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Nice Jumper By Tom Cox

Release date: 01st July, 2018
Publisher: Black Swan

List Price: £14.99
Our Price: £12.99
You Save: £2 (13%)
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As a prepubescent teenager, Tom Cox initially dreamt of becoming a rock star or possibly even the new Willy Wonka, but from the summer of 1988, when he was 13, to the summer of 1993, he played golf virtually every day to the point where the sport dominated his life. “I didn’t just play golf,” he writes, “I dreamed, walked and talked it.”

In what has been described as golf’s answer to Fever Pitch, Cox admits that for five years, he devoted every hour to “becoming the East Midlands’ answer to Lee Trevino.” He came close to achieving that goal, getting his handicap down to two, but this is no tale of a nearly-man, a guy who ‘coulda been a contender’. It’s a rich, incredibly funny story of a talented teenager who happens to be ‘into’ golf yet still does all of those stupid things that teenage boys do – often on the golf course or in the clubhouse.

Nice Jumper is more than a book about golf; it’s about growing up, about making a transition from boyhood to early manhood. It will strike a chord with anyone who, at some point during their teenage years, felt that messing about with their mates was significantly more important than school, or that getting up to some dumb piece of mischief and having to explain yourself afterwards was, in fact, a great laugh.

In Cox’s case, he and his pals set fire to the golf professional’s shop. For a laugh. Yet it could never be perceived as an act of maliciousness; it’s daft because teenage boys spend a lot of time on the daftness scale, laughing at things that their elders (and many females) find weird.

What makes Nice Jumper very funny is that Cox’s perfectly normal teenage development, which includes lashings of mischief, cheek, and general messing about, is set against the staid backdrop of Cripsley Edge golf club. Furthermore, because Cox was a genuine golfing prodigy, officials at the club couldn’t understand how this young lad, an exceptional golfer, could suddenly revert to teenage boy mode and drop something unwanted into a fellow-golfer’s shoes or locker.

Laced with themes of adolescent awkwardness set against a golfing backdrop, Cox maintains that he wrote Nice Jumper (he gives four reasons) before the memories of those joyous days disappeared. Anyone who once revelled in the belly-aching laughter of their teenage years should be grateful.


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