Miracle on the 17th Green, by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge

Three stars (of five)

Patterson and de Jonge offer up a heartfelt story about a man looking to pursue his passion. Travis McKinley finds himself in a rut, at a job he hates, in a marriage gone stale, and with children whose connection to him appears to be fading. His one solace is on the golf course, where McKinley plays the round of his life one Christmas Day. When he loses his job, McKiney decides to chase his dream, playing on the PGA Senior Tour. After attending qualifying school, McKinley earns one year on the Tour where he finds himself rubbing elbows with the greats of the game, all while his family takes a backseat to his dream. McKinley earns the right to play in the PGA Senior Open at Pebble Beach, the most prestigious of events. McKinley’s threesome on the final day includes his heroes, Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd, after three days of gruelling play. It is here, on the 17th Green, that McKinley sees the world from a new perspective, which changes things forever and helps him put it all into perspective. A quick read well-adapted for fans of the sappy side to Patterson’s writing.

The novella is Patterson at his sappiest, not something I tend to enjoy. That said, as I was in need of a quick read to fill a little time. The story has degrees of hokeyness that can be seen a mile away, but its central tenet is strong enough to propel the reader to forge on, knowing it will be a short journey. Catchy and at times mildly humerous, Patterson and de Jonge keep the reader at least somewhat curious, especially as they’ve recently penned a sequel. This golf-flavoured story seeks to motivate and keep a tear firmly housed at the edge of the reader’s eye.

Decent work Messrs. Patterson and de Jonge, though not likely to receive rave reviews for its content.