Federico Alba was not the most well-known player in the 1980s and 1990s, at least not outside of Sicily. But perhaps now more than ever, we can identify with his struggles against the odds.
Alba was born on Rome’s Piazza Venezia in 1932, the son of a poor Sicilian family and a strong advocate of the Communist Party in his hometown of Tarsus. He was initially a painter before taking up golf in his 20s and going on to earn his PGA golf championship that same year.
But Alba was not without his issues in his home life, which he ultimately turned to art in order to cope with. This conflict in art and life would become something of a theme in his career, which ultimately led him to the dark and often lonely world of travel writing and exploring the world. His style and method was steeped in rough and tumble travel writing, and this is something reflected in his later golf style, which reflected the rough and rough play of his journey across the continent. “Flying Blind” is the most famous example, which chronicles a stint on the road through the ’60s and ’70s. “European Shadow” follows him through the 1980s.
You can buy “Flying Blind” here.