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This fascinating narrative chronicles the birth of the modern game of golf, told through the story of Harry Vardon and Francis Ouimet. These men, in pursuit of their passion for a sport that had captivated them since childhood, lifted themselves out of their lives of common poverty and broke down rigid social barriers, transforming the game of golf into one of the most widely played sports in the world today. Vardon and Ouimet were two men from different generations and vastly different corners of the world whose lives, unbeknown to them at the time, bore remarkable similarities, setting them on parallel paths that led to their epic battle at Brookline in the 1913 US Open. This collision resulted in the 'big bang' that gave rise to the sport of golf as we know it. In THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, Mark Frost tells their story, including along the way over a dozen of the game's seminal figures, within the dramatic framework offered by the 1913 tournament where they finally met, which became one of the most thrilling sports events in history.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780751533262
ISBN-10: 0751533262
Format: Paperback
(202mm x 139mm x 30mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Sphere
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 3-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » The best sports writing doesn't concentrate just on the game itself, it places the drama in context. To understand an event fully, the reader needs to know the background to the confrontation; we need to know why it was important. The shots played, the punches thrown, aren't so important in themselves unless we know why they mattered so much to the participants and to those who paid and gathered to watch. Frost knows this full well and we are left in no doubt as to the significance of the US Open golf championship in 1913, which saw a showdown between Harry Vardon and Francis Oimet, and which, Frost asserts, marked the launching of the game in the US. Vardon was from humble beginnings on the Channel Island of Jersey, a boy who became obsessed with golf despite his family being evicted to make way for a new course. He went on to dominate the game in the early part of the century and was a multiple winner of the Open. Oimet grew up modestly too, opposite the Country Club at Brookline, and he soon developed a love for golf too. He was beginning to reach his peak as a player just as Vardon was on the way down, so they were equally matched in 1913. The stage was therefore set for the match-up of grizzled pro versus enthusiastic amateur, Old World versus New World. It is not quite as cut and dried as Frost would have it, but his clever blend of biography, social history and dramatised ball-by-ball action is gripping, and his understanding of the broader picture is masterly. The match unfolds slowly with almost every shot lovingly recorded. Both the main players, their motivations and their emotions are expertly drawn, but equally impressive is the way that the peripheral figures are fully included, their importance noted, whether it be Lord Northcliffe or 'Long' Jim Barnes. Frost has produced a sports book of the highest worth, intelligent and complete, which will fascinate and educate all serious sports fans. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Mark Frost

Mark Frost is the author of THE LIST OF SEVEN, THE SIX MESSIAHS and BEFORE I WAKE. He has written and produced several television series, including Hill Street Blues and Twin Peaks.

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