Some folks might say Samuel “Pond Ball” Clintock drew the short stick in life. He wasn’t born with a Cadillac in his driveway, a Titleist in his fairway, or a caddy on his bag. He isn’t one of the “in” kids at Harry S. Truman middle school. His best friend in life and partner in crime is his golf-gifted father, Chip, who’s mysteriously sworn off the game, and who hasn’t held a driver’s license, a 9-iron, or a real job in years. Still, Sammy has reason to be happy, what with a mostly friendly goat in his back pasture, a legendary golf course in his back yard, and pond balls aplenty in his back pocket. There’s one problem, though. The course he’s bringing back to life, Mimosa G.C., has been shuttered and mothballed since the dark days of the Great Depression, when its infamous, cigar-smoking Scottish architect Alistair McCrackup last stalked its sand traps alongside Sammy’s great-granddaddy. So when Pond Ball, his diamond-in-the-rough dad, and his best friends Daisy and A.J. begin resurrecting the abandoned lay-out during summer vacation, they can’t help but stir up 18 holes worth of ghosts. Before they can holler fore! Pond Ball and company find themselves struggling to save the divine old course from the memories, heavenly and dastardly, some would prefer to see buried along with it. From pine woods so deep they’re spiritual to cornfields so endless they might be eternal—from 30,000 feet in the air squarely back down to the blessed turf of the magical Mimosa G.C.—Pond Ball and friends prove it’s not what brand of golf ball you play or what golf cart you drive that gives you soul, but whom and what you believe in.
Zachary Michael Jack is the author of many critically acclaimed books on sports, including the golf travelogue Let There Be Pebble: A Middle Handicapper’s Year in America’s Garden of Golf and the golf parable The Links of Evalon. He is a past nominee for the USGA’s Herbert Warren Wind Book Award and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.
Praise for Pond Ball Clintock and the Gods of Golf
“Recapture your youth, and your love for the game, with Pond Ball.”–Michael Patrick Shiels, author of Secrets of the Great Golf Course Architects and former PGA Tour staff member
“My golf library measures into the thousands of books, but Pond Ball Clintock is one of my favorites.”—MICHAEL J. HURDZAN, 1997 Golf Course Architect of the Year, author of Golf Course Architecture, winner of the Old Tom Morris Award
“A Field of Dreams for our sport…Pond Ball plays for all the right reasons!”—MIKE BAILEY, Senior Staff Writer, WorldGolf.com, a division of Golf Channel
“If you love to play golf or watch it…this book is a must…. It’s for everyone, since everything is in it…family, friendship, courtship…and the world of the spirit.” —ROBERT J. HIGGS, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of God in the Stadium