So Help Me Golf: Why We Love the Game (Hardcover)
Beloved bestselling author and golf aficionado Rick Reilly channels his insatiable curiosity, trademark sense of humor, and vast knowledge of the game in a treasure trove of original pieces about what the game has meant to him and to others.
This is the book Rick Reilly has been writing in the back of his head since he fell in love with the game of golf at eleven years old. He unpacks and explores all of the wonderful, maddening, heart-melting, heart-breaking, cool, and captivating things about golf that make the game so utterly addictive. We meet the PGA Tour player who robbed banks by night to pay his motel bills, the golf club maker who takes weekly psychedelic trips, and the caddy who kept his loop even after an 11-year prison stint. We learn how a man on his third heart nearly won the U.S. Open, how a Vietnam POW saved his life playing 18 holes a day in his tiny cell, and about the course that's absolutely free.
Reilly mines all of the game’s quirky traditions—from the shot of bourbon you take before you tee off at Peyton Manning’s course, to the way the starter at St. Andrews announces to your group (and the hundreds of tourists watching), “You’re on the first tee, gentlemen.” He means that quite literally: St. Andrews has the first tee ever invented. We’ll visit the eighteen most unforgettable holes around the world (Reilly has played them all), including the hole in Indonesia where the biggest hazard is monkeys, the one in the Caribbean that's underwater, and the one in South Africa that requires a shot over a pit of alligators; not to mention Reilly’s attempt to play the most mini-golf holes in one day.
Reilly expounds on all the great figures in the game, from Phil Mickelson to Bobby Jones to the simple reason Jack Nicklaus is better than Tiger Woods. He explains why we should stop hating Bryson DeChambeau unless we hate genius, the greatest upset in women’s golf history, and why Ernie Els throws away every ball that makes a birdie. Plus all the Greg Norman stories Reilly has never been able to tell before, and the great fun of being Jim Nantz. Connecting it all will be the story of Reilly’s own personal journey through the game, especially as it connects to his tumultuous relationship with his father, and how the two eventually reconciled through golf. This is Reilly’s valentine to golf, a cornucopia of stories that no golfer will want to be without.
About the Author
A screenwriter and New York Times bestselling author, Rick Reilly wrote for Sports Illustrated and appeared on and wrote for ESPN. In addition to being voted the National Sportswriter of the Year eleven times, he has also been recognized with the Damon Runyon Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism. USA Today called him, "the closest thing sports writing ever had to a rock star."
“[So Help Me Golf]features Reilly’s usual hilarious story-telling with a kinder, gentler, more grateful tone….It feels like Rick Reilly’s greatest hits.”—Sports Illustrated Morning Read
“If Harvey Penick had his Little Red Book, [Rick] Reilly’s is something else. Perhaps not a book, perhaps not defined by a color, but important to the canon of golf’s literary humor…. The pearls of hilarity and wisdom that fill this volume, like pebbles in a jar, come from all across the world of golf. Reilly collected stories first-hand, second-hand, and sleight of hand for this collection. He celebrates the success and the struggle equally. He shares the adventures of the aggrieved and the rapturous. These pages and words are about us, as much as they are about them…. Along the way, Reilly reveals who he himself is, and what made him that way, until he changed. And what changed him.”—Golf WRX
“New York Times bestselling author of Who’s Your Caddy? brings his keen observation prowess and sense of humor to the often frustrating yet addictive game of golf….Any golfer will want to pull up a chair in the clubhouse to listen to Rick Reilly.”—Katie Couric Media
“Reilly [is] hands down, the funniest golf writer alive….We meet a wealth of… people in this delightful recap of a life spent on and around golf courses of every stripe, but it's the raunchiest public courses that Reilly treasures most, especially for the denizens who haunt them, like Two-Down O'Connor, the ‘World's Most Avid Golf Gambler.’ Reilly keeps coming back to the people, and who can blame him when their stories mix funny and ironic with inspirational in a perfect blend of sweet and sour?"—Booklist (starred)
“Acclaimed sports journalist [Rick Reilly] journeys to the heart of a unique sport and pastime. He loves the sport’s mix of tension and calmness, its social nature, and the rich history of famous courses. Most of all, he loves golf’s democratic nature. Every player has an equal chance, and even royalty can wilt when faced with the little white ball. The game doesn’t care who it humiliates, although it can also supply moments of clarity, grace, and beauty. Reilly ably captures all of these elements, mixing in sketches of iconic players and colorful figures…. Throughout, the author interweaves his personal story, noting that golf probably saved him… An informative, enjoyable romp.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The [book is] filled with interesting vignettes….All benefit from the Reilly touch.”—Len Ziehm on Golf