What happens when a man leaves home for a year to pursue his dream?
One day, playing a particularly spectacular round of golf, husband and father John Paul Newport suddenly tastes what it's like to be a pro. Deciding to take a year off and hit the road playing golf's mini-tour circuit, Newport embarks on a wild trip through America's fairways. Over the course of his journey inside the somewhat shady, often hilarious underbelly of professional golf, he uncovers a world of people so totally addicted to golf, to the delusion of achievable perfection, that they sacrifice everything else to the quest. He also discovers the nature of his own obsession with the game, and how this constant pursuit of perfection on the golf course reflects the same challenges and frustrations one encounters in life. What does it take to master such an intricate, unpredictable game? In golf, as in life, why is one so consistently incapable of acting up to one's clearly established potential?
As Newport struggles to cross that Fine Green Line--the infinitely subtle yet critical difference between the top golf professionals and those who never quite make it--he realizes that life, like golf, doesn't let you get away with anything. This is a story about letting go of fear, facing challenges, and embracing risks--a compelling personal journey that captures many of the frustrations and elations of midlife both on and off the course.
My infatuation with golf was baffling, even to me. Almost none of my friends in New York played. Most, in fact, still viewed the game as a shameful, bourgeois absurdity. But I was forever dreaming about my next fix.
Part of its appeal no doubt had to do with the personal troubles I was going through at the time. Golf was a refuge. At home and at the office I hardly knew which end was up, but on the golf course the rules were clear. Order prevailed. Plus you had the tweeting birds and the gentle breezes and the bright green grass everywhere--the same elements that make mental asylums such pleasant places to spend time.
In addition to all that, I was steadily getting better, which was good for my ego. But this led to delusions. The primary cause of golf's maddening addiction, I soon discovered, is that every golfer knows for a fact that he or she is actually much, much better than his scores would indicate.
--from The Fine Green Line From the Hardcover edition.