PRE­FERRED LIES

Inside Sport - - One On One With ... - AND OTHER TRUE GOLF STO­RIES BY CHARLES HAPPELL AND MIKE CLAY­TON, HARDIE GRANT, ¡ .

Golf has a rich story-telling tra­di­tion – what else are you go­ing to do between shots? But the game also has a strict code of po­litesse, and these ten­den­cies of­ten con­flict. Tell the tale, sure, but don’t of­fend any­one.

It’s why the rare golf pro who shoots as straight with his opin­ions as he does with his club is a valu­able re­source, and Mike Clay­ton def­i­nitely falls into this cat­e­gory. As his col­lab­o­ra­tor Charles Happell notes in the book, Clay­ton’s opin­ions don’t carry many shades of grey. From his time as a tour player to his next act as a course de­signer, Clay­ton has been a clear, con­sis­tent voice on is­sues such as the ad­verse im­pact of ball and club tech­nol­ogy, the need to pre­serve the great cour­ses, and the money lust that drives the tour.

It’s slyly hinted at in the ti­tle, but the cen­tral prin­ci­ple of Pre­ferred Lies is a will­ing­ness to call golf on its bull­shit. Or­gan­ised as a se­ries of es­says, the au­thors range across a va­ri­ety of ter­rain: great play­ers present and past, tour­na­ments and Clay­ton’s own spe­cialty, cour­ses (two things he hates: trees and carts). There are also wel­come con­tri­bu­tions from other voices: Steve Wil­liams chimes in on cad­dies, Rob Sitch on not think­ing, and the late Peter Thom­son – him­self a truth-teller over his es­teemed golf­ing life – shares his thoughts on the won­der of the Old Course at St An­drews.

Along­side the com­men­tary, the reader will find some won­der­ful golf sto­ries. For all his crit­i­cism, Clay­ton is an un­abashed lover of the game’s lore – it galled him to find out, when he met a tal­ented young am­a­teur at the Aus­tralian Open a few years ago, that the kid had no idea who Bob Shearer was. He could have used this book.

Good for: Con­ver­sa­tion pieces at the

19th hole.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.