Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Downhill Lie” as Want to Read:
The Downhill Lie
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Downhill Lie

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,299 ratings  ·  243 reviews
Originally drawn to the game by his father, Carl Hiaasen wisely quit golfing in 1973. But some ambitions refuse to die, and as the years–and memories of shanked 7-irons faded, it dawned on Carl that there might be one thing in life he could do better in middle age than he could as a youth. So gradually he ventured back to the dreaded driving range, this time as the father ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Downhill Lie, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Downhill Lie

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,999)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The Downhill Lie
Will He Ever Feel Good About Golf?
One of the hardest things about golf is quitting for 30 years, than playing well when you’re 50. This is exactly what Carl Hiaasen did. We will follow his journey returning to golf, and let’s see what happens.
The Downhill Lie by Carl Hiaasen is a great memoir about this fantastic author’s golf life. In 2007, Carl Hiaasen’s journey with the game started in Florida. Mike Lupica, David Feherety, and Mark Leibo help Carl with his golf outings. I giv
H. Palmer Hall
Jul 11, 2008 H. Palmer Hall rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: biographies
I often read fairly frivolous books...just for pleasure...and sometimes those books offer more than simple pleasures. Carl Hiassen, one of the most insanely funny and intensely ecological writers we have, often give me more than simple pleasures in is novels.

It is unfortunate, then. to see him turn his immense talents into a book as poorly crafted and humorless as is The Downhill Lie. The only value I can see in this book might be to pad Mr. Hiassen's wallet. There are enough people who will bu
Carl Hiassen is a very funny guy. If you don't believe me, just check out any of his abusrdly funny novels.

Turning his eye to the non-fiction realm, Hiassen looks at his taking up the game of golf again after a 32-year break. Hiassen's look at how the game can grow into an obsession is wonderfully witty, wryly observed and self-deprecating. The great part is that Hiassen doesn't take himself too seriously, allowing the reader to experience the highs and lows of trying to play the game of golf.
Short version: Hiaasen hits ball, ball doesn’t go in hole, Hiaasen feels bad about himself. Repeat for 244 pages.

Long Version: The short version above represents more accurate summarization than snarky criticism. ”A Downhill Lie grows out of a golf journal Hiaasen keeps during a roughly 18 month return to the activity of golf in which he details his deteriorating play, efforts to remedy it and the emotional toll it takes on him. The book lacks true literary merit – it isn’t particularly funny or

If you are looking for a funny read to fill your spare time, this book will do the trick. There is not any kind of major plot to this book, other than to make you laugh...a lot. I found myself laughing almost every page of the book. It is a quick read, so if you dont feel like you have accomplished anything after reading it, at least you didnt waste too much time on it. If you want to understand this book you will need at least a beginners knowledge of golf, and a love for the sport. If you dont ...more
I have never read anything of Carl Hiaasen, but always wanted to. Since I am very interested in Golf (but don't play yet) and stumbled on this, it became my first read of his work.

I think its great. I can't compare it to his other works yet, but on its own its pretty funny. I love jargon laced descriptions of sporting events (Grishams "Bleachers" comes to mind here), so his accounts of his games and the tournament were great.

Even better were the times he either remembered something about his fat
Although the writing in The Downhill Lie is punchy, often funny, and vivid, there really are only two reasons to read it: A) if you love or hate golf, and B) if you are a fan of Carl Hiaasen's novels. This is a memoir of a middle-aged man returning to a frustrating game and achieving, yet again, true mediocrity. The setting, in my opinion, is the worst of golf. Hiassen has become wealthy enough to become a country club golfer, a golf tourist, and a consumer of golf equipment and lessons. In othe ...more
My second golf book in a month. I'm not a fan of the sport but after the horrible Tales from Q School it deserved a second chance.

Hiaasen decided to get back into golf after decades away and spent a year and a half, a sizable chunk of change, and many hours of frustration trying to get his stroke back. I knew I'd like him from the first line of the preface: "There are so many people to blame for this book that it's hard to know where to begin."

What makes this memoir better than the Q School slog
As much respect and admiration as I have for my fellow Floridian, I have to say this book does seem like an afterthought. Many of the other criticisms are valid. It appears someone had the bright idea to take this gentleman's journal and publish it. Having said that, I read the book quite rapidly and enjoyed it immensely. I have the creeping suspicion I'm a very specific target audience. 1) I recently began golfing again after nearly 20 years of retirement following a lackluster career on my hig ...more
I love golf. I watch golf on TV. I subscribe to several golf magazines. I have dreamt about the game numerous times—this week alone. I love golf.

I did not love this book. Actually, I didn’t even like this book, which is the equivalent of the author blowing a 2-inch putt, uphill.

Most of this memoir has all the pizazz of a dieter’s logbook—sliced it here, flubbed a chip, made a seven-footer to save par. Then the next hole. Who cares? And the few interesting stories have the author bludgeoning sm
Background: I'm a big time golfer, but have had insane difficulty in learning the sport and playing well.

I don't know anything about Carl Hiaasen and his previous books. What I do know is this book speaks to anyone who's had a remote difficulty with the game. So many of his stories were practically my autobiography with the sport of golf, despite my 30 years of age difference between myself and the author. I laughed out loud more times than I can remember during this book.

This book is the real
My new year's resolution is to not read things I have no hope of finding interesting. Seriously, I don't even like golf. WTF is wrong with me.
Hiaasen is a fav of mine, and I like his kids books and adult books as well. He's a gifted storyteller.

As a hacker in his teens, he had given up golf until mid-life. This book is a diary of his efforts to exceed his best teen score, having wondered what it would be like to play the game again.

It's a fast read, and anyone who has ever attempted to play the game will chuckle and smiloe with each turn of the page.

I'm sending my copy to my brother first ( a good golfer) with a note that he send it t
John Laliberte
For the guy who doesn't golf much, tends to experience slicing, topping the ball, sand traps, putts that are too short (or too long) and smacking the chip shot a mile (when you are trying to loft it close softly to the pin), this book is a must read. Funny one-liners. Hiaasen captured the emotional whirlwind that only golf seems to provide - the highs and lows.

I enjoyed it... and it will help me to keep the game in perspective... ok - done, now I'm going to play a quick 9 holes....

Thanks Kate f
A golf book for hackers, we're not alone out there.
Julie Decker
Carl Hiaasen, writing autobiographically about his experiences with golf, is quite fun to read even if you don't play golf (I don't). I enjoy Hiaasen's novels and also wanted to purchase this for my golf-playing father for Father's Day one year, so I read it first. Hiaasen makes it funny even as he talks about frustration--primarily about how he kind of sucks at the sport but has an odd connection to it because of his own dad, and how it sort of tricks you into thinking you could be good at it s ...more
The Downhill Lie, as a non-fiction book, is not as biting and dark as the author’s fictional novels, but it is no less witty and entertaining. The author covers his return to playing golf after a 30 year hiatus. He details advances in technology, the battle with his mental game, and how the time away has skewed the memories of his abilities as an amateur golfer.

Readers are able to see the comedy of errors in his life and meet the people that join him in this journey. It is equal parts biography
Mike French
Watch out Dan Jenkins! This could be the most humorous golf book since Dead Solid Perfect, If you play golf and like humor, this bood is a must read!
Cindy Grossi
I know nothing about golf, but know I am wild about Hiiasen, so thought I would give this short work of non-fiction a try. What is so ironic is that I just finished Bob Mankoff's book about his career with cartooning and he said hardly anyone laughs out loud when he or she is alone . Well, I was alone reading this book and was laughing my a-- off!
Who knew, though, that Carl H. Is such an introvert and a 1-800 junkie? The things we learn.
Anyway, don't let lack of golf knowledge keep you from this
The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport (Audio CD)
Author: Carl Hiaasen

I'm not a golfer but I do like Carl Hiaasen's novels so I soldiered through this one. Not recommended for non-golfers!

Ever wonder how to retrieve a sunken golf cart from a snake-infested lake? Or which club in your bag is best suited for combat against a horde of rats? If these and other sporting questions are gnawing at you, The Downhill Lie, Carl Hiaasen’s hilarious confessional about returning to the fairways
First off, I have to say that I love Hiaasen's novels. However, this is not a typical Hiaasen book. There are no idiot criminals or people being eaten or sexually violated by wild animals...but Hiaasen does still have his gift for analogies "Like linguini detonated on the screen" or "As comfortable as bowel cramps" or that "Tiger Woods' stare could cause a suicide bomber to wet himself" and there are interesting encounters with animals (using a driver to clear a yard of bofurus toads).

For anyon
pretty funny book about author's year-and-a-half comeback, culminating in a two-person-teams local tournament, to golf in his mid-fifties after a hiatus of a couple decades. If, like me, you are not a golfer, you might find some of the diary entries a little repetitive (I bought a new putter someone recommended; I still 3-putted half the greens and shot 95.......).

However, there is a nice mix of reminiscing about playing with his Dad when he was younger, and enjoying his son's interest in the ga
When I opened the book and counted how many of Hiaasen's books that I'd read before this book and thoroughly enjoyed (11 including the two young readers' books) I was reminded that his fiction was always a "sure thing". I'd be changing planes for instance, bookless, and needed something to take with me from an airport bookstore that was sure to entertain me. I could always count on one of Hiaasen's books to grab and hold my attention. I'm sorry that Downhill Lies wasn't such an adventure. This s ...more
I'm not a golfer -- I don't even play putt-putt that often and I almost never use a driver there -- so why did I choose this book? (1) I like the author and (2) I wanted to learn enough golf terminology that I could discuss it in casual conversation. (Yes, I do read about many things so that I can converse semi-knowledgeably about them later. That's a skill, not a flaw, I read somewhere.)

I just don't get the golf addiction thing. Maybe it's that I'm not a perfectionist or maybe it's that I like
Carl Hiaasen's funny and self-deprecating memoir about returning to the sport after a 30 year hiatus. My hairdresser recommended this author to me since he writes about the oddities of living in Florida. I visit this state a couple times a year for family and I am constantly riddled with a WTF-face whenever I step outside the house.
Anyway, in Florida alligators are considered lateral water hazards and local wildlife can and do fly off with your ball. Consult with the USGA rulebook to see how tho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deon Stonehouse
The Downhill Lie: A Hacker’s Return to a Ruinous Sport by Carl Hiaasen is gleefully funny. Carl’s Dad was a graceful, dedicated golfer. Sunday was golfing day, the rest of the week he toiled in his law practice. Carl first took golf club in hand to accompany his father on those Sundays spent golfing. Where his Dad had an effortless, grace, Carl tended to attack the ball, do battle with the clubs and withdraw a defeated snarling mess. His Dad died while Carl was in college, golf no longer held th ...more
I don't play golf. I don't follow professional golf. I got this book for my son who does both but decided to read it first because Mr. Hiaasen is one of my favorite authors. This book follows his attempts to improve his game after not playing for many years. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was laugh out loud funny and I've been pestering my son with, "Have you gotten to the part where he..." ever since. I recommend this book to everyone I know who plays golf or knows someone who does.
Tim Niland
May 19, 2008 Tim Niland rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todd
Shelves: 2008-reads
Novelist and newspaper columnist Carl Hiaasen stopped playing golf in his youth, only to return to it in middle age, thirty plus years later. This book chronicles his return as part diary and part memoir. Anyone familiar with his novels probably knows whats coming: caustic humor with the occasional screed against developers and politicians. Although this book is something of a one-trick pony, he keeps it light and occasionally touching, especially when talking about his father's affection for th ...more
Brad Lyerla
The humorist, journalist and crime novelist, Carl Hiassen, returned to golf in his early 50s after not playing for 30 years. This book chronicles his return. It is hilarious and it hit home hard for me. I recommend it to golfers.

Mostly, Hiassen describes his frustration at the difficulty of the game while he pokes fun at his own highly inflated expectations for how he will score on the course. He spices the narrative by including funny stories about his friends in golf, David Feherty and Mike L
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 66 67 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Who's Your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great, and Reprobates of Golf
  • A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour
  • The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever
  • Dead Solid Perfect
  • Golf Dreams: Writings on Golf
  • Cornered: Hijinks, Highlights, Late Night and Insights
  • Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game
  • Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime of Golf
  • Final Rounds: A Father, a Son, the Golf Journey of a Lifetime
  • A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee
  • Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball
  • My Lead Dog Was A Lesbian: Mushing Across Alaska in the Iditarod--the World's Most Grueling Race
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
  • The Final Call: Hockey Stories from a Legend in Stripes
  • Fantasyland: A Sportswriter's Obsessive Bid to Win the World's Most Ruthless Fantasy Baseball League
  • Payne Stewart: The Authorized Biography
  • Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia
Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida, where he still lives with his family. After graduating from the University of Florida, he began writing for the Miami Herald. As a journalist and author, Carl has spend most of his life advocating the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family still live in southern Florida.
More about Carl Hiaasen...
Hoot Skinny Dip Bad Monkey Flush Sick Puppy

Share This Book

“The innards of Ping’s G5 were supposedly computer-engineered with a process called “finite-element analysis,” a term that for all I know was stolen from an old Star Trek episode.” 0 likes
More quotes…