Stalking the Shark

Overview

The Great White Shark, Greg Norman, can create more drama with a single shot than most golfers can in a career. Playing all out - "Attack life" and "No fear" are his mottoes - he has captured the fascinated gaze of golf people everywhere, from the fans who flock to the course in "Sharkwear" and send television ratings soaring whenever he is in contention, to his fellow pros who - whether they admit it or not - measure their swings, their victories, and their endorsements against his. All this for a golfer whose ...
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Overview

The Great White Shark, Greg Norman, can create more drama with a single shot than most golfers can in a career. Playing all out - "Attack life" and "No fear" are his mottoes - he has captured the fascinated gaze of golf people everywhere, from the fans who flock to the course in "Sharkwear" and send television ratings soaring whenever he is in contention, to his fellow pros who - whether they admit it or not - measure their swings, their victories, and their endorsements against his. All this for a golfer whose hair's-breadth losses in major tournaments are as well known as, and even more talked about than, his two British Open championships and his remarkable record of wins around the world. Taking Norman as its focus, this book sets out to discover what really separates the great golfer from the also-rans. It shows us Norman and his peers - Nick Price, Davis Love III, Peter Jacobsen, John Daly, and rising star Brad Faxon, among many others - as they compete in the daily grind of the professional tour and the white-hot tension of major tournaments. It puts us fully into the world of the Tour, with all the sights and sounds that the television cameras and microphones never catch: the by-play in a pro-am, the elaborate pecking order of star players and journeymen, the scalpers' scene at the Masters, the pros' ribbing on the driving range and the practice putting green, the off-duty talk in the traveling caddy kitchen, and much more.

Greg Norman, also known as the Great White Shark, has captured the undivided attention of golf fans everywhere with his larger-than-life personality and a list of near-misses that remain more talked about than his remarkable record of wins. Stalking the Shark takes a behind-the-scenes look at this extraordinary golfer and his peers as they compete in the daily grind of the professional tour and the high-pressure major tournaments. 1 16-pp. color photo insert. 224 pp. Size C. 30,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Many a complaint has been voiced about pro golfers of the post-Palmer-Nicklaus-Trevino era, the most frequent one being that they are colorless. But that objection does not apply to one player, Greg Norman, the crowd-pleasing Aussie nicknamed the Great White Shark. The problem with the excitement he generates, however, is that it is based on the cliff-hanger quality of his play-he has more one-stroke second-place finishes than any other active pro, some of them detailed here. Interspersed between revealing short takes from Norman himself, titled "Sharkbites," are chapters by freelance golf writer Vigeland, who while keeping his chief subject in focus writes as much about the pro tour and other players such as Nick Price and Brad Faxon. The result, abounding in amusing anecdotes, will appeal to links fans, but Shark-worshipers may feel shortchanged. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Library Journal
This is an easily read biography of popular Australian golfer Greg Norman, whose nickname is "The Shark." On the pro circuit, Norman exhibits traits similar to those of the ocean predator: a relentless focus and intensity. These traits are essential for a competitor in a game that requires a unique dedication and commitment. Norman refers to "being in the zone, unaware of anything else going on about me." At the end of each chapter, he philosophizes about the passion and sacrifice it takes to be one of the best. Author Vigeland, a contributor to Golf Journal, examines the elements that separate the great golfers from the others on the professional tour. The result is an entertaining study that golfing enthusiasts will enjoy. A worthwhile purchase for public libraries.-L. R. Little, Penticton P.L., British Columbia
Kirkus Reviews
An insightful if occasionally lightweight glimpse at the inner dynamics of the insular world of professional golf.

The "Shark" whom Vigeland (Great, Good Fortune, 1986; In Concert, 1989) refers to in the title is Australian golfer Greg Norman, the Pro Tour's flashiest star and most valuable marketing vehicle. Norman is known and loved for his looks and Aussie magnetism: white-blond hair, dazzling smile, and electrifying (by golf standards) performances. Winner of several titles, including two British Opens, Norman is perhaps most notable as the game's most prominent runner-up—many outside golfing circles call him pro sport's premier choke artist—who has allowed several victories to slip through his grasp, often in dramatic, cliff-hanger fashion. This infusion of drama into an often arcane pastime, which Vigeland describes as a "high-money-stakes road show whose thrills are used to sell golf clubs and Cadillacs," is, ironically, the primary reason for the Shark's popularity. Norman is certainly not the circuit's most proficient hacker; just (thanks to marketing savvy) the richest. And while Norman figures importantly in this book, Vigeland hasn't set out to do a biography; he uses Norman's career to explore the inner workings of the business and to capture the reality of the professional tour circuit—the Nike, the Seniors PGA, the PGA—for a number of players. Clearly a lover of the sport himself, the author offers a rollicking look behind the scenes of these tournaments. To capture life in golf's pressure-packed environment, where "the only box score that matters . . . is written with a dollar sign," Vigeland profiles a wide range of golfers, including wannabes who hike from contest to contest in hopes of gaining an exemption (automatic qualification for the biggest paydays); top pros, including Brad Faxon, one of the PGA Tour's steadiest money earners; and organizers, caddies, fans, and hangers-on.

Interesting reading for golfers and nongolfers alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809230327
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Contemporary
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.72 (d)

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