Based on over 150 interviews, Arnie & Jack traces golf's most famous rivalry.
The rivalry explored in Arnie & Jack hangs palpably over the game of professional golf today.
Golf pundits wistfully, willfully want Phil Mickelson to be the Arnold Palmer of this era. Like Arnie, he’s got an army of fans. He’s the affable, approachable Everyman, with a devil-may-care way of playing. And Tiger Woods, of course, would be this generation’s Jack Nicklaus; driven, methodical, and determined to be the best ever to play the game.
But history isn’t ready to repeat itself. And after reading Ian O’Connor’s book you’ll understand why.
For five decades, the King and the Golden Bear battled each other on and off the golf course. “Arnie was the first man to prove a golfer could be an athlete, a TV star, a sex symbol all rolled up into one.... Arnie and Jack represented the perfect conflict in personality, background, and style at the perfect time – just as TV was starting to plant larger than life figures in America’s living rooms and dens,” writes O’Connor.
O’Connor traces the arc of this epic duel with more than 150 interviews, including many hours with the two protagonists and their families. O’Connor’s a good storyteller and keeps the saga moving while revealing much about the characters of both men and the evolution of the professional sport.
The rivalry begins in earnest at the 1962 US Open. Palmer has just won the Masters tournament, golf’s marquee event, for the third time and has legions of boisterous blue-collar fans who are merciless hecklers.