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Book Review: Follow The Roar

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Sunday, February 8th, 2009
Categories: Golf BooksGolf MediaMiscellaneousReviews
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On my annual flight to and from the PGA Show I read my one golf book for the year.  Last year I read Greg Norman’s book, then bumped into Greg the next day.  This year I read Bob Smiley’s book “Follow The Roar,” a book about Tiger Woods’ 2008 season.  How could I resist reading this one?  Harper Collins sent me TWO copies.

So maybe I’d run into Bob or Tiger at the PGA Show?  Unfortunately not.

Follow The Roar Premise

Bob Smiley had a wild idea for the 2008 PGA Tour season: Follow Tiger Woods for every hole he plays.  The fact that he pulled it off, minus a couple of holes at Iselworth, is incredible.  The only reason he couldn’t make those holes in time, was because he was racing Tiger’s private jet in a Toyota.  The jet won.

Smiley style

Anyone who frequents my blog has an idea about my writing style.  I try to write as if I was just talking to the readers while having a frosty beverage with them at the 19th hole.  I keep it casual and I’m definitely not trying to be the next Ernest Hemmingway.

Bob Smiley’s style is similar to what I hope mine is, very personable and easy to read. I didn’t have to get out my dictionary once, unlike some books I’ve read which seem to be only an attempt at impressing the reader with the author’s grammatical prowess.

Tiger’s most spectacular season?

In the book Smiley claims to have followed Tiger around for his most spectacular season.  I thought Tiger’s 2000 season was his best.  How could 2008 beat Tiger’s 2000?  How could a year which Tiger only played two majors be his most incredible?  He ended his year after the gutty win at the U.S. Open and the playoff with Rocco Mediate.  Remember how he beat the field, and Rocco, with two fractures in his leg and a torn ACL?  After reading Smiley’s book, I can’t argue that 2008 wasn’t, as short as it was, Tiger’s best.  One thing is sure, it was at least his best “per-event” performance.

Insights on Tiger and Bob

Bob Smiley never met Tiger.  When he started out on this journey Smiley wasn’t a Tiger fan.  Smiley noted that Tiger wasn’t overly nice or receptive to the fans like other players such as Phil Mickleson.  By the end of the book Smiley had turned into a Tiger Woods fan, and had some very insightful theories as to why Tiger is the way he is and what makes him tick.  That insight, which I won’t tell you, proved to be very interesting and I believe it.

The book isn’t just a play by play of Tiger’s 2008 season.  Smiley’s book also tells you a lot about himself, his determination and how he sees and interacts with the world.  That personal viewpoint gives this book a fresh flow and perspective.  You can tell that Bob would be a fun guy to have a beer with.

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