First Off the Tee

First Off the Tee

3.53 (80 ratings by Goodreads)
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Golf is the favorite sport of America's presidents, and an award-winning New York Times reporter tells great stories that show why it's so much more than a game for them. . Some students of the presidency say that we can learn the most about the men who've occupied the Oval Office by studying their ideology. Others say political savvy or family background or regional influences are paramount. But Don Van Natta argues for another standard--by observing the way they play golf. Fourteen of the last seventeen presidents have been golfers, and Van Natta explores two questions: Why is the game of golf so attractive to the men who occupy the Oval Office? And what do their golf games reveal about their characters? Some presidents relied on golf to escape the burdens of office, while others brought those burdens with them. And few have been able to resist the perks of high office, bending the rules and freely taking mulligans. Is it really surprising to learn that the section called "Hail to the Cheats" features the golfing escapades of Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and Warren Harding?
Not content to rely solely on the history books, Van Natta takes the reader on a round of golf he recently played with Bill Clinton and draws on extensive interviews with the golfing ex-presidents about what the game means to them. For history buffs and golf aficionados alike, First Off the Tee is a cheerful romp and a unique way to share the links with America's duffers-in-chief.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 33.02mm | 657.71g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • w. photos.
  • 1586480081
  • 9781586480080

Review quote

"Ever since Ulysses S. Grant tried golf in 1877...the game's challenges have helped us get to know our commanders in chief. Van Natta...has the goods on all of them." - Sports Illustrated "Well-written, hilarious anecdotes.... Thanks to Mr. Van Natta's far-reaching research and beautiful prose, First Off the Tee is an easy, engaging book, and not such a bad history lesson." - New York Times "The chapter concerning Mr. Clinton is Mr. Van Natta's best.... At the end of the round, the former president recorded a score of 82, a far, far better score than he deserved, and we're indebted to Mr. Van Natta for giving us a first-hand account of it." -Wall Street Journal"
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About Jr. Don Van Natta

Don Van Natta Jr. is an investigative correspondent for The New York Times, where he has worked since 1995, having previously worked for eight years at The Miami Herald. He has been a member of three Pulitzer Prize-winning teams. He lives in London.
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Rating details

80 ratings
3.53 out of 5 stars
5 16% (13)
4 30% (24)
3 46% (37)
2 6% (5)
1 1% (1)
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