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Bring me the head of Sergio Garcia by Tom Cox
Release date: 04th October, 2007
Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press
Our Price: £8.39
You Save: £3.6 (30%)
Bring me the Head of Sergio Garcia
By Tom Cox
Yellow Jersey Press
4sportsbooks.co.uk price: £8.39 saving £3.60 on rrp
At one time or another, we are all guilty of watching professional sport and wondering whether we might be just as talented as the stars on show.
Who, for example, can honestly say that they've never observed a regulation dropped catch, an errant tee shot, or yet another spurned goalscoring opportunity and thought "I could have done better than that". At such times, it seems as though a horrible injustice has occurred, a cruel twist of fate that has resulted in the likes of Sergio Garcia performing before millions of fans whilst we quietly contemplate how things might have beenÖ
Such an incessant ache exists at the heart of this entertaining book's lead character. Once a county golfer, Tom Cox discarded his clubs at eighteen, disillusioned with the game and its accompanying baggage. Fifteen years later, a passion re-emerged and in spite of enjoying a successful journalistic career, the nagging feeling that he had never given golf a proper chance would not disappear.
Nevertheless, the realisation that becoming a golf 'pro' takes little more than filling out a few forms, paying a nominal fee and officially renouncing your amateur status merely stokes the fire of Cox's curiosity. This, together with some cajoling from his golfing buddies, and perhaps 'the most perfectly struck eight-iron of his life' provide sufficient incentive to take the plunge and within a couple of months, he is teeing it up on the European PGA Tour's humble sister competition, the Europro Tour.
Aside from an obvious natural ability, there is little about Cox that screams 'Golfer!' As he accepts, "I don't look like I should play golf, I don't speak like I should play golf and I don't dress like I should play golf." In this sense, we can all relate to his plight: his love of the game is illogical, yet his is an obsession that every golfer understands.
'Bring me the Head of Sergio Garcia! recounts Cox's spectacular lack of progress in his year as a professional sportsman.
Dreams of storming up the world rankings, playing alongside his heroes and qualifying for the Open go breathtakingly unrealised, indeed Cox is disqualified from his first event after just three holes for accidentally playing the wrong ball and he makes little progress thereafter.
Nevertheless, he narrowly avoids the indignity of shooting 100 in Open qualifying and having at least given it a go, can lay his demons to rest.
Far from encountering the array of colourful characters we might expect, Cox discovers that golf is saturated with a seemingly unlimited number of homogenous beings. Every now and then, a Ballesteros or Garcia might break the mould, but by and large, today's pro golfer is six foot tall, has a Poulter-esque hedgehog haircut, lives in the home counties and drives a VW golf. Moreover, it is likely he has forgone the development of interpersonal skills, an enquiring mind, or any type of social life in the pursuit of professional mediocrity.
With a pacey comic narrative, this book is stylishly written: its strength lies in the fact that Cox's self-deprecating tone makes him sound like any other golfer. Ultimately, perhaps it's because he's too old and wise, or maybe it's because he enjoys a successful career elsewhere, but Tom Cox is not cut out for this most competitive of arenas, a conclusion that should not detract from a thoroughly entertaining read.
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