To Win and Die in Dixie

The Birth of the Modern Golf Swing and the Mysterious Death of Its Creator

By Steve Eubanks
(ESPN, Hardcover, 9780345510815, 256pp.)

Publication Date: March 30, 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description

A fascinating biography of a forgotten golf legend, a riveting whodunit of a covered-up killing, a scalding exposé of a closed society—in To Win and Die in Dixie, award-winning writer Steve Eubanks weaves all these elements into a masterly book that resurrects a superb sportsman and reconstructs a startling crime.

J. Douglas Edgar was the British-born golfer who broke every record, invented the modern swing, and coached such winners as Bobby Jones, the greatest amateur in history, and Alexa Stirling, the finest female player of her day. But on August 8, 1921, he was a man dead in the middle of the road, the victim, conventional wisdom said, of a hit-and-run.

Comer Howell thought otherwise. He was an Atlanta Constitution reporter and heir to the paper’s fortune, a man frustrated by his reputation as the pampered boss’s son. To Howell, the physical evidence didn’t add up to a car accident. As he chronicled Edgar’s life, Howell discovered a working-class striver who had risen in the world through a passion to succeed, a quality the newspaperman admired. And as he investigated Edgar’s death, Howell also found a man whose recklessness may have doomed him to a violent demise.

Cutting cinematically between Howell’s present and Edgar’s championship past, To Win and Die in Dixie brilliantly portrays one man’s quest for excellence and another’s search for redemption and the truth. Their stories meet in a Southern society of plush country-club golf courses, vast wealth, and decadent secrets.

Filled with the vivid golf writing for which its author is renowned, To Win and Die in Dixie is a real-life story both shocking and inspiring, a book that propels Steve Eubanks to a new level of literary achievement.
 




About the Author

Steve Eubanks is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine, as well as at FoxSports.com. He has authored or co-authored thirty books, including collaborations with such sports greats as Arnold Palmer, Lou Holtz, and Ty Murray. He lives in Peachtree City, Georgia.
 




Praise For To Win and Die in Dixie

"This is one of the most riveting unknown stories in our game, and one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. Steve Eubanks has painted a great picture of the people, places, and events surrounding one of golf's forgotten champions. He's also told a tale of right and wrong, and the courage it takes to choose between them." —Paul Azinger, pro golfer and captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team

"I was so turned on by this wonderful story that I started reading it standing at the kitchen counter when I was supposed to be helping to prepare breakfast. I segued to my armchair, and finished reading it propped up in bed. I literally was unable and unwilling to put the thing down until I had finished it." — Ben Wright, columnist and commentator

"Steve Eubanks has woven a compelling sports history that is only incidentally about golf. It's as much whodunnit as biography, as much a detective story as a social narrative. And at the heart of this tale, alternately surprising and heartbreaking, is a cast of characters you'll remember for a long time. I had just one question, once I finished: Why hadn't I heard this story before?"— Richard Hoffer, author of Something in the Air

“Steve Eubanks has found one of golf’s great untold stories and brought it to life through compelling storytelling.”—John Feinstein

“A champion golfer whose dalliances with women outside his marriage cause his personal life to implode, wreaking havoc on all concerned? No, not Tiger Woods. Tiger’s philanderings have attracted more headlines than those of J. Douglas Edgar, but their effects were nowhere near as lethal: Edgar, one of many Scottish golf pros to immigrate to the U.S. in the early twentieth century—and arguably the creator of the modern golf swing—was murdered in Atlanta in 1921. The crime remains unsolved, but journalist Eubanks makes a compelling case that Edgar’s death was not the result of a hit-and-run, the assumption at the time, but, rather, was a cold-blooded murder committed by men determined to exact revenge for one of the golfer’s affairs. Edgar is almost totally unknown today, and Eubanks’ effectively reprises his career and innovative teaching techniques, which influenced, among others, the great Bobby Jones. Edgar’s death, just as he was hitting his competitive stride, may have robbed golf of a potential all-time great. A fine slice of golf history and a nifty true-crime tale.”—Booklist


“Steve Eubanks has found one of golf’s great untold stories and brought it to life through compelling storytelling.”—John Feinstein

"This is one of the most riveting unknown stories in our game, and one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. Steve Eubanks has painted a great picture of the people, places, and events surrounding one of golf's forgotten champions. He's also told a tale of right and wrong, and the courage it takes to choose between them." —Paul Azinger, pro golfer and captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team

"I was so turned on by this wonderful story that I started reading it standing at the kitchen counter when I was supposed to be helping to prepare breakfast. I segued to my armchair, and finished reading it propped up in bed. I literally was unable and unwilling to put the thing down until I had finished it." — Ben Wright, columnist and commentator

"Steve Eubanks has woven a compelling sports history that is only incidentally about golf. It's as much whodunnit as biography, as much a detective story as a social narrative. And at the heart of this tale, alternately surprising and heartbreaking, is a cast of characters you'll remember for a long time. I had just one question, once I finished: Why hadn't I heard this story before?"— Richard Hoffer, author of Something in the Air

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