Tom Cox

Nice Jumper
  • Nice Jumper

  • As a teenager in Nottingham, Tom Cox was possessed. Despite the best endeavours of his frankly rather groovy parents, nascent fashion sense and regular exposure to credible music from an early age, he was inexorably drawn into the bizarre, esoteric world that is golf, with its male-bonding rituals and strange trousers. And thus a strange hybrid was born -- from 1988 to 1995, Tom was Midlands golf's answer to Iggy Pop.

    Assisted by his fellow junior members at the local club, he cut a swathe through the golfing establishment, putting dead animals in his fellow golfers' shoes, setting fire to the club professional's shop, bringing Colin Montgomerie close to tears and repeatedly wearing the wrong colour of socks. On the golf course he felt simultaneously at home and somehow alienated. But Tom also wanted to be (and became) the best, taking five years out of normal adolescent existence to live, breathe, walk and talk nothing but the sport he loved.

    Nice Jumper is the story of how Tom tried to fit in, failed, got down to a handicap of two, tried to fit in again, got suspended from the club, got corrupted by rock and roll, then attempted to corrupt golf itself. Original, poignant and highly entertaining, it's a book about one teenager's obsessive attempts to attain sporting nirvana - despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fashion.

Tom Cox's writing has appeared in the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Observer, Mail on Sunday, Guardian and Golf International magazine. He has written several books on animals and sport, and is the author of Nice Jumper, which was shortlisted for the 2002 National Sporting Club Best Newcomer Award, Educating Peter and The Lost Tribes of Pop, a collection of his columns for the Observer Music Monthly magazine. He is founder of The Society of Secret Golfers. He was born in 1975 and lives with his wife in Norfolk.