The Phantom of The Open: Maurice Flitcroft, the World's Worst Golfer by Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby

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The Phantom of The Open: Maurice Flitcroft, the World's Worst Golfer by Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby

Category: Sport
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Peter Magee
Reviewed by Peter Magee
Summary: The man who chanced his way into the Open without ever having played a round of golf. Well written and funny.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: July 2011
Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press
ISBN: 978-0224083171

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Maurice Flitcroft was forty six when he played his first round of golf. Most golfers start on the local course and hack around until they develop some skill. Not Maurice. That wasn't his way. He borrowed some books on golf from the library and decided that he was going to enter the Open. Yes – the Open. No starting at the bottom and working his way up – Maurice went straight for the big one. He ran up a score of 121 and the R&A (that's Royal and Ancient if you're not a golf fan) went ballistic. It might be said that they lacked a sense of humour but golf at this level is a serious game and Maurice was banned for life.

Well, that's what the R&A thought. Maurice had other ideas. Using increasingly ridiculous pseudonyms (Arnold Palmtree ring any bells?) he entered competition after competition, winning an army of fans and giving the sport's ruling body apoplexy.

Normally, Flitcroft would annoy the hell out of me. I've a lot of respect for the rules of golf and the R&A seems to do a great job of running the sport. I love watching the majors and I would hate for a match I was watching to be disrupted in this way. But – as I read I found something refreshing in the idea of a complete novice taking on the might of the R&A. It wasn't just the R&A that was in the firing line – it was the attitude that surrounds some areas of the game of golf.

So – I started reading the book, because you really do need something to do when you can't get out on the course – but I wasn't expecting to enjoy it. Then, strangely, I began to warm to him. It's helped, of course by the fact that the book is well-written and quite funny.

It says much for how far Maurice's fame had spread that he would be one of the few golfers based in this country who had a tournament named after him in the United States. There's just one question which keeps bothering me, though. How did a complete novice manage a score as low as 121 on a championship course? There was more to Maurice than met the eye.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then we promise you that you'll enjoy The Amateurs by John Niven . It's fiction but you'll spot the similarities.

Buy The Phantom of The Open: Maurice Flitcroft, the World's Worst Golfer by Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Phantom of The Open: Maurice Flitcroft, the World's Worst Golfer by Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Phantom of The Open: Maurice Flitcroft, the World's Worst Golfer by Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Phantom of The Open: Maurice Flitcroft, the World's Worst Golfer by Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby at Amazon.com.


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