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The Secret of Golf

The Story of Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus

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From “one of the best sportswriters in America” (The Washington Times)—the New York Times bestselling story of the friendship and rivalry between golf legends Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, whose sparring matches defined the sport for more than a decade.

The first time they met, at an exhibition match in 1967, Tom Watson was a seventeen-year-old high school student and Jack Nicklaus, at twenty-seven, was already the greatest golfer in the world. Though they shared some similarities—they were both Midwestern boys who had learned how to play golf at their fathers’ country clubs—they differed in many ways. Nicklaus played a game of consummate control and precision. Watson hit the ball all over the place. Nicklaus lacked charm and theatrics, and he was thoroughly despised by most golf fans because he had displaced Arnold Palmer as king of the golf world. Watson was one of those Arnold Palmer fans. Yet over the next twenty years their seemingly divergent paths collided as they battled against each other again and again for a place at the top of the sport and drove each other to ever-soaring heights of accomplishment.

Spanning from that first match through the “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry in 1977 to Watson’s miraculous near-victory at Turnberry as he approached sixty, and informed by interviews with both players over many years, The Secret of Golf is Joe Posnanski’s intimate account of the most remarkable rivalry and (eventual) friendship in modern golf.

Photograph by Katie Posnanski

Joe Posnanki is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of six books, including Paterno and The Secret of Golf. A longtime columnist for Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, and The Kansas City Star, he was twice named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 9, 2015)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476766454

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Praise for The Secret of Golf and Joe Posnanski

“Posnanski demonstrates the ups and down of life and sport to create a work that will resonate with avid golfers and sports fans alike.”
Publishers Weekly

“Joe Posnanski is a hall of fame writer and this is a must for anyone who cares about either one of these guys or just golf.”
—Gary Williams of Golf Channel

“An honest look at how two legends came to golf, rose to dominate it and, at the same time, didn't lose their dignity or soul to the game and ultimately elevated friendship to the highest level.”
Golf Digest

“Posnanski is an outstanding journalist, arguably the best pure long-form sportswriter in the land.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Joe Posnanski is a terrific writer.”
Entertainment Weekly

“One of the best sportswriters in America.”
Washington Times

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