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Hardcover The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever Book

ISBN: 1401302785

ISBN13: 9781401302788

The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In 1956, a casual bet between two millionaires eventually pitted two of the greatest golfers of the era -- Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan -- against top amateurs Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi.

The year: 1956. Decades have passed since Eddie Lowery came to fame as the ten-year-old caddie to U.S. Open Champion Francis Ouimet. Now a wealthy car dealer and avid supporter of amateur golf, Lowery has just made a bet with fellow millionaire George...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

That guy Frost can Write!!!

Mark Frost is to golf writing what Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward were to golf.... Some golf books you read and pass along to your friends. Some you keep. This is a Keeper of the first order. Your friends can buy their own... As with his earlier golf books, "The Grand Slam" and "The Greatest Game Ever Played," Frost can tell a story, a story of people, personalities, a story of drama on and off the golf course, and he brings it all to together in such a warm, affectionate--sometimes critical, but always honest and objective--way that you, the reader, feel you know these people. You care about them. You feel their joy, their pain, their hopes, their dreams and their heartache. You pull for them. Like the old CBS Televison series, "You Are There," Frost takes you "there", in this case to one of the greatest and most unusual matches ever played, and you, if not in body, then certainly in mind and spirit, are "there" Great writer, great golfers and a great story makes for a great read which this book is. One question, however. Given the antipathy Hogan felt for Nelson as their careers diverged--Nelson, once his best friend was not even invited to Hogan's by-invitation funeral--why did Hogan so readily agree to play the match with Nelson as his partner against Venturi and Ward? If you know the answer or have an opinion, post it as a comment to this review...As Dan Jenkins would say, "Fairways and Greens...Fairways and Greens..." Keep hitting the fairways and the greens...and life will be good....

The essence of the game!

Golf in the day of Der Bingle aka Bing Crosby. A panoply of the game back in the day when the guard was changing. Eddie Lowery, who as a 10 year old had caddied for Francis Ouimet when he defeated the then reigning greatest in the game, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray (as magnificently told by Mark Frost in his earlier book "The Greatest Game") has come to California and become a hugely successful car dealer. He remains close to the game both in California and nationally as a member of the inner circle at the USGA. He has nurtured several talented amateurs. At the time of "The Match" his two protege's/employees are Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi. At a dinner party on the eve of the Crosby "Clambake" at Pebble Beach he promotes a bet that "his two amateurs" could beat any two pros in the game. This leads to an impromptu match the next day at Cypress Point, the focal point of this wonderful story, between two of the greatest pros the game has ever known, Ben Hogan and his fellow Texan, Byron Nelson. Along the way to the conclusion of this incredibly played match we are treated to the color and background of the times and the lives of the four protagonists up to this moment in their respective lives. As ever, Frost is a peerless storyteller and keeps the reader engaged at every moment as the story unfolds. Don't miss this!

The Match

Mark Frost has done it again. His wonderful ability to mix the current subject with past history adds immeasurably to the readers interest. All readers of golf books have certainly had their fill of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Ken Venturi, but little has been written about Harvey Ward and what occured in his life after The Match. Frost does a good job of giving us some unique flashbacks and solid history leading up to The Match, as well as after. I felt like I was in the gallery at Cypress Point that incredible day in 1956.

Awesome, Delightful and Required Reading

I just finished Mark Frost's new book, The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever, and while I was excited to read the latest from the author of the amazing and invaluable true golf tale, The Greatest Game Ever Played, this new book exceeded my expectations. I was moved to tears several times and another, perhaps even more important, slice of golf history was illuminated. I also looked forward to this read because I had heard that "The Match" takes place at Cypress Point and I've always dreamed of playing that course, so it was a treat to walk and play it with some of the greatest golfers of all time. In case you haven't heard, the center piece of this story is a casual best ball match play round between Ben Hogan and Bryron Nelson (representing the pros) and Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward (representing the amateurs). The time is 1956 and Venturi and Ward are the last of the gentleman amateurs playing at the highest levels of the game. The event is precipitated by a bet instigated by none other than Eddie Lowery, the pint-sized ten-year old caddie from "Greatest Game" who has (believe it or not) become a millionaire California car dealer. This connection to the earlier book is more than a coincidence and Lowery becomes more important to the story than one might expect. I'm going to go so far as to say that this book is required reading for any serious golfer. On one level learning more about the life story and personality of these great players as well as that of Cypress Point and the Crosby Clambake are quintessential elements of the glory of golf in America. As before, Mark Frost does an amazing job illuminating this background (including the best recounting of the famous Hogan comeback after his accident that I've ever read.) But there's much more beyond all this. I can't summarize that essence better than the last paragraph of the book: "No four men will ever play such a match again. No four men like like these. The genuine way they lived their lives makes most of today's fast and frenzied sports and entertainment culture seem like so much packaged goods, a self-conscious, inauthentic hustle. In their best and worst hours alike each of these four stood his ground, put all he had on the line, and for better or worse lived with the consequences of his actions and moved on. Some green, untested souls might be tempted to wonder why one should still care, but none of us are here forever, we're not even here for long; and if it's true that our collective past exists inside all of us, unless we take time to bear witness to the best of those who strived before us, our chance to learn from their lives will be lost forever, and we will be the poorer for it." That's why I call it "required reading"... not to mention that it's totally fun and a complete delight! Thanks so much, Mr. Frost.

Dream Match Memorialized

Frost has done it again! A superb retelling of American golf history, this time a sudden come together dream match brought on by two titan entrepeneurs pitting pro golfers versus amateurs. The last surviving of this foursome, Venturi, called it a dream match so good even fiction could not touch. He was right. It is a magnificent event, with Eddie Lowery of Ouimet fame (Frost's other excellent golf book) and George Coleman arranging a bet pitting Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson against Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward. He sets up the match at renown Cypress Point by setting the stage with all the characters and their development, weaving a fascinating stream of characters such as Bing Crosby into the showdown. He gives the replay hole-by-hole interspersed with the background development of each player, such as would haunt most of us walking to play the next shot. This makes for rather dramatic reading as one can't wait to hear what unfolds on the next swing and hole. For the avid reader of golf as this reviewer, I knew most of the background on all the players except for Harvie Ward, whom I could not recall ever hearing about, but he certainly was a remarkable player. All three thought this of him. Venturi said one time at Augusta when asked about Ward, "Take Nicklaus at his best, and Ward at his best. I'll take Ward." Quite the compliment. This is treasured golf lore, which will serve our sport well. Certainly hope that Frost will follow this one as well with a movie version. Please?
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