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Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime in Golf started out as a notebook of things that he learned about golf over the years. He opens with, "An old pro told me that originality does not consist of saying what has not been said before; it consists of saying what you have to say that you know to be the truth". This highly coveted little red book was not originally meant for others to see, except for his son, Tinsley. He meant it to be passed on to him so that Tinsley could earn a living from teaching golf with the knowledge and wisdom that his father had gained through his lifetime. Penick claims modestly that what is in his book is not new wisdom but knowledge that has stood the test of time. After years of persuasion, Penick finally gave in and published the much coveted Little Red Book of Golf, mostly because of the joy he found in teaching golf, which he did for 70 years until the day he died.
Readers have commented on what they have learned from this book not just about golf but about life in general. It is an inspirational read, ideal for providing a backdrop for the game. It can also be used as a quick reference, covering techniques such as grip, placing your feet, putting and backspin. While you will learn technique here, the style and format of the book is mostly anecdotal and autobiographical in nature, so for the beginner looking for finer detail you may choose another product in this category to complement your reading list. Even though it is not a technical manual, readers comment that they have gained a lot from re-reading it several times. The writing style and depth of understanding covered by Penick inspires people to go out and use his advice, and then check back and read it again. At 175 pages, this will not take long, but, as he says, it is a compendium of all about simple truths and not meant to be a comprehensive manual.
Each chapter is 1-3 pages long and it is not structured as a goal oriented guide like some of the other products in this category. The humble late great teacher started out as a golf caddy, but was a lifelong member of the Austin Texas Country Club. There is now the Harvey Penick Golf Campus (HarveyPenickGC.com) where his teaching carries on under the guidance of Head Golf Professional Vicki Woodcock, LPGA/PGA. Other than the lessons available there, there are no extra features available with this product. However, as far as quality of teaching goes, this product scores well. Because there are no videos available with this product we have given 3.5 stars for teaching effectiveness, but this is only by comparison with other products offering visual aids. The audio CD version offers great value for money, and if you are outside the US you may consider the audio download. Overall this product is great value for money and of excellent quality. For a little home-spun golfing wisdom, why not read Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf.
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