Tales from Q School: Inside Golf's Fifth Major
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Tales from Q School: Inside Golf's Fifth Major

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  850 ratings  ·  60 reviews
It is the tournament that separates champions from mortals. It is the starting point for the careers of future legends and can be the final stop on the down escalator for fading stars. The annual PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament is one of the most grueling competitions in any sport. Every fall, veterans and talented hopefuls sweat through six rounds of hell at Q school, as t...more
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Published May 2nd 2007 by Little, Brown and Company (first published May 1st 2007)
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Jim Serger
If you want to know what goes on before getting a PGA card, read this book. The in depth detail at what transpires on the Q school will make you laugh, cringe, cry and cheer all at the same time. John does an excellent job focusing on the players making the tour, Nationwide tour, Canadian Tour and a slew of others world wide--but the catch to the book is what it takes to receive, maintain status on the tour. Some players go back to Q school, some are exempt from Q school and some never make it p...more
Mark Dodson
“Q School” refers to the annual tournament series a player has to survive to qualify for the PGA Tour. This extended test weeds out the field of over 2500 contestants down to about 30 or so survivors. These remaining few are then eligible for play on the PGA (or for a few that come up just a bit short, the Nationwide Tour) the following year. Feinstein captures the good, the bad, and the tension of it all in the conversations with many players, chronicling the 2005 event. There are lots of playe...more
Tom Gase
John Feinstein is one of my favorite authors and this was the 18th book I've read by him. That being said, it was the first book by him I really didn't like. If you've read "A Good Walk Spoiled" by Feinstein (which is very good) then you know about Q school a little bit. It's a good side story. It is not worthy of a whole book.
I felt in Q school the same story was told about 100 times about a person making or not making the cut. It felt as if I was listening to a cd single that replayed automat...more
It is the tournament that separates champions from mortals. It is the starting point for the careers of future legends and can be the final stop on the down escalator for fading stars. The annual PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament is one of the most grueling competitions in any sport. Every fall, veterans and talented hopefuls sweat through six rounds of hell at Q school, as the tournament is universally known, to get a shot at the PGA Tour, vying for the 30 slots available. The grim reality: If you...more
Tales From Q School:
What is Your Story?

Many people don’t know about the fifth major tournament in golf. They also don’t know that it could be the most important of them all. Tales From Q School is a nonfiction golf book about Q school (qualification school). John Feinstein talks about how Q school affects a golfer’s life. A lot of people think golfer’s can just sign up to get into the PGA tour, but you can’t. They have to go through a process described as qualification school. This book is mainl...more
First clue I made a mistake picking up this book - I did not know how many majors there are in golf.

It only went downhill from there.

This book tries to follow the course of one Q School, the PGA's qualifying tournament. Feinstein is so loosey goosey with his stories, though, it's hard to tell there's any through line at all. Each chapter is filled with stores about players struggling through the three round tourney but most fall into one of two camps:

- Young hotshot gets into the PGA tour easily...more
Sean McBride
Honestly, I was surprised at the writing. I thought this book was going to be much better than it actually was. It follows the 2005 Q school (Tournament where the top 19 players get accepted to the PGA tour for the next year) and gives the individual stories of those golfers. It didn't give any crazy stories like it indicates on the back cover (meaning weird rule calls, strange ball penalties like having your ball stick in the tree branches), it just talked about a couple of golfers.

Ok That coul...more

I've read most, if not all of John Feinstein's golf books - A Good Walk Spoiled, The Majors, Open. Really enjoy his writing style - he gets into players heads and their lives, and give a well-rounded and in-depth picture of what he's writing about. This book is about Q School, the fall tournament that is the main entry point into the PGA Tour for most of the players who are headed there. It's a strange tournament in a lot of ways, most notably the pressure that players in it feel. Feinstein does...more
Mar 26, 2008 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: golf fans
Shelves: heard
Read by the author, this was a very nice book. I enjoy golf a great deal and am one of those guys that can sit around all weekend long and watch it too. Though I hadn't given much thought to what it takes to be a 'professional' golfer. This book takes you through qualifying for the tour. Or Q school.

There were a few times when describing the different steps and exemptions, etc it got to be quite technical and very hard for me to follow. One of the few times when listening to an audiobook I know...more
Good for a cross-country flight, this read like a collection of Golf Digest articles (which it may have been at some point). All golfers have been intrigued by Q school, me included. So, it was very interesting to get insight into the process by which one qualifies, prepares for, and competes in this competition. The author did a nice job of reflecting the gut-wrenching nerves as the golfers go through the various stages. He also includes many heartbreaking stories. It was difficult to tell all...more
Bryce Holt
Perhaps it's because this is the first book about golf I've ever read and don't really align with some of the more immersed readers in golf literature, but I was absolutely absorbed into and entertained by the struggles that Q School can have on these pro athletes. This is a triumph for Feinstein, and he really has something to be proud of here. I highly suggest this book to anyone who wants to know what it is like to endure the pressure of golf, to see the lives it effects and the people who ar...more
Jerry Smith
Follow up to "A Good Walk Spoiled" since apparently the most interest expressed by readers of that book was related to those pros coming through to the PGA tour from Q school.

This book tells the story of the 2005 Q school tournament through the eyes of a few players, some famous, others less so.

It's straightforward and entertaining and throws light on this tournament and the triumph and tragedy of making it to the tour or not. It sounds desperate - 6 rounds under the most intense pressure with w...more
David Scanlan
I really enjoyed this book because it gave an in depth look at one of the most grueling golfs tournements. It's amount of detail made me feel as if I was there. There was one part that I didn't like as much as that was the plot. It was a little confusing at times because the plot jumps around. However I really enjoyed how he focused on a couple of players and fully explained their career in golf including Q School. It made me think just how hard it is to make a living playing the game. Although...more
As a buddy of mine once said, "Feinstein could make your life sound interesting."

I've read Feinstein before, and he's the best sports writer in the business. Even if your knowledge of golf is mere pedestrian, I'd recommend this as an intro. The book deals with the human element, the struggle, of a sport that is a solitary and gutwrenching journey. There is a reason why only 125 people in the world get a PGA tour card each year- Q School explains the process.

This is really worth giving a whirl-...more
Started at 5 stars and steadily declined to finish at 3. It is a tough challenge to successfully blend so many personal stories in an individual player sport. Many of the personal stories are wonderful to read, especially if you are familiar at all with golf...but the author constantly must refer back to so many characters that were briefly mentioned in previous chapters that it becomes impossible for the reader to truly identify or usually recall the back stories of each golfer. It's disjointed...more
Jake Herdine
John Feinstein does an amazing job giving insight into what the PGA tour players go through on an everyday basis, and not just inside the ropes. This book gives me perspective as I realize that they are normal people just like us, and have every day problems like everyone else. This is important to me because athletes these day are put on such pedestals these days, and I gained respect for everyone after reading this book. The golfers have the same ups and downs, going through great times, and a...more
Aug 30, 2008 Craig rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I am not a golfer, although I played at it while in college. This book is absolutely riveting as it covers the 2005 PGA Tour Qualifying tournament. All aspects of the game (as well as the unique quirks at the professional level) are clearly explained, and one does not need to know anything about golf before reading this work.

The author is very talented and provides more than just glimpses into the lives of the players he chronicles; you really feel like you know them and care about how they perf...more
TJ Jackson
A well written story about golf's minor leagues. Feinstein is a great sports writer and does a great job of getting the background and feel for many of the participants, successful and unsuccessful. As a struggling golfer (read: "golfer") it is a reminder as to how much fun the game can be ... as well as how painful it can be. The duffer at the muni who can't break 90 or the pro who misses a putt for 3rd place and ONLY wins $90,000 for the event have nothing on the frustration and heartbreak fou...more
Aug 07, 2008 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Husband
This is about the everyday professional golfer and their personal stories in trying to make it on the PGA Tour. I am not golfer, nor do I follow it as a sport, but I did like the very human stories of tragedy and triumph. I would have prefered more stories of triumph, as after awhile I was wondering if ANYONE ever made it through all the qualifying tournaments. Reading this really made me appreciate how hard some people work to become a professional golfer and sometimes, it's just plain luck.
How did this book make it onto any top 10 best selling list? I heard Feinstein review his book on NPR and it was a compelling interview. But like all movie trailers, he divulges the best stories in an attempt to entice readers.

I struggled to get past just the introduction, and try to grasp his breakdown of majors, tournaments, and the basic organizational chart of the PGA. It's confusing if you're not already well versed in the hierarchy of professional golf.
Dick Tatro
This book I really like because it shows how Pro golf is unlike other sports. The pro golfer is under a great deal of pressure because they have no support like other athlete's. Each time they play they are under preesure but they have no support like team players. They have no one to pass to, no coach helping them, all they have is their own abilities. This story is real life it is not about winning golf tournaments it is about the stress of just getting to play.
Dustin long
Interesting stories about the behind-the-scenes stories of qualifying school that lower-rung golfers have to go through to get to the PGA Tour. The thing that held me back is that I'm not as familiar with all the golfers so when the stories went back and forth between golfers I had a bit of trouble keeping pace. However, if you know golf, you'll really enjoy this story. Lots of neat little stories about people who are on PGA Tour and those that failed to make it.
Apr 28, 2008 Tyler rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring pro golfers
This book gives the reader a look into how golfers qualify to be on the PGA tour. At times it is repetetive, but, for the most part, the repetition works. At its core, this book is a compilation of stories of (mostly) failed attempts to qualify. I enjoyed how Mr. Feinstein intertwined certain personal details of the golfers with their golf games. I would suspect this book has limited appeal for the casual golfer and no appeal for the non-golfer.
Anyone who enjoys the game should get to know the skill level of those who play for a living even those who struggle to survive on tour. This book puts into perspective the trials and tribulations of those who love the game so much they cannot stop playing and they continue to follow their dreams. In this tournament some achieve what they seek but most do not. It takes a truly gifted writer to keep the game of golf this compelling.
Jeff Cameron
Overall, a well-written and informative book about golf's Q-School. There were, however, some annoying redundancies - specifically background stories of certain golfers that were told twice. These would not have bothered me if this book was a collection of columns written over a number of years but it was not. The book's time span was a three month period of time and, as such, the book seemed slapped together and poorly edited.
Feinstein is a great sports writer. He is so good at making the reader care about all these athletes they've never heard of and might never hear of again. I loved learning about the PGA Tour qualification process, and I even looked up the main golfers in the book after I was finished, to see how they've done since. A great book for any sports fan, and a must for any golf fan.
Jack Barraclough
I actually read this the week the 2012 Q school took place - it was interesting to research what had happened in the subsequent years to some of the main characters in the book.

I did find the book a little difficult to follow in places - perhaps too little information and too many people? But there were so many interesting stories, I'm not sure which ones I would have left out!

Bit of a missed opportunity for Feinstein. Written with his usual attentiveness and competence, but...maybe the problem is that Q School mass-produces both heartbreak and Cinderella stories. Feinstein covers too many of the stories for them to all be special, but doesn't have enough empathy or interest to get us emotionally involved in any particular one.
I love golf and have read several books in the past including Feinstein's "A Good Walk Spoiled". I couldn't put my finger on it but just couldn't finish this book. Perhaps it was the way he went back and forth between the lives of so many golfers and keeping them all straight. In fact their stories seemed repetitive and frequently all too similar.
Spencer King
This book gives a real personal look at the difference between a PGA and lower tour player. The author describes a very grim future for those who don't make the tour, which is rather exaggerated and unrealistic description. However, the stories and interviews gave a very clear picture of what life is like dancing between both tours.
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John Feinstein is one of the nation’s most successful and prolific sports authors who has written 24 books to date. His most recent work Are You Kidding Me? , written with Rocco Mediate, was released on May 18, 2009, and is presently on the shelf at bookstores everywhere. In addition, he is an award-winning columnist and regular contributor in both radio and television.

John Feinstein is a 1977 gr...more
More about John Feinstein...
Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery (The Sports Beat, #1) A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour Next Man Up: A Year Behind the Lines in Today's NFL The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed  Basketball Forever

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