Book Review: The Magic Driver


Have you noticed a void within the book world where there are little, if any, books with golf as a backdrop that are aimed at the juvenile crowd? Me, too. Well, that void is hopefully in the process of changing as I bear good news.

Actually, it’s great news. The Magic Driver by Jason T. Ross fits this mold perfectly and is the first in a series of The World Golf Adventures of Justice & Gigi.

When you first delve into The Magic Driver, you are immediately on a golf course…and in the middle of a tournament which Justice is a competitor with his sister Gigi on the bag. Justice is battling his nemesis Brady Locker for the Cougar Classic. Ross creates a excellent backdrop for the tourney describing the course and particular holes. He does not confuse us with his narrative of the holes either. It’s all in order here as he even provides a little tip on course management. Well, the course at Spann Lake Golf Course, that is.

As the opening chapter ends, Justice and Gigi are walking off the course. It’s at the beginning of the second chapter where the adventures really begin as an old man approaches the young pair with something that will change their lives forever, the magic driver.

Did you expect me to tell you everything? Well, I won’t, but I can say that Ross has created a gem. And do not feel that if you are an adult or young teen that you cannot enjoy this book because golf is the center theme. I can be enjoyed by all because there are several “bonuses” contained in the book. These bonuses provide life lessons everyone can take and apply to their everyday lives.

These nuggets are that of good sportsmanship, the creation of new friendships, the bond between a brother and a sister and the importance and playfulness of such a bond, and the willingness to participate in foreign cultures. There are a couple of others, but these overcame me a great deal. All of these should spark interest in any child. The culture aspect is the biggest driving force of the book although golf does play a major role, but it serves more as a backdrop than a theme. Golf is important, don’t get me wrong.

Another part I enjoyed was the illustrations by Benedict Rullan. Although they are sparse (this isn’t a picture book), they are placed in a manner which forces the reader (or listener if reading to a group) to focus on Ross and his lavish descriptions…and then Rullan’s illustrations are revealed. You create your own sense of the surroundings and then are provided with Rullan’s interpretation of them. Rather clever as I absolutely love when the use of comparisons (your “view” versus Rullan’s) come into play.

I’ll say this and I’m not afraid to do so: I’m anxious to see what Ross has in store for the second adventure for Justice and Gigi, and all young readers should be eagerly awaiting, too.

For more information about The Magic Driver, please click on the following links:

Book: The World Golf Adventures of Justice & Gigi: The Magic Driver
Author: Jason T. Ross
Publisher: Curiously Cruising Publishing, Seattle, WA
Illustrations: Benedict Rullan


A Q&A with Jason T. Ross, author of The Magic Driver.

I had the distinct pleasure of not only reading The Magic Driver, but I was also able to have a Q&A with the author, Jason T. Ross. We touched on a couple of different topics, both concerning Justice and Gigi as well as his personal travels.

Pro Golf Now (PGN): Was the development of Bussra a reflection on a particular person you met during your travels?

Jason T. Ross (JTR): The setting of “The Magic Driver” came directly from my personal experiences living in Thailand. I taught writing courses at a university there for one year, and Bussra was one of my Thai colleagues. Her kindness and generosity helped me get through the trials of living in a new culture, and made a lasting impression on how sincere friends can actually be.

(Note: This character, somehow, really struck a chord with me, so I felt the need to ask Ross of the development of the character.)

PGN: How did Justice and Gigi evolve as your main characters? Are they based on anyone in particular?

JTR: Gigi is my wife’s nickname and Justice is my 7 year old nephew. We took Justice golfing one afternoon, and the very next day when my brother Bryan asked him, “What would you like to do today?” his reply was “Uncle Jason is taking me golfing again!” This was news to both of us, so after the stomach pains of laughter subsided, I simply had to have him as a main character.

PGN: Thailand obviously made quite an impact on you. Any plans on returning there?

JTR: The year I spent In Thailand was the most genuine and exciting time in my life. My wife and I are planning on visiting there next winter, so I can take her to see all the sights that appeared in the book. We plan on staying with Bussra, and maybe the adventures will continue…

PGN: How soon can we expect Justice and Gigi’s next adventure?

JTR: My brother Kuya, and my editor Michael Orbeck have been busy the last couple of months helping me plot the 2nd book, which I’m hoping to complete very soon. I have started the arduous writing journey already, this time through the streets of Rome. There are some new developments with the driver, new twists, and the ending, nobody will guess.

(Note: Rome, huh? Oh, and remember the name Kuya…)

PGN: You state you play golf regularly. How would you rate your game?

JTR: I just picked up the game 3 years ago, and the obsession led to hundreds of struggling rounds, maybe 4 good ones, and a true love of the sport. I had around an 18 handicap last year, but recently I seem to have befriended the sand bunkers, the tree line, and water hazards. I’m still hoping one day someone will invent a magic golf ball, that will make my shanks looks as graceful as a seasoned dancer in a ballet.

PGN: I see you found a way to work your spoiled cat into the book…

JTR: My wife and I were discussing one night whether we should even put our cat in the book at all. She happened to be hiding under the blanket, eavesdropping, and emerged rather dramatically to bat the pencil I was writing with, as if to say, “I’m in the book buddy…got it! If there are any more questions to be answered, I’ll be in my study…sleeping”

PGN: What other factors came into play for writing The Magic Driver other than the lack of a juvenile book with golf serving as the backdrop?

JTR: Ever since I returned from Thailand, and was blessed enough to travel all over the world, I promised myself I would put it all down on paper someday, so others could experience my journeys too. The game of golf helped me through some tough times when I returned home, so it seemed only fitting to combine my passions, and hopefully inspire someone to venture out into the world themselves, and perhaps become one with the greens and fairways- as I have

God is beautiful!

PGN would like to extend a hearty “thank you” to Jason. Not only do I feel like I have met an incredible person (and a spoiled cat), I also feel like I have harvested a friendship. The fact he lives near Seattle doesn’t hurt since I am a huge Seahawks fan.