Wow Loved this book The detail is incredible By the end of the book I really felt like I d be helping to organised the 2002 open as well Fabulous Having read A good walk spoiled twice I knew this would be extremely readable and this prevented me from abandoning it completely most of the book was about the organisers the players had relatively little mention except Tiger I groaned every time a new USGA official was introduced as this inevitably involved next reading their life story What was goood was the coverage of how a public course was selected and brought up to US open standard Made me want to visit when the open returns to Bethpage in 2009 The stories about the slim hopes of the regional qualifying players were also well done A couple of little digs at the Open and European players were unnecessary. Anyone who likes Golf at any level will enjoy reading this book and understanding what goes on in the background of a major Tournament. If someone told you that you could read a book about what it was like to escort the President of the United States through catering tunnels in hotels, would you want to read it I wouldn t.Open is seriously flawed by providing me with much information than I ever wanted to know about the USGA, biographies of its staff members, and little incidents of limited relevance to the 2002 U.S Open at Bethpage Black, the brilliantly rehabilitated course on Long Island Two thirds of this book could have been eliminated without taking away anything I wanted to learn about the staging of the Open.On the other hand, the book is detailed and will probably be very popular among those who know those who are described in the book or have played Bethpage Black If you fall into either category, this is definitely a five star book.Emblematic of the book s fundamental problem is that it fails to have a single illustration of an entire hole on the course It would have been interesting to see what the hole layouts and conditions were before and after the USGA paid for the fix up.Of the many little anecdotes in the book, I liked the ones about the qualifying rounds the best My interest is mostly in playing golf and developing great golf courses, and this book could have used of a focus on both subjects.After you finish enjoying the book, I suggest that you visit Bethpage Black and take a look for yourself If you don t mind getting up early in the morning, perhaps you can even play a round there.Despite not liking the book very much, I would like to compliment the USGA for its new focus on bringing the Open to courses where ordinary golfers with average incomes can pay That s a fine contribution to the game and to us all. Yes I like my new book and wanted it for my golf book shelf as I love reading about golf. If you ve read feinstein before then you ll know his style and this is of the same If this is your first venture then a good walk spoiled would be a better starting point If you re interested in golf s administrators and golf politics as much as the players, then this is the book for you. Tiger Woods has called the US Open the most difficult national championship With Open, John Feinstein goes behind the scenes to tell for the first time the full story of how theUS Open Championship came into being how a public course was transformed into one of the most difficult and surprising in the tournament s history, and how the greatest golfers in the world rose to its almost insurmountable challenges TheUS Open at Bethpage Black, in Bethpage, New York, was the first time in history that golf s greatest championship has been help at a true public golf course Open is the full drama of that championship, from the moment that officials first considered holding it there until the last putt rolled in at dusk on Sunday Along the way John Feinstein reveals the full glory of golf as it s never been explored before He digs deep to find out what it really takes to make golf s most famous event worthy of the champions who compete in it He tells the remarkable story of the artisans who transformed the Black from a downtrodden and rough around the edges public course to one that top pros hailed as unbelievable and the toughest parI ve ever played in my life He also tracks the drama of the masters who battled for the supremacy at the Black Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Nick Faldo, Phil Mickelson, Jeff Maggert to show how true champions respond to the toughest conditions Typical Feinstein A Season on the Brink excepted Quick, gossipy, superficial, fawning, etc., etc This book is about the 2002 U.S Open Golf Championship at the Bethpage Black Golf Course, a New York State Park course on Long Island The subtitle, Inside the Ropes at Bethpage Black, is used here as a figure of speech, meaning behind the scenes Inside the ropes is normally used in the context of a professional golf tournament to refer to the actual playing area itself spectators are separated from the golfers, caddies, officials, and other chosen few by thin ropes that tell the spectators how close they can get to the action Feinstein s purpose is to give the reader a look at the unfolding of a golf tournament from its conception to its completion We see U.S Golf Association the organization that conducts the tournament leaders in action and learn something about the logistics of putting on a golf tournament e.g., 4,850 people willing to volunteer their time so that the professional golfers and U.S.G.A can have a huge payday , about random qualifiers and random competitors, and about the resurrection of the Black golf course Yet the book does not fulfill its promise My guess is that Feinstein s indebted to too many golf people for both his past and anticipated future lifestyle to offer the kind of critical insights and analysis I had hoped for. John Feinstein finds a lot interesting things about the preparations for the 2002 U.S Open than I would He writes about parking pressures and vendor pilfering the way Cornelius Ryan wrote about D Day.Those expecting a play by play on the golf played during those four days in June, which saw Tiger Woods break away the first day and never look back, may be disappointed Even when the book s narrative finally reaches the event itself, after some 260 pages, the focus remains on the behind the scenes organizers, the USGA, NBC, and state officials It s a unique situation, Feinstein reminds us, to have used a municipal course to host the U.S Open, but maybe it s not worth writing a book about.That said, Feinstein s book is an interesting read, especially for those who care about things like event management, sports broadcasting, or professional golf As an author, Feinstein is much engaged than he was when he wrote The Majors, his style coming up to that of his classic A Good Walk Spoiled Some of his wit is back in evidence When a volunteer realizes Tiger used the Porta John he helped set up, he calls a friend to share the good news Yes, Woods thrilled people in many different ways, Feinstein concludes.I also liked the fact he doesn t hold back with the players, something I noticed and minded with The Majors after his no holds barred approach in Good Walk Spoiled Woods still won t shake a TV reporter s hand 18 months after that reporter said Woods was in a slump Sergio Garcia has his star moments, while Jeff Maggert comes across as totally unpleasant At least Feinstein whipping boy John Daly s on his best behavior this time around.The portraits of the organizers and staff that center this book are smoother, and maybe Feinstein finds of interest about them than you will It s an interesting tack to take, though, writing not about the game s stars but those who help to make such marquee events happen Feinstein is in uncharted territory here, and maybe reclaiming some lost ground as golf s most original working writer.That said, The Open is still a bore in parts, and lacks a strategic or historical overview of what makes Bethpage s Black Course so special What did course designer A.W Tillinghast do with the track that was so unique, and how did it preserve that notoriety over the decades as an overused Long Island muni There s a splendid tale about golf course architecture waiting to get out here that never quite does.All the same, The Open is good for what it is, an appreciation of a very underappreciated aspect of sport Too bad it isn t a little interesting, but for those who care and there are many, given golf s popularity , it will probably be worth your while to check it out. One of the disappointing books by John Feinstein He acts like the people putting on the 2002 U.S Open were working on a cure for cancer But seriously if the people described have all the abilities that Feinstein accredits them with, why aren t they doing something meaningful than putting on a Golf Tournament ALSO since I am a Huge Tiger Woods fan the usual Feinstein bashing of Tiger is not appreciated One thing that surprised me is that NBC dictates pairings and starting times If David Fay has all the integrity that Feinstein gives him credit for, he should not allow NBC to be so selective.Also, I remeber watching this event on the tube And Feinstein does not capture the enthusiasm that New Yorkers displayed for Phil Mickelson The Book does not mention that he was called The Mick The only question was how low to rate this book Though unscientific 3 stars feels right.