Can I Carry Your Bags?
By Martin Johnson
In nearly 25 years as a sports journalist for the Independent, Daily Telegraph, and The Sunday Times, Martin Johnson has covered sporting events all over the world, including cricket and tennis in Australia, golf in America, Formula One in Kuala Lumpur, boxing in Cairo, petanque in Gran Canaria, beach volleyball in Brazil, Olympics in Sydney, football in China, and rugby in South Africa. Sounds like a nice job? You must be joking. Get the true story from sports journalism's equivalent of Victor Meldrew. Ever tried to get a phone call out of Nagpur? Make contact with the office from Norfolk Island? Trudged several miles up a Japanese mountain to watch Britain's No 1 woman skier plough straight through the first gate? Attempted to write a semi-coherent report after a night out with Ian Botham? Nearly frozen to death at a cricket match in New Zealand? Been hi-jacked in Moscow by a drunken Russian? It's hell out there, says Martin, who makes out his case for a life of hardship, deprivation, and a breathless dedication to duty in the face of overwhelming odds. Frankly, however, we still think it reads more like the Life of Riley.
Cobras in the Rough
By Grant Gordon
When his father dies suddenly, Grant Gordon's life descends into freefall. Having long harboured an obsession with the British in India, and in particular what they did for recreation, Grant goes to find the golf courses the British built during the Raj and decides to play them.Along the way, he has a golf lesson on the highest golf course in the world, in the mountains of Kashmir; negotiates cobras, peacocks and monkeys in Delhi - on a course moulded by the British around the ruins of a Mughal emperor's palace; has a round with Indian Army colonels in the shadow of Everest; gets drenched several times over on the wettest golf course on Earth; and searches on Tiger Hill for Darjeeling's lost British golf course. In Agra he tees off in full view of the Taj Mahal, while in Lucknow, the ghosts of the famous siege during the 1857 Mutiny seem to affect his swing. Throughout, he is faced with the challenge of getting his golf clubs to increasingly obscure locations, using an array of quirky transport.As Grant travels across India, he slowly begins to understand the relationship he had with his father. Cobras in the Rough is a book about golf but also about fathers and sons, and the ways in which they follow, or refuse to follow, in each other's footsteps.