Jump to content
IGNORED

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


iacas
 Share

Recommended Posts

Like any instruction book, I think you have to pick out the points that pertain to you. The Red Book has some things that help my game as well as the Five Fundamentals (Hogan) and I also like the Sam Snead book. How to Play your Best Golf by Tommy Armour is a good one also. I think you read them all and take a the pieces that you need. Like Harvey says "When you have a headache, don't take the whole bottle of aspirin".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • 3 months later...

Just read this again last night.  I read it before the start of every golf season; it's my favorite golf book of all time.

Still trying to figure out if there's any truth in his "all greens break to the west" theory.  I know it isn't true everywhere, because of mountains, bodies of water on course, but is it generally true?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Administrator
Originally Posted by albatross

Still trying to figure out if there's any truth in his "all greens break to the west" theory.  I know it isn't true everywhere, because of mountains, bodies of water on course, but is it generally true?

No.

Why such weird things continue to live on is beyond me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • 3 weeks later...

I actually like his second book better, "And If You Play Golf, You're My Friend". Those of you who like the Red Book should definitely check it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Agree with fishinjdb.

I have read 'The Little Red Book' about 10 years ago. A golfing buddy recommended it to me after observing that I was short on confidence and second guessing my swing all the time. It must have been one of the best, if not the best self help book for golfers.

I think it lets you feel better about yourself and at the same time, teaches you something about golf. It doesn't screw your swing in giving you swing instructions but it changes your outlook about golf in a positive way. Golf doesn't have to be complicated and Harvey had managed to conveyed it so effectively.

Highly recommended for any golfer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I've read 3 of these books and they are all wonderful. Good to relax with. Some books that deal with golf instruction are irritating, keep you puzzling over what was said. The 5 books with Bud Shrake are not like that at all. But they are not all feel-good pablum; there's good advice among the golf lore.

I don't follow all the advice. For example I do not use a "strong grip" but a completely neutral one, on the basis that fixes like that do not address swing flaws leading to a slice for example.

I like it when Harvey tells a pupil that his job is done, that she is going to be her own coach. So should we all be our own coaches. There's too much relying on experts.

Bud Shrake btw died back in, was it 2010? Pennick and Shrake, two Texans who meshed well. Like to find more of Shrake's sports books.

BTW, another book I ike was one by Arnold Palmer that came out in the 1990s. Liked Palmer's swing advice: Take a good grip and keep your head still, don't worry about anything else.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • 5 months later...
Just read this again last night.  I read it before the start of every golf season; it's my favorite golf book of all time.

Still trying to figure out if there's any truth in his "all greens break to the west" theory.  I know it isn't true everywhere, because of mountains, bodies of water on course, but is it generally true?


I get a kick out of announcers comments when a player misses a putt on some courses. "he should know that everything breaks towards the green river" or "away from saddle back mountain". Courses usually use the natural contours of the local geography so in a general sense they might be right,  the putts typically will break away from the highest local point towards the lowest local point. But as a fan of physics and a frequent victim of gravity, I can promise you the putt will always break towards the point closer to the center of the earth along the line of the putt. Even if that's towards a mountain or away from a river or lake.

Harvey's point may be more of a homage to the grain of the green leaning towards the setting sun.

I still reread the Little Red Book on occasion, the man was a treasure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • 2 weeks later...

So you've read through five pages of people almost universally saying they love The Little Red Book.  As soon as I hit Submit I'm going to turn around and pull my copy off the book shelf for another read.  If you don't have it, just go buy the darn book!  It'll almost certainly be good for you, and if you like golf you can't hardly avoid enjoying the read.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Harvey Penick's books are great.  As a PGA professional, you often times get too wrapped up in the deep details and forget how to clearly communicate the swing to others.  I always find his book as a great reality check and a great way for me to remember to keep it simple with students! If you don't have any of them I strongly suggested getting them.  And if you do have them......pull them out and remember how simple the game can be at times!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • 6 months later...

on chapter 29 now.....disappointed theres no pictures to help. and the chapter on grip was more or less unhelpfull.

The book doesnt really seem to teach things for beginners, its more ramblings from things he taught young pros. Not very impressed at the moment, the first 29 chapters hasnt taught me anything. The book is very vague, and not direct in showing what to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • 2 years later...
  • Moderator
(edited)

Loved it - read it multiple times over the years and lent it out to several buddies. Most memorable points:

1.Take Dead Aim

2.Don't hit the ball, but rather swing and let the ball get in the way

He will be missed

Edited by woodzie264
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • 4 months later...

Liked the anecdotal story about hitting different irons/wedges at the same target. Tried that yesterday. Put a whole new perspective on using a 7 iron on a 50 yard target

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • 4 months later...

I have to say that I'm very surprised by the number of positive reviews on this book, particularly by members of this site.  First I'll say that I'm sure Harvey was a great guy and probably a really good instructor.  But this book?  There is nothing to it.  

It's got tons of outdated conventional wisdom that goes against most of the principles of TST/LSW.  The modern writers (Erik, Broadie, etc) actually have real data on these things whereas folks in Harvey's day relied on feels and guesswork for things like course strategy, relative importance of the short game, and even swing mechanics.  That's fine - Harvey was doing the best he could with the tools at his disposal, but we have better data, better tools, and frankly better books now.  

For 10 bucks and the hour it took me to scan through it, the book didn't cause me much harm. Some of the anecdotes and homespun style can be amusing.  His tales of golf from 30's were interesting to me, as that's not a topic that gets a lot of coverage.  But as a golf improvement book?  I think it's almost a complete waste.  "Take dead aim."  Sure, but that's more of a bumper sticker than a book.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    Whoop
    SuperSpeed
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasjun21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

    • less palmy at top of backswing?
    • The single largest improvement to my game was the result of learning the single plane swing. This was years ago, back when Natural Golf was the thing, however I've been using the principles ever since. Maybe next year for my 75th I'll go to one of Todd Graves schools. 
    • In my world of fantasy football people were killing Elliot because of his lack of points, What none of them care about was the man-sized job he did with pass blocking that kept Dak upright and slinging those passes. That said, I got the man on one of my rosters, so I'm hoping that game script is very different going forward.
    • I got a bag full of clubs, but practically I almost never use  the 3W, 4I, 6I or my LW. I also got an old model Taylormade burner bubble driver that hasn't left the bag since April. Some of it has to do with the shots I tend to hit at the home course, so the 6I and LW are rarely needed. ... But the 3W and 4I are just clubs that I don't hit well enough to bother with.  
    • Day 3 - worked on PP (straighter right elbow) 
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Avanh
      Avanh
      (34 years old)
    2. DesertTime
      DesertTime
      (73 years old)
    3. Kersys
      Kersys
      (30 years old)
    4. takemoney
      takemoney
      (30 years old)
    5. trapdodger
      trapdodger
      (50 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...