John Feinstein is among the most prolific sports journalists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. As an author of numerous articles and books -- and as a television and radio commentator -- Feinstein has covered every major sport since he began his career with the “Washington Post” in 1977. Golf, however, has been one of his major interests. In addition to writing for publications such as “Golf Magazine” and “Golf Digest,” Feinstein has written nine books about golf as of 2012.
A Good Walk Spoiled
Feinstein’s first golf book, “A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour,” was published in 1995. It topped the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks and remained on the list for 36 weeks. Feinstein spent a year following the PGA Tour, observing pro golf from the inside. His observations, plus discussions with 17 tour players, formed the book’s foundation.
Probably Feinstein’s best-known golf biography is “Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story.” The book tells the story of Edwards’ 40 years as Tom Watson’s caddie and Edwards’ battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Feinstein also wrote a short, 88-page book about Tiger Woods and his father, “The First Coming: Tiger Woods: Master or Martyr,” in 1997, plus a brief biography of Arnold Palmer, “The Classic Palmer,” in 2012. He and Rocco Mediate together wrote “Are You Kidding Me?” The book details the 2008 U.S. Open and Mediate’s unsuccessful bid to become the oldest player to win the Open.
In “The Majors,” Feinstein followed the drama of golf’s four major championships of 1998, offering inside information about the preparation and play of the world’s top golfers. He focused exclusively on the 2002 U.S. Open for his next book, “Open: Inside the Ropes at Bethpage Black,” again going behind the scenes at the first U.S. Open played on a public course. He described how the course was prepared and the player pairings established, and continued through Woods’ three-stroke victory over Phil Mickelson.
Other Golf Books
In Feinstein’s 2007 book, “Tales From Q School: Inside Golf’s Fifth Major,” Feinstein moved away from the actual PGA Tour and looked closely at the 2005 version of the annual qualifying event through which 30 players become eligible to play on the following year’s tour. Feinstein then shifted back in time to 2003 for “Moment of Glory: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf,” describing the season in which golf’s four majors were won by a quartet of lesser-known players, none of whom had won a major previously.