The King of Swings (Paperback)

Johnny Goodman, the Last Amateur to Beat the Pros at Their Own Game

By Michael Blaine

Mariner Books, 9780618871896, 368pp.

Publication Date: April 6, 2007

List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An orphan turned caddy born near the Omaha stockyards, Johnny Goodman was considered too small, too foreign, and too poor to play the country club game. But he swore he would prove everyone wrong, and before a nation’s riveted gaze this self-taught kid from the wrong side of the tracks beat the legendary Bobby Jones in the 1929 U.S.
Amateur at a little-known California course called Pebble Beach. Goodman’s victory sent shock waves through the rarified world of golf in the Roaring Twenties, but he was just getting started. The idealistic Goodman clung to his amateur status despite lucrative offers from sponsors and Hollywood, ultimately winning the 1933 U.S. Open—the last amateur to perform this stunning feat. A hero in the Depression-era press, Goodman went on to win the 1937 U.S. Amateur—becoming only the fifth golfer in history to wear both crowns.

Like The Greatest Game Ever Played, Michael Blaine’s King of Swings brings the story of one of golf’s forgotten heroes to life.

About the Author

MICHAEL BLAINE is the author of two widely praised novels, The Desperate Season and The Midnight Band of Mercy. An avid golfer, he lives in upstate New York.