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"The Little Red Book" (and His Other Books) by Harvey Penick


iacas
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My dad and I learned the game together through that book, and I still keep some of the same swing thoughts from the book 15 years later. I think the beauty of the book is that even if you take only one or two thoughts from the book, it's still a worth-while read. And if you do learn something, don't take the whole bottle of aspirin :)
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  • 4 weeks later...
All year as I return to this game I have battled with consistent ball striking and my nasty little hook. At the beginning of the year it was a major swing flaw, but now its clearly mental.

So I popped into the book store yesterday thinking I would pick up a book on the mental approach...ie: Zen Golf or Golf is a Game of Confidence. I stood there thumbing through a couple books and of course I have known about The Little Red Book for years, but never read it. I had no intention of buying it I was just curious and picked it up. After reading about 4 pages, I decided I didn't need a mental book I needed this book!

I read about 20-25 pages during my lunch hour. The earliest I can get to any kind of course during the week is about 7pm so I thought what the hell I will go and get 4 or 5 holes in. Well there was nobody on the course and I was able to play 14 holes (walking by the way) in about 2 hours. I thought about 3 things, Hand Position and Taking Dead Aim and Positive Thinking. Best ball striking I have had all year. On a 187 yard par 3, I pured a 6-iron to 10 feet that looked like it landed on velcro. I decided to pull another ball out and try to put the same swing on it and the two balls wound up 8 feet apart, both about 10 feet from the cup.

I feel like the book cleared out my mind. As I was reading it, I felt as though I did many many things that Mr. Penick would approve of with my swing/grip/stance and game in general. I just had a wave of confidence, which has been lost all year. I intend to make this required reading every year before I play a single round of golf.
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  • 2 weeks later...
I like how the book is layed out in small stories. When I am having issues with certain parts of my game and just my state of mind I find it helpful to read a couple stories related ot my issue. I found his tips on grip and carrying the putter in off hand are the two lessons that stick with me.
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his approach to the practice strokes before a put is genius, and has helped me a lot: take 2 practice strokes, as if you're trying to make an invisible ball into the hole, then address your ball and duplicate your last stroke. simple. genius.
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
I picked this book up along with Ben Hogan's five lessons. I haven't touched this one yet because I have been working on the lessons in Bens book and starting my second pass through of 5 lessons but I will be starting on this one here soon probably within the next week.
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  • 1 month later...
Read this book for the first time when i was a child with my grandfather. I would spend Friday Nights with my grandfather, and early Saturday morning we would play golf.

For me, this book still gives great advice that brings me back to basics when I need it, and provides me with great memories of my childhood.
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  • 2 weeks later...
im new to golf, and this book changed my whole view of what i thought golf was. Ben Hogans book is next for me.

I picked this book up along with Ben Hogan's five lessons. I haven't touched this one yet because I have been working on the lessons in Bens book and starting my second pass through of 5 lessons but I will be starting on this one here soon probably within the next week.

As I've mentioned, the Little Red Book is the closest I've ever come to formal golf lessons. I also read a bit of Ben Hogan's book, but they struck me as polar opposites. Mr. Penick is all about feeling the swing, using anecdotes, and never overcomplicating the game of golf. As I started to read Hogan, I felt like I was in my high school physics class. Now that it's been a decade I should circle back and try Hogan again, but I've been very careful to steer clear of anyone who wants to get really technical about the golf swing.

I'd love to know what some others think about this seemingly huge difference in teaching philosophy. Can they complement each other? Or will they just complicate?
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I agree they're very different, but I think they are very complimentary: Hogan's book is all about how to swing the club, while Pennick is more about playing the game. Hogan can help give you the fundamentals, and Pennick helps teach you how to use them.

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His Little Green Book. The man was like a golfing shrink, possibly the best there will ever be at teaching the mental game and life in general. I almost cried with Crenshaw when he won only a week after loosing Harvey. RIP.
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Read the red book, several weeks ago and thought it was a great. What other books by Penick are worthwhile reads?

There's a larger red book, "The Wisdom of Harvey Penick" - I think it's a compilation of his other books.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
His Little Green Book. The man was like a golfing shrink, possibly the best there will ever be at teaching the mental game and life in general. I almost cried with Crenshaw when he won only a week after loosing Harvey. RIP.

I got the same way reading the story (in the green book) about Tom Kite sending his Pebble Beach US Open trophy home to Havey, as Tom had to stay in California for some obligation on Monday. Tom sent the trophy home with his wife with instructions to deliver it to Mr. Penick.

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  • iacas changed the title to "The Little Red Book" (and His Other Books) by Harvey Penick

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