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Paper Tiger


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About the Author

Tom Coyne is the author of the novel A Gentleman's Game and cowriter of the screenplay for the novel's film version, which starred Dylan Baker and Gary Sinise. He is a contributor to Golf Magazine and teaches creative writing at St. Joseph's University.


The title is a sly acknowledgment on Coyne's part of the karmic debt his memoir owes to George Plimpton, but while Plimpton merely finagled his way onto the PGA Tour, Coyne (A Gentleman's Game) sets himself a higher goal: by dedicating a solid year to improving his golf game, he hopes to actually pass the qualifying school tournament that would allow him to compete as a professional. Believing that the difference between good and great golfers is consistency, Coyne moves to Florida for the winter for intensive training with swing doctors and sports psychologists, staying out on the course until his hands bleed. He faces the inevitable (and sometimes unexpected) setbacks with resigned humor, as he comes to realize that his year's age difference with Tiger Woods is the only thing he'll have in common with the champ. (In fact, it takes all the skill he can muster not to wind up DFL-"Dead Fucking Last.") Coyne treads a fine line between sarcasm and sympathy in his observations of his competitors, and though he occasionally gets lost in big-picture ruminations, his quest should resonate with weekend golfers who dream of going all the way. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

This is Coyne's (A Gentleman's Game) diary of his yearlong quest to become a professional golfer. In The Old Man and the Tee, Turk Pipkin documented a similar journey, the notable difference being that Pipkin had financial resources. Coyne, on the other hand, had to empty his bank account and run up his credit card to accomplish his mission. With instruction from former PGA Teacher of the Year Dr. Jim Suttie, Coyne went from a 9.4 to a +0.4 handicap. What he discovered is that, with effort, dreams can come true. Talent is one thing-lots of people have it. Ambition is another. But lots of people have ambition, too. Commitment and effort-these are the two key qualities that Coyne demonstrates in his quest. It is hard not to be jealous of him, but it is a jealousy hard-earned. Truth be told, the real hero of the book is Allyson, Coyne's girlfriend, who demonstrates the kind of support one could only hope for in a significant other. This is an experience readers will be able to enjoy vicariously. Recommended for all public libraries.-Steven Silkunas, North Wales, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

From his commitment to the curious cause to his single-minded focus, Coyne weaves an insightful and entertaining tale. . . .[H]is self-deprecating writing style and impeccable comedic timing make Paper Tiger a tale worth reading. ("Golfweek")

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