A month back I picked up pro golfer Johnny Miller’s book ‘I call the Shots.’ While not reading the book cover to cover, I’ve been glancing through or reading sections of it. Withing finishing the book I’m already asking a question.
Could anyone have put out a more shoddy piece of sports journalism?
Johnny Miller wrote the book with the help of Guy Yocom from Golf Digest. Miller’s literary agent Scott Waxman and the book was published by Gotham Books, a subidiary of Penguin Books.
All the parties above should be ashamed of the fraud they’re selling as a book.
The mistakes in this book are just incredible. Lets go down a list of what I’ve discovered so far.
1- Lee Janzen won the 1993 US Open not 1994
2- Sevriano Ballesteros won 6 not 3 US PGA Tour titles.
3- Ed Fiori did not beat Tiger Woods in a playoff at the 1996 Quad Cities tournament. Woods finished fourth.
4- Valderama has NOT hosted ‘several’ Ryder Cups. It hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup only.
5- Tiger Woods is said to have shot 16 under for the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach. Woods shot 12 under, its even stated he did so on the previous page!
6- Ernie Els bogeied the first hole of the 1994 US Open Playoff, not make a par. Miller compounds this mistake by saying Els who got a drop on that hole may have been helped by this ‘par’.
7- Annika Sorenstam was tied for the lead not one shot back when teeing off 18 at the 2003 US Open.
8- Craig Stadler’s disqualification for kneeling on a towel in a San Diego tournament happened in 1987 not 1983.
9- Ray Floyd lost the 1990 not 1989 Masters in a playoff to Nick Faldo.
10- Gary Player’s first major championship was the 1959 British Open not the 1959 Masters.
11- Tom Watson won five British Opens(75,77,80, 82, 83) not six
12- Jack Nicklaus started the final round of 1986 Masters 4 back, not 6 back.
13- Tom Watson did not win 2 AT&T championships at Pebble Beach. The tournament was the Bing Crosby Pro-am and not sponsored by AT&T when Watson won there in 1977 and 1978.
Those are the mistakes I’ve found just flipping pages. There are a few more potential errors that I couldn’t confirm one way or the other. A thorough read of the book would mostly uncover more.
Do these mistakes matter? I think they do.
Obviously, some are just typos. Typos happen in any book, or blog post. LOL, its that some of these are seriously wrong(The Ed Fiori-Tiger Woods mythical playoff) or like the Janzen mistake where Johnny uses this to question a Ryder Cup selection. The Els playoff mistake also destroys the point Miller was trying to make.
Whats so irksome about this is, a simple check of the internet via google, wikipedia and the New York Times archives confirmed all of what I wrote above. Yocom works for Golf Digest, why didn’t he bother to check their archives? Or the PGA tour’s record books? Then the PGA has a serious problem keeping track of their own records.
Then if I was writing a book for sale, I’d want it as close to perfect as possible. My name is on it, I’d want it to be the best damn golf book on the market. So I wouldn’t trust my memory and have someone check the facts.
My reasoning is, if someone makes as many errors as I point out above, all the stories Miller tells in the book come into question. If his memory is this faulty, who’s to say much of what he writes is true.
Maybe Johnny Miller and Guy Yocom thought in 2004 this was just a golf book. Shame on them for putting out such a shoddy piece of writing. Even at $5 on a discount shelf the book is a ripoff.
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