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The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed…

The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever (edition 2009)

by Mark Frost

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1646103,360 (4.2)1
Title:The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever
Authors:Mark Frost
Info:Hyperion (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
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The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever by Mark Frost



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Could two amateur golfers beat two of the world's greatest professionals? Once upon a time, they might. Mark Frost tells the story of just such a contest in his account of The Match: The Day The Game Of Golf Changed Forever. But this isn't a fairy tale. It is instead a can't-put-it-down true account of a high-stakes game played in 1956 on one of golf's most spectacular courses by four of the game's legendary competitors.

Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson are the pros. They have fourteen major championships between them. Coming from the same caddie yard, the once-close competitors haven't spoken in years--but they teamed up to face the two leading amateurs of the day, Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi. Both of these young men competed at the highest levels of the game in the hallowed tradition of Bobby Jones. As a match-play team, they had never been defeated. The venue for the match? Storied Cypress Point, whose fairways follow craggy cliffs and rocky promontories swept by the winds of the Pacific while the ocean crashes below.

Frost lays out the play stroke by stroke, pacing the narrative with revealing histories of the players and other notables involved in the day. He puts the game into context, pointing out that this day marked the end of the amateur era and the ascendance of the professional. While the match itself is compelling, the after-stories make fascinating reading, too, especially for those of us intersted in the history of golf. ( )
  davedonelson | May 9, 2011 |
oh well. ( )
  tintinintibet | Apr 18, 2011 |
The setting is 1956 in Pebble Beach golf course at the Bing Crosby's clam-bake, when Eddie Lowery says that he has two amateurs that can beat any two golfers that George Coleman can find to play in a match play, match. Coleman puts up Ben Hogan & Byron Nelson against Lowery's Ken Venturi & Harvie Ward and they go out an play the most amazing match with Hogan & Nelson winning 1-up. They shoot a best ball score of 58 to 59 with individual scores of 63, 67, 65 and 67 respectively. An eagle on the 10th hole by Hogan was the difference in the match since Ward birdied that same hole for a loss of hole to the Pro's. ( )
  Gatorhater | Mar 9, 2011 |
A wonderful book for anyone who has ever played a game of golf, or driven by the Pebble Beach golf course. It is a true account of a match put together at Bing Crosby's clam bake. A look into four of the most famous golfers of all time. Their personalities, frailties and strengths. ( )
  elsyd | May 14, 2009 |
This really isn't a book that I would pick up to read. However, I really enjoyed it! I'm new to the game of golf, so none of the men in the book were immediately recognized. I have heard a few of these names associated with the game, but didn't know anything about them, or how they pursued the game of golf. Much of this book is a history lesson about the game of golf and how it changed as a result of a few individuals. Learning about these men was actually quite interesting. Harvie Ward was the comic, Ben Hogan the silent and reserved, Byron Nelson the friendly coach and Ken Venturi was the youngster. I truly enjoyed getting to know these men and what they each brought to the game of golf. Of the four, Ward's story was one of achievement, and the one that I enjoyed the most. He was wronged, yet did not point fingers and blame. He grew from the whole escapade and became a much better person for it. His story was inspirational.

Ultimately, the story tells about what is referred to as The Match. It was an informal eighteen hole round of golf played by the games top two amateurs, as seen by Eddie Lowery, and the top to pros, picked by George Coleman. Lowery and Coleman had a bet on this match and the foursome each had their own side bets. When all was said and done, the pros won by 1 stroke. What this proves is that during that time in history, the sport was predominately played by amateurs, though some held professional status. Nowadays, there wouldn't be any two amateurs who could play against any two pros and put up the same numbers. Many of the records that these 4 men set are still standing, and at the least, still talked about. The game as a whole is much different today than back when these men played the game. Back then it was about pride, score improvement and bettering oneself. Now, it's largely about the money and the endorsements. ( )
  kysmom02 | Mar 30, 2009 |
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A chronicle of a lesser-known 1956 golf match documents how Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi competed against the leading players as a result of a bet between sponsors Eddie Lowery and George Coleman, in a competition that helped promote golf into a professional sport.… (more)

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