“If one game is the greatest ever, can another also be the greatest — or the best?” New York Times media critic Richard Sandomir posed in yesterday’s paper. “In publishing, where superlatives are spread like cream cheese, the answer is yes.”
And in golf publishing, where superlatives are spread like John Daly on a Barcalounger, the answer is hells yes! We don’t rank games, of course, but just about everything else: holes and halfway houses, shots and shanks, players and players’ wives, chokers and chumps. Oh, and clubs—both golf and turkey.
Enter “greatest” and “golf” into an Amazon search and here’s a small sample of the return: The Greatest Game Ever Played; Hallowed Ground: Golf's Greatest Places; The 500 World's Greatest Golf Holes (full disclosure: from the editors of Golf Magazine); and my personal favorite, Roy Firestone's Greatest Moments in Golf.
But wait, there’s more! Just this morning what should cross my desk but the newest offering from Triumph Books: The Front Nine: Golf’s 9 All-Time Greatest Shots. That joins three other recent releases that promise more greatness: The Masters: 101 Reasons to Love Golf's Greatest Tournament, Great Golf Quotes and Arnie & Jack: Golf’s Greatest Rivalry. “People are conditioned to want superlatives,” David Rosenthal, the publisher of Simon & Schuster, told the Times.
And golfers, it seems, have come to expect them.