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A Difficult Par: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf (Anglais) Relié – 8 mai 2014

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"If you have any passion for golf design, A Difficult Par should be the next book you read on the subject. It puts so much into perspective."
"This remarkable book is fitting tribute to a towering figure."
Golf Course Architecture Magazine
"4/5 Stars. Outstanding…A tremendous addition to the study of the history of golf course architecture. It is a detailed and fascinating look into the life of a man who, it can be argued, did more to shape the face of modern golf, both directly and by his influence, than any other person in the game."
San Francisco Examiner
"This book is a defining moment in golf literature."
The Met Golfer

"An affecting family portrait. A prohibitive favorite for golf book of the year."
Departures Magazine

"An expansive study of Jones' life and work…authoritative and meticulously researched. . . . for the course architecture aficionado, it is a revelatory dissertation."

"Superb…For anyone serious about golf, the history of the game or course design, this fine biography is a must. An in-depth biography of one of the greatest golf course architects of all time."
—Shelf Awareness for Readers

"Painstakingly researched, filled with kinds of fascinating insights...Highly recommended."

"The most complete accounting to date of the evolution of Mr. Jones Sr.'s design elements...A Difficult Par deserves to be, and has now become, an important volume in the historical record of golf course architecture and design."
Golf Letter

"Fascinating…Every golfer who has ever wondered about the philosophy behind course design will thoroughly enjoy this biography."

"Complicated…narrative rich in detail.. Hansen ably shows us a life filled with unrivaled success and deep end-of-life disappointment."
—Kirkus Reviews

"In this magisterial study of Robert Trent Jones, James R. Hansen narrates the remarkable achievements of the world’s most celebrated golf course architect. Hansen not only delves deeply into Jones’s Walter Mitty-like personality, he sets Jones's achievements into the context of America’s reach as the world’s leading economic and cultural power. A Difficult Par is a rich three-dimensional account of an extraordinary and uniquely American life."
—John Strawn, author of Driving The Green and the former CEO of Robert Trent Jones II

"Most of us in the golf world felt this was a book that could never be written. It took a decade of dogged persistence on Hansen's part to produce not just a candid and truthful biography of Trent Jones but a veritable masterpiece in sport literature."
—David Mackintosh, veteran international golf writer, Buenos Aires Herald   

"Robert Trent Jones was the most influential man in golf course design since Old Tom Morris. This biography by James Hansen is essential reading for all who love golf and golf courses. There is no book like it, answering far more questions about the leading personalities and practices of modern golf course design than any author has ever achieved."
—Dr. Michael C. Hurdzan, former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects

"A Difficult Par is an American Dream saga—the story of an impoverished but ambitious young man without a high school diploma who married the girl of his dreams and gained fame and fortune as the world's premier golf architect. In this remarkable biography, James R. Hansen combines an engrossing family saga of courtship, romance, marital love, father-son tensions, and sibling rivalries with a detailed chronicle of Jones's business practices and a fascinating analysis of Jones's theory and practice of golf architecture. Hansen skillfully describes dozens of Jones's most celebrated courses, clearly demonstrating that Jones's genius lay in his ability to design a course that would severely test the world's premier golfers, but also provide an enjoyable round for hackers and duffers who struggle to break 100."
—George B. Kirsch, Professor Emeritus of History at Manhattan College and author of Golf in America

"A Difficult Par paints a memorable portrait of the life and works of the father of modern golf architecture, and depicts his remarkable succession from immigrant to immortal.  A must read for students of the game and its most noble names."
—Warner Bott Berry, author of Scotsman’s Dream

"By a long way the best golf biography I have ever read, the first time, to my knowledge, that a historian of such eminence has shone the light of his professional skills on one of the game's major figures."
—Adam Lawrence, editor, Golf Course Architecture

"As a historian and simple lover of classic golf course architecture, I've been waiting a long time for a comprehensive biography of the man who shaped the landscape of the modern game. With A Difficult Par, James Hansen has done the game of golf a great service by delivering a beautifully written and  defining examination of the complicated life and legacy of Robert Trent Jones, including the dynastic succession that continues to shape the game we know today. This wonderful book is an easy birdie and difficult to put down. A well-worn copy deserves to be on every true golf lover's bookshelf."
—James Dodson, author of Final Rounds and Ben Hogan: An American Life

Praise for First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong

“Even if you think you know everything about Neil Armstrong and America’s historic mission to be the first to land men on the Moon, this remarkable book by Dr. James Hansen contributes a host of fascinating new insights into not only the character of Apollo 11’s enigmatic commander but also into the nature of the spacefaring enterprise itself. It is a book for all time.”—Walter Cronkite “A powerful, unrelenting biography of a man who stands as a living testimony to everyday grit and determination. . . . Hansen has achieved something quite remarkable.... A magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century. . . . A must for astronaut buffs and history readers alike.”Publishers Weekly, Starred Review “Let it be said at once that his book is an outstanding success.... Immaculately researched and packed with detail, but written in a way that will appeal to readers of all kinds.... This is an important book, and should be in every scientific library.”—Sir Patrick Moore, London Times Educational Supplement “A fine authorized biography brimming with groundbreaking research, fresh anecdotes and fair-minded analysis. . . . Hansen should be commended for decoding the enigmatic Armstrong: a space hero short on words but sky-high on Midwestern integrity.”—Douglas Brinkley, New York Times Book Review “[Hansen’s] mastery of detail is put to splendid use. The narrative of the moon mission is crisp and dramatic, the science clear. He deftly takes us back into those few days of global fascination with the adventure of the three distant voyagers, and the tense uncertainty about how it would turn out. The moon landing is old mental furniture for everyone of Baby Boom age and older….I finished Hansen’s Apollo story with a wholly fresh sense of awe at the magnitude of NASA’s achievement…. a compelling and nuanced portrait of the astronaut…. to understand Armstrong on his own terms is to see a large truth of our time.”—James Tobin, Chicago Tribune “A riveting chronicle…. [T]he book is a work of a true scholar…. The dramatic description of the actual landing … actually makes one’s heart pound, and one feels like going through it again and again….A must book not only for space buffs but for the general reader as well.”—Srinivas Laxman, The Times of India “[A] taut, well-told tale of our nation's race to the moon and the man who took the first step.”—Doug Allyn, The Flint Journal   “A great read.”The Kansas City Star, Noteworthy Book of 2005 

Praise for First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong"Even if you think you know everything about Neil Armstrong and America’s historic mission to be the first to land men on the Moon, this remarkable book by Dr. James Hansen contributes a host of fascinating new insights into not only the character of Apollo 11’s enigmatic commander but also into the nature of the spacefaring enterprise itself. It is a book for all time."
—Walter Cronkite

Présentation de l'éditeur

The definitive account of modern golf’s foremost architect from the New York Times bestselling author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong 
Robert Trent Jones was the most prolific and influential golf course architect of the twentieth century and became the archetypical modern golf course designer. Jones spread the gospel of golf by designing courses in forty-two US states and twenty-eight countries. Twenty U.S. Opens, America’s national championship, have been contested on Jones-designed courses.
New York Times bestselling biographer James R. Hansen, author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, recounts how an English immigrant boy arrived in upstate New York in 1912, just as golf was emerging as a popular pastime in America. Jones excelled as a golfer, earning admission to Cornell University, whose faculty consented to a curriculum tailored to teach him the knowledge needed to design golf courses. Cornell provided the springboard for an act of self-invention that propelled Jones from obscurity to worldwide fame.  
Jones believed that every hole should be “a difficult par but an easy bogey.” As gifted as he was at golf design, Jones was equally skilled as a salesman, promoter, and entrepreneur. Golf Digest’s annual rankings of the 100 Greatest Golf Courses have regularly featured about fifty Jones designs, paving the path for his two sons, Robert Jr., and Rees, whose work would carry on their father’s tradition. Hansen examines Jones’s legacy in all its complexity and influence, including the fraternal rivalry of Jones’s distinguished sons.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x89e797f8) étoiles sur 5 36 commentaires
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x89d2915c) étoiles sur 5 Inside knowledge to the architectual side of the game of golf! 5 novembre 2014
Par Kimberly F. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I read this book from cover to cover, not missing a word. If you are a serious golf nut, and love reading about the game, the architects master minding courses, and all the twists and turns, you will find this book exceptional reading. Although some points were long explanations, I felt that his son Robert Trent Jones, Jr. should have been presented in a better light. His new course at Chambers Bay will be the 2015 site of the US Open, and what an honor that will be for the Jones' family. Mr. Jones, Jr. had much more community involvement both political and volunteer, than was mentioned in the book, which probably could have been explained in more detail...or maybe another book!
The book caught my attention, as I then went to play Stanley Thompson's course in Canada, and found I had a special inside knowledge to the area and the game. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Well done, James Hansen!
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x89d291b0) étoiles sur 5 RTJ, Warts and All 12 mai 2014
Par David Donelson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Some of my favorite golf courses were designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., but that's not why I consider the story of his life written by James R. Hansen, A Difficult Par, one of the best biographies I've read in a long, long time. What I really enjoyed about the book was the totally unvarnished view it presents of the man's life and accomplishments, good, bad, and otherwise. Quite frankly, most golf biographies are hagiographies barely worth the effort it takes to turn the pages. This one I couldn't put down.

Robert Trent Jones, Sr., may well have been the most influential golf course architect of the game's flowering in the second half of the twentieth century. He was an English immigrant who arrived in the U.S. just as golf was on the verge of becoming a popular past time. His up-by-the bootstraps early life is a prelude to the ego-driven success he enjoyed as the premier designer of his day. As Hansen presents him, Jones was a brilliant architect and a shameless self-promoter. The interplay between the two sides of the man gives the reader rare insight into his spectacularly successful career.

Hansen gives excellent descriptions of everything from the design concepts to the political and financial relationships behind most of the top courses Jones created and renovated, which makes for fascinating reading for golfer and non-golfer alike. His renovation work at Augusta National, the National Golf Links, and Winged Foot, for example, may have been lost with the passage of time, but was important in the history of the game. Many of his post-war original designs are atop every aficionado's "best of" list: Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach, Hazeltine, Spyglass, not to mention the Robert Trent Jones Trail of excellent courses across the state of Alabama.

Golfers in my neck of the world are probably aware of the many contributions Jones made to the quality of the game in the Northeast, particularly in New York, but may not realize how much of that came in the form of public, daily fee courses. Among them are Montauk Downs, Eisenhower Park's White and Blue courses, Marine Park, Bruce Memorial in Greenwich, and Casperkill in Poughkeepsie (originally built for IBM).

Hansen also explores the failures as well as the fabulous successes in Jones's career, many of which illustrated the man's weaknesses as a businessman instead of his strengths as an architect. He pulls no punches when it comes to the less-than-savory history of Jones's relationships with some partners and collaborators both early and late in his career. The complicated relationship between and among Jones and his two sons, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and Rees Jones, gets full play, too, although in a perfectly respectful manner. The book doesn't drag anybody through the mud, but the author doesn't hesitate to show you the puddles along the way.

In many ways, A Difficult Par resembles Jones's favorite design concept: a good golf hole is an easy bogey but a difficult par. It moves along as an easy read with plenty of drama and entertainment value. If you want to dig deeper, however, the well-researched history Hansen presents is well worth careful, studious consideration.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x89d295e8) étoiles sur 5 Inspiration for any pro pioneers - more than just golf course design - it's about entrepreneurship, family and friends as well. 30 décembre 2014
Par Angela M. Hey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I learned so much about what it takes to design a golf course from this book - grasses, terrain, tees, greens, the rough, architecture, engineering, drainage, and terrific business savvy. Robert Trent Jones Sr had incredible determination to get his dream job - making contacts, getting involved in the industry, learning from mentors, persuading Cornell to accept him and selling his ideas.

There's details on specific courses - who knew that some lava could be ground to make a thin layer of soil for Mauna Kea's golf course in Hawaii, and some could not - or that guests would get winded at altitude at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs if the course was badly routed. There's plenty about Robert Trent Jones' approach to design - where to put the bunkers, how to do the plans, how to get people to implement the plans.

The book has details on Robert Trent Jones two sons (disclaimer: it was seeing Robert Trent Jones II carrying the book that made my buy it) and his wife. There's a lesson for families and family businesses on making corporate structures crystal clear.

The author sets a good pace, with footnotes in the text and a list of golf courses with dates at the end. There are also photos. The book should be of interest to anyone who likes business biographies and/or golf.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x89d295d0) étoiles sur 5 The Revival or RTJ's Reputation as a Great Architect 19 janvier 2015
Par Valuable Book - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Although Jones's work has fallen out of favor lately, surpassed by the new courses of the "minimalist" era, he played an important role in the history of course design and Hansen brings Jones's reputation back into the discussion after he has been been looked down on for so many years. This alone makes it a worthy effort. Hansen's best work is in areas that are lesser known, in particular the creation of the secretive Vidauban course near the French Riviera, which nearly bankrupted Jones. The original concept at Vidauban was to build three golf courses, 3,000 condominiums and two large hotels. Hansen also describes in detail the complicated (and tense) relationships among Jones and his sons Rees and Robert Jr. Another interesting story Hansen relates is the fact that Jones was present at a Coup d’état attempt on the King of Morocco, who he designed the Royal Dar Es Salaam course for. While he was on the property armed soldiers starting shooting at the palace and captured the King for a period of time. Jones was held by the armed captors during the harrowing event. One star detracted for too much detail in places, but well written and interesting.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x89d2999c) étoiles sur 5 A Wonderful Golf History Book 27 mai 2014
Par Carl E. Johnson Jr. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This biography of Robert [Trent] Jones [Sr.] is "required reading" for every golf architecture and/or golf history nut. Even the casual, recreational golfer without a burning interest in golf architecture and history should enjoy the book.

Most golf books are relatively light weight, puff pieces. "A Difficult Par" is not that. The author is a scholar and takes an honest, forthright look at Jones and his life. Particularly interesting to me were the relationships among "Trent" and his two sons, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Rees Jones, his wife, Ione, and his principal designer, Roger Rulewich.

Jones was a self-made man, without a high school diploma or a college degree, but educated technically with courses at Cornell University. He was determined to be the greatest golf course architect - this is the story of how he did it all.

The author's style is clear, concise and readable. It came close to being a page-turner for me (and parts of it really were). Although not source-footnoted as such, Hansen identifies important sources in the text itself, supplemented by a must-read acknowledgements section and a source notes section at the back of the book. Hansen also gets an A+ from me for putting expository footnotes in smaller type at the bottom of the page (rather than at the back of the book as so many authors do today).
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