What's this book about? The short answer is that it is about Bull Durham and the Godfather joining to play some golf with Tin Cup.
At one time or another, you've probably heard expressions like "You're a product of your environment," "More is better," and "Timing is everything."
Extra Innings is the story of Bobby Winston and Pep Woodson. It chronicles their youth and the influence of their environment on their lives and careers in Major League Baseball (Bobby) and the aerospace industry (Pep).
Each of them enjoyed enough success in their individual careers to enable them to retire comfortably, but it seemed that they were a step ahead of the boom times in each industry.
Bobby and Pep meet in retirement and work together at a golf course, where their interests in golf are focused. It doesn't take long for them to exchange stories of their past and recognize the similarities in their lives. The compensation landscape changes around them in some of the same ways. An opportunity for each of them to get a second bite of the apple arises when they join forces.
It was a relief when the actual playing of the qualifier arrived. The practice qualifier rounds went the same as the previous practices for the Glenwood team, except that they were already paid for as part of the entry fee. Bobby was as well prepared as he could possibly be. Pep also took the opportunity to recheck the map of the course for key yardage landmarks, along with the slopes and breaks on the greens that he had noted during practice rounds.
The tournament practice round scores were posted on the scoreboard adjacent to the first tee of the International course. Bobby was in the top five, with a two-day score of -4 (69/71). This score was hard to use as a gauge against the other golfers, however, since most of them were hitting multiple shots in different situations that they expected might arise on the actual days of the qualifying tournament. The bases of the scores they reported were anybody's guess. It did give Bobby a needed boost, though, since he could see comparatives scores from the other contestants, as opposed to Cheerleader Pep filling his head with prejudiced encouragement.
It took about an hour to get to Champions Gate from Gary-Ville, and the boys decided to stay at home Wednesday night rather than get hotel accommodations close to the course. Their scheduled tee time was 9:32, and they planned to leave at 6:45 am, which would leave enough headroom in case of heavy traffic. They were there at 8:00 am. It was too early, but better than late. Bobby was grumbling about getting up in the middle of the night to get there, but that was a good sign—he was ready for combat.
When they got their materials for the qualifier, they learned that the course to be used Thursday and Friday was the International. Apparently, there was some unexpected maintenance to be performed during the tournament days on the National course.
Neither Bobby nor Pep had any ideas about which course was more favorable. They had checked them both out. The International might help Bobby to run a couple of second shots up onto the green on some of the longer par 5's, but that was about it.
By 8:30, the press of the day got to both Bobby and Pep, and they headed over to the driving range. Pep kept a close eye on the clock, and at 9:00, he told Bobby it was time to get to the putting green. Pep had taken a few practice putts himself when they first arrived and concluded that the greens were running around 11 on the stimp. The 9:24 group was headed down the first fairway, and promptly at 9:31, the starter began his dialogue to introduce the first member of Bobby's foursome. At 9:32, his shot was on the way.
Bobby was introduced last, and Pep could well guess why. The starter had to get a word in about Bobby's baseball career. It was good for the sponsor, so why should Bobby object? It also appeared that the gallery following Bobby's group was larger than any of the previous ones.