GolfDigest.com will regularly highlight a book that it finds of interest to readers. This week is:
Love at First Slice, By Mark Chase, PH Publishing Limited, $11.99, paperback and ebook, 302 pages
When one of the first storylines in a piece of golf fiction is the main character offing his boss with an errant tee shot into the woods, you sense the next development could be Monty Python-type characters doing a comedy routine about the need to wear suits of armor when playing golf. That would have been rather fun, but instead, Love at First Slice, written by London-resident Chase, follows the very common golf-novel track of an obsessive golfer trying to overcome bad life moments that turn him into the Job of golf.
On top of the accidental killing, sports journalist Phil Hunter—the last name perhaps an intentional play on his stalking for life’s happiness as well as him being the hunted by life’s miseries—is out of a job, accused of cheating, bumped out of his beloved club, has a breakdown, and has his future viability as a journalist severely hit.
Phil’s way back to the good times is through golf—playing it well and letting tranquility flow back to him. His golf journey is muddled by nefarious types, of course, but he tries to keep a sense of humor amid the mayhem. In that, it is similar to how our so-so, even bad, golf can only be handled with laughter—even the dark humor variety—so we don’t lose our minds.
Played out with an English golf club as the backdrop, the way back for Phil also includes an obsession over one’s handicap, the teachings of an eccentric Doktor Ernst Körr, and the hope that the newest equipment will be a cure for an ailing game. In that sense, we can all relate to the confusing and twisting paths that golf takes us on the way to desired improvement.