“I thought I knew Bill Hyndman until I read this book. It’s not just a golf story. Everyone can learn from Bill’s struggles and perseverance.”
—Jay Sigel

A Will to Win

Legendary Amateur Bill Hyndman’s Story of Perseverance and Triumph

by John Riley

About the Book

Hardcover, 286 pages, 27 images

Also available in paperback and ebook formats.

In 1958 at the inaugural World Amateur Team Championship at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Bill Hyndman struck a shot golfing immortal Bobby Jones called “the greatest clutch shot I have ever seen.” Three years before, the then-42-year-old, had been crushed in the finals of the U.S. Amateur Championship by Harvie Ward, the man some believed would rival Jones as the greatest amateur golfer of all time. It was the first of four losses for Hyndman in the finals of a national championship. At the time Hyndman struck that shot, he was in the early stages of a psychological battle with himself to overcome a plague of self-doubt. The fight he was in would last for decades, but with the support of his life partner, Ginny, whom he called “the best pick I ever made,” he not only persevered—he triumphed. 

Bill Hyndman’s story is one of life and death, fathers and sons, faith and love. Born in the year Babe Ruth hit his first home run, Hyndman endured the loss of his father at age 14, the suffering and death of his 3-year-old daughter, Patsy, and the sudden loss in WWII of the kid brother he had guided through life. Through it all he turned to his faith and the woman he loved to sustain him during the tough times and to help him fulfill the passion he had to one day win a national championship.  

The Hyndman story is also the story of amateur golf during the mid-20th century—a time when the great amateurs frequently matched up against Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Player, and Nicklaus. The charismatic golfer built relationships with these giants of the game but always kept family and friends first. He managed to build his golf career at a time most early rivals had faded from the scene. And when he reached the pinnacle of the game, he was already old enough to be the father of the emerging golf stars he would have to beat. He would make a habit out of surprising them all. 

What People Are Saying...

  •  Amateur golf had two dogged victims of inexorable fate—Bobby Jones and Bill Hyndman. Their unwavering persistence led to careers of enormous success. Bill’s story is one every golfer should read and learn from. 

    —Jerry Tarde

    Editor-in-Chief, Golf Digest

  • When you compile a list of the great Philadelphia athletes, you need to find a place for Bill Hyndman. Big Bill cast a long shadow over golf courses from Huntingdon Valley to St Andrews. 

    —Ray Didinger

    Author of Finished Business: My Fifty Years of Headlines, Heroes, and Heartaches

  • Golfers should be grateful for John Riley who finds untold golf stories and tells them with page-turning detail. He’s done it again with A Will to Win—a must read for any golf history lover. 

    —Tom Coyne, New York Times best-selling author 

    —Tom Coyne

    New York Times best-selling author

  • You know about Old Tom Morris of St Andrews, one of our founding fathers, right? Well, Bill Hyndman is our Old Tom. What a life, what an example, and how lucky are we, to have it all in one place, in this book. 

    —Michael Bamberger

    Author of Ball in the Air and The Second Life of Tiger Woods

  • Bill Hyndman certainly endured more than his fair share of personal challenges. His ability to respond and to emerge time after time is what made him a champion and an inspiration. John Riley captures Hyndman’s resilience, strength and motivation to continue and succeed. 

    —Harry Donahue

    Host of Philadelphia’s Inside Golf TV

Book Launch Event

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About the Author

John Riley

John Riley retired as a public relations executive in 2016 and began a new career as an author at the age of 70. A Will to Win is his fourth book. His books have won both national and local awards and his biography on the life of PGA Tour professional Ed “Porky” Oliver was a finalist for the United States Golf Association’s 2022 Herbert Warren Wind Award. John and his wife, Sharon, live in Wilmington Delaware. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware where he captained the golf team. 


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