A famous golfer at the top of his game caught up in a tawdry scandal that rocks society. Sound familiar?
This month the world is focused on the return of Tiger Woods to The Masters and championship golf in the wake of a shocking sex scandal. But it turns out the story is nothing new. Ninety years ago another championship golfer was the focus of an international scandal-one that ended in a brutal murder. Award winning author and Peachtree City resident Steve Eubanks tells the story in his latest book, “To Win and Die in Dixie: The Birth of the Modern Golf Swing and the Mysterious Death of It’s Creator” (ESPN Books, April 2010).
Peachtree City Library will host a talk and book signing with Eubanks on Sunday, Apr. 18, from 2-4 p.m. Eubanks’ work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine, as well as FoxSports.com. He has authored or co-authored thirty books, including collaborations with such sports greats at Arnold Palmer, Lou Holtz, and Ty Murray.
In “To Win and Die in Dixie,” Eubanks tells the story of the man who invented the modern golf swing but also got caught up in a Tiger-sized scandal that cost him his life. Set in an American South full of plush country club golf courses, vast wealth, and decadent secrets, “To Win and Die in Dixie” is a fascinating biography of a forgotten golf legend, a riveting whodunit of a covered-up killing, a scalding expose of a closed society.
J. Douglas Edgar was the British-born golfer who invented the modern swing, holds to this day golf’s longest unbroken record, and coached winners such as Bobby Jones, the greatest amateur in history, and Alexa Stirling, the finest female player of her day. But on a steamy August night in 1921, he was a man dead in the middle of the road – the victim, so the story went, of a hit-and-run.
Comer Howell thought otherwise. He was an Atlanta Constitution reporter and heir to the paper’s fortune, a man frustrated by his reputation as the pampered “boss’ son.” To Howell, the physical evidence didn’t add up to a car accident. As he chronicled Edgar’s life he discovered a working-class striver who rose in the world through a passion to succeed, a quality he admired. As Howell investigated Edgar’s death, he also found a man whose recklessness may have doomed him to a violent death.
Cutting cinematically between Howell’s present and Edgar’s championship past, “To Win and Die in Dixie” brilliantly portrays one man’s quest for excellence and another’s search for redemption and the truth.
Filled with the vivid golf writing for which Eubanks is renowned, “To Win and Die in Dixie” is a real-life story both shocking and inspiring, a book that propels Steve Eubanks to a whole new level of literary achievement.