The Best 18 Golf Holes in America is the forthright title of a book published last week by the Delacorte Press about the best 18 golf holes in America. Written by Associate Editor Dan Jenkins, it is an expansion of a two-part article that appeared in this magazine on Feb. 15, 1965 and Feb. 22, 1965, and it takes the reader from the first hole at Merion in Pennsylvania—that placid old classic of a course where "Fred Austin, Merion's head professional...would as soon give a lesson in his underwear as be seen on his course without a proper dress shirt and bow tie"—to the 18th at Pebble Beach in California, which is something else. "The very men who would warily take two penalty shots and drop away from a pansy plant find themselves hypnotically attacking the Pacific Ocean," Jenkins, fascinated, observes of Pebble Beach, and he goes on to detail some of the mad and splendid assaults, including his own, which have been made upon that course. The book, with 38 photographs in color, is a beauty. It is also replete with humor, history and anecdote, $15 worth ($13.50 until the first of the year), and we are proud of our part in its preparation.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, as a matter of fact, is connected with what amounts to a most creditable body of sporting literature in book form. In the past decade we have been wholly or partly responsible for the publication of works ranging from the scholarship of John McDonald's The Origins of Angling, based on the earliest-known writings on fly-fishing, and Robert Cantwell's biography of Pioneer Naturalist Alexander Wilson, to a paperback book of cartoons garnered from the pages of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED during the years when we published cartoons.
In 1957 The Spectacle of Sport appeared, a four-pound volume published by Prentice-Hall, with 319 pages of color plates and text by some of the world's most accomplished writers—among them William Saroyan, Bill Mauldin, Budd Schulberg and the late William Faulkner. J. B. Lippincott publishes The Sports Illustrated Library for the active sportsman, a how-to series (17 volumes so far and more coming) written for us by people who do know how to—Bill Talbert, Bob Cousy and Y. A. Tittle, to name three. The books have sold more than half a million copies, a considerable proportion to coaches and schools choosing to buy them with funds made available by a congressional appropriation for the purchase of educational books.
Charles Goren wrote The Sports Illustrated Book of Bridge for us, and Jack Olsen produced The Mad World of Bridge, thus enabling readers to maintain their perspective. Ben Hogan told readers how to pronate their wrists in The Modern Fundamentals of Golf, dozens of pros contributed to the two volumes of Tips from the Top and Arnold Palmer brilliantly related My Game and Yours.
There have been many other books, and many more are planned. One published just last week is Paper Lion, George Plimpton's expansion of his adventures as a would-be quarterback with Detroit, which appeared in SI under the title Zero of the Lions, If it is as big a hit as his Out of My League, we will be more than pleased. A lot of people bought George's description of pitching against a group of major league All-Stars, one of them Ernest Hemingway. Papa thought it was great.