?Think country-club clinic meets Navy Seals training. I will pay any price, bear any burden, leave my home to follow the seasons, build my own swing studio in the basement, construct a practice green in my backyard. . . . Everything the big boys have access to, I want double.? Like most amateur golfers, Tom Coyne had often wondered whether the pros won because they were more talented or because they were more obsessed. Overweight and burdened by a 14 handicap, he decided to find out for himself what it takes to play like a pro. Charting his journey?which included hiring top golf gurus such as Dr. Jim Suttie?Paper Tiger takes readers from the Michelob tournament (a win for Tom) to the Australian Tour, where forty-mile-per-hour winds and a driving rain scare off his Japanese partners. With each chapter, he tracks his weight alongside his handicap, pursuing his dream with a reckless abandon that comes to involve hardcore diets, pricey techlogy, even psychologists. With echoes of Dead Solid Perfect and Who's Your Caddy? Tom brings his uniquely edgy, deeply human perspective to a game that can simultaneously bring out the best and the worst in everyone who tries to master it.
Tom Coyneis the author of the novel A Gentleman s Game and cowriter of the screenplay for the novel s film version, which starred Dylan Baker and Gary Sinise. He is a contributor to Golf Magazine and teaches creative writing at St. Joseph s University.