|1955 U.S. Open champion Jack Fleck rides high in the streets of Davenport, Iowa.|
I didn’t know Kevin intended to write a review, so I’m doubly grateful for the time and effort he invested in this David vs. Goliath tale. You can read his complete review here. A few highlights:
The Longest Shot is the story of these two men’s paths to the Open and their ensuing battle (over an 18 hole play-off). Ben Hogan was looking to finish his remarkable career in style while Jack Fleck was looking to make a pro career a reality .… The story is one of grit and determination, on the part of both men, and anyone who swings a club will empathise with the mindset of Fleck as he tries to make a name for himself. Sagebiel gets under Fleck’s skin so that you can understand the man’s work ethic as well as his hopes and dreams. That is what is at the heart of this book... the battle at Olympic in San Francisco was the mere culmination of the man’s drive for success.On the era and more:
The story is told in an easy style, comparing the two men in their very different golf worlds. It gives a taste of what pro golf involved in the 1950s, something that is almost unrecognisable from today’s ‘celebrity’ environment.On wanting both men to win:
The other touch that the author brings to this inspiring tale is that at different times you find yourself rooting for each of the golfers involved. Nicely balanced, in other words.I was glad to see Kevin’s above comment, which, coincidentally, also came up at a book club I attended last night. There were no villains in this drama. In fact, I feel that both men were tragic figures. Ben Hogan never won his fifth U.S. Open, and Jack Fleck was regarded as a fluke winner for decades.
For those of you in the United Kingdom, THE LONGEST SHOT is available on Amazon UK. Or you can pick it up at Amazon US.