Woe and Rumors of Woe

imageTales from Q School: Inside Golf’s Fifth Major

by John Feinstein

Grade: A
Teacher’s Comments: A good, but often heartbreaking read.

In “Tales from Q School”, John Feinstein offers woe and rumors of woe.

The veteran golf writer’s account of the 2005 PGA Tour Qualifying School is easily one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve read in a long while (it might even be tops if not for the recent acount I read of medical conditions in Haiti).

I’m sure Feinstein didn’t’ mean it that way, and in fact there are a number of uplifting stories, but it’s the tragic near misses that stick in my mind; the guys who fell just short of qualifying for the PGA Tour because of an unlucky break or a mis-signed card at Q-School.

Qualifying School – or Q-School – is the PGA Tour’s annual tournament for new players, and for current players who fell outside the top 125 on the previous year’s money list. In 2005, more than a thousand veterans and talented newcomers attempted to make it through three (it’s now four) tournament stages, all vying for the thirty tour cards handed out at the end.

Tales from Q School tells the stories of a large number of individual players, some familiar, some not. Along with relative unknowns are former Masters Champion Larry Mize , Casey Martin, Bob May, and Bill Haas, son of Tour stalwart Jay Haas. 

Focusing on key points in each of the three stages, Feinstein introduces the players, tells how they arrived at Q School and reports on their performance. Not a blow-by-blow account of the rounds, it’s rather a series of revealing vignettes. The tales are full of both glory and pathos.

The Tour’s Q School makes for great drama because everyone at the tournament is playing for the realization of their dreams – membership on the PGA Tour. And it’s the dreams and the dreamers that make Tales from Q School such an enthralling read.



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