Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Downhill Lie, By: Carl Hiaasen

Average Golfer Book Review

Face it, if you're reading this you're an average golfer. No tour card, no college scholarship, no single digit handicap. The Downhill Lie, A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport, by Carl Hiaasen speaks to that inner voice in us that fools us into thinking that we can get better at this bloody sport. Hiaasen's explicitly documented journey of his return to the game after a long hiatus is crowded with forehead slapping passages and dark golf humor. Hiaasen merely has the chops to state what the rest of us hackers are afraid to admit. His laugh-out-loud funny style is the bonus that keeps us reading as if to prevent us from acting on our impulse to do the sensible thing, quit the confounding game. In that sense we have hope provided by the author. Yes hope, the misery that loves company flavor.

Hiaasen's return to golf is probably more prevalent than you'd imagine. I played as a young adult, but stored the clubs away during my child raising years. The game is particularly time consuming. Throw the five hour round in together with some range and practice time and you can shoot a rather large hole in your work week. Fortunately the author seems to have the luxury of schedule in his pursuit to be the best he can be.

The book is filled with so many hilarious poignant thoughts that I hesitate to reveal them here. It's too good a read to spoil with snippets. Still, I'll tantalize you with a couple. Day 98, "I phone my wife to tell her that I birdied one of those nasty par-3s that always gives me fits. She congratulates me enthusiastically, but later confesses that she has no idea what a birdie is." Day 126, "I shoot 51 on the front side, which is the same score that Jack Nicklaus shot on the first nine holes he ever played. He was, however, only ten years old at the time."

Follow Carl, lesson by lesson, session by session, round by round, on his addiction to improve at the most baffling of pursuits. You'll imagine yourself exactly in his position time after time between the covers of his journal. That, my friend, is interactive reading.

The Downhill Lie, By: Carl Hiaasen, Vintage Books. Available on,

National Bestseller, Now in paperback.

*** Average Golfer Giveaway !! ***

The publisher has graciously provided me with two additional copies of The Downhill Lie, suitable for giving away. Email me at with your choice to win this week's Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands and I'll mail copies to the 1st two closest picks in the order of finish and the earliest received. I'll return an email to the winners to obtain their mailing address on 06/29. Enter early!

Til' next,


  1. Thanks for the review, AG. I haven't read it, but it sounds great. A book giveaway, too. Nice.

  2. Definitely sounds like a good read for this summer. Thanks for the review.

  3. Recommend it. Can be read in an afternoon.

  4. Golfers around the world are learning about the most practicle, easy to use, effective and affordable golf practice and training aid in the world...

  5. He's a funny guy. May inspire me to check out some of his other work.

  6. This one has been on my reading list! I took a Carl Hiaasen book to Mexico for dinner time reading a few years ago and burst out laughing repeatedly. ~Had to be careful in timing my chewing and page turning. His novels are terribly odd, creative and hysterically funny. Can't wait to read his take on golf!

  7. I've read his book Flush and it was pretty funny too. Definitely a good author to have in your library.

  8. Rad,

    Now I'll surely check out more Hiaasen. Thanks for the look.

  9. Footsteps,

    Thanks for the Carl endorsement and the warning to not read him while eating!