I came to golf the old-fashioned way—as a caddie. I looped for my father for a few years on summer Saturday’s, and then turned pro, in a manner of speaking, at age 12, as one of the scores of disheveled boys and men in the caddie pen at Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson, Ohio. My golf game developed from sneaking on LFCC at twilight, an occasionally nerve-wracking exercise because the greens keeper intimated a readiness to call the cops on trespassers. Never caught—I progressed as a player and as an employee, scoring a job as starter/cart maintenance boy at age 16 at Boston Hills CC, a public course, also in Hudson. My high water mark as a young golfer was a win in the Mid- American Junior in 1970. I attended Kent State University on a golf scholarship and managed a municipal course for two years following graduation, worked a couple more as an assistant pro at clubs in South Carolina and Tennessee, then bummed around as a touring pro in Canada, New Zealand, and Florida.


In November 1988, I began writing full-time, mostly about the game of my father, golf. Texas Golf Legends, my first book, was collaboration with Santa Fe-based artist Paul Milosevich. Researching TGL gained introductions with people I have written about many times since: Hogan, Nelson, Crenshaw, Trevino, and a few dozen others. The next book–The Eternal Summer, a recreation of golf’s summer of 1960, when Hogan, Palmer, and Nicklaus battled–is still selling 15 years after its debut, a rarity in the publishing world. My biography of the enigmatic William Ben Hogan struck a chord. Both Hogan and my next book, The Masters, appeared on the New York Times bestseller lists. Subsequent books and scores of magazine articles cemented my reputation as readable and sometimes controversial writer with an eye for humor and the telling detail.