Two things influenced the selection this month–the PGA Championship moving to May and the fact I have yet to select a book from one of my favorite golf writers, Alan Shipnuck. So in that spirit, this month’s selection is Bud, Sweat & Tees: Rich Beem’s Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour. Beem of course is famous for outlasting Tiger at the 2002 PGA Championship and now does broadcast work. Hopefully you’ve come across this book, but if you haven’t I urge you to give it a read.
The back cover reads as such:
Rich Beem became an overnight folk hero with his victory at the 2002 PGA Championship, where he dazzled fans with fearless shotmaking and glib one-liners. By the time Beem had stared down Tiger Woods in an epic back nine and then danced a goofy jig on the final green, the sports world was clamoring to know, “Who is this guy, anyway?”
That question is answered in Bud, Sweat, & Tees, Alan Shipnuck’s no-holds-barred look at modern professional golf. Shipnuck began tracking Beem during his rookie year in 1999, when he was a logo-free rube only a couple of years removed from a seven-dollar-an-hour job hawking cell phones. Beem and his hard-living caddie, Steve Duplantis, would find sudden fame and fortune, and Shipnuck enjoyed unparalleled access in chronicling their wild ride—sharing endless drives across the desert and eventful nights at strip clubs, cutthroat golf matches and late-night confessionals at assorted watering holes.
The result is an intimate portrait of two exceedingly colorful characters. Beem and Duplantis invite us deep into the world of the PGA Tour, exposing the rowdy, randy reality of the most interesting subculture in sports, which has always been a well-protected secret—until now. Sometimes bawdy, often hilarious, and always unpredictable, Bud, Sweat, & Tees stands as the finest insider sports book since Ball Four.