Author Shane Ryan embedded himself on the PGA Tour for a year in order to deliver a firsthand look at a youth revolution – the wave of ambitious, 20-something shotmakers who are intent on toppling such veteran stars as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson from their golfing pedestals. Along the way, readers are introduced to some of the classic tournaments and venues that test the mettle of hard chargers like Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Jordan Spieth.
Here’s an excerpt from “Slaying the Tiger”:
“The United States Golf Association might be the cruelest organizing body in the entire sport, and when they take center stage each June at the U.S. Open, they set out to punish and humiliate any golfer with dreams of winning America’s oldest major championship.
“The USGA’s unofficial goal at each U.S. Open, at least in the past decade, is to stage an event so challenging that the winning score is close to even par – ideally on the high side. Sometimes the courses they choose aren’t quite difficult enough on their own, but that doesn’t faze the USGA. They simply doctor the course in the weeks leading up to the event, using some tried-and-true methods to rig the whole event. For starters, they grow out the rough, creating gnarly patches of grass that you’d need a machete to hack through. Then they deprive the fairways of water, speeding them up so that even decent tee shots run forever and eventually find their way into the dense thickets along the side.They do the same to the greens, making it impossible to stick an approach, or to putt on them even if you do.”