The " 'ave a go" genre of sports literature, in which amateurs attempt to compete with pros at the top of their game and write up the experience, has become an overcrowded market.
Typically, it suffers from a lack of suspense; you just know the tiros are going to get trounced. But Tom Cox had genuine hopes of bucking the trend when he decided to chance his arms on golf's Europro Tour. He had been a promising junior, good enough to play on the same county team as Lee Westwood, and at 30 was still young enough (the average age of the world's top 50 golfers is 32.06). Yet he too failed abjectly, a humiliation he relates with wry, self-deprecatory humour. Where he did succeed was in discovering he had no real desire to give up life as a writer in favour of the pro circuit, which he depicts as by and large a cheerless existence led by charmless men. He will never win the Open (though he did enter), but he can certainly hack it as an author, and seems all the happier for that.
Published by Yellow Jersey Press in paperback, £8.99