Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen wisely quit golfing in 1973. But some ambitions refuse to die, and as the years passed and the memories of slices and hooks 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 rolling, frustrating green hills of the golf course, where he ultimately—and foolishly—agreed to compete in a country-club tournament against players who can actually hit the ball. Filled with harrowing divots, deadly doglegs, and excruciating sandtraps, The Downhill Lie is a hilarious chronicle of mis-adventure that will have you rolling with laughter.
My second sports book in a month. I’m not a fan of golf 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 is that Hiaasen actually has a life and gets away from the action now and then. There are stories about his dad (a golfer himself, who died suddenly many years ago), how courses have become a refuge for wildlife in highly developed Florida, and fly fishing. All relate back to golf in one way or another and allow a breather from the action.
While plodding at times (especially during the last tourney) the book was easy enough for this non-golfer to follow and enjoy.