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Golf Dreams

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  178 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
How lucky can an editor be? When legendary New Yorker editor William Shawn wanted a writer to review a book on golf, he could turn to novelist John Updike. Updike, a devoted golfer, was delighted to take on the assignment. That review of Michael Murphy's Golf In the Kingdom is contained -- along with essays from Golf Digest, The New York Times Book Review and other publica ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 24th 1997 by Hamish Hamilton Ltd (first published January 1st 1996)
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ej cullen
From whom but Updike are we to read a book of essays on golf that includes Herodotus, Artemis, Florence Nightingale, George Eliot, Dante, and Rabbit Angstrom? The Diker describes a northeastern golfer bemoaning the winter weather that interrupts his golf addiction thus(ly): "(Golf dreams) steal upon the sleeping mind while winter steals upon the landscape, sealing the inviting cups beneath sheets of ice, cloaking the contours of the fairway in snow."

One of his imaginary Scottish caddies, after a
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Other than the short story "A&P", which I also love, this is only Updike material I've ever read. Having been raised in an environment rife with terrible golf, courtesy of my father and my high-school self, I greatly enjoyed this collection. The essays accounting Updike's ongoing (and largely unsuccessful, to hear him tell it) attempts to master the links are far more entertaining than the few short works of golf-based fiction included, which aren't bad enough to lose the book any stars but ...more
Maureen Flatley
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate book of writing about golf....I have given it to dozens of friends, clients, acquaintances who love golf. Ultimate discussion.....caddies?
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miscellaneous
Einiges zwar nicht uninteressant, aber Genie ist nur mit Mühe zu erahnen. (5/10)
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A not entirely unsatisfying read.
Rhys Thomas
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This volume contains stories, articles and speeches the late great John Updike wrote about his true love: golf. As someone who loves golf but doesn't have enough time (or money) to play, I discovered through this book that reading about it can make a decent enough substitute, kind of like methadone to a heroin addict.

Updike's writing is as beautiful as ever in this book; he describes the game and its courses as though tranposing thoughts from my head. And he notes how once you've played a round
John Damaso
Updike knows golf. I was expecting an outsider's collection of musings on the game, but like other faithfuls to the sport, Updike has mastered the nomenclature, the nuances, and the heartbreak of a day on the links, so this reads like a player's scrapbook.

The terminology is accurate; the observations are specific. The variety of writing here makes the collection nicely paced: a short story, an excerpt from a tournament program, a personal essay, a poem, a portion of a chapter from the Rabbit ser
David Whittlestone
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reading
A delightful anthology of Updike's writings largely over the 1990s, these musings not only entertained but also enlightened and enlivened an inexpert and often downcast golfer.
Updike makes the lot of the (I suspect) vast majority of recreational golfers much more bearable. I now realise that there are many like me out there and that we all go through the same doubts and sorrows, trials and tribulations, ups and downs. He makes them not necessarily normal but at least shared. He brings these irri
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Golf lovers
Shelves: golf
John Updike is a great author and I enjoyed his take on the game of golf. Golf Dreams is a collection of pieces he has written through the years. There are pieces from magazine articles he has written for publications like Golf Diagest; a piece from three of his "Rabbit" series; even a speech he gave at the US Golf Associations 100 year anniversary. I enjoyed reading such a great author and how he shared his thought and experiences on golf. There were times, however, that he strayed a bit off of ...more
Hrishi Parandakar
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love updikes humor and sense of wonder. One of the best writers in the game, especially the sense of frustration that comes often. I put him up with Bernard Darwin and Wodehouse as the best golf writers.
Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
He doesn't like golf. He's addicted to it, but he doesn't like it. And he really, really, needs to find himself a different golf instructor.
David Bachmann
Eine unzusammenhängende Aneinanderreihung von Golf Anektoten. Teilweise aus Updikes büchern genommen. Selbst für einen Golfer nicht wirklich kurzweilig zu lesen.
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Worth the admission price for the line, "I swing, and feel the impurities like bubbles and warps in glass".
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Least favourite Updike book I've read despite golf being my favourite "hobby".
Jesse K
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  • The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf
  • The Science of Hitting
  • Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime of Golf
  • Golf in the Kingdom
  • The Lords of the Realm
  • A False Spring
  • About Three Bricks Shy: And The Load Filled Up
  • The Golf Omnibus
  • The Harder They Fall
  • Tales from Q School: Inside Golf's Fifth Major
  • The Celebrant
  • Golf Is a Game of Confidence
  • Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams
  • The Inner Game of Golf
  • Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
  • Who's Your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great, and Reprobates of Golf
  • Dream On: The Challenge To Break Par In A Year
  • The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport
John Hoyer Updike was an American writer. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest both won Pulitzer Prizes for Updike. Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class," Updike is well known for his careful craftsmanship and prolific writing, havin ...more
More about John Updike...