New York Times golf columnist Pennington (The Heisman: Great American Stories of the Men Who Won, 2005) provides a comprehensive guide on how to get the most out of a pastime that frustrates and bewitches its devotees.
The game—or sport, a distinction explored here by the author—of golf inspires a range of emotions in those who play. It can also seem confounding to the uninitiated, with its plethora of rules, arcane etiquette and emphasis on its long history and traditions. Pennington provides the perfect entry point for beginners taking up the game, offering practical advice on all of golf’s many facets, from the basics of equipment, rules and lingo to the things you didn’t even know you needed to know. The author includes advice from teachers, professionals (Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Annika Sorenstam and others) caddies and everyday golfers on a myriad of topics related to the game, including psychology, technique and how to not become overwhelmed by the massive amount of other advice golfers encounter in person, print and broadcast. Golf writing may be unique among sportswriting for the way it often manages to convey the deadly seriousness those passionate about it feel toward the game, while simultaneously joking at their expense. Pennington’s tone shares this trait and will be familiar to those who have read any of the many golf books out there. None of those books, however, offer nearly as much real-world advice to golfers on how to improve their experience.
A must for beginning golfers or players looking to get more enjoyment out of their time on the course.