'His Ownself'

By: Jeff Shelley

The latest of Dan Jenkins' many wonderful books, "His Ownself," is a "Semi-Memoir" of remembrances from the greatest and most prolific sportswriter in history. And what memories Jenkins has.

Jenkins was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 and received the highest honor in his profession with the 2013 Red Smith Award. Now 84, Jenkins in this book entertainingly tells stories, anecdotes, personal reflections and observations - along with his ever-present wit.

Initially making his mark as a writer on the Fort Worth Press staff alongside fellow legends Jerre Todd, Blackie Sherrod, Andy Anderson and Bud Shrake, Jenkins covered all sports. He moved on to the Dallas Times Herald, Playboy, Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest, while launching a successful career as a novelist of such books as "Dead Solid Perfect," "Slim and None" and "Semi-Tough," and many nonfiction titles.

Jenkins has covered 221 major championships, a remarkable achievement that will likely never be matched by any other scribe.

Perhaps Jenkins' keenest knack is his cogent quips. Nowhere is that rare talent more in evidence than through his nonpareil one-liners. On Phil Mickelson's collapse at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot - "It was the worst driving exhibition since the Greyhound bus ran into Ben Hogan." And of Greg Norman's collapse at the '96 Masters, he wrote, "Don't jump, Greg. You have too much to live for. Think of your G-4, your yacht, your choppers and your 6-7 Ferraris!"

"His Ownself" takes the reader through Jenkins' remarkably rich and lengthy career, all with his trademark sense of humor and hint of self-deprecation that draws readers in and never lets them go.

It's impossible for a reviewer to pull out remarkable passages from this book; there are simply too many of them and it'd be a shame to spoil any of the stops along the reader's journey.

Let's just say it's a must-read for all sports fans. Golfers will especially revel in Jenkins' first-hand accounts of some of the game's greatest players over the past half-century-plus (including his good friend and fellow Fort Worth resident, Ben Hogan), tournaments big and small, myriad bar scenes, with "His Ownself" smack-dab in the middle of them all.

"His Ownself," by Dan Jenkins, 266 pages, Doubleday, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-385-53225-9

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