Publisher description for When war played through : golf during World War II / John Strege.


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The New York Times bestselling author pays tribute to the golfers who rallied for an Allied victory during World War II—and shows how the Greatest Generation kept golf alive, despite equipment shortages, bombings, and even captivity.

World War II transformed the American home front, and golf was no exception. The world-famous Masters course at Augusta National became a farm to ease food shortages. Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were drafted, and Bobby Jones enlisted. Rubber rationing forced pros and amateurs alike to play with well-worn golf balls—and created a black market for new ones. The 1942 U.S. Open was canceled, replaced by the Hale American Open—whose winner, Ben Hogan, was awarded $1,000 in war bonds—while golfers across the country raised millions of dollars for the war effort.

When War Played Through brings to life these little-known aspects of an endlessly fascinating period in golf’s history. Bestselling golf author John Strege’s narrative extends overseas to captured soldiers in Germany who constructed golf courses in a POW camp and English golfers who devised rules for playing around bomb craters and shrapnel during the Blitz (from the Richmond Gold Club in London: “A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball. Penalty one stroke.”). Many golfers returned home from battle with commendations for valor, finding unmatched solace on the links after a dark time.

When War Played Through is the compelling story how an elite sport became a selfless one—and how golf became, for a nation at war, much more than a game.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Golf and war -- United States -- History.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Social aspects -- United States.
United States -- Social life and customs -- 1918-1945.