For All Who Love the Game: Lessons and Teachings for Women

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In For All Who Love the Game, Harvey shares the lessons he has learned from all the women he's watched in his seven decades of teaching the game he loves. He describes the techniques that can help women gain greater power, discusses the psychological hurdles some women must overcome to improve their game, and gives his tips for developing the parts of the game where women can and should outplay their male partners. He provides a clear image of the proper swing, gives advice on what equipment every woman should ...
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Overview

In For All Who Love the Game, Harvey shares the lessons he has learned from all the women he's watched in his seven decades of teaching the game he loves. He describes the techniques that can help women gain greater power, discusses the psychological hurdles some women must overcome to improve their game, and gives his tips for developing the parts of the game where women can and should outplay their male partners. He provides a clear image of the proper swing, gives advice on what equipment every woman should carry, and provides wisdom, inspiration, and sound instruction for anyone hoping to improve her game. With the same blend of sage advice and common sense that made his first two books such an essential part of every golfer's library. Harvey shows how every woman, whatever her other athletic gifts might be, can play great golf and enjoy it to its fullest. Harvey has often said that the day he stops learning is the day he'll quit teaching. Fortunately for us all, that day is still a long way in the future for America's best-loved teacher of the greatest game of all.

The only golf pro who has taught as many women champions as men offers the same winning blend of common sense and delightful storytelling that captivated the readers of his first two books, Harvey Penick's Little Red Book and And If You Love Golf, You're My Friend, in a book of bounteous rewards designed especially for women golfers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671045944
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Format: Cassette
  • Product dimensions: 4.16 (w) x 6.76 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Harvey Penick's association with golf and with the Austin (Texas) Country Club dates back to 1913, when he began working there as a caddie. Mr. Penick has taught five of the thirteen women that have been inducted into the Ladies' Professional Golf Association Hall of Fame. He still lives in Austin with his wife, Helen. This is his third book.

Harvey Penick's association with golf and with the Austin (Texas) Country Club dates back to 1913, when he began working there as a caddie. Mr. Penick has taught five of the thirteen women that have been inducted into the Ladies' Professional Golf Association Hall of Fame. He still lives in Austin with his wife, Helen. This is his third book.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Lessons in the Afternoon

It was early on a hot Saturday afternoon in July. I had already been at the club watching Sandra Palmer hit balls for an hour or so. Now I was back at home in my lounge chair in the living room, feeling sort of achy and drained by the sun.

I thought I would have a bowl of soup and a sandwich for lunch. Then I would read my mail and answer a few letters before the Women's Open appeared on TV in a little while. Sandra was spending the weekend at our house, and she planned to come from the practice range to watch the tournament with me. Watching the Open while sitting with an Open champion like Sandra is a thrill for me. I knew it would pick up my spirits.

But my son, Tinsley, walked in the front door and said, "Dad, we need you at the club."

"What's the matter?" I asked.

"A woman needs your help."

"Does it have to be right now?" I asked.

"Dad, she has come a long way and is eager to see you."

Ordinarily what Tinsley had said would have roused me to get into my golf cart and return to the club at once. I could never turn down a woman in distress. On this day, though, with the temperature above one hundred degrees and several things at home I wanted to be doing, it was hard for me to think about moving.

"What seems to be her problem?" I asked.

"She can't get the ball into the air," Tinsley said.

That was all I needed to hear.

"Help me out of this chair," I said.

Teaching frustrated women golfers to hit the ball into the air is a challenge I love, one that when accomplished brings forth such a roar of joy from both the pupil and the teacher that I get goose bumps that make me feel I'm in the middle of an electrical storm.

An attractive woman was waiting in the practice area when I arrived in my golf cart. She introduced herself as Susan Baker. She said her husband, Jim, was out on the course playing golf. They lived back and forth between Houston and Washington, D.C., she said, but were in Austin to attend a wedding.

"Use your 7-iron and let me see you hit a few balls," I said.

What I needed to know first was whether her frustration was caused by the path of her swing or by the angle of her clubface.

Her swing looked pretty good to me, but every ball She hit rolled about thirty yards along the ground.

"I've had a number of lessons, and yet I just keep on doing this," she said.

I looked at her hands on the club. Her grip seemed reasonable. But having seen that her swing was all right, I knew her grip had to be the villain

I asked her to remove her glove and take her grip again.

Sure enough, that is where the culprit lay concealed.

When she took her grip, both hands were pretty much under the handle. But then she twisted her flesh around so that her bad grip was disguised to look like a reasonable grip.

"Would you mind if we back up a little and start over?" I asked.

"Please do," she said.

"Let's forget the word 'grip.' Let's just think about placing your hands on the club. Please let me guide you into placing them. Look at how your hands hang naturally at your sides. Now place your left hand on the handle with a natural feeling so that you can glance down and see three knuckles. That's right. That's how I want it. Leave it just like that, without twisting. Now place your right hand on the handle so that your lifeline in your palm fits against your thumb. That's very good."

I leaned over and touched her left elbow.

"Let go of the tension in your elbows," I said.

Instead, she let go of the club with her hands. That always happens at first. I asked her to place her hands back on the handle as she had done before, without rolling her left arm or twisting her flesh. Just place her hands on the handle and hold it lightly.

I touched her left elbow again.

"Without letting go of the club, allow the tension to go out of your elbows and your shoulders," I said.

I saw her elbows soften. Her shoulders became less rigid.

I clapped my hands with approval.

"Now look at a spot on the grass and make me a nice practice swing, hitting the spot."

Susan made several good-looking practice swings that brushed the grass.

"Now put a tee in the ground," I said. "We don't need a ball yet. Just a tee. Please make me a nice swing and hit that tee. Feel that you are swinging easy, but hit that tee hard enough to cut if off or knock it out of the ground."

After Susan did this half a dozen times, clipping that tee with a good, smooth, full swing, I asked her to put a ball on the tee.

"Now, disregard the ball but go ahead and give that tee a healthy crack," I said.

Susan hit that ball out of my sight. My eyes are not as sharp as they once were, but I could tell she had hit it well over a hundred yards in the air with her 7-iron.

Susan screamed with pleasure. She jumped up and down. She leaped over and kissed me. I was tingling from head to toe.

"I never thought it was possible!" she said. "Let's do it again."

She did it several more times, cutting off the tee with a nice swing, the ball flying out there more than a hundred yards, plenty high with a little tail on it.

"Now, pull out your 3-wood," I said.

I saw a moment of fear in her eyes.

"Trust me," I said. "You know how to do it. Treat this club just as you have been treating the other one."

Well, what do you think happened?

With her 3-wood, Susan hit the ball 170 yards.

She was astonished. She was so thrilled that tears rushed to her eyes.

My arms turned white with goose bumps.

"Now, please listen to me," I said. "I want you to remember. What we did here today — or rather what you did — it works the same in Houston in or Washington, D.C., as it does at Austin Country Club. Always remember that, and you will be fine from now on."

I asked Susan to enjoy the game of golf to its fullest and please come back and see me anytime she thought she needed me.

"Please give my regards to your husband," I said.

Driving me home in my golf cart, Tinsley said, "Do you know who her husband is?"

"Jim," I said

"Her husband is James Baker. He was secretary of state and chief of staff for President Bush."

I am not a political person, but I do have a soft spot for President Bush. He wrote me a letter about golf and life that he hand typed himself. His letter is framed on the wall of my little bedroom at the front of the house. In the middle of the night when pain keeps me awake, I often look at that letter and pinch myself to be sure it's real, that a president sat down and typed a letter to a grown caddie.

Back at the house, Sandra was watching the Open on television. As I settled into my lounge chair again, Sandra caught me up on what had been happening.

The Swedish star Helen Alfredsson had started the Saturday round with a big lead on the field. But her game was faltering.

As I began watching, she was in the struggle of losing eight strokes to par in ten holes. It was painful to see. I felt sorry for her. Such things happen to even the best players, and all golfers know it. But still my heart went out to this handsome young woman who has so much talent.

All of a sudden, with several holes yet to play, the television network cut short my suffering on Helen Alfredsson's behalf, as well as what joy I would be receiving from the rise of Patty Sheehan and other fine players in the Women's Open — and my pleasure at listening to the TV commentary by Judy Rankin, who used to be a pupil of mine.

A man's voice on the television told us they were leaving the Women's Open because their time was up. The network switched to some kind of track meet in Russia.

"Do you think they would do that if this was the Men's Open?" Sandra said. "What if some prominent man player was losing a big lead, and some other prominent men players were making a charge? Would the network switch away to a track meet that was taped earlier in another country? Would they dare do that to men?"

"I don't think so," I said.

"You know darn well they wouldn't," Sandra said. She headed toward the door.

"I'm going back to the practice tee," she said. "They won't let me watch the Women's Open, but they can't stop me from practicing."

So I read my mail and answered letters. It was too hot for anything else. But I felt better now than when I came home earlier in the day.

Remembering Susan Baker's cry of pleasure when she saw that ball fly out there 170 yards, I kept smiling. Moments like that make my life fulfilled.

And if enough Susan Bakers find joy and satisfaction in the great game of golf, maybe someday that network will treat the world's finest women players with the same respect it reserves for men.

Copyright © 1995 by Harvey Penick, Bud Shrake and Helen Penick

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introductions

Foreword

Lessons in the Afternoon

Helping It Up

Hit It Hard

Judy's Grip

A Practice Procedure

Three Games in One

The Card Table — Under and Under

The Card Table — Under but Over

A Fundamental

Picking a Putter

A Call in the Night

A Story by Helen

The Picture Show

Swing Thoughts

How to Have Both Golf and a Marriage

What's Your Hurry?

Playing the Breaks

The Best

A Champ and Her Children

A Golf Tip

The Vital Long Chip Shot

How Many Wedges?

Get a Feeling Fit

A Matter of Touch

No Mote Whiffs

The Lady in the Bunker

A View from the Window

Steady Head

Practice at Home

Practice the Short Ones

The Wright Way

Starting Your Swing

Let's Call Harvey

Be Yourself

Good Posture

Charging Betsy

My Banquet Speech

An Outlook on Putting

Thin Air

Keep at It

An Aspirin for Sarasota

Women's Tees

Refresh Yourself

The Basic Shot

Learning

How Much Is Enough?

Labor Day

She Does It All

A Cure for Mary Ann or Anyone Else

The Cactus Patch

The Left Wrist

Loft Is Your Friend

Strike It

Quick Cure

Swing Weights

Earl's Pearl

Skip the Details

Ruthe the Champ

Big-Chested Women

Women's Grips

Rolling with Mary Lena

Positive Attitude

Use What Fits

A Romance

Post It

Universal Advice

A Story by Mickey Wright

When to Offer Golf Advice to Your Spouse

A Story by Betsy Rawls

Enough Is Enough

Learn Etiquette from Barbara

Perceptions

Another Reason to Clip the Tee

Follow the Line

A Helping Hand from a Legend

Exercise

Listen to the Swish

Divots

Dropped at the Top

You Want Straight or You Want Far?

Alignment

Watch Your Step

Confidence

Advice from JoAnne

But We're Not Robots

Like a Violin

Home

About Betty Jameson

A Story by Paula Granoff

Uphill and Downhill

Scrambling

The Golf Ball Test

Where There's a Will...

Compliment from the Haig

Checking Ball Position

Big Enough

A Prayer

The Natural Way

Dressing

Remembering Babe

f0 Know Your Own Game

Howdy Do

Playing Pregnant

Shut Your Eyes

A Mind Game

Patty's First Time

The Fifty-Yard Pitch Shot

Where Do Those Strange Shots Come From?

A Story by Susan Watkins

Nicole Remembers

Our Daughter Sandra

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First Chapter

Chapter 1 Lessons in the Afternoon

It was early on a hot Saturday afternoon in July. I had already been at the club watching Sandra Palmer hit balls for an hour or so. Now I was back at home in my lounge chair in the living room, feeling sort of achy and drained by the sun.

I thought I would have a bowl of soup and a sandwich for lunch. Then I would read my mail and answer a few letters before the Women's Open appeared on TV in a little while. Sandra was spending the weekend at our house, and she planned to come from the practice range to watch the tournament with me. Watching the Open while sitting with an Open champion like Sandra is a thrill for me. I knew it would pick up my spirits.

But my son, Tinsley, walked in the front door and said, "Dad, we need you at the club."

"What's the matter?" I asked.

"A woman needs your help."

"Does it have to be right now?" I asked.

"Dad, she has come a long way and is eager to see you."

Ordinarily what Tinsley had said would have roused me to get into my golf cart and return to the club at once. I could never turn down a woman in distress. On this day, though, with the temperature above one hundred degrees and several things at home I wanted to be doing, it was hard for me to think about moving.

"What seems to be her problem?" I asked.

"She can't get the ball into the air," Tinsley said.

That was all I needed to hear.

"Help me out of this chair," I said.

Teaching frustrated women golfers to hit the ball into the air is a challenge I love, one that when accomplished brings forth such a roar of joy from both the pupil and the teacher that I get goose bumps that make me feel I'm in the middle of an electrical storm.

An attractive woman was waiting in the practice area when I arrived in my golf cart. She introduced herself as Susan Baker. She said her husband, Jim, was out on the course playing golf. They lived back and forth between Houston and Washington, D.C., she said, but were in Austin to attend a wedding.

"Use your 7-iron and let me see you hit a few balls," I said.

What I needed to know first was whether her frustration was caused by the path of her swing or by the angle of her clubface.

Her swing looked pretty good to me, but every ball She hit rolled about thirty yards along the ground.

"I've had a number of lessons, and yet I just keep on doing this," she said.

I looked at her hands on the club. Her grip seemed reasonable. But having seen that her swing was all right, I knew her grip had to be the villain

I asked her to remove her glove and take her grip again.

Sure enough, that is where the culprit lay concealed.

When she took her grip, both hands were pretty much under the handle. But then she twisted her flesh around so that her bad grip was disguised to look like a reasonable grip.

"Would you mind if we back up a little and start over?" I asked.

"Please do," she said.

"Let's forget the word 'grip.' Let's just think about placing your hands on the club. Please let me guide you into placing them. Look at how your hands hang naturally at your sides. Now place your left hand on the handle with a natural feeling so that you can glance down and see three knuckles. That's right. That's how I want it. Leave it just like that, without twisting. Now place your right hand on the handle so that your lifeline in your palm fits against your thumb. That's very good."

I leaned over and touched her left elbow.

"Let go of the tension in your elbows," I said.

Instead, she let go of the club with her hands. That always happens at first. I asked her to place her hands back on the handle as she had done before, without rolling her left arm or twisting her flesh. Just place her hands on the handle and hold it lightly.

I touched her left elbow again.

"Without letting go of the club, allow the tension to go out of your elbows and your shoulders," I said.

I saw her elbows soften. Her shoulders became less rigid.

I clapped my hands with approval.

"Now look at a spot on the grass and make me a nice practice swing, hitting the spot."

Susan made several good-looking practice swings that brushed the grass.

"Now put a tee in the ground," I said. "We don't need a ball yet. Just a tee. Please make me a nice swing and hit that tee. Feel that you are swinging easy, but hit that tee hard enough to cut if off or knock it out of the ground."

After Susan did this half a dozen times, clipping that tee with a good, smooth, full swing, I asked her to put a ball on the tee.

"Now, disregard the ball but go ahead and give that tee a healthy crack," I said.

Susan hit that ball out of my sight. My eyes are not as sharp as they once were, but I could tell she had hit it well over a hundred yards in the air with her 7-iron.

Susan screamed with pleasure. She jumped up and down. She leaped over and kissed me. I was tingling from head to toe.

"I never thought it was possible!" she said. "Let's do it again."

She did it several more times, cutting off the tee with a nice swing, the ball flying out there more than a hundred yards, plenty high with a little tail on it.

"Now, pull out your 3-wood," I said.

I saw a moment of fear in her eyes.

"Trust me," I said. "You know how to do it. Treat this club just as you have been treating the other one."

Well, what do you think happened?

With her 3-wood, Susan hit the ball 170 yards.

She was astonished. She was so thrilled that tears rushed to her eyes.

My arms turned white with goose bumps.

"Now, please listen to me," I said. "I want you to remember. What we did here today -- or rather what you did -- it works the same in Houston in or Washington, D.C., as it does at Austin Country Club. Always remember that, and you will be fine from now on."

I asked Susan to enjoy the game of golf to its fullest and please come back and see me anytime she thought she needed me.

"Please give my regards to your husband," I said.

Driving me home in my golf cart, Tinsley said, "Do you know who her husband is?"

"Jim," I said

"Her husband is James Baker. He was secretary of state and chief of staff for President Bush."

I am not a political person, but I do have a soft spot for President Bush. He wrote me a letter about golf and life that he hand typed himself. His letter is framed on the wall of my little bedroom at the front of the house. In the middle of the night when pain keeps me awake, I often look at that letter and pinch myself to be sure it's real, that a president sat down and typed a letter to a grown caddie.

Back at the house, Sandra was watching the Open on television. As I settled into my lounge chair again, Sandra caught me up on what had been happening.

The Swedish star Helen Alfredsson had started the Saturday round with a big lead on the field. But her game was faltering.

As I began watching, she was in the struggle of losing eight strokes to par in ten holes. It was painful to see. I felt sorry for her. Such things happen to even the best players, and all golfers know it. But still my heart went out to this handsome young woman who has so much talent.

All of a sudden, with several holes yet to play, the television network cut short my suffering on Helen Alfredsson's behalf, as well as what joy I would be receiving from the rise of Patty Sheehan and other fine players in the Women's Open -- and my pleasure at listening to the TV commentary by Judy Rankin, who used to be a pupil of mine.

A man's voice on the television told us they were leaving the Women's Open because their time was up. The network switched to some kind of track meet in Russia.

"Do you think they would do that if this was the Men's Open?" Sandra said. "What if some prominent man player was losing a big lead, and some other prominent men players were making a charge? Would the network switch away to a track meet that was taped earlier in another country? Would they dare do that to men?"

"I don't think so," I said.

"You know darn well they wouldn't," Sandra said. She headed toward the door.

"I'm going back to the practice tee," she said. "They won't let me watch the Women's Open, but they can't stop me from practicing."

So I read my mail and answered letters. It was too hot for anything else. But I felt better now than when I came home earlier in the day.

Remembering Susan Baker's cry of pleasure when she saw that ball fly out there 170 yards, I kept smiling. Moments like that make my life fulfilled.

And if enough Susan Bakers find joy and satisfaction in the great game of golf, maybe someday that network will treat the world's finest women players with the same respect it reserves for men.

Copyright © 1995 by Harvey Penick, Bud Shrake and Helen Penick

Read More Show Less

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