My Author Interview on NPR’s Only A Game

onlyagameI HAD A GREAT OPPORTUNITY to talk to Bill Littlefield, host of NPR’s Only A Game. The show aired today (Saturday).

[LISTEN TO SIX-MINUTE INTERVIEW]

The appearance included a web page that has a Q&A and excerpt from my book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked The World.

Here’s the introduction by Only A Game:

The 2014 Ryder Cup is under way at Gleneagles in Scotland. The biennial competition pits golfers from the U.S. against their European counterparts. The Ryder Cup is one of golf’s signature events and has provided fans with various unlikely shots and improbable comebacks.

Neil Sagebiel would argue that no edition of the competition has been more dramatic than the 1969 Ryder Cup, the first to end in a tie. His new book is titled DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish that Shocked the World.

Read more at Only A Game:
Interview highlights
DRAW IN THE DUNES excerpt (from Chapter 9)

Win ‘DRAW IN THE DUNES’ Autographed by Jack Nicklaus

DrawInTheDunes CoverTonight, on Ryder Cup Eve, Jack Nicklaus announced a giveaway of my new book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World. The book includes a foreword by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin.

Here’s the message posted on Jack Nicklaus’s Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram:

Time to get your patriotic on! With The Ryder Cup at Nicklaus-designed Gleneagles upon us, we want to give you a chance to win a signed copy of “Draw in the Dunes,” the just-released book on the 1969 Ryder Cup, featuring a foreword co-authored by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin—the two key stars of the historic match that ended in the first-ever tie in Cup history. Use #rydercupselfie throughout this weekend’s matches to show us how you’re watching The Ryder Cup! We’ll pick a spirited, patriotic winner Sunday.

Of course, I can put in a good word for this book. And it will look even better with the Golden Bear’s signature.

1375801_10151655958581366_141387496_nSee more here:
Jack Nicklaus Facebook
Jack Nicklaus Twitter

VIDEO: My Book Party and Reading

I WISH YOU COULD HAVE COME to my DRAW IN THE DUNES book party last Thursday evening in Floyd, Virginia, my one-stoplight town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. What I can do is share a small part of it here.

About 50 folks turned out, including two friends who drove four hours (round trip) for a two-hour party. That’s friendship! We had a great time.

Colleen Redman covered it for the Floyd Press, and she also shot the above video. You can read more and see party photos at Colleen’s blog.

A huge thank to noteBooks and Black Water Loft (and Red Rooster Coffee) for hosting my book party. They were incredible in every way, with a creative golf theme for the evening, from the slide show, to the food (cupcakes combined to look like a golf course as just one example), to the prizes, to the giving back (10 percent of proceeds from book sales is going to the Floyd County High School golf team).

We sold all the books! I was told more are on order.

‘DRAW IN THE DUNES’ Reviews: Wall Street Journal and Tampa Bay Tribune

DrawInTheDunes CoverHERE ARE MORE REVIEWS of my new Ryder Cup book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World. The book, which includes a foreword by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, is in bookstores and also available online at the usual places in hardcover and ebook editions.

The Wall Street Journal (September 13):
“Many fans are drawn to sports for excitement, the twists and turns. Some favor the moral underpinnings, the virtues of grit and determination, teamwork and sportsmanship. Still others are inspired by passion, whether for the stakes or for the game itself. The 1969 Ryder Cup, the 18th installment of the biennial competition between the best golfers from the United States and Great Britain, had it all. In ‘Draw in the Dunes,’ Neil Sagebiel brings the memorable tournament to life.” Read entire review

The Tampa Bay Tribune (Bob D’Angelo):
“As he demonstrated in ‘The Longest Shot,’ Sagebiel is a marvelous story teller, who uses the right pace to build drama. It helps that he had some great characters to work with….Sagebiel takes the reader through every match, and builds to the final climax, in which Nicklaus and Jacklin battled to the final hole….’Draw in the Dunes’ is a lively, interesting look at the Ryder Cup, chock full of insight and anecdotes.” Read entire review

Other Reviews and Mentions

(Click the below links.)

“A Few of Our Favorite Things” Pick by Sports Illustrated Golf+ Digital

San Jose Examiner, The A Position, Ruthless Golf and Valley Business FRONT

WDBJ7 TV: ‘Neil Sagebiel Talks About New Book’

Watch here.

The segment (click above) is from Tuesday’s 6 p.m. telecast. Thanks to sports anchors Brad Zahar and Travis Wells. A snippet:

ROANOKE, Va. – The Ryder Cup gets underway from Scotland in just a few weeks. While the 2014 Cup has plenty of storylines with a lot of American golfers having pulled out, while Europe rides the top golfer in the world, Rory McIlory.

But a local author, Neil Sagebiel, of Floyd has a new book out Tuesday September 9, about one of the Ryder Cup’s best, but strangest events, the 1969 Ryder Cup.

Sagebiel’s second book, “Draw in the Dunes” showcases the 1969 Ryder Cup which ended in a draw.

Publication Day: Why ‘DRAW IN THE DUNES’?

DrawInTheDunes Cover

Now available at the usual places where books are sold.

(Note: Yesterday was publication day. The following is re-posted from my golf blog.)

Today is the official release of my new book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press).

Where to start?

There’s a lot I could tell you about this project, including the enjoyment of talking to most of the players on the 1969 U.S. and Great Britain Ryder Cup teams.

Maybe a good place to begin is to explain, at least in part, why I chose to tell this story. So, drawing on a portion of the book’s author’s note, here goes.

In search of a follow-up to THE LONGEST SHOT, my first book, I rediscovered the 1969 Ryder Cup and the famous moment in which Jack Nicklaus picked up Tony Jacklin’s ball mark on the final green in the final match. That brief clip had flashed across my screen during golf telecasts on more than a few occasions. It was a dramatic and unusual moment in golf–a conceded 2-foot putt that resulted in a 16-16 tie, the first deadlock in the history of the Ryder Cup.

Ties are uncommon and mostly unwanted in sports, and yet many people would come to agree that Jack Nicklaus’s concession to Tony Jacklin was a fitting and inspiring result for the Ryder Cup during an era when the event was struggling to survive. That first tie, assured by a climactic display of sportsmanship, reignited hopes for competitive matches in the future, although the Ryder Cup would continue to wobble along until the British side was expanded to become a European team.

As I delved into the 1969 Ryder Cup and the two captains and twenty-four players on the Great Britain and U.S. teams, I uncovered the compelling circumstances and the external and internal human conflicts that made a 2-foot putt matter so much. I also rediscovered the history and significance of the Ryder Cup, and how it progressed to being the huge international sports event it is today.

Following is the table of contents. You can read an excerpt here or here.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin
Prologue

PART I

1. Mutiny
2. Champions
3. Tour Divide
4. The Big Ball
5. Jacko
6. The Teams

PART II

7. Royal Birkdale
8. The Campaign
9. Thursday: Morning Foursomes
10. Thursday: Afternoon Foursomes
11. Friday: Morning Fourballs
12. Friday: Afternoon Fourballs
13. Saturday: Morning Singles
14. Saturday: Afternoon Singles
15. Aftermath
16. New Era

Epilogue
Glossary
Appendix A: 1969 Ryder Cup Results
Appendix B: Ryder Cup Results, 1927 to 2012
Acknowledgments
Author’s Note
Bibliography
Index

Early Reviews: ‘Give It a Permanent Spot on the Shelf’

Here are early reviews of my new Ryder Cup book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World (cover image at right). The book, which includes a foreword by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, will be in bookstores on Tuesday (September 9). It’s also available online for pre-order, and come Tuesday, for order, as books will then be released from warehouses.

RYDER CUP 69 - image 1

1969 Ryder Cup press badge and other materials. (Paul Trevillion)

From Gary McCormick of San Jose Golf Examiner:

“In Draw in the Dunes, Neil Sagebiel has once again brought a significant moment in golf history to life, combining the results of exhaustive research and extensive interviews with his prodigious storytelling talent to paint a complete and very satisfying portrait of a complex series of events. In his skillful hands the events and personalities that comprise the story step off the page in a lively manner, and as he did in The Longest Shot, Sagebiel manages to keep the reader engrossed in events the outcome of which they are probably already quite familiar with.” Read entire review

From Ed Travis, published at The A Position, New England Golf Monthly and Bunker Shot Magazine:

“Stirring stuff to be sure and Neil Sagebiel in his new book, “Draw In the Dunes – The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World,” recounts the times, the circumstances and perhaps best of all, the background needed for readers to put the 1969 Cup and Nicklaus’ concession into perspective….Bottom line—if you are interested in golf, the Ryder Cup, its history and its personalities, you will enjoy this book and give it a permanent spot on the shelf.” Read entire review

From Mike Southern at RuthlessGolf.com:

“Neil’s prose is never boring. Personally, I thought his decision to frame the story itself within another related story that happened 30 years later really made the importance of this event clearer. And if you want to know how the book is being received by the folks involved, consider that Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin themselves wrote the book’s foreword….I can tell you this firsthand: If you enjoy golf history, his book is definitely one you’ll want to read.” Read entire review

From Dan Smith at Valley Business FRONT:

“The event itself is at the center of the book, but it is Neil’s understanding of the period, the culture, the golf culture and the importance of the Ryder Cup that give the book its irresistible flavor. His first major non-fiction work was The Longest Shot, the story of Jack Fleck’s victory over Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open and like his newest, it was a sit-on-the-edge-of-the-chair read.

“Neil, who writes a nationally prominent golf blog, takes golf out of the realm of sport and into something more akin to anthropology with his works. The Longest Shot was named one of the best sports books of 2012 and my guess is Neil’s new work won’t be far behind that.” Read entire review (page 52)