The War by the Shore: The Incomparable Drama of the 1991 Ryder Cup

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Overview

The true story of the dramatic 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island, which changed the competition in golf forever.

The 1991 Ryder Cup began in 1985. Up to then, the biennial match between all-star teams of golf professionals from America and Europe was more ceremonial exhibition than real competition, with the Americans consistently beating the Europeans. That all changed in 1985, when the Europeans wrested it away at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. The Europeans would go ...

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The War by the Shore: The Incomparable Drama of the 1991 Ryder Cup

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Overview

The true story of the dramatic 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island, which changed the competition in golf forever.

The 1991 Ryder Cup began in 1985. Up to then, the biennial match between all-star teams of golf professionals from America and Europe was more ceremonial exhibition than real competition, with the Americans consistently beating the Europeans. That all changed in 1985, when the Europeans wrested it away at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. The Europeans would go on to win again in 1987, and in 1989 the competition ended in a draw. By the time the 1991 Ryder Cup arrived, the American team had vengeance on their minds.

The 1991 Ryder Cup also occurred between the United States’s victories in both the Persian Gulf War and the Cold War that year, and the sense of patriotism that came along with the end of those conflicts permeated the national psyche. The competition was broadcast to over 200 million people in twenty-three countries across the globe. Fans forgot golf ’s gentlemanly code of conduct, and loud boos, jeers, and cheers of “USA!” could be heard from the gallery. The Ryder Cup began to resemble the Super Bowl, and it quickly became evident that this match was about more than just golf.

In The War by the Shore, veteran golf writer and bestselling author Curt Sampson chronicles this pivotal competition. He interviewed dozens of key players from both Team USA and Team Europe, and provides historical context to explain why the tension was ratcheted so high at this particular Ryder Cup. Well-researched, engrossing, and deeply entertaining, The War by the Shore is the story of when golf lost its manners (and, to some extent, its mind).

 

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Golf writer Sampson (Golf Dads: Fathers, Sons, and the Greatest Game, 2008, etc.) recounts the tale of the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island, S.C., perhaps the most famous edition of the biennial contest. The Ryder Cup began in 1927 as a competition between golfers from the United States and Britain and was dominated by the U.S. for the first 50 years of its existence. The tide began to shift, however, when, in 1979, the format changed to include players from the rest of Europe. By 1991, the European side had won three in a row, and there was no love lost between many of the players on both teams. The Kiawah Island "War by the Shore" had its share of controversy, including the continuance of a feud between Spanish star Seve Ballesteros and American Paul Azinger and accusations of jingoism after U.S. players Corey Pavin and Steve Pate wore camouflage hats with "Desert Storm" labels. But for all the controversy and nationalism, the tournament's fame rests mainly on the excitement of the matches, a hard-fought competition that came down to a single putt on the final hole, an excruciating 6-foot miss by German Bernhard Langer. Sampson does a nice job recreating the frenzied atmosphere, with input from most of the major participants and a wealth of behind-the-scenes information that adds much to readers' understanding of the events of that week. He should also be credited for avoiding the usual hushed, reverent tones of many sports historians, though some readers will be put off by the narrative style, which occasionally feels like being cornered at the 19th hole by the slightly drunk know-it-all who fancies himself a raconteur. An entertaining read for golf fans that sheds light on an important chapter in golf history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592408429
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 934,732
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Curt Sampson is a former golf touring professional and bestselling author of several books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Masters and Hogan. He has written for Golf Digest, Golf magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Golf World, and has appeared frequently on golf history documentaries on CBS, HBO, ESPN, and the Golf Channel. He lives in Bristol, Texas.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Depression Eleven

1 Monday, September 23, 1991 11

2 Friday, September 22, 1989 24

3 Thursday, April 18, 1991 34

4 Wednesday, September 18, 1991 36

5 Thursday, September 12, 1991 49

Part 2 The Gathering Storm

6 Monday, September 23 63

7 Tuesday, September 24 78

8 Wednesday, September 25 95

9 Thursday, September 26 106

Part 3 El Juego

The Stakes 113

10 Friday Morning, September 27 117

11 Friday Afternoon, September 27 138

Part 4 Made for Tv

12 Ratings Race 157

13 Saturday, September 28 164

14 Saturday Afternoon, 2:00 P.M. Est 176

Part 5 Pure Tension and Panic

15 Sunday Morning, September 29 197

Afterword 239

Postscript 251

Acknowledgments 257

Bibliography 259

Index 261

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