Harvey Penick was one of golf’s most sought after teachers. He passed on his golfing wisdom to countless players of varying degrees from people just picking up a club to to winning professionals. What made him an enigmatic teacher was that he did not publish. That is until his famous Little Red Book. And until the second tome in this collection, And if You Play Golf, You’re My Friend.
And If You Play Golf, You’re My Friend follows the same pattern of as the Little Red Book Harvey’s observations, memorable lessons, character remembrance, and golf’s purest basic. The book lacks a common thread or narrative and is more of a stream of golfing consciousness. Each section can last a paragraph or three pages at the most. Despite the concise style, the voice is casual and feels like you are sitting in the shade with Harvey listening to him recount his golfing life on a lazy Texas summer afternoon.
My Favorite Passage by Harvey Penick
There are several passages about correcting golfers with simple observations or admitting he had nothing to offer. My favorite passage applies to the casual golfer who is intimidated by better golfers. Harvey addresses this silly idea:
Poor players usually seem embarrassed to play with good players.
The fact is that you may not be good enough to play with good players, but no one will notice if you keep up.
The good players are not going to be watching you and criticizing your swing. They have their own game to deal with.Keep It Moving
This is a lesson to play your game and play at a proper pace. You might find playing with good players elevates your game too.
Buy, Borrow, or Bypass
I would recommend you borrow this book. It is a quick read. I knocked out the second half of the book on a rainy afternoon at Sea Island. The Little Red Book offered better insight in my opinion. I gleamed plenty of nuggets from this book though so it will sit proudly on my golf book shelf.