Cover image for The legend of Bagger Vance
The legend of Bagger Vance
Pressfield, Steven.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hampton, New Hampshire : Chivers Sound Library, [2000]

Physical Description:
8 audio discs (7 hr., 30 min.) : digital, stereophonic ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Complete & Unbridged.

Compact disc.
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
XX(1107915.6) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



In the Depression year of 1931, on the golf links at Krewe Island off Savannah's windswept shore, two legends of the game, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, meet for a mesmerizing thirty-six-hole showdown. Another golfer will also compete -- a troubled local war hero, once a champion, who comes with his mentor and caddie, the mysterious Bagger Vance. And he alone can show his protege the way back to glory.

Author Notes

Author Steven Pressfield was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in September 1943. He graduated from Duke University in 1965 and joined the Marine Corps. Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a copy writer, taxi driver, bartender, tractor-trailer driver, fruit picker, and worked on oil rigs. He then moved to California and began writing screenplays. In 2000, his debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was made into a movie starring Matt Damon and Will Smith. He primarily writes military historical fiction set in classical antiquity. Most of his novels are told from the first-person perspective of the main character.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Improbable as it may sound, this allegorical first novel by an L.A. screenwriter reads like an F. Scott Fitzgerald scholar reciting a medley culled from the Bhagavadgita, Huck Finn and The Tempest: it has gray-flannel charm, a thick vein of mysticism, homespun homilies and an encroaching storm. In 1931, a mythical golf match is arranged between the legendary Bobby Jones and the fabled Walter Hagen to promote-amid the deprivation of the Depression-a luxurious golf resort on an island near Savannah, Ga. To rally financial support from the hard-hit local money boys, former hometown golf champ Rannulph Junah, agrees to participate in the match. A somewhat degenerate aristocrat, Junah has been traveling the world in search of meaning ever since his experience in the Great War. The man whom Junah calls ``my mentor and boon companion'' is Bagger Vance, a charismatic Eastern mystic, who is black. The tournament attracts a multitude of celebrities from all over the world; it's a heroic 36-hole battle of the titans that takes place during the course of one fateful, stormy day. For Junah, the struggle is not to conquer his opponents, the elements or the daunting golf links-the conflict resides within himself. Vance helps him find his Authentic Swing-which is, of course, a metaphor for self-discovery. The novel is given the feel of a teaching by its frame, in which the wizened narrator-a septuagenarian surgeon and former golf champ who, as a 10-year-old caddy, witnessed the event-relates the tale to a burnt-out medical student in order to pass on the wisdom of Bagger Vance. Although the prose occasionally strays into the rough, this is a thoroughly beguiling little fable. 50,000 first printing; $60,000 ad/promo; film rights to Jake Eberts. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Pressfield's mix of golf and mysticism centers on a mythical 1931 match between Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, and a Savannah, GA, champion. The local hero, a shell-shocked World War I survivor, plays the two legends head to head and meets the gallery's scorn and praise with the assistance of a young boy and the wise and mysterious caddie Bagger Vance. Through the ups and downs of the game, Vance uses golf to enlighten the hero, allowing him to find his true self through the "authentic swing." In turn, the grown boy uses the story to help a troubled young man. Read by Barrett Whitener, this excellent audiobook is recommended for all collections. Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. at Parkersburg (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA‘Elderly Hardison L. Greaves describes a memorable golf match he witnessed as a child in the 1930s to a medical student who is nearing burn-out. In the match, golf-great Bobby Jones plays Walter Hagen; to generate local support, World War I hero Rannulph Junah is asked to participate. He declines at first, but then his companion, Bagger Vance, offers to caddy for him. It becomes apparent that Vance is more than a companion; he is the man's mentor and spiritual advisor. Although looked upon with disdain by the golfers and spectators, Vance, who is black, counsels Junah to look for his Authentic Swing. The symbolism is apparent; Junah finds not only his golf swing, but also himself. Pressfield's story will be of interest to students. Its mysticism promotes thought, and golf references are simple enough for nonplayers.‘Diane Goheen, Topeka West High School, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Legend of Bagger Vance Chapter One We were crossing between the nines now. The surge to the tenth tee carried the massed throngs away from the ocean to a run of five inland holes. The gallery's weight and depth seemed to cut off all breeze; the heat hit you like a blast oven. The backs of Jones' and Hagen's shirts were drenched with sweat as we climbed the rise to the tenth tee. Junah removed his hat and buried his face in a towel; the moisture was dripping from it; I gave him tea and an apple and a big chunk of ice, which he wrapped in his pocket kerchief and applied to his burning neck. The big scoreboard by the tourney tents was visible when he reached the height of the tee. Hagen 35, Jones 36, Junah 41. The nine behind felt like a war zone; it seemed impossible that the competitors still had a siege of 27 more holes to play. Jones lashed a monster down the right side, a screaming yardage-devouring hook that arced out and back over the rough, hit the fairway steaming and bounded forward with overspin to slow finally, curling safely around the flank of a bunker I'd paced off the night before at 285. Junah barely noticed, so tightly was he held by Bagger Vance's eyes. "What can I do, Bagger? Tell me." Hagen was stepping to tee his ball; Vance kept his voice low. "I require only one thing of you, Junah. That you swing your True Swing. Your Authentic Swing." "What the hell do you think I want?" Junah hissed. "How do I do it?" He paused for Hagen's address. Sir Walter ripped one, a high dead-straight boomer that was all carry, splitting the middle and landing just a few yards behind Jones', settling onto a clean flat lie, 190 from the 464-yard green. The applause echoed; then the gallery turned to Junah, who still stood over his bag, his face inches from his caddie's. The caddie held out the champion's driver. "Remember, the game is simple. The ball doesn't move. It simply sits and waits. Now strike it, Junah. Hold nothing back. Hit it with everything you have." Vance set Schenectady Slim in Junah's hands. You could see the champion's head was whirling, his brain beyond overload. The gallery sensed an apocalypse. Hagen and Jones did too. I was in terror that Junah might faint, collapse, actually fall down, so dizzy and disorientated did he seem. I shut my eyes, too terrified to watch as Junah teed his ball and stepped to it. I squinted to see him look back at Vance, one last time. Then he set himself, glanced once down the fairway... Junah's clubhead started back. Before it reached the top, the gallery knew. Judge Anderson knew, my father knew, everyone who had ever seen and marveled at Junah's swing when it was on ...they all knew. He was on plane. On track. On rails. The big persimmon hit the slot at the top exactly, you could see Junah's wrists cock fully into their ultimate power position, his knees and hips had already started rotating forward into the shot as the clubhead reached its zenith, high and geometric, left arm at full extension, and then, not with a slash or a blast but almost in slow motion the club powered through the hitting zone. The sound was like a bomb. The gallery gasped as the ball exploded off the clubface, low and hissing fire, and boomed down the narrow alley between the massed formations. Heads snapped, trying to follow its speed. There was a quick intake of breath, then a joyous release of tension, applause and a rush of awe and appreciation. I looked at Jones and saw a small curl of pleasure in his lip; he appreciated it too. Hagen was already striding off the tee, head down, ignoring the shot, which meant of course he had seen it and took it seriously. I peered toward the far right bunker, the one Jones' ball had rolled to, whose carry paced off at 285. Junah's drive cleared it on the fly, took one long hard hop, then settled into a low ground-hugging roll, coming to rest 30 yards farther on, 315 from the tee, with Tawdry Jones the forecaddie sprinting in its wake to jubilantly plant his bright white flag. Three-fifteen cold. Thirty yards past Jones, nearly 40 beyond Hagen. Junah himself could barely believe it. Not so much the prodigiousness of the blow, as he had hit many as well and better, but that somehow it had appeared at this time, when his swing had seemed utterly incapable of producing it. He turned to Bagger Vance, as if expecting a winking smile or a thumbs-up. But the caddie was already striding for the fairway, instructing me to give Junah another of my iced apples and make sure he ate it. "You are your swing, Junah," he muttered to the champion as he passed. "We will find that swing today and, having found it, nothing will ever take it from you again." The Legend of Bagger Vance . Copyright © by Steven Pressfield . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.