 300 yards but always struggled against stiff competition; he had often wondered whether the pros won because they were more innately talented or just because they were more obsessed. On the cusp of turning thirty, overweight, and saddled with a 14 handicap, Coyne embarked on a yearlong quest to do everything he could to lift his game—and find out if he could make it through the PGA Tour Qualifying School.

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Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer's Quest to Play with the Pros

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Overview

A lifelong golfer and former caddy, Tom Coyne could drive the ball 300 yards but always struggled against stiff competition; he had often wondered whether the pros won because they were more innately talented or just because they were more obsessed. On the cusp of turning thirty, overweight, and saddled with a 14 handicap, Coyne embarked on a yearlong quest to do everything he could to lift his game—and find out if he could make it through the PGA Tour Qualifying School.

Paper Tiger takes you on a rollicking ride into the beer-gutted underbelly of semipro golf, into a world of crash diets, punishing workout regimens, high-flying sports shrinks, cutting-edge club technology, and obscure tournaments. With his girlfriend as caddy, Coyne traverses from Miami to Chicago to Toronto to see how he stacks up against the competition. Ultimately he takes his game to a new level—or at least a new continent—on the links of Australian Q-School, where amidst forty-mile-an-hour winds he must choose between the love of a fickle game and the love of the long-suffering woman who has stood by him throughout all the shanks, hooks, yips, and chili dips.

Brimming with humor and insight about the world's most beautiful and maddening game, Paper Tiger will delight golfers and the sane people who love them.

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Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
Abreezy, poignant read.... Hilarious.
The Seattle Times
Superb.... Coyne has a lot to say about golf, and he says it well.
Golfweek
From his commitment to the curious cause to his single-minded focus, Coyne weaves an insightful and entertaining tale....[H]is self-deprecating writing style and impeccable comedic timing make Paper Tiger a tale worth reading.
Publishers Weekly
The title is a sly acknowledgment on Coyne's part of the karmic debt his memoir owes to George Plimpton, but while Plimpton merely finagled his way onto the PGA Tour, Coyne (A Gentleman's Game) sets himself a higher goal: by dedicating a solid year to improving his golf game, he hopes to actually pass the qualifying school tournament that would allow him to compete as a professional. Believing that the difference between good and great golfers is consistency, Coyne moves to Florida for the winter for intensive training with swing doctors and sports psychologists, staying out on the course until his hands bleed. He faces the inevitable (and sometimes unexpected) setbacks with resigned humor, as he comes to realize that his year's age difference with Tiger Woods is the only thing he'll have in common with the champ. (In fact, it takes all the skill he can muster not to wind up DFL-"Dead Fucking Last.") Coyne treads a fine line between sarcasm and sympathy in his observations of his competitors, and though he occasionally gets lost in big-picture ruminations, his quest should resonate with weekend golfers who dream of going all the way. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This is Coyne's (A Gentleman's Game) diary of his yearlong quest to become a professional golfer. In The Old Man and the Tee, Turk Pipkin documented a similar journey, the notable difference being that Pipkin had financial resources. Coyne, on the other hand, had to empty his bank account and run up his credit card to accomplish his mission. With instruction from former PGA Teacher of the Year Dr. Jim Suttie, Coyne went from a 9.4 to a +0.4 handicap. What he discovered is that, with effort, dreams can come true. Talent is one thing-lots of people have it. Ambition is another. But lots of people have ambition, too. Commitment and effort-these are the two key qualities that Coyne demonstrates in his quest. It is hard not to be jealous of him, but it is a jealousy hard-earned. Truth be told, the real hero of the book is Allyson, Coyne's girlfriend, who demonstrates the kind of support one could only hope for in a significant other. This is an experience readers will be able to enjoy vicariously. Recommended for all public libraries.-Steven Silkunas, North Wales, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592402090
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Coyne

Tom Coyne is the author of the novel A Gentleman’s Game and cowriter of the screenplay for the novel’s film version, which starred Dylan Baker and Gary Sinise. He is a contributor to Golf Magazine and teaches creative writing at St. Joseph’s University.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    Tigerblaze

    Welcome to my den. So....are you here to find me a new clan? Find me a mate? Join my clan.....Blazeclan?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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