Cover image for In search of the greatest golf swing : chasing the legend of Mike Austin, the man who launched the world's longest drive, and taught me to hit like a pro
In search of the greatest golf swing : chasing the legend of Mike Austin, the man who launched the world's longest drive, and taught me to hit like a pro
Reed, Philip (Philip C.)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Carroll & Graf Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
276 pages; 19 cm
General Note:
Includes bibliographical references ( p.264) and index.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV964.A8 R44 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Can you teach an ordinary golfer like me to drive the ball 300 yards? With this question sportswriter Philip Reed's search for the greatest golf swing begins. When Reed met ninety-year old Mike Austin, he knew that Austin held the record for the longest drive ever--an awesome 515-yard shot during a Senior PGA event. What he didn't know is that he was forging a bond with a man whose amazing life he has now chronicled in a book that is charming, funny, and wise. As Reed's tutelage under his cantankerous teacher begins, he learns of Austin's winning wagers on trick shots, sharing a Hollywood apartment with Errol Flynn; giving secret lessons to Howard Hughes; and matching shots against Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. As Reed's drives get longer, Austin's health worsens. Mike soon suffers a stroke that silences him, but Reed is sure that Mike wants someone to tell his story--of a man who could do one thing better than anyone else, who possessed the most prodigious golf swing ever. This book is not just for golfers, but for all readers who savor heartwarming stories of unexpected friendships and are eager to learn secrets of living life to the fullest.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Ostensibly about retooling his golf swing, Reed's account develops in surprising ways that are incidental to the conventions of the golf instructional. Dreaming of walloping a 300-yard drive, Reed seeks out Mike Austin, a long-ball specialist who, in 1974, set a record for the longest shot in professional tournament competition. Reed concedes that Austin (who was in his early 90s when Reed met him in 2001) seemed to be a man of self-aggrandizing habits: every story about his life was over the top, his every swing tip the greatest discovery ever made. But enough about Austin did check out to convince Reed to relax and enjoy his swing guru's bombastic ways and drill-sergeant delivery. As he adjusts his swing according to the barked instructions delivered by Austin from his Barcalounger, Reed perceives a genuine friendship forming, deepened by Austin's survival of a health crisis. Culminating with Reed playing the course where Austin set his record, this intriguing mix of instructional, memoir, and biography could be the sleeper hit of the golf-publishing season. --Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2004 Booklist