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A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  2,874 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
In the highly acclaimed bestseller A Good Walk Spoiled, John Feinstein captures the world of professional golf as it has never been captured before. Traveling with the golfers on the PGA Tour, Feinstein gets inside the heads of the game's greatest players as well as its struggling wannabes. Meet superstars like Nick Price, who nailed a fifty-foot putt at the seventeenth to ...more
Paperback, 498 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1995)
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Bill Varon
Aug 24, 2008 Bill Varon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bill by: dennis walsh
After reading this book, you will:
1. no longer shake your head and wonder how someone can sit on the couch and watch a golf tournament all day long on a perfect Sunday afternoon, especially each of the 4 "Majors"
2. look forward with great anticipation to watching the Ryder Cup every two years
3. yearn to attend a golf tournament in person and follow one of the unknown fringe players from hole to hole

John Feinstein lived with, dined with, traveled with, caddied for, and spent 100% of his time with
Mathias Seiwert
Nov 16, 2016 Mathias Seiwert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another winner by Mr. Feinstein. For those who have been humbled by the game of golf in general, this book provides some hilarious and insightful vignettes into the ways the game has humbled even its legends and professionals. Brought back great memories golfing with my dad in the 1990s.
Jan 15, 2017 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a golf book. Wouldn't recommend it if you aren't a golfer, but if you are it's a good glimpse into life of a professional golfer. I'm a Feinstein fan too.
Tom Gase
Jun 16, 2012 Tom Gase rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't play golf very much. I NEVER watch it on TV. I love listening to my Dad tell golf stories, but it is not one of my four favorite sports. That being said, I love reading about it, and John Feinstein may be the best about writing about the game. Mark Frost is a close second.

This book is the best-selling sports book of all time, just a tad better than Feinstein's A Season on the Brink about the 1985 Indiana Hoosiers. This book is interesting because it tells the story about life on the PGA
John Delaney
Great recent history on golf and introduce to Q-school. Was looking for a little more humor. But I'll keep after his books. Very clear and thorough.
Sep 05, 2014 Sm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book did everything it intended to do. It is very well written. It informed the reader of life on the PGA tour, its culture and its folkways as well as high drama that might not be observed by the routine golf fan. My problem was not with the book itself, but with the structure of professional golf. The PGA structure makes it harder to be a golf fan, than for the traditional team sports. There are several reasons. First, there are so many golfers and they have limited career lives. One can ...more
If you took the long form version of every 1993 and 1994 "Golf Digest" article and compiled into a book. Sports books (and movies) are inherently perishable items that don't travel well. No one cares about your country's sport ("Futbol Night in America" anyone?). Similarly no one cares about the previous generations sporting events. This problem plagues Feinstein's fairly well-written collection of stories about professional golf on various levels back in the "BT" or "Before Tiger" Period. Of co ...more
Dec 13, 2008 Tammy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This classic book from John Feinstein follows a number of both well-known and unknown golfers through the 1994 season. Though it might seem as if this book is dated, it is a surprisingly gripping story that centers around names still appearing on ESPN’s Sportscenter – Davis Love, Paul Azinger, etc. Feinstein writes pre-Tiger, and it seems odd somehow to read about golf without Tiger’s current starring role, but his absence allows more of a spotlight on other players.

By the end of the book, the l
Kush Sikand
Aug 22, 2012 Kush Sikand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Good Walk Spoiled is the bestselling nonfiction sports book of all time. This book by John Feinstein provided very good insight about life on the PGA Tour. He followed the lives of touring pros such as Brian Henninger, John Cook, and Paul Goydos. The book showed how although the PGA Tour can be very glamorous, it is filled with its hardships as well. The one drawback to the book was that it got to be a small drag after a while; the book stretched to nearly five hundred pages. I felt there was ...more
This book intensely describes a year on the Professional Golf Tour. It gives information on most of the players on the tour at the time and highlights about twenty individuals. One of the dissapointments for me has nothing to do with the quality of the book, but in the fleeting nature of sports icons. Almost all of the players discussed have now either retired, play the senior tour or have just moved on. This book was published just before the Tiger Woods era. The book has changed from a look at ...more
Jul 18, 2015 Brad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

-John Feinstein hated John Daly and took every opportunity to trash him, even if it didn't make sense within the storyline.

-He was desperate for the accomplished tour veterans to like him.

-He thought he could run a golf tournament better than the USGA.

-He has no clue how to end a passage with a good quotation and instead goes out of his way to insert himself and his opinion.

-He has no problem tossing around unsupported assumptions into, but at least he sometimes admits when it's specul
Zeb Snyder
Jun 10, 2012 Zeb Snyder rated it liked it

Feinstein is a great storyteller. I knew little about the PGA Tour prior to reading this book, but I now feel like I have a good handle on how the whole enterprise works. (Then again, I'm sure things have changed in the last 18 years since the events covered in this book.) interesting throughout . . . mostly. Certain chapters could have been trimmed down a bit to make it a little tighter.

My biggest complaint is with Feinstein's writing. As I said, he is a great storyteller. But he's not a great
Ken Spivey
Well, just looking at how long it took me to finish might say something. Then again, the fact that it wouldn't let me completely leave it is also noteworthy!
Anyone who says golfers are not athletes needs to read this book. It is eye-opening regarding the tremendous effort, commitment, and sacrifice it takes to get on tour, and then stay there! You will find yourself rooting for the underdog, and groaning or rejoicing even in the revisiting of historic - as well as unknown - tragedies and triump
Jerry Smith
Oct 06, 2011 Jerry Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport, 2011-read
Perhaps the seminal work on the PGA tour from one of sport's most engaging writers. Nothing particularly nuanced here - it's a straightforward telling of the stories of a handful of PGA tour players from the 90s.

As such it appeals to me personally as this was the era in golf I followed most closely.

Feinstein is an excellent, accomplished writer. Some quibble with his delivery but to me he gives the reader an insight into various sporting fields and gives some clues as to what he thinks persona
Apr 30, 2009 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm fascinated by golf, as you'll see if you browse my book list. I don't play much and never played well, but in my teens I worked at driving ranges, par threes, and golf clubs, both around the clubhouses and on greens crews. Golf, like poker, has social aspects but is ultimately a game/sport/endeavor in which you play yourself. It also has plenty of larger than life characters, hustlers and caddy-shack denizens.

Feinstein writes about golf intelligently. He and Dan Jenkins are the greatest chr
Brett Davison
Jul 31, 2014 Brett Davison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read. You don't have to be a Golf tragic or even a Sports tragic to enjoy this read. It gives a detailed & ultimately enlightening account of what it takes to reach the top of your field. Sure, these guys get paid a motza to flog a little white ball around a paddock, but the single minded determination and sacrifice needed to succeed and the constant pressure to remain at the top of your game are parallel to any area of human endeavour.
It is also an amazing insight into the kind of l
Sep 22, 2015 Richp rated it really liked it
I'm not that into golf. But I have spent a few lazy hours on weekend afternoons watching it on TV, enough in those days I recognized almost all the player's names. I thought quite highly of this book. By spending a significant number of pages on the struggles of all players, including some of the marginal ones the casual fan does not hear about, Feinstein provides a lot of new understanding to the casual fan. At about 500 pages, it was a bit of a grind to read. I also found Feinstein's comments ...more
Robert Premeaux
Apr 26, 2012 Robert Premeaux rated it it was ok
Shelves: golf, non-fiction
Solid but not spectacular ... in fairness to Feinstein, I arrived at this one way too late and have read a handful of other good golf books (including one of Feinstein's) before reading this one, which is kind of the godfather of modern PGA Tour nonfiction.

If you're not a golfer, you're wasting your time with this one. Unfortunately if you ARE a golfer, you're not going to learn much that you didn't already know. Like most media coverage of the PGA Tour, there is very little insight into the det
Cedric Hendrix
Jul 30, 2012 Cedric Hendrix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many people don't realize this, but there was a professional golf tour BEFORE Tiger Woods appeared in 1997. This book covers a great deal of that era. I've always enjoyed John Feinstein's writing style, so I was able to tear through this volume, even though my relationship with golf was casual, at best, at the time. I would love to see an updated edition of this book, which would take place during the "post-Tiger Renaissance" of 1997-2009. I'm sure portions of this book will seem quaint these da ...more
Dan Ofman
Honestly, I was hoping for more from this book. Feinstein is a really good writer who knows several PGA golfers personally, so he has some interesting insights. My biggest problem was that this was published in 1995, and therefore, several of the PGA golfers he writes about aren't playing anymore. I would be a lot more interested in reading a book he publishes this year, and unless you're in your 50's, you probably would too.
Eric Lawson
Jul 08, 2014 Eric Lawson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read. Really liked how the author told stories of the famous and up-and-coming golfers. Showed that pressure is intense for even the most famous. Was insightful to see what happens on tour both on and off the course and how some of these men barely make ends meet in pursuit of their dream. Interesting to see how/when they make the decision to quit their pursuit and go back to a more steady income/life.
Aug 08, 2008 Alex rated it liked it
A great book if you like reading about golfers. A problem for people who like a lot of variation in their characters. They're all professional golfers. They all have the same problems. Sure they have plenty of money, but they can't win that one tournament they really want to. They get into slumps and need to figure out how to get out. ALL OF THEM. Anyway, it's well written and he makes the most of his material.
Sep 01, 2014 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who enjoys an afternoon playing golf, this is a great book about what it's really like to play on the PGA Tour. It's grueling and only a few can consistently win. Feinstein gives us a slice of the touring pro's life in the early '90's. Some of it is a little dated but the touch and feel is all there. I came away with a new respect for just how much of a mind-trip playing golf in the big leagues is.
David Longo
Mar 05, 2016 David Longo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simply a very good book. John Feinstein chronicles 17 golfers on the PGA Tour during the 1994 season. In the process, some 75 golfers must have been discussed, from Tom Watson and Nick Faldo to virtual no-names struggling to get out of Q School. Each subject was treated fairly and given terrific detail. Feinstein offers tremendous insight all throughout. Golf fans will greatly enjoy "A Good Walk Spoiled."
Bob Alger
As an avid golfer I felt like I already knew all of the stories that John told in this book. I guess the problem is that I read it in 2015 and it is all about the 1994 PGA golf season. If you know nothing about golf, or why anyone would watch it on TV, then give this book a shot. If you are an avid golfer then skip it and ready "Who's your Caddie".
Feb 10, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Probably my favourite of Feinstein's golf books, mostly because he focuses on two non-stars on the PGA tour, and how tough the game really is. The elite in golf make a ton of money, have their private jets and major endorsements. The rest battle to make the cut every week, and those who don't are "trunk slammers". (as they drive off to the Doral or Byron Nelson trying to make a paycheck).
Ben Margraves
This book was great for anyone who loves golf. The title says it all for us golfers so when someone writes a book about actual players and the things they do on a daily basis and how they live on the road was greatness for the public who wished they could be there with them. Golf can be such a private society that nothing like this had ever been released to the public at this time.
Monte Lamb
Jan 08, 2011 Monte Lamb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Golf and baseball seem to be the two sports that bring out quality writing. This book is no exception. The book covered the 1994 year on the PGA tour and did it extremely well. The 2005 update added a lot to the book, but even without it, the daily insights on the golfers, their problems, and the grind of the tour made for a great story. This man is a great writer.
Oct 19, 2013 Rita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look at the grueling and unpredictable life of a golfer. The vagaries of the game, the courses and the income has to be a weight that no other athlete carries.

Gave me a completely different perspective of a game I started playing when I was 11 (1958). I have more respect for the men and women who relentlessly pursue this occupation.
Aug 10, 2009 Fracro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're not a golfer, you won't like the book. While I enjoyed most chapters, like the ones about Q school and the Masters, others left me looking forward to finishing the book and moving on to a different subject.
Simply, if you're a golfer, you'll find much of the book entertaining, but I believe you would need to be familiar with the characters to enjoy.
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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
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