Great Golf Review
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The guy I take golf lessons from keeps telling me that golf is a really simple game; itís just hitting a ball with a stick. He swears that if you give a four-year-old boy a ball and a stick, he could figure out how to hit the ball towards a hole without anybody helping him. Great, I always think, a four-year-old could figure this out, and Iím paying this guy fifty-plus bucks an hour to teach me. That says a lot about my intelligence level.

Great Golf, a first-class coffee table book on golf, probably wonít help my game, either. Unlike Ben Hoganís book, this is not an instructional book on golf. Itís an anthology of magazine articles written (or dictated) by some of the greatest golfers of the past 150 years.

  
 
The book is well thought-out in its design. Each chapterís articles are in chronological order, and the chapters start with the basics of golf (grip, stance, etc.) and move up to the complex aspects (mental preparation, course strategy, and stress management) of the game.

Any level of golfer can learn something from these 127 articles, but newer players should keep in mind that the advice given in one article is often in direct conflict with the advice given in another. The articles literally go back to 1857, and the amazing thing is that golf really hasnít changed that much since then. For all of our new club technology and development of more advanced balls, golf still comes down to getting the fundamentals right. And every golfer who contributed to this book stresses that simple fact.

Annika Sorenstam, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus are the three contributing players who will be most recognizable to the casual golf fan. Great golfers from early generations that are represented include Ben Hogan (how could he not be included?), Sam Snead, Joyce Wethered, Harvey Penick (of course), and the greatest amateur of all time, Bobby Jones. One golfer youíve probably never heard of, H. J. Whigham, describes his revolutionary unified swing in an article from 1897.

Filled with good articles and elegant illustrations, this is a fun book that would make a great gift for the golfer in your life. It will never take the place of a good teaching pro, but itís more help than youíll get from a four-year-old whoís playing with a ball and a stick.

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