In his weekly Limerick Leader golf column, Ivan Morris looks at the ome of the most interesting golf books currently on the market.
Regular readers will know that I often like to quote the wise words of former Irish National Coach, Howard Bennett, who worked for the GUI from 1989 to 2004, putting the likes of major champions, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy through their paces and on the right path to major success.
I seriously doubt if there has ever been another coach in the history of the game who has been so influential on such a string of successful fledglings?
In the foreword, Padraig Harrington writes, “Howard treated everyone as individuals – he taught the player not a style or system.
He encouraged a strong mental game, good work ethic, determination and discipline. He was knowledgeable, open-minded and totally committed to his pupils, while displaying a calmness, gentleness and good humour that marked him out as a truly exceptional mentor and teacher.
He is an impossible act to follow and it is no wonder he oversaw the most successful period in the entire history of Irish golf.
“Never forget the obvious!”
He used to trumpet. “The most successful sports persons, not only golfers, are dependent on attitude, desire, goals, memory, motivation, patience, persistence, preparation, practice, self-discipline.
Place them in any order of importance you like but you dare not leave a single one out of the equation of achieving success.
There must be willingness to do today that what others will not, so I can do tomorrow what others cannot,” sums up the Howard Bennett philosophy just perfectly and his book, of which all proceeds will be donated to a Cancer Research Charity, should be in the library of every young ambitious golfer.
It’s simple stuff but it is bang on the money - Stories, Observations, Suggestions by Howard Bennett is a small book – similar in style and wisdom to Harvey Penick’s staggeringly successful Little Red Book.
It is available directly from the author - email@example.com for any reasonable donation to his chosen charity.
An ideal stocking filler for the young golfer in your life is Marcus’s Golfing Adventures - an inspiring story (told in simple verse by a PGA pro, Conor O’Shea, who has County Cork connections and is beautifully illustrated by Brentton Barkman) aimed at youngsters who might be showing slight signs of interest in learning about golf.
Written in verse does make the golf lessons seem simpler to absorb and remember.
They are bound to motivate any kid to want to get out and play.
Marcus’s inspiring playing partner is Kevin, the PGA pro’s son. An older and wiser golfer, Kevin tells Marcus:
You have it within you
To shape the shot that you see.
You have all the tools for great golf every day
You just have to believe in these words that I say:
I think I can; I know I can.
Kevin’s example and attitude would help anybody, young or old, and I cannot wait to incorporate Marcus’s Golfing Adventures into the bedtime reading of my grandson, George, the next time he comes to stay! Whatever about liking golf, I know he’ll like Marcus.
- Marcus Golfing Adventures is available directly from the author at www.marcusgolfingadventures.com or firstname.lastname@example.org/
I know Barry Ward personally. He was always a fun guy to be around whenever we met on golf media junkets.
A raconteur par excellence and half-decent golfer, Barry has recently published a memoir about his life and times as a golf writer. “A labour of love,” he calls it. “After all, few people know the extreme good fortune of converting a pastime into a career.”
For me, though, the best part of his book is the segment in which he describes the incredible golf holiday resorts he has visited in all corners of the globe.
There are also various musings on issues that he says boost and detract from the game, as well as the many characters and champions he has met and interviewed.
Barry is a bit like God, he has been ‘everywhere,’ knows ‘everything’ and has met (and judged) ‘everyone.’ Reading through his well-crafted descriptions is almost as good as ‘being there!’
Let’s just say that Barry Ward has led a charmed and improbable life and if you read his book, he will share it with you.
-Birdies, Bunkers & Bar Stools by Barry Ward - The paperback version (302 pp) is available from www.lulu.com and www.amazon.com, both at £ 9.95 + p & p.
The e-book version is available via www.lulu.com at £2.99 and a kindle version at a similar price is also available.