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Absorbing insight into the enigma who changed European golf
on 29 November 2012
As we saw so poignantly at the Ryder Cup, the spirit of Seve Ballesteros remains an invigorating force in European golf - an enduring symbol of passion, determination and defiance.
Robert Green's book succeeds admirably as both a celebration and a rigorous examination of the elusive Spanish phenomenon who helped transform golf on so many levels over his tumultuous and controversial career.
As a British golf magazine editor since the 1980s, the author enjoyed regular access to Seve for exclusive articles and instruction shoots and at functions beyond the standard tournament press conferences. The resulting anecdotes that spice this compelling account provide a fly-on-the-wall insight often lacking in so many cut-and-paste biogs.
Similarly essential are the first-hand contributions from an A-list cast of characters including Nick Faldo, José Maria Olazabal and David Leadbetter, as well as assorted big-shot tour executives and family members.
While Green is clearly a huge fan, it doesn't prevent him - as the title confirms - from chasing the demons that formed the flip-side to his subject's on-course genius, charm and tenacity.
Beyond the thorough, fluent and balanced biog of a sporting legend, it's an absorbing tale of the radical rebranding of golf since the 1970s, and the pivotal influence of the central character who remained so passionate and defiant til his own untimely end.