Was there ever a year in golf like 1960? It was the year that the sport and its vivid personalities exploded on the consciousness of the nation, when the past, present, and future of the game collided. Television, still a new medium, provided a fresh window to the show and enabled this "rich man's sport" to win over millions of new fans.
Here was Arnold Palmer, the working man's hero, "sweating, chain-smoking, shirt-tail flying," and winning, it seemed, every tournament with a last-second charge. Ben Hogan, the greatest player of the 1950s, was Palmer's opposite, a perfectionist battling the twin demons of age and nerves. And making his debut in the big time was a chunky, crew-cut college kid who seemed to have the makings of a champion--twenty-year-old Jack Nicklaus.
Would Palmer win the mythical Grand Slam of golf? Could Hogan win one more major tournament? Was Nicklaus the real thing? Even more than an intimate portrait of these men and their exciting times, The Eternal Summer is also an entertaining, perceptive, and hypnotically readable exploration of professional golf in America.
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"Some wonderful anecdotes that show Sampson's reporting zeal and attention to detail. It left me wanting to know more about one of the great years in professional golf."
Adam (5 out of 5 stars)