Miracle on the 17th Green

Miracle on the 17th Green

BY James Patterson & Peter de Jonge

Just when we need some magic in our lives, bestselling author James Patterson and Peter de Jonge bring us a stirring tale of life, love, and the power of miracles.

Travis McKinley is an ordinary man living an ordinary life—he has a job that he despises, a marriage that has lost its passion, children from whom he feels disconnected, and at age fifty, a sense that he has accomplished nothing of consequence with his life. But on Christmas Day, he goes out to play a round of golf, and for the first time, he finds himself in the "zone". He sees the putting line that has eluded him for years. Always a fairly good golfer, he finds himself playing like a pro and is so caught up in his excitement that he continues to play, sinking putt after putt, missing Christmas dinner with his wife and family. It is too much for his already troubled marriage.

His family collapes—but Travis is soon too busy living his dream to notice. His amazing new golf skills catapult him into the PGA Senior Open at Pebble Beach, where he advances to the final round with two of his heroes, Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd. And with his wife, children,and a live television audience watching, a miracle takes place on the 17th green that will change Travis, and his family, forever.

Part One | A Little Noise from Winnetka


LIKE A MIDDLE-AGED MAN who suddenly discovers Santa Claus is real after all, I raced to the next hole. I thumbed a tee into the cold dirt and smacked another solid drive out over the deserted course.

For the next few hours, I raced around the blighted landscape in a birdie-feeding frenzy.

After rolling in a fifteen-footer on 18, I jogged back over to 1 and played a full eighteen, then another nine, then nine more. In thirty-eight holes, I one-putted twenty-nine greens, had twenty birdies, and in four nines didn’t post a score above 33. Time seemed to stand still.

During one unconscious stretch, where I birdied four holes in a row, my heart started beating so fast I had to lean against a tree and make myself take a few slow breaths.

I was afraid I was going to keel over and buy the farm right then, cut down—as it were—in my prime. And I don’t know what would have annoyed me more—dying, or dying before I had a chance to tell anybody about these scores.

But my reverie was suddenly broken.

Standing on the 16th green for the third time that day, I happened to look out over the evergreens beside the fairway. There, wafting above the tree line, tethered to a nearby house, was a helium-filled Santa balloon.

In a panic, I fished my watch out of my bag. It turns out time hadn’t stood still at all. It had kept right on ticking.

As I stood marooned in the middle of the course, a brisk fifteen-minute walk from my Jeep, a reckless fifteen-minute ride from my home, I was already two hours and twenty minutes late for my own Christmas dinner. Throwing the bag over my shoulder, I took off across the empty course like a Yellowstone camper pursued by a nasty bear looking for its Christmas dinner.

Or a man who had just seen a ghost. The ghost of Christmas past.

Copyright © 1996 by James Patterson

Read by Hal Linden

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Miracle on the 17th Green
ISBN: 031609210X
149 pages
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