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A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour [Hardcover]

John Feinstein
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Sep 1995
Beginning with the tense US victory in the 1993 Ryder Cup, this book tells the story of an unusually turbulent year on the PGA tour. It also provides portraits of leading golfers such as Nick Price, Tom Watson and Greg Norman, and of rising stars such as Paul Azinger. The author, a leading American sports journalist and radio commentator, discusses the players' private lives and examines the pressures of a high-profile sport with virtually no off-season, the intense competition to stay on the "money list", and the psychological dangers in a game in which a player's true opponent is always himself. John Feinstein has written for "Sports Illustrated", "The Washington Post" and "Sporting News", and is the author of "A Season on the Brink" and "Hard Courts".

Product details

  • Hardcover: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 1st edition (7 Sep 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316877077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316877077
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 490,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

In John Feinstien's A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour, someone asks Faldo, after his final round in the PGA, if his failure to win a major last year was a problem with his putter.

"The problem, " Faldo said, "was with the puttee."

If you've ever shanked a two footer, or taken a divot out of the green, you'll know something of what he was talking about, but for a fully textured understanding of this most cerebral of games, John Feinstein's best-selling account of the 1994 US PGA Tour is essential reading.

Feinstein sets himself the task of appreciating the game through an understanding of the man attached to the club shaft, and his studies of John Daly and Nick Faldo, in particular, are wonderfully observed and rendered.

Daly, and the drink, drugs and violence with which he was living, had a deep and lasting impact on the professional game in 1994 and beyond. He made excellence and achievement at golf look brutal and ugly, and the American public, who like to see a little blood and sweat for their money, loved it. The genteel narcissism that had been the spirit of the tour for so long dissolved in his wake.

Faldo, silent, brooding and an obsessive deconstructor of golf swings and mindsets, cuts a very different figure and Feinstein's book is one of the most complete studies of this extraordinary sportsman ever written. For Faldo and Daly, more than most, the golf course became a public arena for a personal struggle. Each round of golf was a journey into inner space.

Fortunately, there are lots of amusing and revealing anecdotes to accompany the psychological analysis and we are largely spared ramblings of the "humanity-in-every- bunker-shot" kind.

Feinstein's succinct style reflects this commitment to clarity, making this a readable and definitive work on the subject of man's pursuit of the small, round ball. --Alex Hankin


The golf book of the season...his dissection of the pressures of life where the cost oe one fluffed shot can be counted in tens of thousands of dollars will provide a salutary check to the dreams of a legion of club golfers. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Feinstein is a brilliant reporter, a remorseless digger for information with a gift for establishing affinities with golfers reputedly reluctant to bare their souls ... There is an excellent profile of Tom Watson, which pumps blood into that enigmatic figure, and no better observation of Nick Faldo's obsession with the game has ever been written ... The professional golf circuit is now a manic, driven circus and Feinstein, without plunging into tabloid mire, has captured it in a sweeping canvas ... A stunning documentary on the modern professional game (Ian Wooldride in THE GUARDIAN)


A sparkling account... If you only read one sports book a year, this is the one. (THE ECONOMIST)

Worthy of a place in the front rank of sports books ... So thorough that you can almost see the golfer's spike marks on each page (THE TIMES)

Highly recommended (SUNDAY TIMES)

Feinstein gets right inside the mindset, capturing the insularity, the comradeship and the little barbs of bitterness. The catty relationship between the superstars of golf and the workaday professionals who make up the supporting cast on the tour provided splendid material ... A wonderful portrait of a professional sport and a swathe of American society (IRISH TIMES) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 'behind the scenes' golf books 19 Jun 2001
By A Customer
John Ferstein has done what no other golf book has done so far. His 'behind-the-scenes' look at life on the PGA tour is one of those books that once you start reading it you can't put down, and once you've finished reading it you'll start all over again. From The Ryder Cup through PGA Qualifying School to the final major of the season. John Fernstein manages to show you just how tough life can be 'on the road' and how tough it can be when you just miss the chance to be 'on the road'. John not only takes us through life on the PGA tour, but also on the Nike Tour as well as the pressures of Qualifying School - where one shot can meand driving to a Nike Tour event each week or flying to a PGA Tour event each week. Also, he provides a wonderful insight into the players and how they got to where they were today. A must for all golf fans out there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
For those who want to read and feel what goes on behind the scenes of the USPGA tour a book that is a must. It starts with the Ryder Cup in England in 1993. I still remember now watching Davis Love III beat Costatino Rocca on the 18th green at the Belfry and Love being swamped by his team mates whilst Rocca was left alone to ponder over what might have been. I felt then that Love should have pushed his team mates aside and sought out Rocca to shake his hand. He didn't. This book puts that matter right. Love sought him out and said 'It could have been me'. This book tells the stories behind the glare of the cameras. Paul Azingers come back after his treatment for cancer. His playing partners with tears in their eyes on the tee as he rejoined the tour after fearing he would never play again. The feeling of playing with John Daly surrounded by huge crowds and security men , and still playing the shot that was required to make the cut. The real pressure of trying to make it through Qualifying School. The tears, sadness, laughter and joy of just having the chance to play with the best. It is a book that I cannnot recommend highly enough for those who want more than just another book on how to play the game. Read it and enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best golf book ever written. Full stop. 4 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This book awakens the soul of the PGA Tour. Having read two of Feinstein's golf books, this is certainly the best. It tells of a year in the life of the PGA Tour, focuses on certain players (famous and the not so famous) and on the running of the Tour itself. Brilliantly written, humourous at times and always fascinating and enjoyable, A Good Walk Spoiled will keep you up all night as you follow in the footsteps of the professional golfers of America. If you ever wondered what the PGA was really like, then this is the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top five golf books ever 19 Aug 2005
Along with 'The Majors', another Feinstein book, 'A good walk spoiled' is likely to be as good a golf book as you are likely to read. Feinstein gives a real insight into life as a professional golfer. You are given a tour through what it takes to get to the top in golf and the pressures faced by those already there. Great pieces on different golfers such as greats like Tom Watson and want-to-be-greats like Paul Goydos. You really get into their mindset and what makes them the people and golfers they are. Feinstein shows that there is far more to being a great golfer than hitting a small white ball around a field. If you are only going to read one golf book make this the one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 16 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good book to read, some funny bits, obviously it's about the American golf tour, but he's a good writer and its still interesting
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 3 Jun 2013
By corry
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
very interesting,witty,and an excellent read gives an interesting insight into the goings on on the european tour at that time
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feinstein or Donegan 30 Jun 2008
In my view John Feinstein is the finest golf writer of his generation, narrowly beating Dan Jenkins and James Dodson. Comparing this book unfavourably to Lawrence Donegan's account of life as a European Tour caddie to a journeyman pro confuses the situation. They are very different books. Each is, of course, enjoyable in its own right but I know, from having read and bought every one of Mr Feinstein's golf books, which I prefer. Drink in Feinstein and be captivated by his insight and wonderful descriptions. Lest it not be known, John Feinstein also writes wonderfully on a host of other US sports. Buy Donegan as well by all means - he is eminently readable - but don't ignore someone who, in my opinion, cannot be topped. Mr Feinstein, take a bow!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Walk Spoiled Days and Nights on the PGA tour
This book has not been read yet although looking forward to the time to reading it as it is a subject I am interested in
Published 15 months ago by Kathy
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing insight to golf.
'A Good Walk Spoiled' aims to detract from the belief that life on the PGA Tour is pleasant for all involved, that the game of golf is rewarding to all of its players on the 'Big... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Felicity
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book partly because I witnessed some of the incidents. He really gets into the mind of the golfer under pressure! Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2011 by Peter Munn
4.0 out of 5 stars a good walk spoiled
a fascinating insight into what happens behind the scenes, and how difficult it is to make it on tour
Published on 1 Aug 2010 by HNP
5.0 out of 5 stars for every golfer
this book lives up to its repUtation as one of the best on golf and its subject ever written. follow the triumphs and the failures of the worlds great players. Read more
Published on 1 May 2010 by Mr. John A. Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for golf fans
A Good Walk Spoiled was the first in a series of golf books by Feinstein and it's still probably the best. Golfers will find its contents nothing less than fascinating. Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2009 by Danny C
2.0 out of 5 stars Monotonous - It's ok for about 4 or 5 Chapters
If you are thinking of buying this don't. Buy May Be It Should Have Been A Three Iron By Lawrence Donegan - It is infinately better.
Published on 22 Nov 2000 by "olegunnarsolskjaer"
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