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Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime of Golf
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Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime of Golf

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  1,354 ratings  ·  68 reviews
THE CLASSIC BOOK OF GOLF WISDOM FROM THE GAME'S GREATEST TEACHER The "Little Red Book" has become required reading for all players and fans of the game of golf, from beginners to seasoned pros. The legendary Harvey Penick, who began his golfing career as a caddie in Austria, Texas, at the age of eight, worked with an amazing array of champions over the course of nearly a c ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 19th 1999 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1992)
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My First Fun Golf Steps by Anna OthitisBen Hogan's Five Lessons by Ben HoganHarvey Penick's Little Red Book by Harvey PenickThe Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark FrostThe Match by Mark Frost
Great golf books
3rd out of 95 books — 47 voters
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons by Ben HoganThe Plane Truth for Golfers by Jim HardyThe Laws of the Golf Swing by Mike AdamsDave Pelz's Short Game Bible by Dave PelzThe Inner Game of Golf by W. Timothy Gallwey
Best Golf Instruction Books
23rd out of 55 books — 19 voters

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Community Reviews

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Anecdotes and advice from a golf pro for days of yore.
The game of golf has changed since then, and he notes it near the end of the book when he covers trick shots. He laments a bit that the game has become more power biased.

Some interesting notes (very basic).
- Practice your swing with a 7 iron.
- most time is spent with irons and putting. Don't over practice
on a driver.
- Relax and find what works for you. there is no perfect swing/stance, etc
that works for everyone. It's your perfect swing you
Jun 07, 2008 Allan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Golfers
This delightful book captivated me back when I was actively attacking golf. Perhaps the best thing about it? You really don't have to know much about golf to enjoy these life lessons by Mr. Penick. But if you remember Ben Crenshaw's win at the Masters Tournament in 1995, a week after Mr. Penick's death - how he dropped to his knees, weeping, as his last putt went in, you understand how much his mmentor's life and teachings affected Mr. Crenshaw.

I was given this book by my wife shortly after that
Ray Kelly
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book is probably the greatest instructional book of all time. I first read it becuase of the suggestions of my first real golf teacher, and good friend, Arkansas's Bill Brown, a student of Harvey Penick. It has become essential reading for me and I suggest it should be for golfers of any age and ability. The legendary Harvey Penick began his golfing career as a caddie in Austin, Texas, at the age of eight, and over the course of a lengthy career in golf he taught an am ...more
Kyle Begley
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book is filled with the great stories of legendary golf teacher Harvey Penick. Penick has worked with a great deal of pro golfers and helped get them to the highest point in their careers. My little Red Book is a book that helps the beginner or even the seasoned pro golfer with physical and psychological tips for the game. From learning tips on a bunker shot, or what to do if you arrive to the course late and have a short amount of time to warm up, Penick takes you on ...more
Brad Lyerla
What a comfort this little book is for a golfer! Simple and wise, Penick makes golf sensible for expert and hacker alike. It is a must read for all golfers.

A key take away for me is that Penick instructs us to "take dead aim." Of course. And yet, I bet the vast majority of shots I hit in a round are just approximations. No more. I resolve to take dead aim. That now is my mantra.
Ben Margraves
This book was released while I was in high school in the 90's. I was a golfer and it consumed my life most of the time. This book was like my bible. I read this book to improve my game by taking notes from it and writing them on my hats, bags, scorecards and anything else I could imagine. The lessons in this book were not only applied o golf but to life as well.
The little red book by Harvey Penick is one of the best golf books I have ever read in my life time this book teaches you great and new skills to use in golf. If you are a golf fanatic this is your book but it is also a great book for beginners in golf. I have gotten very helpful hints and strategy on how to play golf from this book in fact my game has gotten alto better. This book has changed my game I recommend this book for everyone that plays golf I don’t care how well you play or how much y ...more
Christian Clarke
I confess: I've lost myself to golf addiction. Practicing, playing, watching youtube clips of past golf stars, perusing Golf magazines, and, finally, stocking up on golf-books. I now think more about golf than sex.

In the Canon of golf-related texts there are but few that I'm aware of, such as Ben Hogan's technical treatise on the fundamentals of the no-hook swing and Jack Nicklaus's Golf My Way. I've read Hogan's, but not Jack's, although I've seen excerpts of the video online. In fact, the onl
Adam Lund
The game of golf has changed, but people haven't. What makes this book a pleasure to read are the stories Harvey tells about the great players he knew and coached over the years and the relationships he built with so many. There is helpful instruction, but pay attention, it's all via the written word.
Julie Cannon
great read

Really enjoyed reading this book, the most interesting book I have ever had.
Recommend to any level of golfer or teacher.
Heard about Harvey Penick's books from Martin Hall of the golf channel.
Cedric Hendrix
Harvey Penick was a very wise man. When reading this book, it doesn't take long to see why so many of his charges were drawn to his homespun, folksy wisdom. While some of the material is, admittedly, a little dated, there is still more than enough here to improve the game and mindset of anyone that plays golf. I can only imagine what Harvey's wisdom would do for Tiger Woods these days.

The most important thing I learned from Harvey Penick is simple: take the game seriously, but not yourself. You
Michael Vincent
Nice book of a variety of sayings and helps about golf. An easy format to read with mostly short thoughts, quips and stories. Tells some of the history of golf, especially in Texas.
Tara Choate
I guess you'd have to be a little more serious about golf than I am to really delve into this. A few amusing stories with a lot of text about golfing. Okay, but I just wasn't interested.
Lar Mill
Top notch timeless instruction.
Dan Mansfield
I've read this book several times over, and have given copies to friends as gifts. It is a timeless book, with great advice on how to approach the mental and—to a lesser extent—physical aspects of the game. I will never get tired of reading this book. It focuses mainly on how to approach the game philosophically, but also mixes in some pointers on how to swing a golf club properly, but without getting too technical. This book makes me truly appreciate what a wonderful thing it is to play golf, n ...more
Sean O'Neill
Great book of VERY short stories about golf.
Penick was a famous golf professional/instructor in Austin, Texas and this book is filled with little stories and lessons that he wrote down and collected throughout his life.
He taught and coached golf for several players in Texas and at the University of Texas who eventually became stars on the PGA tour.
Great little book, that my uncle (a golf fanatic)and many other golfers call "the bible".
If you're even remotely interested in golf you have to read t
Bob Mcbobson
Very interesting book. A must read for golf fans.
Matt Boesch
A great book from a bygone era of golf that still has so much relevance for today. If one can apply half of what is contained in this book he/she would become a well above average golfer.
My scores always went down after I read this book. I probably should have read it once a month when I was playing golf. When I finally pick up the game again I hope I remember to read it again. I should add that for me it's also entertaining as an autobiography. Unassuming and lovely. It lowers my blood pressure (which is probably all it needs to do to lower my golf scores, come to think of it).
I really enjoyed the book and the style it's written in. It's basically the journal of Harvey Penick, one of the most famous golf teachers ever. It's an easy read with golf tips, life tips and funny thoughts/observations mixed in. It's also a great bed-side book as each "journal entry" probably averages less than two pages. I recommend it for anyone at least somewhat interested in golf.
Alan Livingston
Mr. Penick certainly ranks among the best teachers the game has ever known. When you learn how this book came about, when you hear students including the likes of Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite describe how Harvey would begin his interaction with any pupils, when you learn about this man's life, you gain an appreciation for how he made the lives of those around him so much richer.
This is a great golf tip book for the beginning golfer on up. It is written with humor and grace. It is the kind of book you want to take with you to the next golf course. Harvey Penick was a great golf teacher to many pros etc and his interesting format of writing keeps you interested and you want to earmark chapters for future reference. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
Erroll Treslan
Penick - what an awesome guy. I wish I could have taken a lesson from him or, better yet, sat down and had a visit with him before he passed away. This book contains several instructional jewels and my left thumb will never lie straight down on the shaft again!
I got this book as a gift and had no clue what to expect. As a new golfer I expected this to be mostly over my head and it off date. on both counts I was wrong. This was a really enjoyable book and I will definitively be looking back to it as my game evolves.
Sa'id Cortijo
really good book. it is not the typical how to golf book. it is about how to play golf mentally, which in my opinion is the most important aspect of playing golf. yes the basic fundamentals are important, but having the mental aspect of golf is key.
Very good book for golfers - the affects that Harvey Penick's guidance had on professional golfers. Harvey also provides golfing tips for the occasional golfer.
Gary B.
Very easy read. The simplistic nature of Harvey's golf tips make this a great resource for improving and player's golf game. Harvey's descriptions and explanations are easily translated to the course. Highly recommend to any golfer.
Ive read this book 4 or 5 times and it is one the for the player who loves the game you could go from the last page to the first and start over as soon as you finish and not feel like you are wasting your time...
Jul 09, 2009 Rodney added it
Shelves: sports
Harvey is the John Wooden of golf. Even if you don't play golf you will benefit his simple philosophy on life and his approach to help his students get out of their own way. Should be a must read for every coach.
Not the traditional golf instruction book. It's full of anecdotes, many of which are applicable to life in general. It also gives some history of the game. Penick is a great example for people to look up to.
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