on 5 November 2007
`Bring Me The Head of Sergio Garcia!' by Tom Cox. ISBN: 978-0-224-07860-3
Only the naive are foolish enough to think that pro golf is `the ultimate lifestyle.' The sacrificing of `normal human activities' to endless hours of practice, travel, sombre nights alone and tunnel vision, is no fun. Heartache over missed putts is far more common than fortune and glory. To get to the top you have to be born gifted, take the game up very young, practice incredibly hard and allow absolutely nothing to stand in your way. When Tom Cox decided to try his luck on the `third division' EuroPro Tour his life degenerated into the sub-title, My Year of Swinging Dangerously On The Pro Golf Tour.
Cox, who also wrote the extremely funny, irreverant golf spoof, Nice Jumper, has hit top writing form again. His insights are both cruel and hilarious. This book won't teach you how to be a successful pro but it does explain the harsh realities from a self-deprecatingly painful and amusing perspective.
on 3 January 2008
Just finished "Bring me the head...." To use the authors golfing parlance - I p...ed myself laughing at a tale of heartbreak and misery. With profanities ringing in my ears, the descriptions of shanks, chypps and the mind numbing 86's reminded me of so many "character building" events I have put myself through in over thirty years of playing the great game of golf. Congratulations on what for me has been the funniest read in years.
on 22 October 2007
Tom Cox, as always, has provided a fun read about his year out as a professional golfer. He discusses the thoughts, the fears, his impressions, and all in an easy read and one that will keep you entertained from cover to cover. This is the second of Tom's books I have read and it will certainly not be the last. Anyone who is a fan of golf, curious about the life of a professional, or wonders what goes through the head of an out-of-place person, you will love this book. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Cheers!!
on 1 January 2008
This is a good book, and a clever book, but I could not bring myself to love it, although I really wanted to.
It tells the true story of Tom Cox's attempt to make it as a pro golfer on the Europro tour, only for him to find out that even in these relatively humble surroundings, being able to drive the odd par four is nowhere near enough to cut the mustard. What's frustrating (particularly speaking as a very enthusiastic but talentless golfer) is that one gets the feeling that Cox is really in it just for the kicks, at least until the end is in sight and he realises that he needs to knuckle down a bit. The feeling of underlying flippancy makes it rather difficult for the reader to sympathise with him.
On the plus side, the book describes all sorts of golfing experiences ranging from meeting Lee Westwood right through to playing urban golf in East London (the only thing that Cox wins in the end!)
All in all, a curate's egg of a book. Some very funny and touching stuff, but a certain amount of frustration for the reader (and probably for the author as well).
on 24 February 2012
Last night I just finished reading this little gem of a book, and I hope based on the fact you are reading a review you want to buy it. I say do.
You might be someone who is looking for a present for their golf mad dad, lad or lady, or you might be a driving range nut looking for a good read. I'm a golf widow and I can honestly say I have never laughed so hard at a single read.
After over a decade away from professional golf, a magical moment on his home course at sunset and comments from playing partners that don't understand why he doesn't make the most of his potential, Tom goes back on the road to try and recapture his dream of being a Pro Golfer. "Bring me the head..." takes you through the highs and very human lows of the Europro circuit, the obsession with swing paths, biorhythms, short game prep, focus, fees and why a good drive and a good putt can make a round. If you have ever been curious about what it would take, what sets your club pro and the Lee Westwood's of this world apart; this would be a good place to start.
If like me you're an Edie (you'll understand when you read this book) and that golf ball lying next to you in bed is the only reason the sport entered your otherwise peaceful existence, and you just want to know what is going through that head of theirs, why they think in yardages, why they can't just have a good round, and why the hell it's so important to stay on plane, and what you should say after they come in from a tournament, or a medal, this is for you too!
An honest and uplifting portrayal of pursuing a dream that will make you laugh out loud...and will certainly make you think twice before you change your shoes on the car park!*
*or at least will make you laugh while you're doing it!
In conjunction with his other book, 'Nice Jumper' Tom Cox has produced some timeless books that really do capture not just the addiction of the golfing nut but also the sheer futility. Clearly a talented golfer in his youth Tom has 'one more go' at cracking the big time and produces an excellent dry humourous take on the world of golf and those it affects. All golfers will enjoy this but also anyone who enjoys a look at human nature at it's funniest and, at times, it's most frail. Buy the both of these books (read 'Nice Jumper' first) and you will enjoy an excellent, humourous, read through the travails of a junior and latterly club golfer trying to 'beat' golf. Of course we, and mostly the author, know that this is never going to happen!
on 24 December 2014
“Here. Listen to this bit ….. After he was disqualified for playing the wrong ball he drove off thinking of the only consolation he had. The only hole he had played properly. Listen – “I smiled to myself: the first hole was supposed to be the hardest, and at least I could give myself a pat on the back for completing that. As if on cue, my clubs fell off the back of the buggy.’”. I stood there waiting for my partner to laugh or cry – she did neither. She didn’t really get golf.
“So what about his cat? “, she added. “This was before the cat… well he peed on his bag…. but it doesn’t matter. Oh forget it.” She really didn’t get golf.
‘Bring me the Head of Sergio Garcia’ is an amazing book. It’s the perfect blend of stupidity, humour, pathos, stubbornness and golf. It is the first novelish / biographyish book about golf that really works. I had, unfortunately, been given one of Dan Jenkins’ appalling tomes a few months ago and it had almost ruined my taste for any golf books. I’m so glad I bought Tom Cox’s book. It restored my faith in writing about golf and made me incredibly jealous at the same time. He writes so effortlessly and apparently casually that you know it has taken a long time and a great deal of care. It’s pitched (pun intended) perfectly for all of us middle aged, used to be good at something once, sportsmen / writers who want to believe ‘they could have been contenders. It’s hilarious. Buy it. Now.
on 28 August 2013
Like its predecessor, Nice Jumper, this book looks at Tom Cox's enduring love of golf. But this isn't a book about birdies, eagles and what club to use for the 100 yard shot to the green, thankfully. This is a snort out loud look at one man's attempt to turn pro and the various comedic screw-ups that follow. I grew up with a humorous golf writer for a father, and I'm delighted to find another writer to carry on the tradition. A great read - even if you're not a golf fan!
on 17 October 2007
It's a dangerous thought to sow in the head of Tom Cox, but I'm left with the nagging feeling that if he'd stuck with being a professional long enough he'd do alright one day. The honesty that runs through `Sergio' is painful in places, but it's heartwarming for him to admit to the one emotion that professionals are supposed to rise above - pure unadulterated fear. Fear of cocking it up, looking like a twat, and ending up wearing tangerine coloured nylon. Cox risked two of these but wisely steered well clear of the third, clinging firmly instead to his REO Speedwagon baseball cap for sartorial elegance.
He could be regarded as the antithesis of Michelle Wie. Unhyped, dare I say humble, not female, with a swing that can pure it. Trouble is their scoring is rather too similar. Even so, I'd put my money on Cox any day.
You can enjoy reading `Sergio' if you're a seasoned golfer or as someone who's never donned anything with a Nike or Slazenger logo and enjoy it immensely. I've been brought up with the game, a posh kid with a berrylium copper Ping wedge/spoon in my mouth, but the game always made me feel solitary, like you're up against something far more immense than you and nothing and nobody can face it but you alone. Scarey and, as this book proves, utterly hilarious.
Mr. Cox - when you need a mixed foursomes partner (I'm thinking of the prestigious Worplesdon foursomes), count me in. Failing that I'll see you at the next Urban Golf Open. And if you head back to the Tour, please don't tell them I suggested it.
on 16 September 2008
Mr Allwright seems to have missed the point in its entirety (see his (weak) amazon review). He is clearly a (golfing, humour, general) philistine.
Managed to nick this literature from husband who was annoying me by laughing every page, per night, up until Chapter 3. So I swooped. It was mine.
I laughed until it was completed, and like the best books, looked forward to getting to bed to savour the next unfolding.
Cox depicts the soul destroying nature of life on (Europro.........if you say it quick enough it sounds like European.....) Tour heart wrenchingly and acutely. Cox is self depreciatingly honest throughout. His conclusions are appropriately respectful, but endearingly reassuring that real life exists above and beyond life on tour....... if that's what you want....
I think why this book appeals is rooted in the fact the challenges, magic, frustrations and joy of golf are the same whether you are Tiger Woods or Jim Bob Novice Amateur. This is why the book is so clever. It tells a story of golf at a very specific level, but anyone at all who has experienced any level of the game will empathise with the tale it tells - with all the up and downs along the way (no pun intended).
So buy it, and ignore Mr Allwright who has clearly had a personality and soul bypass.