Veteran sports journalist Jim Moriarty has a talent for getting at the heart of golf.
For more than three decades, Jim Moriarty has followed the world’s best golfers around the globe and personally observed—and reported on—some of the game’s most quintessential moments. Now the former Golf Digest and Golf World writer has condensed that experience into a series of essays, Playing Through: Modern Golf’s Most Iconic Players and Moments.
Moriarty’s twelve-chapter tour of the sport’s recent history begins with Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson playing out the last great rivalry with wooden clubs with steel shafts at the 1982 US Open at Pebble Beach. It follows along with the game’s technological advancements to include the rise of European players, and it pauses to take a deeper look at, among other things, some of our nation’s best and most intriguing players—Phil Mickelson, Julie Inkster, and Tiger Woods—and ends with what Moriarty calls a look ahead at “Generation Next.”
Understand that the essays in Playing Through are not simply a “best hits” compilation of Moriarty’s past work (although some essays, like his 2013 profile of then-PGA rookie Jordan Spieth, deserve such treatment) nor a purging of notes left over from decades as a professional writer on golf. Rather, each is a new piece of researched literature made fresh by Moriarty’s perspective on history.
As you’d expect in a work from a veteran writer, Playing Through is filled with focused, content-driven, and professionally structured prose that rarely has a throwaway word, much less sentence or paragraph. More importantly, Moriarty has the ability to recount a story that is set on a golf course but really takes place within the personalities and characteristics of the individuals who are swinging the clubs. These essays range from humorous (John Daly picking up food, out a limousine sunroof, at a McDonald’s drive-through) to mournful (Payne Stewart dying in a plane crash months after winning his third major championship), and many places in between.
Moriarty more than earned his golf and writing stripes during a long professional career, which continues today as a freelance writer on this sport. With Playing Through, fans of the game and its characters are the benefactors of that work.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.