If you weren’t around to watch the 1986 Masters Championship, reading Tom Clavin’s “One For The Ages” is the next best thing. While that particular Masters may have been golf’s most magical climactic moment with so many wonderful competitors part of the cast, it was Jack Nicklaus’ final major win in such stirring fashion that is worthy of review. I had watched the tournament live and many times since on tape and thought I might be bored with yet another recount. Typically, works reviewing golf championships interest me little – very little. This piece is different.
Interestingly Clavin not only presents the chronology leading up to and through the tournament, he also interweaves a pithy rich recounting of the history of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters that reveals a variety of interesting scarcely known facts. The addition of others writer’s quotes together with more recent recollections combine to produce an entertaining, eminently readable history of one of the most dramatic major championships ever contested. Clavin takes you back long before the 1986 event to develop an appreciation for what the Masters and Augusta National mean to golf and then moves right through every day leading up to and culminating in Nicklaus’s stirring back-nine charge. Clavin concludes with an Epilogue that puts things in perspective from today’s vantage point.
Realizing that there are many who are not old enough to have seen the broadcast or followed the accounts, let alone remembered them, “One For The Ages” is a worthy acquisition. I give it a “thumbs up.”