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Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf Paperback – May 19, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684859246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684859248
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Before titanium drivers, before oversized heads and bubble shafts, before electronic systems to tell you how far you are from the pin, golf was much the same game it is today. The lessons Harvey Penick taught in the pre-gadget days still stand. The golf swing is basically the same, and Penick could teach it better than anybody. For most of his life, he never intended to publish his Little Red Book, a notebook of golf wisdom and anecdotes that he compiled with the idea that he'd pass it on to his son. But, for the sake of history, it's a good thing that he changed his mind. Contained in its 175 pages is just about all you need to know about golf from a technical standpoint, along with Penick's priceless memories of working with famous pros, teaching absolute nobodies to get the ball in the air, and finding a horde of bat guano and hauling it across town in a pickup truck to fertilize his golf course. This book makes you feel good about playing golf, that you're part of something steeped in ritual and mystery and tradition, and that the game was played perfectly well before perimeter-weighted, graphite-shafted irons came along. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Penick, a golf instructor who has been credited with improving the scores of several professionals on the mens and ladies' tours (including Tom Kite and Sandra Palmer) here provides both physical and psychological tips for golfers. He also instructs on the preparation required before approaching the first tee. Though the value of this book is its information, libraries owning previous works on the mental aspects of golf (e.g., Peter Cranford's The Winning Touch in Golf: A Psychological Approach , 1961. o.p.) can pass. Illustrations not seen.
- Jim Paxman, Tennessee State Univ., Nashville
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Great tips on how to improve your golf game.
Z. X. Hall
It's a good book, but you have to read it more one time to discover in some cases what Harvey is trying to say you.
Beber Daniel
I read this book many years ago when I played golf twice a week.
Dean T

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By John IV on September 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ben Crenshaw doubled over and openly wept after holing out to win the 1995 Masters tournament. His golf teacher, friend, and father figure Harvey Penick had passed away shortly before the tourney. Ben felt that Harvey was `guiding' him in the final rounds, and the emotions finally overtook him. The impact of the moment was very touching, but it wasn't until I finished Harvey's Little Red book that I began to understand the poignancy of the connection. The 90-year-old Penick had taught Ben since Ben was 7. The little red book of the title is the notebook, journal, and freeform diary of Mr. Penick. Compiled from golf observations throughout his life, it was only in his waning years that he agreed to allow anyone to see it. What a treat and a privilege it was to read. This is a wonderful piece of literature. Having recently completed Hogan and Armour's instructional guides, this was an excellent follow up. Not nearly as meticulously mechanical and cold as Hogan, nor as blandly wandering as Armour, Penick's actual instruction is extremely straightforward in its scope. I also think that the longer one has played golf the greater one appreciates this work. Not written strictly for the beginner, as the other two books are, Harvey comments not only on instruction and mechanics, but also course design, tournaments, hustlers, metaphorical imagery, and caddying in the early part of the century. Throughout the book, his love of teaching and his immense pride in his pupils continues to carry the theme, allowing one to understand the connection he had with his students. Having become extremely weary of the cloying media and corporate anointment of T. Woods, reading about golf as seen through Harvey Penick's eyes was a much-needed tonic. Highly recommended.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Boy Howdy! I've been playing golf for two years now, and like other golfers who've started playing the game, I too watch The Golf Channel religiously looking for every possible tip to help with my swing. Reading golf magazines, and the like. Well,this past spring I purchased The Little Red Book, and it along with two other books written by Mr. Penick, are the only books on golf I have, and I don't need no more. I'm telling you,as you read this book, it's like Mr. Penick is right there with you, helping you to "Be At Ease" and to "Take Dead Aim". I love the Slow Motion Drill, and it's my goal to purchase a weighted club and use the drill extensively during the off season. Most of all, I plan to devote as much time as possible to my short game, because Mr. Penick is right when he says a twenty foot putt is more psychologically damaging to an opponent than a 270 yard drive off the tee. I carry "The Little Red Book" with me every day along with my Bible in my book bag. Sound crazy, but that's how I feel about Harvey Penick. In fact when people ask me if I have an instructor, I tell them it's Harvey Penick..
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book two years ago. I saw it on the shelf of my local book store and thought I would see if he could help where all others had failed. Two years and twelve strokes off my handicap later, I can honestly say his methods and teachings work. But this book is about more than fixing the problems of you golf game. This book is about life. If I had never improved my golf game one iota, I can say that I still got more from this book to help me with my personal life than I ever could from another self-help book. His teaching and his lifestyle were simple. His outlook on life had one important credo, "Take Dead Aim!" With his teachings and those words as my mantra, I have not only improved the quality of my golf game but I have improved the quality of my life. This book is a testament to the fact that not all things in life can be had by making more money than the other guy, but rather by finding what you like to do (play golf), work at being the best you can be (practice), and then treating others as you would be treated were you in their shoes. A must have for not only any golfer interested in improving their game, but for anyone. He says himself that these words are nothing more that the thoughts and teachings of an over-grown caddy, but beleive me this is one caddy with the wisdom that can only come from years being true to himself and the game he loved.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Maybe it's a coincidence, but I lost 10 strokes off my game during the week I read this book and put it into my practice routine. If you will actually practice the drills in this book your game will improve. If nothing else, it's entertaining reading!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Franklin T. Hamilton on December 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
home for the holidays, i found my copy of this book dad had given me when it was first published in 1993, i believe. i've probably not even looked at it in well over 10 years; but i immediately read the whole thing in one sitting and it is just as wonderful now as it was when i was a kid.

when i first read it all those years ago, i'd been stuck in all sorts of technical instruction from the time i first picked up a club when i was 7 or 8 years old. at the time; i was a pretty good junior golfer but a buddy of mine was a bit better and all i wanted to do was beat him on the course. it was this book that really opened my eyes to the true heart of the game. i simply forgot all the intensely technical garbage and focused purely on just swinging the club - "clipping the tee" as harvey had put it. within a little more than a year, i was nearly scratch and a starter on my high school golf team. and, yep, became a fierce competitor with my buddy. it was also around that time i beat my dad for the first time.

this book totally made me see the game in a different way that's stuck with me ever since.

if you want a bunch of technical garbage that forces you into ridiculous positions that really do not, nor ever will, actually help your game - do not bother with this book. you'll be sorely disappointed. plenty of money has been made by so-called teachers convincing people there's more to swinging a golf club than just SWINGING A GOLF CLUB and most other books (one notable exception being tom watson's strategic golf - a great book about actually playing the game and focusing very little on swing instruction ) are no different.

fact is - it really is that simple. harvey knew this and it's that knowledge that makes this book so great.
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