Originally drawn to the game by his father, Carl Hiaasen wisely quit golfing in 1973. But some ambitions refuse to die, and as the years–and memories of shanked 7-irons faded, it dawned on Carl that there might be one thing in life he could do better in middle age than he could as a youth. So gradually he ventured back to the dreaded driving range, this time as the father of a five-year-old son–and also as a grandfather.
“What possesses a man to return in midlife to a game at which he’d never excelled in his prime, and which in fact had dealt him mostly failure, angst and exasperation? Here’s why I did it: I’m one sick bastard.” And thus we have Carl’s foray into a world of baffling titanium technology, high-priced golf gurus, bizarre infomercial gimmicks and the mind-bending phenomenon of Tiger Woods; a maddening universe of hooks and slices where Carl ultimately–and foolishly–agrees to compete in a country-club tournament against players who can actually hit the ball. “That’s the secret of the sport’s infernal seduction,” he writes. “It surrenders just enough good shots to let you talk yourself out of quitting.”
Hiaasen’s chronicle of his shaky return to this bedeviling pastime and the ensuing demolition of his self-esteem–culminating with the savage 45-hole tournament–will have you rolling with laughter. Yet the bittersweet memories of playing with his own father and the glow he feels when watching his own young son belt the ball down the fairway will also touch your heart. Forget Tiger, Phil and Ernie. If you want to understand the true lure of golf, turn to Carl Hiaasen, who offers an extraordinary audiobook for the ordinary hacker.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey .
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|Title of eBook: The Downhill Lie|
|Release Date: 05-13-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Downhill Lie|
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The Downhill Lie
In the summer of 2005, I returned to golf after a much needed layoff of thirty-two years.
Attempting a comeback in my fifties wouldn’t have been so absurd if I’d been a decent player when I was young, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. At my best, I’d shown occasional flashes of competence. At my worst, I’d been a menace to all carbon-based life-forms on the golf course.
On the day I gave up golfing, I stood six-feet even, weighed a stringy 145 pounds and was in relatively sound physical shape. When I returned to the game, I was half an inch taller, twenty-one pounds heavier and nagged by the following age-related ailments:
• elevated cholesterol;
• a bone spur deep in the right rotator cuff;
• an aching right hip;
• a permanently weakened right knee, due to a badly torn medial
meniscus that was scraped and repaired in February 2003 by the
same orthopedic surgeon who’d once worked on a young professional
quarterback named Dan Marino. (The doctor had assured me that
my injury was no worse than Marino’s, then he’d added with a hearty
chuckle, “But you’re also not twenty-two years old.”)
Other factors besides my knee joint and HDL had changed during my long absence. When I’d abandoned golf in 1973, I had been a happily married father of a two-year-old son. When I returned to the sport in 2005, I was a happily remarried father of a five-year-old son, a fourteen-year-old stepson and a thirty-four-year-old son with three kids of his own. In other words, I was a grandpa.
Over those three busy and productive decades, a normal, w