This magnificent tale of two blue collar golfers will always be one of my favorite stories in the world.
‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’ was written by author Mark Frost. The story is about two golfers from different sides of the world. Frost tells the story by aligning their history.
The first golfer, Harry Vardon, was a professional golfer from the Isle of Jersey. He was thought to be the best player in the world at the time.
The second golfer, Francis Ouimet, was a caddy at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass. He was young and had little experience playing in golf tournaments. The definition of an underdog.
Frost starts the tale by aligning these two distant characters and their journey to the 1913 U.S. Open. Although the two iconic players’ journeys start halfway across the world from each other, the two are more similar than it seems.
Both are from working class families.
This is the most important part of the 1913 U.S. Open because, in those times, golf was still thought to be an upper class sport that fought to keep the working class, like Ouimet, out.
Frost did have it easy though. It is much easier to recount history than to make a new story up. And this certain story could not be written. The books prowess feeds off the truthfulness behind the cliche ending. Ouimet beats Vardon in a playoff.
The story has much more behind it though. The book captures the budding democracy of golf perfectly by aligning these two working class characters. Vardon, a champion, is surrounded by those who talk down to the working class. Ouimet, an amateur caddy, is fighting back the waves of discrimination. When Ouimet wins, the working class wins. Something Frost portrays with his transformation of Ouimet’s father, from hater to proud parent.
It’s a story that must be read for those who enjoy golf and sport. The telling tale of the two golfers, and the relationships between Ouimet and those around him will capture your heart and feed your inspiration.
For me, I think of the book and Frost’s captivating story every time I walk by a picture of Ouimet and his caddy, Eddie Lowery, that hangs in the Charles River Country Club clubhouse. My family has been involved with the Ouimet Scholarship Foundation since before the book was written. I could not have been more please with Frost’s unbelievable telling of the tale. He captured the story and all of its meaning with inspirational writing.
This is a must read for everybody.