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The Mystery Of Golf [Kindle Edition]

Arnold Haultain
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.30
Kindle Price: $4.29
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Book Description

Arnold Haultain (1857 – 1941) was born in India. His parents were British and he lived in Canada. He was a member of the Toronto Golf Club where he regularly played golf. It is reported that "he worked very diligently, for many years writing ‘The Mystery of Golf.’ " He published 36 books in all during his lifetime. John Updike, when reviewing this work stated that it, "Goes to the heart of golf’s peculiar lovability and enduring fascination."

This work on golf, originally published in 1908, contains 91 short chapters ranging in topics such as; The Layman's Ignorance, The Fascination of Golf, The Difficulties of Golf, Golf really a Serious Game, "Looking" versus "Thinking", What makes a Golfer, Anatomical Explanations, The Mind and the Body, The Stroke, a Seven-fold Process, The Follow-through, Practice versus Theory, The Waggle, Putting, Influence of Mind on Body, Chance in Golf, Uniqueness of Golf, The Trajectory, The Joy of Combat, The Two Essentials, and, The Ultimate Analysis. All these topics and more are helpful even now to golfers that are interested in understanding the game more in depth.


......THREE things there are as unfathomable as they are fascinating to the masculine mind: metaphysics, golf, and the feminine heart. The Germans, I believe, pretend to have solved some of the riddles of the first, and the French to have unraveled some of the intricacies of the last; will some one tell us wherein lies the extraordinary fascination of golf?

...... Putting is a fine art. It requires the most delicate and educated touch. To measure the precise amount of force necessary to propel your ball (with a certain spin), five feet ---- fifty feet..... this is not learned in a fortnight. One putter, I remember whose putting was a delight to the eye, he seemed positively to infuse sight and intelligence into his ball. The way that simple sphere would start from his club, mount an incline, negotiate a curve, look for the hole, and, endowed with some curious spin, drop unhesitatingly in without dreaming for a moment of rimming it or running over it or stopping short of it, was a sight to make one wise. It taught one that even on the green ---- perhaps especially on the green, there was scope, and abundance of scope, for the play of the subtlest and most intelligent skill.

...... "Putting in golf," said he whom I regard as at once one of the greatest exemplars and one of the greatest exponents of golf, "putting in golf is a game within another game." That is exceptionally well put. So many men take such extraordinary pains to reach the greens in as few strokes as possible, then forget that, unless they take just such pains, it will cost them as many strokes more to hole-out, and all the previous care is thus rendered nugatory and vain. A new combat commences on the green; and unless you are as keen, as alert, as steady, and as attentive in it as you were in your long game, the excellence of your long game counts for nothing.

......Golf is a peculiar game — a very peculiar game. To the onlooker, no doubt, it seems to be one of the silliest and stupidest of games. To the player, golf seems to contain within itself the quintessential attribute of all games; so much so, indeed, that the golfer thinks that he who would or could wholly explain the inner and hidden nature of golf would explain the, inner and hidden nature of all games.

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Editorial Reviews Review

Originally published in 1908, The Mystery of Golf was the first book to seriously ruminate over that problematic region known as the golfer's mind and the obsessive hold the game has on it. Haultain suggests there are three unfathomables that have gripped the minds of men: metaphysics, golf, and the female heart. "The Germans, I believe, pretend to have solved some of the riddles of the first," he writes, "and the French to have unraveled some of the intricacies of the last; will someone tell us," he pleads almost rhetorically, "wherein lies the extraordinary fascination of golf?"

Of course, Haultain goes on to do just that, and John Updike, for one, raves about the effort. "The book's core," writes the prose master of Golf Dreams, "is pure gold.... Haultain goes to the heart of golf's peculiar loveability and enduring fascination." Much has changed in the game since Haultain penned this delightfully quaint tome, except for that elusive heart, which remains every bit as peculiar and enduring as it was when Haultain first opened it up for examination. --Jeff Silverman


"Golfers and lovers of language will adore this 1908 volume." Publishers Weekly

"Goes to the heart of golf's peculiar lovability and enduring fascination." -- John Updike

"THE MYSTERY OF GOLF states with great eloquence this hard-learned truth about golf -- even though we often fail in our attempts to master this game, we find in its many secrets a better definition of ourselves." -- Hale Irwin

Product Details

  • File Size: 179 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Digital Text Publishing Company (January 8, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IEAES2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,196 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in a neat new edition April 17, 2000
By A Customer
This little book, written in 1908, says everything that"Golf in the Kingdom" had to say 70 years later, but it saysit more clearly and succinctly. It is basically a love letter to golf -- don't look for instruction or anything like that. It captures the essence of golf without becoming as incomprehensible as a zen koan. The author was a Canadian scholar who took up golf in middle age and pondered why the game had become such an obsession. Despite the dissimilarity between the game in 1908 and the game today, it is amazing how many of the author's insights still hold true (virtually all of them, with the notable exception of his misguided belief that the game would never descend to the level of crass profesionalism). Even though he was not an accomplished player, he had a real understanding of and feel for the game... This has been compared to Izaak Walton's "The Compleat Angler," and you should be forewarned that the prose is sometimes archaic and demands careful reading. Anyway, if you've played golf for any length of time, you'll surely find this more worthwhile and enjoyable than the latest book of tips from some PGA nonentity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haultain's Comet August 23, 2000
As a golfer, have you ever wished that you could go back to the early 20th century, and play the game as it was played then? Does the smell of hickory and balata put you in mind of Ouimet, Vardon, Ray and Jones? What is it about golf that creates in its adherents a love for the game bordering on obsession? Settle down of an evening with Arnold Haultain's "The Mystery of Golf" and you shall have a very pleassant evening indeed. The book will make you long for those halcyon days of golf, from 1890 to 1930, when the golfiong heroes bestrode America and Britain like Titans. Read it, and then consider: Where is Haultain now, when we need him most?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All aspects of golf are poetically demystified to a degree September 22, 2008
All the mysteries of golf are probed: physiological, physical, spirituality and the author does not forget to tell you to keep your head down and your eye on the the ball until the swing is completed. Words can only partly explain golf (the full experience of the mystery, of course can only be gained from actually playing) and this little book does that part extremely well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this Book hits the Green 2ft from target April 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i took a chance buying this ebook, but my the gamble was rewarded with quite an exposition on what Golf can do to a human being. It has been thoroughly entertaining, the purpose of most bedside readers. It also has brought together how & what a game can do to influence thought and action beyond the links.
It just really underlines why i and so many love the game. A good read, though some of the english is 30's archaic; have to do a double-take on some of the phrases used and their meaning or writers intent. Adds to the spiciness though!
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