Saturday, July 04, 2015

Book Review: "The Flem Cup"

I just got back from a week vacation in an old haunt: Myrtle Beach. The place is set up for golfers...young and old. Now that I am in the family stage of my life, we exhausted all of the very awesome miniature golf courses that make up the Grand Strand. (reviews of these courses coming soon).

But back in my single days, I, and a group of avid golf buddies, hit the formal golf courses that are a very big part of Myrtle Beach's fiber. The 5 hour drive there was full  of anticipation, the 5 hour trip back was full of stories of what happens in Myrtle laughed at.

That is how the book The Flem Cup is set up. It introduces you to the characters that make up this group of avid golfers from across the globe, to get together once a year to play in a bragging rights as to which side of the pond the Flem Cup stays until the next year. Through its 5 years, the Flem Cup
survived through 9/11, diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's, and marital issues.

In the book, are the stories that made up these years, what went on, and the personal journey's the author Scott Dow continues to recognize.

This book helps harken back to those days when buddies would organize golf trips for the golf, and the close friendships that these outings bring. I would recommend this book for those that haven't written their stories yet....because they are there, and like this book tells its story, you never know how they will end.

Keep it in the short-grass,


Friday, June 12, 2015

Book review: You! A Golf Guru!

Last year, my son and I were at an event, and when we came back to the parking lot.... our car... it had a flat tire.

I immediately went into "Dad" mode...scouring the back pages of my memory to remember how to change a tire. After a half hour of pulling tire-changing tools and manuals out of the car and scattering them on the ground to make sense of it all, my son simply said..."Dad, why don't you use the tire pump in the car to pump up the tire?" Yeah,we had this air pump in the car that worked off the lighter...but my son...because he didn't know of any existing tire-changing principles...simply asked the question without regard to the way things are suppose to be done.

Short of it is, the pump worked, and we were able to get on our way and enjoyed the rest of the day.
We  use a phrase from that day...SLOW  DOWN....when faced with a task that seems problematic.

That is how this book hit me...You! A Golf Guru! is a great how-to-be-a-golf-buddy book. It is what you need to know BEFORE you think you need 100's of dollars in lessons. It is a simple book that shows you how to slow down...enjoy the game for what it is, and have more fun for you and your friends that you are playing with.

This is Golf's version of 'How To Win Friends and Influence People'

The book, by author Philip Rennet gives us a collection of story's and observations of how one should approach the game as your game exists now, and learn to enjoy what the game has to offer, while playing your game.

Golf is hard, but it doesn't need to be ruined by bad attitudes that alienate the group...this happens when you think you're playing below your capabilities. This book shows you how to accept your abilities, and work on your foundation of fun!

Read this book before you pay for those lessons of how to play better. Slow down and smell the roses.

Thanks for reading...keep it in the short-grass,


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Book Review: A Difficult Par; Robert Trent Jones Sr and the making of modern Golf

I learned many things while reading A Difficult Par: Bobby Jones the golfer, is not related to the great golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.; Having a long term relationship with a girlfriend in the early 1900's was nearly impossible, detailed by author James Hansen regarding Jones's obsession with Ione Tefft Davis...and their 5 year courtship and many scribed love letter by Jones to her..... I have a new appreciation for the telephone.

The book is for someone who into landscape architecture, and for folks fascinated by how people interacted with each other in the early 1900's.The book follows Jone's like from the time he set eyes on the Statue of Liberty at 6, to when he was called on to develop the Jewels of Alabama which is the Robert Trent Jones Trail.

The book is full of detail of Jone's thought process as he laid out his courses from thought to paper to landscaping.

If you've ever played on a Trent Jones the Trails in Alabama ,then this would be a good book for you to read.

Keep it in the short-grass,


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review: Every Town is a Sports Town

Recently, I was fortunate to receive a preview copy of Every Town is a Sports Town which is a good history book about ESPN. It is about former CEO George Bodenheimer, and how he chose his career path over a couple beers with his Dad, to become employee #130 as a mail clerk.

Back in the day...when I was in grade school I read all kinds of autobiographies, and I loved reading them, I especially enjoyed learning how they got where they are. For ESPN's Bodenheimer, it was being a driver for Dick Vitale that gave him the drive to continue plugging away at his first job out of college. How cool would it be to have Dickie V telling you your Awesome?!

There are some very good nuggets in the book...the first commercial jingle, how Boomer started with the nicknaming of sports figures, the legendary speech of Jimmy V (all royalties to the author goes to the Jimmy V Fund ), and the first meeting with Steve Jobs over the "new" ESPN phone....remember that one?!

The book is more ESPN history than a business book, but it is a very good read because who doesn't want to know how it all began at ESPN? Bodenheimer is the true insider.

Every sports station today can trace its roots to ESPN some way or another. It is truly the leader in sports.

Keep it in the short-grass,


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Review: "Your Short Game Solution"

If I was 15 again, I would want to travel into the future... read, and make notes of, this great instruction manual "Your Short Game Solution" as taught by James Sieckmann.. For me, the short game is the most important foundation you can have in golf. Drive for show....putt for dough. Well, in this case it is chip for dough, and this book is critical in the learning process.

This book allows you to experience the flaws and fixes at your own pace, with illustrations of the right way and wrong way to address any "flaw" that the book describes as "fatal". So, when you get to Chapter 5, get ready for a deep dive into becoming a great chip artist.

What I really like about the book, is it moves through the learning process very politely, but then opens you up to what your mind brings to the game...or rather practice tee, to ensure that your whole body is ready to accept the new you. Chapter 8 delves into it with lessons and tips on how to take what you've learned in these pages, transfer them to an accepting mind, and with drills, successfully keys them into your inner game where they become habit.

My daughter is 7. Still in the figuring what sport she likes age. Sure we knock it around at the local driving range where the flying bugs bounce off the lights further than her tee shots, but we're going to get there.... and when she decides that this sport is what she wants to really go after, the lessons in this book will be the first that I give her.

If not, then I have great resource when I retire to golf full time!

Keep it in the short-grass,


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Book Review: 'The Wichita Kid: a Caddies's Story'

I just finished a fantastic read this weekend, and I'd like to tell you a little about it.

The Wichita Kid: A Caddie's Story is a novel about a young man's journey as he moves from a suppressing home-life in Salina KS, to one of character development with his Grandparents in Cleveland Ohio.
The story takes place with the young man (Kevin) earning his summer break "keep" at a golf club that employs caddies...although his interest in doing this job is about the same as the clubs' interest in having a caddy shack...where golf carts are ready to replace this unruly band of misfits at any given notice.

What happens in the pages of this easy to read, very fine book, is a coming of age story that picks a sickly kid up from the ground, and pushes and pulls him thru adolescent...eventually freeing him of believing he has no choices.
This first novel of Rob Fisher's coincidentally puts us in that time of having a lot of first time experiences.

In his book, the golfer that takes a shine to Kevin memorably says "never leave a birdie putt short..."

The author..who had put the book unfinished down for 2 years before a friend pushed him to finish...did not leave this birdie putt short. After you read it, you'll be glad he didn't either.

Keep it in the short-grass,


Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review "You Can't Make This Up"

Ok, so this is not a golf book. Why did I review it? Because this book is about the essence of one man being in the moment in sports. That is what it is all about, right. I mean Tiger Woods transcends golf because he gave us his all and was in the moment unlike only a handful of great golfers in the past. As sports fanatics, we eat that up!

That is why I read books like this. Al Michaels is a player with his voice. Only a few people are lucky in the media business to earn chops as reputable as his. The book You Can't Make This Up delves into his beginnings as a sports beat personality that transported him to Hawaii, on his way to events in the states, that have shaped the sports world and have made him a superstar. Along the way, the book sprinkles name-dropped vignettes onto us that keep the read fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining.

Al Michaels is a lucky guy, as he so often states in his book. The kind of luck we mere mortals can feel part of with this fabulous book.

Many great stories, but one that stood out was the historic Team USA Olympic game he called. He was chosen to do the play-by-play because he was the only broadcaster at the time who had an iota of experience calling hockey games....his experience? A game...(yes 1 game) he called in 1972, the gold medal game in Japan. How did he get that gig? Because the other announcers were busy with other assignments. Divine Intervention happens in may ways...there's one you can put in your pipe and smoke!

This book is fantastic, read it enjoy.

Keep it in the short-grass,