I finally got around to picking up Steve Williams’ book OUT OF THE ROUGH. I mentioned I was reading it back in my post about how to improve your game while OFF the course. For golfers new to the game, Steve Williams spent 13 years as Tiger Woods’ caddy until the fall out. Hardcore golfers will not want to miss out on this book. New or young golfers should read this book too. It will help you understand golf better. I don’t want to divulge the juicy details here because Williams is such a great storyteller. Reading the book was an electrifying experience for me. For most of it, I either had goosebumps or held my breath at all the drama that happened behind the scenes. The book will make golf fans want to re-watch all the key moments in all the tournaments he mentions if only to re-live the glory all over again. I loved how the book jumps immediately into it. There were no long winded pages of his childhood and who he was as a person; he covers that very briefly.
The insider stories happens right away, up close and personal. And the way Steve wrote the book was extremely honest. He’s not afraid to make himself look bad and be truthful about how he feels about any of the golfers he’s caddied for or the rivals they played against. Should any of his colleagues read this book, they most likely wouldn’t be surprised about what Steve said about them as he said it to them directly. However, they certainly may not like what he said and probably wish he didn’t write the book. In that way, Steve writes a rather open book, completely throwing himself under the bus and some could say, his former bosses and rivals. There may be a couple sentences where they would cry Steve was wading into violating the Goldwater rule, the rule which bars psychiatrists from diagnosing public figures long-distance without having a personal session with them. Since Steve isn’t a psychiatrist, his insight and beliefs on the professional and personal downfalls of some of golf’s greatests can only be taken with a grain of salt. Yet, this is as close as the public will get to the golf phenoms through Steve’s book.
Steve writes without sugarcoating any of the mistakes he made on and off the course and directly acknowledges his faults. Interspersed in his book are accounts from some of his former bosses that tell their side of the story and the downfalls of Steve as well. I thought that was a fairly noble thing for him to do, to give others a voice to tell their side of the story. There are a few pictures of Steve as a child, caddying, showing his love of racing. He also has a page every so often that highlights the stats of the very talented golfers he’s caddied for or lists of his favorite moments in golf history. Most enlightening is the behind-the-scenes look and fly-on-the-wall observations of conversations that happened between him and the golfers — how he convinces them to take his advice, how they argue, the outcome on those decisions where tournaments are won and lost based on a single decision. He explains what he was thinking when a golfer failed terribly after not listening to his advice, if he somehow failed them with a mistake in making a poor caddy decision, or what surprised him when the unbelievable happened.
There were times where I actually laughed out loud or teared up from touching moments. The last few chapters cover the fall out with Tiger, how he caddies for Adam Scott, and leaves his 36-year career behind. And for novices, there is a glossary at the very end defining golf lingo. This book is a definite must-read for any golfer. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, crises, and great tales from caddying for Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd, Terry Gale, Ian Baker-Finch, Adam Scott, and Tiger Woods. And I was surprised to read about how Tiger Woods broke someone’s ribs! (And no, it’s not his ex wife’s.) You should buy the book to find out who, and how it happened. If you want a happier relationship or to get your wife/girlfriend to let you play more golf, read my last post. And if you haven’t guessed by now, the Victory Front9 Back9 is named in honor of Tiger.