ForeWord Reviews

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A Son of the Game

A Story of Golf, Going Home, and Sharing Life's Lessons

Foreword Review

For some people, golf is merely an occasional early-morning excuse to walk around beautifully landscaped grounds, chatting with friends. But for James Dodson, the sport assumes a much higher level of importance. In fact, it becomes a focal point for lifelong relationships, strong traditions, and family bonding that links generations.

A Son of the Game continues Dodsons memoirs that started with his bestselling book, Final Rounds. In the earlier work, Dodson, then a columnist and contributing editor for Golf magazine, took his aging father on a trip to Scotland and England to play some of the worlds premier courses. Along the way, their conversations about golf and life strengthened the bonds of their father and son relationship.

Now the roles are reversed. Instead of contemplating his ties with the previous generation, he turns his attention to his relationship with his teenage son Jack. Dodson has returned to Pinehurst, North Carolina, where his love for the game was nurtured by his father. Although his home and family are in Maine, he hopes the brief trip to familiar surroundings will reignite his passion for the game, which has been slowly dying.

Dodson eventually accepts an offer from the local newspaper to do some writing on golf topics and events, leading to a schedule of two weeks living in Maine and two weeks in North Carolina. After reestablishing his own deep love of golf, he wonders if Pinehurst would have the same effect on Jack, whose interest in the game constantly wavers. This father-son bond becomes the underlying theme of the book, and each anecdote about golfs notable characters and history illustrates how intensely Dodson wants Jack to feel the same deep love and respect for golf that he does.

Although A Son of the Game will have natural appeal to avid golfers, it truly can be enjoyed by anyone because of its compelling stories of the people Dodson has encountered in his golf life. The father and son storyline is sincere, revealing and heartwarming, and you do not have to be a son of the game to relate to that.

Jeff Friend