Book Review: Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Harvey Penick, he was a golf instructor from Texas who was the teacher behind many hall of fame careers. He taught thousands of golfers throughout his seven-decade career, and was a humble man who has a true passion for golf and teaching.
Along the way he kept a small red book, in which he wrote notes. After watching so many golfers through the years, he noticed patterns that led to success amongst his students. He was content to let the book pass down to his children, but was ultimately convinced to publish it in the early 90s. It immediately made him a household name amongst golfers because the book was so insightful and informative. His Little Red Book is a classic that you need to read.
To this day it is on every best seller list, and is considered to be required reading amongst all levels of golfers. I can’t say enough about this book, it’s really incredible. There are small nuggets of wisdom on every single part of the game. There is no mention of complex technical terms, and his advice is as simple as it comes. Just the way I like it!
There are so many areas of this book to learn from, so I will just list some of my favorite quotes to give you an idea of what he has to say. I think everyone who plays golf should read this book at least once.
“When I tell you to take an aspirin, please don’t take the whole bottle. In the golf swing a tiny change can make a huge difference. The natural inclination is to begin to overdo the tiny change that has brought success. So you exaggerate in an effort to improve even more, and soon you are lost and confused again.”
“That’s the thing about golf. Outside of the USGA rule book, there are no indisputable ways the game must be played or learned.”
“For two weeks devote 90 percent of your practice time to chipping and putting, and only 10 percent to the full swing. If you do this, your 95 will turn into a 90.”
“If the average golfer hits the 3-wood off the tee, the shots will on the whole be more successful. What you will miss is maybe that one good driver shot in a round, and it’s not worth it.”
“Play games on the putting green. The more time you spend there, the better golf scores you will turn in.”
I hope you take the opportunity to read this book. It’s going to give you a lot to think about on how to play better golf.