An American Caddie in St. Andrews – click to purchase
I’m making trip #2 to St. Andrews this July. Can’t wait to get back to the auld grey toon (old gray town). I’m rearranging my 502 deep golf book queue to move An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course to the front of the list. This is a book written by an American New Yorker who I’m going to go out on a limb and say is Jewish (Oliver Horovitz), who caddies at the Old Course. How could this not be interesting?
Stay tuned for my full review as soon as I have a plane ride long enough to bust out the reading part…
There are many studies which prove that short study sessions allow the pupil to retain more than long study sessions. It is better to, for instance, study in 20 minute segments and break three times than to study a straight hour. The starts and stops are where most of the information is retained. That’s what makes a format like 365 Golf Tips & Tricks From the Pros so great. It is 592 pages, but there’s no way on earth I’d read it from start to finish. I’ll take a tip and read it with the thoughts of really trying to absorb it and work the concept into my game or my practice.
I recommend keeping books like this in places you’ll visit every day… Click to buy
1 Tip Per Day
365 Golf Tips & Tricks From the Pros is obviously meant to be read a day at a time, a tip at a time. Read that one tip on one day and really try to absorb it. The tips are well but concisely written and all supported by color photos demonstrating the concept.
All areas of golf are covered from the rules to etiquette to long and short games. 365 lessons are in there and at only $12.95, a fraction of the cost of one private lesson!
Note to self: Plan golf trip to Canada, hoser.
A few months ago I traveled up to Vancouver, BC Canada. What a beautiful place. Though I had my sticks with me, I didn’t get a chance to tee it up. I loved the beauty of the area and knew I’d be back to play some golf.
Spectacular Golf Western Canada
Now that I’ve gotten my hands on the book Spectacular Golf Western Canada: The Most Scenic and Challenging Golf Holes in British Columbia and Alberta, I’m chomping at the bit even more to golf in Canada. Spectacular Golf is a 204 page coffee-table-book which highlights more than 75 golf courses in Canada. The book shows a large image of the signature hole of each course on the left and a description of the course on the right (see image below). Retail: $50.00 but I’ve seen copies of Spectacular Golf on Amazon.com for about $36.
With Christmas coming up, this book would be a good golf gift. Very classy. I love having the book on my coffee table. I occasionally thumb through it and lust over the fantastic golf I see north of the border.
Click To Purchase
Possibly the most famous golf quote ever, was spoken by my all time favorite golfer, the late Bobby Jones.
“Comptetitive golf is played on a five and a half inch course, the space between your ears.”
When asked about the mental aspects of golf my standard quote is, “Golf is 90% mental and the other 10% is in your head.”
My friend and fellow golf blogger John Retzer released a new book to address the mental aspects of golf called, The Five Inch Course: Thinking Your Way To Better Golf. In this great golf resource John shares short thoughts about all aspects of the game, which he gathered through years of playing, blogging and also coaching high school golf.
The format of this book is quite similar to my all time favorite golf book, Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book. In fact, it is really a blog format in print, with each subject or chapter containing a concept with one to a few paragraphs. Each thought or concept is clearly described in an easy and sensible way, with tips on how to apply it to one’s game. Many of the concepts are quite basic, but more often than not we forget the basics in golf, like playing for the fat of the green. Here are the main categories covered:
- Before You Play
- From Tee To Green
- On Every Shot
- On The Tee
- In The Fairway
- Off The Fairway
- Around The Green
- On The Green
- Know The Rules
- After The Round
Keep It Simple, Stupid
Once again, we forget the basics too often. In my city amateur this June I was in good shape. I wasn’t going to win it, but I was sure to make a top 10 finish and collect several hundred dollars in prize money. On the final hole, after playing 35 solid and smart holes, I forgot the basics. I went for the “hero” shot. The result? A double bogey which dropped me from top 10 to T13. I figured that one swing cost me over $200 in prize money. Had I kept a level head and employed the basic thoughts I’d read in John’s Book, I would have made a better finish by far.
The goal of John’s book is not to coach swing technique or change one’s swing to look more like Fred Couples. Too many books try to change a player into someone they are not. The fact is, there is only one Fred Couples. This book helps one take his/her unique game and swing to the course and get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. With lower scores comes more fun. That is the goal, right?
Click to purchase from Amazon
I’m at 36,000 feet, on my way home from a golf business trip. I’m currently flying over Kansas or perhaps Nebraska. I had to start this post now, having just finished reading The Longest Shot – Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open, a book by my fellow golf blogger and friend Neil Sagebiel. My apologies to Neil for taking as long as I have to finish the book, but I’m not the fastest at reading books. And I even moved this one up to #1 in my book queue.
I must comment at how amazed and proud I am of what Neil has accomplished in this book. The depth of research Neil must have gone through to produce such a fantastic accounting of not only the 1955 U.S. Open, but the backgrounds of Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan and the supporting cast of this story, must have been massive.
The research was only part of it. The way Neil puts it all together into such a great flow and timeline is brilliant, especially considering much of the play by play had to be assembled so intelligently. You see, back then tournament player positions did not have the same structure they do today, with the leaders being put in the final groups. Players and their positions were all over the proverbial course map in Saturday 36 hole finals. There was no play on Sunday with the leaders positioned in the final group.
I knew a little about Ben Hogan, his golf career, the auto accident and the Ben Hogan golf company. Reading this book just for that information alone is worth the price of admission if you are into golf history.
Sagebiel’s shot-by-shot coverage of the tournament and especially the 18 hole playoff had me glued to the book, despite my already knowing the outcome. I felt like I was experiencing the tournament from the perspective of the players, feeling the emotional swings and pressure in what will likely forever be known as the toughest test in major championship history.
There are many great side stories in the book as well, from the beginnings of Arnold Palmer’s and Jack Nicklaus’s careers to what members of the press had to go through to cover golf in the typewriter era.
Neil Sagebiel obviously poured his soul into researching and writing this fantastic book. I strongly recommend you pick up a copy and give it a read.
Very well done Neil. Bravo.
I know Neil is up for an interview about the book and I do have many questions I’m dying to ask. Stay tuned.