"Honest, hilarious, and poignant."
-- The New York Times
An Obsessed Golfer's Quest to Play with the Pros
by Tom Coyne
available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle
from Gotham Books
A lifelong golfer and former caddy, Tom Coyne could drive
the ball 300 yards but always struggled against stiff
competition; he had often wondered whether the pros won
because they were more innately talented or just because
they were more obsessed. On the cusp of turning thirty,
overweight, and saddled with a 14 handicap, Coyne
embarked on a yearlong quest to do everything he could
to lift his game—and find out if he could make it through
the PGA Tour Qualifying School.
Paper Tiger takes you on a rollicking ride into the beer-gutted underbelly of semipro golf, into a world of crash diets, punishing workout regimens, high-flying sports shrinks, cutting-edge club technology, and obscure tournaments. With his girlfriend as caddy, Coyne traverses from Miami to Chicago to Toronto to see how he stacks up against the competition. Ultimately he takes his game to a new level—or at least a new continent—on the links of Australian Q-School, where amidst forty-mile-an-hour winds he must choose between the love of a fickle game and the love of the long-suffering woman who has stood by him throughout all the shanks, hooks, yips, and chili dips.
Brimming with humor and insight about the world's most beautiful and maddening game, Paper Tiger will delight golfers and the sane people who love them.
Praise for Paper Tiger"A breezy, poignant read. . . . Hilarious." -- Philadelphia Inquirer
"A Golf Book Worth Reading." -- Esquire
"For anyone who’s ever suffered the delusion they have enough game to go up against the professional killers who play golf for a living, here’s the cold, hilarious truth." -- Mark Frost, author of The Greatest Game Ever Played and The Grand Slam
"From his commitment to the curious cause to his single-minded focus, Coyne weaves an insightful and entertaining tale. . . .[H]is self-deprecating writing style and impeccable comedic timing make Paper Tiger a tale worth reading."
"Superb. . . . Coyne has a lot to say about golf, and he says it well." -- The Seattle Times
"Tom Coyne is a standout among the next generation of talented young golf writers. His personal quest to make it in the brave new world of tournament golf with the help of Dr. Jim Suttie (one of golf's great unheralded teachers) is refreshingly candid and heartbreakingly funny-a brilliant new take on the secret ambition of millions. The unexpected payoff makes the pain of his journey all the more special, this memoir of golf obsession nigh unforgettable."
--James Dodson, author of Final Rounds, The Dewsweepers, and Ben Hogan: An American Life
"Paper Tiger races along with humor, suspense, and behind-the-scenes stories that will grab any golfer's heart."
--Bud Shrake, coauthor of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book
"In the tradition of George Plimpton, Tom Coyne takes us through the tiers and tears of competitive golf, with all the laughs and gaffes that accompany it. But he's no dilettante-Coyne commits, strives, and gets damn good. He emerges from the journey as one of our best golf writers. Astute and funny, Paper Tiger casts a critical eye at the golfer's Grail. This book is a double fist pump."
--Brian Doyle-Murray, co-creator of "Caddyshack"
"Paper Tiger is laugh-out-loud, read-it-out-loud-to-your-friends funny. It's also packed with unique insight and unexpected heart. This guy can really write!"
--Paul Azinger, 12-time Tour winner, including the PGA Championship and Tour Championship
"If you think you've heard every kind of golf story, well, think again. Paper Tiger is a hilarious, heart breaking, dead-honest look at what it means to be in love with this great game, in good times and bad. I have enjoyed Tom Coyne's insights more than you can imagine, and I think you will as well."
--PGA Tour and Ryder Cup Champion Chip Beck
"Commitment and effort-these are the two key qualities that Coyne demonstrates in his quest. It is hard not to be jealous of him, but it is a jealousy hard-earned...This is an experience readers will be able to enjoy vicariously."