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One of the longer paperbacks in this category, Bobby Jones on Golf is a top golfing classic read. Robert Tyre Jones, A.K.A., Bobby Jones, was an amateur champion between 1923 and 1930. Because of his competitive ability to win and then win again, he set the standard for golf as we now know it. Jones played his first major tournament at age 14, the US Amateur and finished in the top 10. He was an intelligent man with first class honor degrees in Law, English Literature and Mechanical Engineering. Jones was most famous for his Grand Slam where he won all 4 major tournaments in one year, 1930. His short career was ended at age 28 when he decided to give up competitive golf and produce the first golf instruction videos that ran in theatres, called "How I play Golf". This high-achieving golfer is well known for his high standards when it comes to sportsmanship. Because of a penalty he gave himself for a slight movement on the ball, not knowing he would lose the tournament by one stroke, the USGA's Sportsmanship Award is named after him. When he was commended for his gesture, he simple said "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank."
Being the best amateur golfer to ever play the game, this book will inspire readers no end. With illustrations by Anthony Ravielli and a foreward by Charles Price, the fifteen chapters cover a comprehensive catalogue of advice and technical guidance, as well as helping to understand the game's amateur appeal. Chapter one begins with getting the feel of the club. Chapter two goes on to help you with placing your feet and finding a comfortable stance. The next thing to master is backswing, which is explained in chapter three. The next chapters go into finer subjects of finding your own style and more detailed advice on mechanics. Chapter six is a comprehensive guide to putting. The miscellaneous subjects of "the straight left arm" and "delaying the shot" and "hitting from the inside" are discussed in chapter seven. Twelve pages are devoted to power and hitting the drive down the fairway. This mostly a technical manual but a little bit of psychology is added to chapter ten in the aspect of recovery shots and "the mental side of bunkers". The esoteric topics of the amateur game are dealt with in chapter eleven, with "getting that certain feel", "resourcefulness and judgement" and "the value of simplicity". Later chapters tackle tournament preparation and the competitive attitude.
Although there will be some information that is somewhat dated in terms of equipment and modern golf courses, for the most part this is an extremely valuable guide. There will never be another Bobby Jones. In terms of writing style, the book is somewhat technical and economical in speech and may be considered a little dry compared to some of the other "grandfathers of golf" classics. But it is also more comprehensive, and the chapters are not too long to send you off to sleep. There are some illustrations, but mostly the guidance is described in clear written instructions. It depends on how you prefer to learn, but some may prefer a more visual approach. Nonetheless, every keen golfer should have a copy of Bobby Jones on Golf on their shelf. Pop him on your Kindle, check out some vintage footage of the man himself on the Internet and you have brought him right up to date.
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