September 12, 2008

Friday Book Recommendation: Arnie and Jack

I know we are deep in the heart of college football season, but it never hurts to get a little sports book discussion out there. If you are looking for a great sports biography type book, I'd look no further than Ian O'Connor's outstanding new book about two of golf's icons, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Not only is it the most thorough Jack and Arnie book you could ever find, there are all kinds of great stories about their rivalry and hot and cold relationship. Jack and Arnie had so many great battles in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and it was pretty stunning to read how intense their rivalry was on the course and in the business world. Two completely different players with completely different playing styles (Arnie: lightning fast with a duck hook; Jack: slow and plodding with the high fade).

The story of Jack Nicklaus is fascinating. He started his career as a hated rival of Arnold Palmer, steadily became more popular as the fans grew to appreciate his game and classy demeanor, and then became one of the most popular golfers ever. Plus, you'll have the goosebumps going when the book gets to the 1986 Masters. Great stuff.

Ian O'Connor has written a couple really good books, including a hoops book called "The Jump" about Sebastian Telfair and the hoopla surrounding his high school career. One of the more underrated books I've read. Anyway, I'm a fan of him these days, so pick up a copy of his new book "Arnie and Jack" at your local bookstore or library.

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