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And If You Play Golf, You're My Friend: Further Reflections of a Grown Caddie

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Since the publication of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the world has almost literally beaten a path to Harvey Penick's door. Hardly a day goes by without a stranger arriving at the Penick home, book in hand, hoping for more pearls of wisdom, an autograph, or just wanting to say, "Thank you."
Bud Shrake, Penick's coauthor, noticed that Penick usually inscribes the books, "To my friend and pupil." How could he do that, Shrake asked him, when...
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Overview


Since the publication of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the world has almost literally beaten a path to Harvey Penick's door. Hardly a day goes by without a stranger arriving at the Penick home, book in hand, hoping for more pearls of wisdom, an autograph, or just wanting to say, "Thank you."
Bud Shrake, Penick's coauthor, noticed that Penick usually inscribes the books, "To my friend and pupil." How could he do that, Shrake asked him, when he didn't know these people?
"Well," replied Penick, "if you read my book you're my pupil, and if you play golf, you're my friend."
And If You Play Golf, You're My Friend picks up where the Little Red Book left off. It features the same blend of simple wisdom, sound golfing instruction, and good common sense that has made the Little Red Book so popular with golfers of all ages and levels of ability. And, as in the previous volume, Penick's deep love for the game and his delight in teaching shine through on every page.
Penick tells the story of his son-in-law's first golf lesson, a story with a twist right out of O. Henry. He relates the tale of a player from Houston who had only one flaw in his game -- that his scores were too high -- and who exploded with anger when Penick told him so. He gives advice to parents on how to help their children learn golf, shows how to overcome a slice by "playing baseball," and shares the pride and joy he felt while watching his pupil Tom Kite win the U.S. Open.
Warm, witty, and wise, And If You Play Golf, You're My Friend shows why Harvey Penick has become America's best-loved teacher of the great game of golf.

The author of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book has done it again. And If You Play Golf, You're My Friend picks up where Penick's first bestseller left off--offering the same mix of simple wisdom, sound golfing instructions, and good common sense.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Penick, who became a club pro in the early '20s and achieved fame as the coach of the University of Texas golf team, is joined again by Shrake for more of what put their The Little Red Book on the bestseller lists: tips for links lovers whether pro or duffer. The authors' advice is to keep it simple, to rely on common sense and to practice enough so that play even in important games is almost instinctive. There is advice on head and body placement, club choice, even on preserving your equanimity, for Pro (as Penick is called) is a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. There are also entertaining anecdotes, like the one about a Chicago golf pro who lowered a member's handicap only to be told by the irate player, ``Give me my three strokes back. I've had people killed for less than what you did.'' First serial to Golf Digest. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Penick garnered much attention over the course of his 33 years as golf coach at the University of Texas, and with the best-selling success of his first book, Harvey Penick's Little Red Book (S. & S., 1992), this is a welcome addition. Penick tells his story in clean, straightforward prose. The narrative is seasoned with dozens of well-told vignettes about colorful personalities and golf tournaments. There are glimmers of insight here about his former pupils Tom Kite and Mark Brooks, both successful golfers on the professional circuit. The general reader will appreciate the witty biographical sketches that pepper the book. For all popular sports collections.-- Jim Paxman, Tennessee State Univ., Nashville
Bill Ott
When Harvey Penick's "Little Red Book" (1991) started climbing best-seller lists, it was clear that something was up. Even when written by the likes of Ben Hogan or Jack Nicklaus, golf instructionals just don't sell more copies than show-biz autobiographies. Well, they do now, thanks to an elderly, arthritic teaching pro from Austin, Texas, who has rescued the golf swing from the theoreticians who have tied us into knots with talk of pronation and swing angles. The same simple aphorisms that were the heart of the "Little Red Book"--and that have guided Penick's Texas pupils (including U.S. Open champion Tom Kite) to lower scores and greater peace of mind--are once again in evidence in this sequel of sorts to the first book. Whether he's admonishing average players to strengthen their grips or counseling Davis Love III to "roll the ball up to the hole and give luck a chance to happen," Penick always keeps his advice as basic as possible, usually focusing on flaws in a golfer's grip or stance. It's the minimalist school of golf teaching, and it's found a hungry audience. Expect demand.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671871888
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 11/1/1993
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 7.71 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Harvey Penick's association with golf and with the Austin (Texas) Country Club dates back to 1913, when the began there as a caddie. He still lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Helen. This is his second book.
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Read an Excerpt


Chapter 1
My Son-in-Law's First Lesson
My son-in-lax, Billy Powell, was captain of the University of Texas basketball team. When my daughter, Kathryn, married him, Billy's pals accused him of trying to improve his golf game.
Everybody knew that was meant as humor, because Billy had never touched a golf club. Basketball was Billy's idea of a real game, not golf.
After college, Billy and Kathryn served a tour in the Air Force. They were stationed at Clovis, New Mexico. Billy tried golf for the first time in Clovis. Playing with a friend who had a 2 handicap, Billy learned what a thrilling experience golf can be. He was hooked.
Billy phoned me that night. He was so excited, he could hardly catch his breath.
"Harvey, I'm on my way to Austin to take a lesson," he said. "How soon can you fit me in?"
I said, "Billy, I will send you a set of golf clubs. Play golf for six months. Then we'll talk about lessons."
Six months later, Billy and I went to the practice range at Austin Country Club.
"I have to ask you a question," Billy said. "I've had an awful struggle for six months. Why did you make me wait so long for this first lesson?"
"This is the second lesson," I said. "Your first lesson was six months of struggle on your own."
"But why?"
I said, "Athletes like you, who have had success in other sports, need to be humbled before they can learn the game of golf."
There's an old saying: The student must be ready for the teacher to appear.
Teaching Billy
I watched my son-in-law swing at the ball on the practice range for a while without comment. I could tell he wanted me to saysomething.
Finally I said, "Billy, if you handled your fork the way you do that 7-iron, you would starve to death."
We set the ball on a low tee.
"Now take a swing and just clip off that tee," I said.
He hit behind it. He topped it. He hit it sideways.
I said, "You're a good athlete. Learn to clip off that tee. We can go no further until you do."
I left him alone on the range.
He swung his 7-iron for two days before he learned to clip off the tee.
Copyright © 1993 by Harvey Penick, Bud Shrake, and Helen Penick
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Table of Contents


Contents
My Son-in-Law's First Lesson
Teaching Billy
A Value of Knowledge
Identify the Problem
The Lawyer
God Knows
In the Mind's Eye
What Does It Mean?
Take Pleasure in It
Flavor That Lasts
The Oracle Speaks
A Story by Helen
Another Call
Toss It
An Irony
The First Choice
A Strange World
Look Here First
Toward a Stronger Grip
All You Need to Know About the Wrist Cock
Higher Aspects
A Method for Madness
Making a Comeback
A Distinction
Preacher Mann
The Reason for It
From the Fringe
South of the Border
The Lay Up
Tommy Wins the Open
A Story by Christy Kite
Make Up Your Mind
The California Woman
The Judge
Keep It Moving
The Learning Game
A Story by Tom Kite
The True Way
Club Selection
A Special Club
A Golfer's Prayer
Give Luck a Chance
The Bench
A Teacher's Guide
Musings on Rulings
Wilmer's Woes
The Power of Negative Thinking
The Champion
Practice It First
Wrongheaded Husbands
Children
Crosshanders
The Left Arm
The Secret of the Golf Swing
Hit It Hard
Brand-Name Aiming
Slices and Hooks
Pressure
The Erratics
How to Stop the Bleeding
The Dashing Demaret
Luck
Sweet but Incomplete
Paula Granoff's Story
Indoor Teaching
Masters Manners
A Golfer's Poem
Wasting Your Time
Mr. Connerly
Fate Takes a Hand
Unfair to Ben
Made in Heaven
Chipping
What Do You Look At?
Telephone Lesson
Still the Most Dreaded Shot
Reassurance
A Future in Golf
The Sweet Spot
Playing Hurt
The Feeling of Far
In the Eyes
In the Mind
Old Familiar
Governor Hobby
Life in the Mind
My First Lesson
A Soft Wedge
The Examination
Club Fitting
The Best Hands
A Hard Job
Mr. Aminex
An Inexhaustible Subject
A Tip
The Fee
Timing
Time to Move
Mr. Roberts
Randy's Driver
Jack Did It
The Downhill Lie
Haunted
Hogan Whiffs It
Caddie-Yard Psychology
Where Is He?
My Prayer
Training Aids
Necessity
Summing Up
Game of Honor
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First Chapter

Chapter 1

My Son-in-Law's First Lesson

My son-in-lax, Billy Powell, was captain of the University of Texas basketball team. When my daughter, Kathryn, married him, Billy's pals accused him of trying to improve his golf game.

Everybody knew that was meant as humor, because Billy had never touched a golf club. Basketball was Billy's idea of a real game, not golf.

After college, Billy and Kathryn served a tour in the Air Force. They were stationed at Clovis, New Mexico. Billy tried golf for the first time in Clovis. Playing with a friend who had a 2 handicap, Billy learned what a thrilling experience golf can be. He was hooked.

Billy phoned me that night. He was so excited, he could hardly catch his breath.

"Harvey, I'm on my way to Austin to take a lesson," he said. "How soon can you fit me in?"

I said, "Billy, I will send you a set of golf clubs. Play golf for six months. Then we'll talk about lessons."

Six months later, Billy and I went to the practice range at Austin Country Club.

"I have to ask you a question," Billy said. "I've had an awful struggle for six months. Why did you make me wait so long for this first lesson?"

"This is the second lesson," I said. "Your first lesson was six months of struggle on your own."

"But why?"

I said, "Athletes like you, who have had success in other sports, need to be humbled before they can learn the game of golf."

There's an old saying: The student must be ready for the teacher to appear.

Teaching Billy

I watched my son-in-law swing at the ball on the practice range for a while without comment. I could tell he wanted me to say something.

Finally I said, "Billy, if youhandled your fork the way you do that 7-iron, you would starve to death."

We set the ball on a low tee.

"Now take a swing and just clip off that tee," I said.

He hit behind it. He topped it. He hit it sideways.

I said, "You're a good athlete. Learn to clip off that tee. We can go no further until you do."

I left him alone on the range.

He swung his 7-iron for two days before he learned to clip off the tee.

Copyright © 1993 by Harvey Penick, Bud Shrake, and Helen Penick

Read More Show Less

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