March 4, 2005
Each year the major book publishers add a dozen or so golf books to the long list of titles devoted to the sport.
In addition, some intrepid golf writers are taking advantage of the Internet’s ability to reach a wide audience, and are self-publishing their own offerings.
For example, if you know an aspiring beginning golfer, or know a teenager who’s utterly smitten by the golf bug, Joe Romano’s Golf Wit & Wisdom ($14.95 SRP) might be a nice gift idea.
Romano will never be confused with John Feinstein or Bob Cullen. Nonetheless, he’s done some nice work in laying out several basic bits of knowledge that will help inexperienced golfers learn more about their new game. The short paperback covers such topics as the USGA handicap system, golf ball and club design and standards, and a short history of golf.
The glossary Romano provides in Chapter 7 is perhaps the most useful part of the book for new golfers, however. I can recall hearing golf terms I never heard before during my first few years of playing the game. Sometimes I’d be a little shy in asking what these guys meant. Having this common-sense alphabetized combination of golf slang and technical terms handy would have helped.
For experienced golfers, this book doesn’t cover any new ground. For those just starting out, however, Romano’s little guide should help them appreciate some of the intricacies of their new sport.
The other self-published book I can recommend is the Juggo Golf Group’s You Might Be a Hack If ($3.95 e-book, $12.95 softbound).
This book recognizes that while almost all golfers really love the game, this fact does not make all golfers lovable.
Some, in fact, could try the patience of Job.
Anyone who’s played golf long enough has experienced at least a few of these unfortunate, typically clueless souls. My own pet peeves include those who insist on plumb-bobbing their third (or fourth!) putt, and the ones who insist on providing a immediate shot-by-shot analysis of their game, as they play it.
The usual hints don’t work, because these folks are beyond redemption.
A group of Illinois golfers decided to do something about these blots on the golfing universe. They took a routine golf epithet, “hacker”, shortened it, and devoted several 19th hole sessions to identifying dozens of different ways in which someone could be justifiably called a “hack”.
They also came up with certain warning signs that one is approaching hack status, while in other circumstances there is little doubt about one’s hackness. To aid in comprehension, their little book is broken down into these two broad categories, one following the other in roughly parallel form.
You might be a HACK if…
You pump your fist after making a putt.
You are a HACK if…
The putt you made was from three feet for triple bogey.
The men who put this book together have done a tremendous public service for the rest of us, while providing several laugh-out-loud moments during the short time it takes to read it all.
We may not be able to do much about the Hacks we encounter, but at least we’ve been given ample and amusing warning about our own potential Hack status.
It won’t help the true Hacks among us, but at least the rest of us can smile as our patience is sorely tested.
Pete Oakley’s Excellent Champions Tour Adventure
Pete Oakley had a much better week on the Champions Tour at the rain-shortened Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am held at the TPC of Tampa Bay, Florida from February 25 through February 28.
The Rookery’s Director of Golf quietly shot a two-under par total of 140 in tough conditions that eventually forced the Champions Tour to limit the competition to 36 holes, eventually won by Hale Irwin with a 6-under score.
Oakley’s tie for 16th place earned him a very pleasant $23,386,66.66.
This week he’s in Barbados, playing in the opening season tournament of the European Senior Tour at the Royal Westmoreland GC.