Local writer and golfer Neil Sagebiel’s book “The Longest Shot: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open,” was chosen by “Booklist” as one of the Top 10 Sports Books of 2012.
Booklist, a book-review magazine which has been published for over 100 years, is used by librarians when deciding which books to purchase for the library. It also helps students decide what to read.
Author Bill Ott wrote, “Great sportswriting comes in many forms, and we do our best to keep our eyes on the balls, the waves, the bullets, and whatever else comes our way.”
Back in June we ran this review of Sagebiel’s book saying, “Sagebiel brings to life the drama of the tournament and the long road to arrive there. He also re-creates a time when golf was just a sport, and the players enjoyed the game without the money and the fame that accompany modern-day athletes. Reading this book is like reading the golf coverage from a major newspaper in the 1950′s when a keen ability to describe the players and their venue was the key to having readers. Having readers was the key to job security.”
Sagebiel lives in Floyd with his wife and two daughters. He writes a golf blog called Armchair Golf Blog.
Here is the text from the full press release:
THE LONGEST SHOT Named One of Booklist’s Top 10 Sports Books of 2012
THE LONGEST SHOT: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open, the first book by golf blogger Neil Sagebiel, was selected as one of the Top 10 Sports Books of 2012 by Booklist, the well-regarded book-review magazine of the American Library Association.
“The story of unheralded Jack Fleck’s triumph over the great Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open golf championship is one of sports’ greatest upset stories,” said Booklist, “and Sagebiel tells it superbly, wringing every ounce of poignancy and drama out of the action.”
THE LONGEST SHOT was the only golf book to make an exclusive list that included The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, Dream Team by Jack McCallum and Over Time by Frank Deford.
THE LONGEST SHOT is the inspirational story of how virtual unknown Jack Fleck beat four-time Open champion Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff to win the 1955 U.S. Open, one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports.
THE LONGEST SHOT
Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open
By Neil Sagebiel
Published May 22, 2012
Pages 336 plus on 8-page b&w photo insert
ISBN # 0312661847
A THOMAS DUNNE BOOK
Praise for THE LONGEST SHOT
“THE LONGEST SHOT is the first book from Neil Sagebiel, the founder and editor of Armchair Golf Blog, and he makes a strong bid to create shelf space for himself alongside 21st-century golf literati like John Feinstein, Mark Frost and Don Van Natta Jr. Sagebiel takes his time, working leisurely as golf demands, but does a thorough job. And his narrative pace during the last hour of that final round, as he bounces back and forth between Hogan in the locker room and Fleck on the course, may have a rhythm more suited to a tennis rally, but here it aces.”
—The New York Times Sunday Book Review
“The story of Iowa club pro Jack Fleck’s rise from obscurity to win the U.S. Open is the essence of the American Dream….Sagebiel brings to life the drama of the tournament and the long road to arrive there. He also re-creates a time when golf was just a sport, and the players enjoyed the game without the money and the fame that accompany modern-day athletes. Reading this book is like reading the golf coverage from a major newspaper in the 1950s when a keen ability to describe the players and their venue was the key to having readers.”
—The Roanoke Times
“In THE LONGEST SHOT, Sagebiel has added a new dimension to professional golf from the 1950s. In the process, he has given golf fans a deeper, fuller look at Jack Fleck. And perhaps a better appreciation of the man.”
—Tampa Bay Online
“Honors the grand tradition of profound and poetic literature in golf.”
—Ian O’Connor, New York Times bestselling author of Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf’s Greatest Rivalry
“THE LONGEST SHOT is destined to become a classic of golf literature.”
—Don Van Natta Jr., New York Times bestselling author of First Off the Tee and Wonder Girl