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The Green


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About the Author

Troon McAllister lives in Southern California. His handicap has been declared a federal disaster area.


McAllister offers probably the best novel about golf since William Hallberg's The Rub of the Green (Doubleday, 1988). The narrator is team captain for America's Ryder Cup team, which has zero chance of winning against the European team until he chooses Eddie Caminetti, an unknown who prefers to make his living off the tour by snookering golfers who underestimate him. Eddie is not only a great golfer but a brilliant analyst of players and courses who shows his teammates how to exploit their European opponents' weaknesses. Eddie is an honest con who abides precisely by the terms of his contract. But when he doesn't get his money, it's unclear who is getting stiffed. Eddie is an unforgettable character, and the golf is vividly described. Golfers will love this book but so may nongolfers who have never understood how hard it is to play the game well. McAllister, an avid golfer, also writes thrillers (The Hall of Justice, LJ 6/1/96) under the pseudonym Lee Gruenfeld.ÄMarylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, IA

McAllister's first novel is the pleasant if unremarkable account of what surely would be a remarkable tale: an unknown golfing hustler is recruited to represent his country in the Ryder Cup, golf's inviolable, biennial struggle between the best players in the U.S. and Europe. In addition to 10 players determined by money winnings, each team has two at-large spots filled at its captain's discretion. The American captain, Alan Bellamy, the "Player of the Year," as he is fond of pointing out, witnesses a man extricate himself from a cavernous sand bunker some 50 yards from the green and plop his ball four feet from the holeÄusing a ball retriever instead of a club. When said shotsmith then whips Bellamy in a one-on-one match for $20,000, the stage is set for Bellamy to extend golf's most revered invitation to Eddie Caminetti, a diamond rarely in the rough who has forsaken the pressures of big-time golf for the anonymous comfort of conning weekend duffers. After an audition establishes this parvenu's striking ability to remain below par, the other Americans even agree to pony up Caminetti's stakeÄ$100,000, as long as the coveted cup stays on U.S. soil. While the book moves along briskly, and the plainspoken but unabashedly mercenary Caminetti is endearing, it seems to promise something it never delivers. When narrator Bellamy admits at the beginning to being responsible for putting a municipal course nobody in the hallowed Ryder Cup and for things going "a little haywire," one expects more than a missed putt to go amiss. McAllister sets up a clash between the gruff Caminetti and a vain sport's sacrosanct crown jewel, and then fails to explore this fertile ground for comedy. But this is, above all, a story about golfing, with engrossing insights into everything from the physics to the philosophy of the sport and several scenes that highlight its infamous and recondite set of rules. Golfers will surely appreciate this entertaining read. (Apr.)

Praise for The Green

"[A] hilarious and loving look at golf generally and the Ryder Cup in particular...Happily for his fans, Caminetti will return in The Foursome, in which golf meets Deliverance."
--USA Today

"A minor miracle of fiction...Completely convincing, wise, funny, The Green stands on its own not just as outstanding golf fiction but as fiction period."
--Steven Pressfield, author of The Legend of Bagger Vance

"A rollicking tale full of raucously rococo characters...You think pool sharks are the consummate hustlers? Wait until you meet Eddie Caminetti."
--San Bernardino Sun

"If you think it's just about golf, you're missing half the fun. The richly drawn characters populating The Green are stand-ins for all of us, and the lessons to be learned beneath all of the humor and intrigue will stay with you long after the final page."
--Stewart Cink, PGA Professional

"Laced with colorful locker-room dialogue and golf aphorisms...this romp is par for the course, an insider's down-and-dirty view of golf competition stroke by stroke."
--San Antonio Express-News

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