What does a lifetime of knowledge of golf nurtured by years of playing and teaching look like? It is a book filled with insights and stories of some of the best golfers who every played written like you are having a conversation with a sage in rocking chairs looking over the 18th putting green. That is Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book.
Harvey Penick lived a life in golf that is the envy of anyone who loves the game. He did not wins countless titles on tour but instead nurtured his love of golf in generations of golfers through teaching all levels of golfers. His students ranged from top tour players to casual golfers who took lessons from him. To see Harvey’s deep impact on some of the greats of the game, just read the foreword of the book. The book contains passages where Harvey beams about tour player wins and first time players doing their best.
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book Structure
This book is not a comprehensive golf how to manual step by step broken-down in chapter by swing elements or game strategy. For decades, Harvey jotted down his thoughts and teaching wisdom in a book he shared with no one. Then with the help of his son, he shared his golf insight with the world. These bite size passages allow you to digest them but Harvey had a warning to all about using instruction not specific to you:
Because it worked for Jack doesn’t mean it is good for you.
Discover your own truth and also use a professional to look at your individual swing for a personalized solution.
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book Favortie Passages
One bit of great advice for those interested in drawing their kids into golf on how to proper introduce them to golf:
If a beginner tries to learn the game at the tee and move on toward the green, postponing the short game until last, this is one beginner who will be lucky ever to beat anyone.
What I like to see is a youngster learning the game on the practice green with one chipping club, a putter, and one golf ball.
Harvey also offered some of the best advice for anyone whose game is slumping:
If you play poorly one day, forget it.
If you play poorly the next time out, review your fundamentals of grip, stance, and ball position. Most mistakes are made before the club is swung.
If you play poorly for a third time in a row, go see your professional.
No wiser words have ever been written about golf.
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book Worth the Purchase?
This book is not a one and done read but a reference tool that needs to be on your book shelf. Read it over the winter and ponder how you will execute come spring. Mid season, pick it up again and thumb through it for something to ring true to you.
Harvey Penick never stopped teaching and never stopped learning. We should all be so wise.