Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Roland Merullo: Two Books

Today’s review covers two books by Roland Merullo: Golfing With God and Passion For Golf.

The first, Golfing With God, is a novel with the premise that our hero, a deceased golf pro who failed the Tour while on Earth, is asked by God to cure His putting "yips." If you can buy the idea of golf in heaven; in making a foursome with Jesus, Moses, and the Virgin Mary; in the very idea that God would be less than perfect; then perhaps you can also accept that God's "lessons" lead to a return to Earth with our hero in the role of a 70-something codger accompanied by God in the form of a young and flashy trophy wife. And, of course, it turns out that God is actually giving the lesson instead of receiving.

Golfing With God has an interesting premise, and Merullo almost pulls it off. Read it and judge the ending and the message for yourself. It may not completely satisfy, but it will make you think and that makes it worth the effort.

(Shameless commercial: If you're drawn to golf fiction of this type, try The Hole of the Third Eye: A Fable of Golf, Zen, and Life first. The fact that I am the author is completely incidental!)

Merullo's other work, published earlier, is a collection of essays with the subtitle In Pursuit of the Innermost Game, which ID's him as being squarely aligned with this golf blog and podcast. The essays are short, entertaining, and deal with the mental side of the game: ego, etiquette, fear, love, beauty, nature, and the religion of golf. One prime example: his take on "anger" is that it grows in the gap between how the world is and what we think it should be. How easy to apply that to our golf game!

I highly recommend Passion. My only disappointment is that I've Googled myself to death and can't find Merullo so that I can offer a copy of Third Eye and get him involved in this blog. If anyone out there can make the connection (we're playing "six degrees of separation" here) I'll give out a free book.