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University Book Store Presents: A Conversation with Jimmie James

University Book Store Presents: A Conversation with Jimmie James



University Book Store
4326 University Way Northeast
Seattle, WA 98105 United States
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Join us for an evening with Jimmie James, author of PLAYING FROM THE ROUGH.

The story of one man’s quest to become the first person to play each of America’s 100 greatest golf courses in a single year, an odyssey that brings him face to face with the gulf between his impoverished childhood in the Jim Crow South and the successful executive he became.

This event is free to attend, though registration is required through the link provided. We encourage all attendees to wear masks during the event and maintain social distancing. If you have questions about this event, please contact us at events@ubookstore.com. Thank you for supporting your local independent bookstore!

When he set out to play each of Golf Digest’s America’s 100 greatest golf courses in one year, Jimmie James knew he was attempting the impossible. But then again, he’d spent his entire life defying the odds.

James was born invisible. His birth certificate, long since filed away in some clerk’s office in East Texas, recorded facts about him that were deemed most relevant in the late 1950s: “colored” and “illegitimate.” His great-great-grandmother was enslaved, and his early life was confined by the privation and segregation of the late Jim Crow-era South.

Four decades later—having put himself through an HBCU and determinedly risen through the executive ranks at ExxonMobil—he embarked on his journey to play the 100 greatest golf courses in the United States. In a single year. From the first tee at Augusta National, the distance between the world he grew up in and the world of extreme privilege to which he’d now managed to gain access was impossible to ignore.

Playing from the Rough is a remarkable memoir of race, class, family, and the power of perseverance, as James braids his love of golf with reflections on the path that took him from childhood poverty to the most exclusive and opulent golf courses in America.

Born in 1959 to a single mother of eight in Jim Crow-era Texas, Jimmie James emerged from humble beginnings, growing up in a shack without electricity or plumbing. He was the first in his family not only to graduate from high school but also to pursue and earn a college degree. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University at the top of his engineering class. In his thirty-three-year career with Exxon, James rose from an entry-level engineer to a globe-trotting executive, overseeing businesses across the world. Now retired, he splits his time between Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Kiawah Island, and enjoys golfing, travel, photography, and chess. He and his wife, Erika, have two young adult children, Jordan and Alexandra.