The Game for a Lifetime: More Lessons and Teachings

( 3 )

Overview

His gentle demeanor and timeless wisdom made Harvey Penick America's best-loved teacher of the game of golf. From his lesson tee at the Austin Country Club, he taught several generations of champions and high-handicappers, pros and amateurs alike. All who came in contact with him came away with their grips improved, their souls refreshed, and their hearts gladdened by his love of teaching and his eagerness to serve. In The Game for a Lifetime, Harvey tells us about the different methods he used to help his pupils...
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Overview

His gentle demeanor and timeless wisdom made Harvey Penick America's best-loved teacher of the game of golf. From his lesson tee at the Austin Country Club, he taught several generations of champions and high-handicappers, pros and amateurs alike. All who came in contact with him came away with their grips improved, their souls refreshed, and their hearts gladdened by his love of teaching and his eagerness to serve. In The Game for a Lifetime, Harvey tells us about the different methods he used to help his pupils find twenty more yards off the tee; about the incredible swing of Leaping Lucifer who did everything wrong when he stood over the ball, but whom Harvey helped to find contentment and joy both on and off the course; and about the sweet-swinging pupils whose swings he could remember and recognize without having seen them for thirty-odd years. He spends much of the book advising "the seasoned player" - whose seasoning is measured not in years but in experience on the links and at the practice tee. His highest praise goes not to any of the champions he trained or Hall of Famers he worked with but to his wife, Helen, who stood by him in thick and thin during his seven decades of service to the game he loved. And the book concludes with the tribute his son, Tinsley, paid him at a gathering of the world's best golf teachers during the week of the 1995 Ryder Cup.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
This is the last collaboration between Penick and Shrake (Little Red Book), since America's most famed golf coach died last year at age 90. Here, he restates the linchpin of his philosophy: namely, that golf is primarily a mental game and good shots are envisioned before they are made. But he also has valuable pointers on such matters as grip, stance, backswing and follow-through. However (and this may explain his greatness as a teacher), Penick has no hard-and-fast rules. On many occasions in this collection of anecdotes and bits of advice, he tells of encountering a beginner with unorthodox techniques who nonetheless posted great scores and advises such players never to let anyone fiddle with their games. Among Penick's favorite students in his last years were Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw and Kathy Whitworth, so there seems no room for argument about his pedagogy, just as there is no disputing the love of the game conveyed in this memoir.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is the last collaboration between Penick and Shrake (Little Red Book), since America's most famed golf coach died last year at age 90. Here, he restates the linchpin of his philosophy: namely, that golf is primarily a mental game and good shots are envisioned before they are made. But he also has valuable pointers on such matters as grip, stance, backswing and follow-through. However (and this may explain his greatness as a teacher), Penick has no hard-and-fast rules. On many occasions in this collection of anecdotes and bits of advice, he tells of encountering a beginner with unorthodox techniques who nonetheless posted great scores and advises such players never to let anyone fiddle with their games. Among Penick's favorite students in his last years were Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw and Kathy Whitworth, so there seems no room for argument about his pedagogy, just as there is no disputing the love of the game conveyed in this memoir. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Your last shot at getting golf guidance from a pro (and Ben Crenshaw's mentor) who just died this year.
Bill Ott
The late Harvey Penick, homespun philosopher and beloved golf teacher to such pros as Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite, is perhaps the most unlikely of best-selling authors. Filled with aphorisms like "Take Dead Aim," his "Little Red Book" (1991) of golfing anecdotes and advice became a runaway best-seller a few years ago, and he followed it with two similar and nearly as successful volumes. Now this posthumous effort adds more of the same. What's the appeal? Perhaps it's that golfers, confronted with the infinite frustration of repeating so complex a maneuver as the golf swing, crave the simplicity of Penick's commonsensical approach. In addition, his palpably genuine love of the game can't help but strike a chord with anyone who has ever felt, however fleetingly, the exhilaration that comes with hitting a golf ball as it was meant to be hit. With the upcoming Masters Championship, Penick's name is certain to be on golfers' lips even more than usual, given his close relationship to defending champion Crenshaw, whose triumph last year came in the wake of Penick's death. Expect demand to increase when the azaleas bloom in Augusta.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830042593
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Pages: 208

Meet the Author

Harvey Penick lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife Helen. This is his first book.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Dreamer Sees the Real Thing

A fellow drove into the parking lot of our Pete Dye course beside the river. He parked his Mercedes-Benz with California plates in the shade of our live oak trees and walked into the golf shop and asked to see my son Tinsley, the head pro.

This visitor was a good-looking man with an athletic build. His clothes were top quality. His shoes were shined. His face glowed with health. Tinsley invited him into the grill room so they could have a glass of iced tea at a comfortable table while he waited to hear what the man wanted.

"When I was a kid, I was a terrific player," began his story. "Junior championships, state high school champ, played for a university team that did well in the nationals. Got married my senior year. I wanted to try the pro tour, but instead I started in sales for my father-in-law's company and made more money playing golf with clients my first year than any rookie on the pro tour made grinding his heart out.

"I've kept my game in good shape. My handicap is a traveling 4. In the last year, I've had a 68 at the Old Course, a 70 at Pebble Beach, a 70 at Pine Valley, for example, and there was one great day when I shot a 67 at Riviera. For a CEO who has made more money than he knows what to do with, and also has a handsome wife and family, I can really play golf."

Tinsley congratulated him on his success.

"But I'm not satisfied," the fellow said.

"Why not?" Tinsley asked.

"I still want to play on the pro tour."

Tinsley drank his tea and waited.

"This is no pipedream," the fellow said. "I'm talking about the Senior Tour. I'm forty-three years old. I have sold my company for a very large sum. I'm free now to do whatever I want. My plan is to move my family here and buy a house beside your golf course.

"Every morning for the next seven years I will show up on your doorstep, rain or shine. I want daily lessons from you, and I'd like your father to check me every week or so. I'll hit five hundred practice balls a day. I'll play golf every day from the tips on this very tough course. Soon as I reach the age of fifty, I'll turn pro and join the Senior Tour. I'll pay you and your father whatever you ask, if you'll agree to get me ready. What do you say?"

Tinsley didn't need long to think it over.

"Let me tell you about one of our club members," Tinsley said. "Like you, he's forty-three years old, and he's made all the money he'll ever need. He has a handsome wife and family. He practices golf every day, and he plays golf nearly every day. He's getting ready for the Senior Tour in seven more years. At this tough golf course, his handicap is a plus-4. He is your competition. He is the player you are going to have to learn to beat if you are going to go on the Senior Tour. I really don't want to spend seven years of my life trying to help you to do that. Not for any price.

"There's the man I'm talking about — he's sitting over by the window, eating a club sandwich."

Tinsley gestured toward Tom Kite.

Copyright © 1996 by Bud Sharake, Helen Penick and the Estate of Harvey Penick

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Table of Contents

Foreword
The Dreamer Sees the Real Thing
What a Good Grip Can Do for You
Keeping the Edge
Point of View
Jackie's Way
Leaping Lucifer
The Natural
The Barbed Wire Line
Make the Course a Pleasure
Crushed by Crunch
Mental Cases
Where Your Hands Should Be
Rock Solid Putting
To the Finish
Have Fun
Matters of Style
Under Pressure
Sending For John
A Good Day at Cherry Hills
Your Game Can Fit the Course
Fairway Bunker Play
Greenside Bunkers
The Left Wrist
A Visit with Young Hal
Match Play
Bucket Head
Ezar the Wizard
The Boy from Missouri
Practice? What's That?
Jess Kept Playing
Counting Greens
Cotton on the Steel Shaft
Short Game Touch
So Use a Broom
The Right Way to Waggle
Learning Young
Advising Kirby
Helen, the Recruiter
Yoga
I Wonder Why
Pick It Up
The Great One's Tricks
Impact Drills
Try a Little Closer
A Grip Check
Reassurance
Jones's Rules and One More
Luck
A Word from the Wise
Get It Close
The Remarkable Cherry
Thumbing It
Waxo's Puzzle
The Cookie Bakers
Observation
The Initiation
The Path to Success
She Learned the Best Way
A Motto
Walter's Way
Forty More Yards for Bobby
The Lesson for Today
Be Mindful
Make It a Game
Three Most Common Faults
Fifty More Yards for John
Practice It First
Take It to the Course
The Gold Dust Twin
Treat the Easy Ones with Respect
Scholarships
Bibb's Cure for Lungers
You're on Your Own
His Money's Worth
Hit the Can
More Distance
Saving the Cow
Jimmy Would Have Changed His Grip
The First Team
Jimmie Connolly
LookAgain
Hazards
Strike a Match
Not Quite Gentlemen
Salute from a Friend
Willie the Weeper
Too Far Forward
Ralph and Howard
Harvey Penick Award Dinner, 1994
A Mystery Is Solved
Solid
Check Your Hips
The Trouble with Money
Reading the Mountain
Good Putters Have Faith
In Byron's Prime
Who Is Talking Here?
Use a Tee
Charlie the Ballplayer
Brownie
For the Tall Player
Thoughts on Taking Dead Aim
A Bow to Jack O'Brien
Talking to Terry
The Bullfighter
Just an Inch or So
Born in Scotland
Memorial Park
Wild Bill
Horton and Lema
Horton and Grace
The "I" in Maxfli
Bob Watson
The Masters Champion
Helen
Epilogue
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First Chapter

Chapter 1 The Dreamer Sees the Real Thing

A fellow drove into the parking lot of our Pete Dye course beside the river. He parked his Mercedes-Benz with California plates in the shade of our live oak trees and walked into the golf shop and asked to see my son Tinsley, the head pro.

This visitor was a good-looking man with an athletic build. His clothes were top quality. His shoes were shined. His face glowed with health. Tinsley invited him into the grill room so they could have a glass of iced tea at a comfortable table while he waited to hear what the man wanted.

"When I was a kid, I was a terrific player," began his story. "Junior championships, state high school champ, played for a university team that did well in the nationals. Got married my senior year. I wanted to try the pro tour, but instead I started in sales for my father-in-law's company and made more money playing golf with clients my first year than any rookie on the pro tour made grinding his heart out.

"I've kept my game in good shape. My handicap is a traveling 4. In the last year, I've had a 68 at the Old Course, a 70 at Pebble Beach, a 70 at Pine Valley, for example, and there was one great day when I shot a 67 at Riviera. For a CEO who has made more money than he knows what to do with, and also has a handsome wife and family, I can really play golf."

Tinsley congratulated him on his success.

"But I'm not satisfied," the fellow said.

"Why not?" Tinsley asked.

"I still want to play on the pro tour."

Tinsley drank his tea and waited.

"This is no pipedream," the fellow said. "I'm talking about the Senior Tour. I'm forty-three years old. I have sold my company for a very large sum. I'm free now to do whatever I want. My plan is to move my family here and buy a house beside your golf course.

"Every morning for the next seven years I will show up on your doorstep, rain or shine. I want daily lessons from you, and I'd like your father to check me every week or so. I'll hit five hundred practice balls a day. I'll play golf every day from the tips on this very tough course. Soon as I reach the age of fifty, I'll turn pro and join the Senior Tour. I'll pay you and your father whatever you ask, if you'll agree to get me ready. What do you say?"

Tinsley didn't need long to think it over.

"Let me tell you about one of our club members," Tinsley said. "Like you, he's forty-three years old, and he's made all the money he'll ever need. He has a handsome wife and family. He practices golf every day, and he plays golf nearly every day. He's getting ready for the Senior Tour in seven more years. At this tough golf course, his handicap is a plus-4. He is your competition. He is the player you are going to have to learn to beat if you are going to go on the Senior Tour. I really don't want to spend seven years of my life trying to help you to do that. Not for any price.

"There's the man I'm talking about -- he's sitting over by the window, eating a club sandwich."

Tinsley gestured toward Tom Kite.

Copyright © 1996 by Bud Sharake, Helen Penick and the Estate of Harvey Penick

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