I bought a copy of "The Longest Shot" just prior to the 2012 U.S. Open, when the event would return to the site of the events recounted in the book - the Olympic Club, in San Francisco, CA. I attended the 2012 Open, working as a USGA volunteer, and I watched two days of practice rounds and all four days of the tournament. I waited until after the Open to start reading the book, and though the author does a great job of bringing the story to life for readers who have never been to the venue, my familiarity with the course after having spent the week of the Open there added to my enjoyment of the story.
One thing that I found special about Mr Sagebiel's telling of the story is the sense of anticipation I got as the events of that long-ago week unfolded in the pages of the book - as I read along, especially when reading about the final regulation round and the playoff round, I found that I couldn't wait to see what happened next, even though I knew how the tournament ended! I got that same sense of anticipation when watching the Tom Hanks movie "Apollo 13" -- even though I had watched those events unfold on TV at the time, the movie was so well done that I could feel the tension and the drama of the story playing out as if I had no knowledge of the ending.
I also like the way that Mr Sagebiel let the reader know what Jack Fleck was all about, what kind of a man he was at the time. Over the years this story has been told more from the point of view of this fluky thing happening to Ben Hogan; Mr Sagebiel tells the story from Jack's side, and bring out a fuller portrait of him than "unknown muni course pro". I especially liked the description of the aftermath of the Open, and the effect that the win had on Jack's life. I see parallels in the aftermath of Bubba Watson's Masters win. (Jack Fleck was at the 2012 Open, and I saw him there, though I did not meet him. He is still quite a character - vital and active at 90 years of age. It was a real treat to see him return to the site of his great victory.)
Bottom line - thoroughly researched and exceedingly well-written, "The Longest Shot" is a valuable contribution to the literature of golf history, and belongs on the bookshelf of every golfer who is interested in the history of the game. Mr Sagebiel deserves the thanks of golf fans for bringing this great story of a significant event in the history of golf more fully to light.