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The Phantom of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World's Worst Golfer [Paperback]

Scott Murray , Simon Farnaby
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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The Phantom of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World's Worst Golfer The Phantom of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World's Worst Golfer 4.6 out of 5 stars (26)
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Book Description

8 July 2010

"I have been insulted, abused, pelted with stones, held up to ridicule, manhandled by police, prosecuted, fined, threatened with violence, and finally physically assaulted. In spite of it all I shall try to succeed as a professional golfer, because that is what I have chosen to do, and no amount of sabre rattling is going to stop me"

When 46-year-old crane driver and former comedy stunt-diver Maurice Flitcroft chanced his way into the Open - having never before played a round of golf in his life - he ran up a record-worst score of 121. The sport's ruling classes went nuclear, and banned him sine die.

Maurice didn't take it lying down. In a hilarious game of cat-and-mouse with The Man, he entered tournaments again - and again, and again - using increasingly ludicrous pseudonyms such as Gene Pacecki, Arnold Palmtree and Count Manfred von Hoffmanstel (more often than not disguised by a Zapata moustache soaked in food dye).

In doing so, he sent the authorities into apoplexy, and won the hearts of hackers from Muirfield to Michigan, becoming arguably the most popular - but certainly the bravest - sporting underdog the world has ever known

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey (8 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224083163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224083164
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Great book. Buy it, folks. You deserve it!"--Lawrence Donegan, The Guardian

"Heart-warming and bizarre ... the laugh-out-loud book of the summer"--Tom Cox, author of Nice Jumper and Bring Me The Head Of Sergio Garcia, and Golf International columnist

"A joyful biography"--Dan Jones, London Evening Standard

"Don Quixote with a nine-iron"--Julian Barratt, The Mighty Boosh

"I bet you're going to buy it, because it sounds like a great tale"--John Inverdale, BBC Radio Five Live

"What a book. What a subject. What a story. And what a great film it would make. Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack, Tin Cup, stand aside and give Maurice Flitcroft a chance"--The Observer

"The tale's essential warmth and heart make it well worth the read. At a time when golf's greatest hero has proved himself all too fallible, the story of its greatest anti-hero could be just what the game needs"--The Spectator

"Laugh-out-loud funny, joyous and brimming with affection for its subject - The Phantom of the Open is the best sports book I've read in years. If it doesn't win Sports Book of the Year then life is more crooked than one of Maurice Flitcroft's drives"--Dan Davies, Esquire

Book Description

The hilarious, heartwarming and - unbelievably - true story of Maurice Flitcroft, the World's Worst Golfer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hero for our times 14 July 2010
Got this book at the weekend and read it in a couple of sittings. It's a real page turner, breezy and funny. Maurice Flitcroft is belligerent and deluded - but somehow the writers make you root for him every step of the way. It pokes gentle fun but never mocks. His constant battles with the golfing authorities are hilarious and the main story - but my favourite bit is his meltdown on TV-AM with Anne Diamond and Tom O'Connor, when he gets annoyed that they'd questioned his abilities. Maurice is truly a hero for our times.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic. very funny and charming. 9 July 2010
By seve 1
you don't have to love golf to love this book. it's the story of a dreamer, like peter allis says in the book, "i wish some young players could see the magic in the game that maurice did" brilliant
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golf at the other end of the spectrum 20 July 2010
By Sands
Scott Murray contacted me to request my contribution to Marice Flitcroft's appearance at Formby. Little did I realise what a superb biography he and Simon Farnaby were to produce. It is a brilliant read and humourously relates the story of the man from Barrow showing his tenacity and determination to overcome his lack of skill with a golf club - even after years of practice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not a golf fan but... 14 Dec 2010
...I love this book! It's beautifully written and made me laugh more times than I care to remember, and even shed a few tears. For any hacker who believes passion and persistence can trump dull talent, and anyone who's struggled against humourless bureaucracy, Maurice Flitcroft is the Che Guevara of the fairways. At times it rattles along like a Seventies sitcom, but the writers never lose their warmth towards Maurice, and leave you feeling that a world without characters like him would be a much, much poorer one. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly entertaining read! 13 Dec 2010
I have just finished reading Phantom of the Open in a two day flurry. A highly entertaining read about a highly entertaining man, and written with feeling and gusto. Irrespective of whether you have any interest in the sport of golf this is a story of one mans passion, taking on an outdated establishment and showing it what for. Brilliant, hilarious!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 1 Aug 2010
By Les75
Really loved this book. Very funny and well written. Even my wife thinks so and she doesn't usually like anything to do with golf. I'm going to recommend it to my friends and can't wait to see the film!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the phantom otf the open 29 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
what a character, quite an interesting read particularly on the factual side of this blokes determination to beat the golfing establishment
The book is quite an easy read, but is somewaht padded out I feel with information on other people than the crazy mr flitcroft which in m,y opinion feels like it has ben done to make the book more interesting, but does not add to it as the chgaracter and antics of the man himself to me seems quite enough
Worth a read as much of what this man has done is beyond belief, yet is quite plausible and would reflect quite well many individuals from industrial towns who have a bit of bottle and brass faced temperament.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars we all love an underdog! 3 Dec 2010
By Tom
I loved this book. I'm not a massive fan of golf, precisely because of some the issues touched upon in this book i.e. the class divide, the pretensions and the fact that I'm really bad at it. But Maurice Flitcroft is a hero for everyman whether you enjoy golf or not. What a great story and what a lovable idiot he is. He is the ultimate underdog and his life before he becomes obsessed with golf is equally fascinating. Loads of laugh out loud moments and plenty of pathos too. Its great!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a golfing handbook
A great book , well researched and a must for all who love the game.
A tonic for those not playing well , sometimes makes you cringe , most times makes you laugh.
Published 7 months ago by Niblick
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - buy it now!
This book is really well written and really does make you laugh out loud in parts. Maurice Flitcroft - what a brilliant character, and even if you don't play golf you will still... Read more
Published on 18 Jan 2012 by smcardle
5.0 out of 5 stars to dream the impossible dream
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, reading it from start to finish over a rainy weekend. Sometimes I laughed out loud. Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2011 by markr
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I thought this was one of the most original stories I have read for a long time. Maurice Flitcroft's story is entertaining, remarkable and very easy to read. Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2011 by M Williams
1.0 out of 5 stars Not golf
Golfers expecting to learn from this book should avoid. It's at best a mildly amusing tale about an obsessive eccentric. I nearly didn't bother with the last few chapters.
Published on 12 Mar 2011 by CJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Maurice Battles The Man
The tale of Maurice Flitcroft's battles with the golfing establishment is a genuinely warm and witty read. Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by William Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old Maurice
I remember Maurice well from following golf in the 70s and it was great to see a book has been written about him. He was a hilarious character and this book really captures that. Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by Chris Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly funny and beautifully written
I am by no means a golf fan - I actually know next to nothing about it and always assumed it was tedious, so I had no high hopes for this book. I could not have been more wrong. Read more
Published on 1 Dec 2010 by The RealKP
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
A great book. Like the subject, Flitcroft, it's funny and touching. The book treats the man with respect, clearly in awe of his remarkable determination and achievements. Read more
Published on 27 Nov 2010 by Alexander
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