Sunday, May 24, 2009


In The Downhill Lie, Carl Hiaasen takes you through his hilarious journey back into golf after a 32 year layoff. He details every step of the way, including his rounds, buying new equipment, taking various lessons, and culminating with his play in a member guest tournament.

When Hiaasen got married and had kids in his twenties, he decided he no longer had time for golf and quit the sport. Many years later, in his fifties, he made a decision to give golf another shot. Obviously, many things about the game had changed and he gives a very amusing account of the trials and tribulations of his return.

The funniest parts in my opinion detail all the various lessons, swing changes, equipment changes, and purchases of various swing improvement gadgets that seemingly provided no improvement whatsoever.

Here is an excerpt from the book one year into his return:

Exactly one year after I purchased those secondhand Nicklaus clubs, my transformation was disturbing. I owned two pairs of golf shoes and a half-dozen vivid shirts in which I wouldn’t have been caught dead twelve months ago. I had four drivers of varying lofts, weight distributions and shaft flexibility, and I couldn’t hit any of them the same way twice. I was trying out a flashy new putter that I was concealing from my wife, and I found myself conversing about gap wedges and fairway hybrids with persons I barely knew. At nights I lay awake reliving the day’s round, shot by shot, in self-lacerating detail.”

If you are interested in a very funny and easy to read book about one man’s pursuit of golf improvement, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Downhill Lie.