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.
'Hilarious...Lashings of insight, sarcasm and slapstick. Fore!'
'As Frank Sinatra would sing, Nice Jumper goes "Straight down the middle". How can a book about teenage boys, golf and Nottingham in the eighties be this good?"