GOLF'S HOLY WAR
The Battle for the Soul of a Game in an Age of Science
Just as Michael Lewis's Moneyball captured baseball at a technological tipping point, Brett Cyrgalis's Golf's Holy War captures golf at a monumental turning point between its beloved artistic tradition and its analytic future.
At the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, California, golfers clad in full-body sensors target weaknesses in their biomechanics, while others take part in mental exercises designed to test their brain's psychological resilience. Meanwhile, coaches like Michael Hebron purge golfers of all technical information, tapping into the power of intuitive physical learning by playing rudimentary games. From historic St. Andrews to manicured Augusta, experimental communes in California to corporatized conferences in Orlando, from William James to Ben Hogan to theoretical physics, the factions of the spiritual and technical push to redefine the boundaries of the game.
But Golf's Holy War is more than just a story about golf - it's a story about modern life, and how we are torn between resisting and embracing the changes brought about by the advancements of science and technology. It's also a story about historical legacies, the enriching bonds of education, and the many interpretations of reality.
Brett Cyrgalis is a veteran sports writer covering hockey and golf at the New York Post. He has covered almost all major sporting events, from postseason baseball to the Stanley Cup final to the US Opens in golf and tennis. He is an accomplished golfer, a member of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association, and he lives on Long Island.