The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan

The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan

by John Coyne
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Hardcover(First Edition)

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Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book that is hard to put done once you start it. If you are interested in golf and life read this book. It truely educates people about the knowledge necessary to be a caddie and excellent golfer both physically and mentally. It's a easy read, interesting and great for young people. I am adding it to my personal library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent, truly wonderful novel. For an author known more for Gothic horror stories, this is a major shift to the golf course, a game he obviously plays and loves. He must also have been a caddie, for he knows all of the lingo. The reader does not have to be a golfer, for all such terms are defined in the text. Structurally it is built around two tense matches between Ben Hogan and the assistant club pro, Matt Richardson. The point of view is the caddie, Jack Handley. The first match is Hogan¿s practice match, the second the first round of the Chicago Open (in which Richardson somehow makes the cut). Another device Mr. Coyne uses is dual narrative structures¿the first (which dominates) is Jack telling, decades later, his story of the Hogan-Richardson matches when he was 14 years old. I might add that it does not ring true that an audience could sit through 250 pages worth of this. The third-person narrative is set years later when Jack returns to his former club to recount the Chicago Open after having become a professor who¿s written a famous book on golf. There is an air of tension throughout because Jack tells the reader early, almost between the lines, that the story will end in tragedy. One assumes it will be a lost tournament, but it is a real tragedy in which a central character dies. Besides telling a story that locks the reader¿s interest, Mr. Coyne is a true master of his craft: metaphors (¿Matt gave me a grin as if he had just won the lottery, the Open, and the girl of his dreams. I [was] feeling as I had just robbed a bank¿) speaks directly to the reader (¿On a humid day, as you players know, the ball will carry farther¿) humor, as when two characters have to go French Lick, Indiana, because there was no blood test required nor a three-day waiting period (¿¿Even I, a fourteen-year-old, knew about French Lick, which was named, I might add, for the salt springs in the area and not lascivious behavior.¿¿) There is also continual contrast between the post-War equipment golfers were forced to use¿factories had been converted for wartime¿and the clubs most people now see on TV. 1946 to 2006 does not seem to have improved professional scores very much. But Mr. Coyne¿s strong suit is constant tension, both hole-by-hole and by the tragedy that will conclude the novel. If Jack the caddie is the main character, the source of the book¿s wisdom is Ben Hogan. Jack Handley is a different man because of his brief meetings with him. The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan is a truly rewarding book for golfer and non-golfer alike.