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The Wicked Game: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and the Business of Modern Golf Paperback – 1 Jun 2005
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About the Author
Howard Sounes was born in 1965. He is the author of five works of nonfiction, published in thirteen languages, addressing diverse subjects. Each book is based on a huge amount of research and exclusive interviews conducted over a number of years, revealing a great deal of new information. Sounes's recent books include a celebrated biography of the American poet Charles Bukowski and Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan. Sounes lives in London.
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Remarkably, the rest of the book concentrates on character assassination of two men who are probably the the most notable African-Americans associate with the pro game, Tiger Woods and his father Earl. It seems somewhat incongruous that two of the book's protagonists are critiqued for their failure to help black athletes get on tour, while at the same time the remainder makes a case that Earl Woods is a liar, bigamist, and poor father who manipulated his child for his own glory, and that his son Tiger is an antisocial, tightfisted misanthrope who misappropriates money to self-serving charities while gambling away millions. It seems ironic that Palmer and Nicklaus are torn down for not leading the charge for integration, and then when a man of color finally comes to a prominent position in golf, he is torn down as well.
Throw in some criticism for golf clubs that didn't integrate their membership racially at a very early stage or who bar women, and you've pretty much gotten the gist of the book. A social critique thinly veiled as a book about golf, this work just cries out for fact-checking and a balanced point of view. It's hard for me to stomach this depiction of Palmer, Nicklaus and Woods as self-centered, grasping, and avaricious. They are golfers, and my purpose in purchasing this book was to read about them playing golf. I was disappointed.
And why doesn't the author focus on Woods lack of involvement in making change? Woods is like Palmer and Nicklaus in their day - great golfers focused on their game.
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