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Missing Links

(Missing Links #1)

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,085 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Missing Links is the story of four middle-class buddies who live outside Boston and for years have been 1) utterly obsessed with golf and 2) a regular foursome at Ponkaquoque Municipal Course and Deli, not so fondly known as Ponky, the single worst golf course in America. Just adjacent to the municipal course lies the Mayflower Country Club, the most exclusive private cour ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 19th 1997 by Anchor (first published 1996)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,085 ratings  ·  88 reviews


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Andy
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: golfers, anyone who loves to bet with buddies
Another quick read that will have you laughing out loud every couple pages, and falling off the couch every couple chapters. if you've ever played on a team, competed with friends, and enjoy heckling, you will get a kick out of this book.
Steven
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
UPDATE: Still, arguably, the funniest book I've ever read (Forrest Gump)!!!!


This was "oh my god" funny. This is one of those books that has people staring at you, wondering what you are reading because you are laughing out loud. I don't mean chuckles. I was full out belly laughing as I read this. Missing links is a book about golf. However, the colorful characters transcend the game of golf and make this a comical ride for anyone. It is over the top if you like and understand golf. If you don't,
...more
Howie M
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I chose this book because it was recommended to me by a friend.

This book is about a group of friends who love to play golf. They always play at ponky, rated the worst golf course in the country. But nevertheless, they still play there every day of the week and twice a day on weekends. These friends have never even thought about playing at a different golf course than Ponky. But, one day, a hole emerged in one of the hedges at the edge of the course. Through this hole, was the Mayflower Country C
...more
SeanD
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I stumbled upon this book as I was searching for my next read. I was hoping to read some poetry, but instead was gifted this fantastic piece of sports literature.

As someone who has no interest in golf whatsoever, I totally expected to find this book boring and hard to follow. Instead, I was led on an exciting tale of golf betting, midnight marauding, and some not-so-appropriate jokes. Set on the "worst golf course in America," Missing Links tells the story of a bet that almost ruins their course
...more
Dean Harrington
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Clever as could be. A witty, punchy dialogue rich story of both sides of the track. A world apart brought together by family, friends, tragedy and competition. A father/son story with heartbreak and humor.

Reilly can really spin it and his full bag of metaphors and analogy's bring about snickers and laughs nearly every page.

The plot is simple, old school "Breaking Away" style all charged with more one liners than a stand-up act. This can make for a thickness to the narrative that leaves you loo
...more
Conor
May 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: golf
Things I didn't like about this book:
1. Too many indistinguishable secondary characters.
2. Grimly predictable plot.
3. Mawkish feel-good ending.
4. Representative of everything the Americans have ruined about golf.
5. Clumsy, contrived similes masquerading as jokes like a Callaway Epic Flash aggressively squeezed into a Scotty Cameron headcover after a chunked pitch shot.
6. Writing standard generally poor.

Things I liked about this book:
1. It is about golf.
2. I would like to play The Mayflower.
Tommy
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very good. It was funny and interesting. It was fun to meet all the characters and see how they handle different situations. My favorite part was the bet that the first person to play at the rich golf club wins. I also enjoyed when they snuck in at night. They got into a huge golf cart chase. I would recommend this book to anyone. Overall I would rate it a 4/5 because it was boring at times.
Matt
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's an understatement to say this book hasn't aged well since it's publication 25 years ago. There are plenty of cringe worthy moments including blackface, gender stereotyping, and homophobia - it's practically a clean sweep.

The plot itself had potential - but I couldn't get over the sense that this story was from a different era.... like maybe 3 eras ago. Just not my jam.
Neil Pierson
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
A raunchy grab bag of golf jokes; also non-golf jokes that have been converted to golf jokes. It gets the third star because there is some suspense at the end. Also because some of the jokes are funny.
David Christensen
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Offbeat, and irreverent. Good insight into the world of competitive golf. It’s like the banter you would hear if you sat in the locker room with serious golfers. I’m only a social golfer, so this other side of golf is new to me. Really well written.
Hans Kunisch
Jan 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. I wanted to read something light and golfy, but getting through the terrible jokes, the weak plot, the predictable ending was brutal. I knew I should have stayed away from Rick Reilly...
Duncan
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Fun story of a down-at-heel golf course and its neighboring country club. A lot of the jokes try a bit too hard, but a fair number of them land; the characters are overdone but still amusing.
Jeff Stein
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and touching story!
Vickiswansonme.com
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
fantastic read - need more golf books
Peter Antonucci
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Golfer’s Giggle

A fun, light, moral-filled read for all, but especially for golfers. Hang on tightly or you just might miss a few jokes, or a putt.
Maggie Shoecraft
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you're a golfer, you have to read this book! It's one you can't put down. This is a must read.
Glen Guldbeck
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. I bet non-golfers would enjoy it too!!!???
Ryan Megathlin
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read. It was full of laughs from start to finish. This book had been sitting in my room for the longest time, and for some reason I hadn't picked it up. I regret that now. This has to be one of the funniest books I have ever read, and the funniest golf book I have read. It is like the movie Caddyshack or Happy Gilmore, but with a different angle since its a book.
A quote that sums up the amusement in this book is, “‘Why do you play only Titleist 8s?’ Thud asked. ‘Because,’ Hoo
...more
07JacobP
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book missing links by Rick Reilley was a fantastic read for anyone who is interested in golf or is a golfer. The fact that it was made of a Boston Character just makes it a good book because of their attitude. I would suggest this book to anyone who is interested in golf or sports in general. I would also give this book to a person who thinks he is a real man and that no one can top him. The book has a very small town feeling with the municipal golf course but then a large, country town sett ...more
Brian
Jul 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-sports
Enjoyed the golf lingo, gambling stories, and general Ponky lifestyle; however, I could do without the overbearing "poor me" tale of the main character. All in all, even as an ESPN junky, golf, and gambling enthusiast, Reilly introduced me to a new world of sports vocabulary that kept the novel rolling. He also peaked my interest for the sequel, 'Shanks for Nothing,' through his character development - Two Down, Dannie, Cementhead, Froghair, and the other Ponky greats. The last fifty pages were ...more
Macrae Robertson
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read the book The Missing Link by Rick Reilly, where a group of friends make a bet on who could play at the most prestigious country club there is “The Mayflower” and the friends get torn apart by the intensity of the bet. I think this is a wonderful book because it teaches you a lot about resilience. Early in the book everyone was great friends but during the bet they got torn apart but Raymond, the main character fought through the tough times and brought the group back together and back int ...more
Trish
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love books that can make me laugh and this one does when three golfers who regularly play at a run down municipal course make a bet on who can play 18 holes at the neighboring country club first. I hate swearing and crude talk so take into account that I am oversensitive to it but I thought the book could have done without a few parts. Overall the book is great, the story moves at a fast pace which makes it hard to put down. I was always wondering what outrageous thing was going to happen next ...more
Ray Kelly
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In Rick Reilly’s classic and laugh out loud golf novel Missing Links, life is played out at the Dogpatch strip called Ponky (Ponkaquogue Municipal Golf Links and Deli). It’s clearly one of the world’s worst courses where the hazards aren't sand and water but abandoned cars and shopping carts. It’s the home course of the protagonist Raymond ”Stick” Hart and his dysfunctional group of friends. With nicknames like Two Down, Thud, Crowbar and Hoover, these guys bet on anything, lie about everything ...more
Kathy
Jun 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-nonfiction
Rick Riley has started writing for ESPN.com and that prompted me to put some of his books on my reserve list at the library. Two pages into this one, I realized that I had read it already. Must have been a couple of years ago, though. I liked it but not enough to read it again. I'm just too darn busy.

The story is about a bunch of guys (and one girl) who play at an incredibly bad golf course, find out the course next door to them is Shangri-la like in comparison and make a bet to see who can play
...more
Chris
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Started out poorly as I think Rick was trying too hard to be cool with his verbiage and golf lingo. Got better as the story developed and he focused more on the relationships rather than trying to be funny. Based VERY loosely on Ponky as it seems more like Putterham Meadows as far as location next to a swanky club is concerned. Definitely some good golf jokes there such as describing a long hit ball as a two horse distance. I can see why he went back to just doing columns
Tom Gase
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A hillarious fiction book by Rick Reilly who is just as funny with a made up story as he is with his true sports stories. Basically, in a nutshell, this book is like Caddyshack when its all said and done. Great characters and great dialoque and a little bit of a twist at the end. This book will have you laughing out loud a few times. Any fan of author Rick Reilly or just golf in general will love this book.
Kelley
Dec 19, 2008 rated it liked it
if you know any males who read and have any interest in golf, they will eat this up. I'm not sure if it still in print. I liked it for the Boston-based characters but my husband thinks it is one of the best fiction books he's read. The author is the former last-page columnist for SI, Rick Reilly, and he is quite funny.
Janice
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
To be fair, I never finished the book. I was reading it as a possible book for summer reading, and it is just too risque. I found the characters too annoying (although a little funny) to finish since I no longer had a purpose. I do know several people who really liked the book, however, so maybe I'll pick it up again sometime.
Jason Valencia
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have no problem giving htis a 5 star review. I thought it was great. I am a little biased as I regularly play "Ponky" - the course that inspired the book. I have heard that there is talk of turning this into a movie. I think it is a great idea. The last great golf comedy (for me) was Caddyshack. I can see this being in that category if done right.
Nikolas Bayuk
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I know a lot of golf rubes will drool over this one. It was entertaining but it was very repetitive and the golf lingo was a bit top heavy. The characters were a little cartoonish at times and a bit un believable. The story did have some classic messages about over coming demons and following your heart and all. It is worth a read or 2 of you really enjoy golf.
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