Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Heart of a Goof” as Want to Read:
The Heart of a Goof
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Heart of a Goof

(Golf Stories #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  869 ratings  ·  72 reviews
It was a morning when all nature shouted “Fore!” P. G. Wodehouse leads the listener out on to this little nine–hole course with a collection of nine golf stories—as observed by the Oldest Member. The stories included are: “The Heart of a Goof,” “High Stakes,” “Keeping in with Vosper,” “Chester Forgets Himself,” “The Magic Plus Fours,” “The Awakening of Rollo Podmarsh,” “Ro ...more
Audio CD
Published February 14th 2012 by AudioGO (first published 1926)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Heart of a Goof, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Heart of a Goof

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  869 ratings  ·  72 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Richard Derus
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: "Golf is the Great Mystery. Like some capricious goddess, it bestows favors with what would appear an almost fat-headed lack of method and discrimination." These words, uttered by "The Oldest Member," set the stage for a romp around the greens only Wodehouse could have conjured up. In nine stories Wodehouse describes not only the fates of the goofs who have allowed golf "to eat into their souls like some malignant growth" but also the impact of the so-called
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
A collection of 9 short stories, all narrated by the 'Oldest Member' of the golf course, often forcefully, to younger patrons, all obviously related to life on the golf course and life off the golf course affected by events on the golf course.

I don't play golf but after reading the hilarious anecdotes, I feel like a lesser mortal for not appreciating this sport 😃. But let me tell you, even if you don't know the ABC of Golf, you'll still laugh your guts out while listening to the 'Oldest Member'
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny book. Wodehouse is great with verbiage. Not sure how it would translate to someone that did not enjoy or understand golf. I think that it would be best read (or listened to) in parts. There are several stories that I think would be best enjoyed one at a time when you are in a light mode. You need to pay attention to get the most enjoyment of the Wodehouse wit.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine if ... golf were as fun as a Wodehouse story.
Dan Schwent
The true testament to a writer's skill is the ability to make something inherently boring interesting to read about. Wodehouse not only makes golf interesting to read about in this volume, he also makes it hilarious! This is the book that rocketed Wodehouse to the top of my favorite writer's list. Highly recommended.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that purports to be about golf but instead is a collection of short, humorous tales about the odd ways in which the human species behaves. The stories are told by the golf club's Oldest Member to anyone willing, or reluctant, to listen. There's Wallace Chesney and his confidence boosting plus-fours, the high stakes rivalry between Bradbury Fisher and Gladstone Bott, and half a dozen romances gone askew. All are linked by the love of the sport of golf. Pure joy to read, even for those such ...more
Joe Stevens
I know a young lady who is my age which is odd as I am no longer a young man. In addition to other sterling qualities, she is also a fan of PG Wodehouse. I mentioned that I was finishing up a decent romantic comedy from Wodehouse and would pass it along for her perusal. In an un-PC moment I mentioned that I wasn't all that sold on some of the Wodehouse rom-coms but as a lady she might appreciate it ore than I did. She chuckled and said that at least it would be better than 'those golf stories'.

Ishan Mahajan
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a crackling interplay of Wodehouse's typical slapstick comic style, sporadic absurdity, romance and a deep passion for the game of Golf.

Even though the writing indulges in intricate golfing parlance, and I had zero knowledge of the game, it rarely felt that I was disconnected from the heart of the plot.

The characters in the book are very relatable even though it might belong to a time much earlier than ours. And the narrative, told as coming from an octagenarian eager to spill into
Jordan Bethea
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second in a pair of short story collections all revolving around golf in some way. This volume is a little better than the first because the stories are a little more involved than just someone learning to love golf or golf teaching them to love. The final 3 stories are all connected and are the best of the series, probably. Not quite riotous funny, but very charming and amusing.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know a thing about Golf except that the person with lowest score wins. But that did not stop me from enjoying the nine golf-loving short stories. Wodehouse brings so much levity to a serious subject. I'm almost tempted to try golf myself. :)
Jim Becker
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny, although I do not play the game.
Ben Perley
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable as always. Wodehouse on golf is quite hilarious.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You don’t need to know golf to enjoy this.
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Same as the last one, really, although the growing reluctance of people to listen to the Oldest Member's stories was very amusing.
Daniel Coren
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious, observant, intelligent, and a ton of fun.
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humor
A little light humorous reading. Short stories about hopeless golfers, romance, life and so many great quotes sprinkled throughout.
cute stories all revolving around golf (and a lot of rich people that seem to play golf all day long :-) ) Quite enjoyed his writing style.
A 'goof' is defined in this book as distinct from a 'duffer'. A duffer can be quite outstandingly bad at golf: but it doesn't ruin the rest of life. A 'goof' is bad at golf, and can't live with the fact.

As is usual with collections, this is not elaborated in most reviews. So, since stories tend to be in several collections, I will include a table of contents as I go:

(1) The Heart of A Goof: The title story, which deals with how a particular goof is remedied, at least long enough to propose to hi
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humor
“He waggled as Hamlet might have waggled, moodily, irresolutely” (13).
“It is not easy to hiss a sentence without a single ‘s’ in it, and the fact that he succeeded in doing so shows to what pitch of emotion the man had been goaded by Ferdinand’s maddening air of superiority” (22),
“To Ferdinand’s fevered eye he looked like a Greek god, and his inferiority complex began to exhibit symptoms of elephantiasis” (27).
“The lunches of fifty-seven years had caused his chest to slip down into the mezzanine
Ian Wood
Nov 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone not immediatly put off by golf
Shelves: p-g-wodehouse
‘The Heart of a Goof’ is a second volume of stories related by the Oldest Member of love and Golf, the first volume being ‘The Clicking of Cuthbert’.

The title story is that of Ferdinand Dibble who, the Oldest Member tells us, is a Goof. A Goof is a Golfer whom is so tied up with his success or otherwise on the links is tied up with his confidence with all other aspects of his life. Ferdinand is in love with Barbara Medway; who in turn is in love with Ferdinand. Unfortunately Ferdinand cannot po
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I need a dose of P.G.Wodehouse, every few months. So, when life turns dull and I start seeing a tinge of grey everywhere, I reach out for my dosage of some Wodehousian humour; the reason I borrowed 'The Heart of a Goof' from the liby. As expected it was good- life's lessons doled out around golf. The other book on golf stories I've read was 'The Clicking of Cuthbert'. Now, I'm not sure if it is the mood, or it is just me, but I remember I enjoyed the Clicking of Cuthbert mor ...more
After many years, I come again to Wodehouse.

Humour is very hard to write and to achieve. There are many authors that try it and fail in more or less degree. Few, very few succeed. From them all, Wodehouse is the great master-writer, second to none, that the rest can only dream to match. Without success.

These nine stories around golf are simply delightful, full of brilliant moments, witty comments and those special nuggets so specific from Wodehouse. The background revolves around golf, obviously
Andy Gibb
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nine stories – mainly romantic little ditties – against a backdrop of golf in standard P.G.-style, i.e. beautifully written and full of nuggets. It does help to have the slightest smattering of golf terms, especially the old names for clubs, but it’s not essential.

I can hardly do better than quote three of my favourite nuggets:
“That is the worst of a free country - liberty so often degenerates into licence.”
“His was the peace of the man who has reached the age when he is no longer expected to da
Lyman Phillips
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: looking for light humor
Shelves: humor
This is another of P. G. Wodehouse's delightful Golf Books. This foray into the world of P.G. Wodehouse takes us to the local lovely golf links on Long Island, where the Oldest Member regales every passerby (whether they want to hear them or not) with a tale of how golf has saved or torn asunder young lovers, or taught valuable life lessons.

Each of these tales is delivered in Wodehouse's inimitable light hearted way. Even the villains are not really bad, they just have not experienced the wonder
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What could possibly have induced me to pick up a book about golfing? One word: Wodehouse. The friend who had accompanied me in the used bookshop had been skeptical upon my discovery, but I knew the gem I was holding for what it was. Oh Plum! You're always such a delight. Whenever I'm down, I need only to pick up any one of your books for a brighter view.

Fortunately for me, you need hardly any familiarity with golf at all to follow these short stories. The game is more of a backdrop to nine tales
Elisha Condie
Being a Wodehouse fan is like being a Sinatra fan - you're never done. Theres just so much material out there! But that's the beauty of it. You sometimes find a Sinatra recording you've never heard and with Wodehouse's 90+ books it's always easy to find a fresh one.
This one is a collection of short stories that I picked up only because I liked the title. The stories are all golf-centered, where the characters are golfers or know golfers or love golfers or whatever. Wodehouse was a big golfer.
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wodehouse is one of my favourite authors, someone you just keeping going back to for comfort (the real equivalent of comfort food!) and a few light-hearted moments. All hos books are wonderful, some more than the others, of course, but what strikes one is his total mastery of the English language. He sort of twists and turns the phrase but always falls back on his feet, coming out with some incredible and never-thought-of constructions. What I say here is valid for almost all his books
Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All short stories involving golf. Most of the stories are not connects to each other, although there is a series of three with the same characters. The stories are typical Wodehouse romantic comedies in which golf is always a factor. After five or six in a row, they do become a bit repetitive. The mechanic of "the Oldest Member" of the golf club telling each story to some hapless victim is also a little tedious.
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wodehouse
The first handful of stories I would only give three stars. I'm certain they are captivating if one plays golf, but, unfortunately, I have yet to appreciate the game as much as my father might want me to. The last three stories I would give five stars. They're vintage Wodehouse and are amazing. Hence, the average.
This title belongs to the category of golf stories. I liked The Clicking of Cuthbert better but Heart has much to recommend it. The trio of stories concerning Jane Packard, William Bates, and Rodney Spelvin is delightful.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wodehouse: A Life
  • The Worshipful Lucia (Lucia, #5)
  • Augustus Carp, Esq. by Himself, Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man
  • Paradise Postponed
  • Radio City
  • Unfair to Goliath
  • Don Camillo and His Flock
  • The Provincial Lady in London
  • Alarms and Discursions
  • Slouching Towards Kalamazoo
  • P. G. Wodehouse: A Biography
  • Topper
  • The Wilt Inheritance (Wilt, #5)
  • Tempest-Tost (Salterton Trilogy, #1)
  • The Lynne Truss Treasury: Columns and Three Comic Novels
  • Eating People is Wrong
  • Murmur
  • Night of the Avenging Blowfish: A Novel of Covert Operations, Love, and Luncheon Meat
See similar books…
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE, was a comic writer who enjoyed enormous popular success during a career of more than seventy years and continues to be widely read over 40 years after his death. Despite the political and social upheavals that occurred during his life, much of which was spent in France and the United States, Wodehouse's main canvas remained that of prewar English upper-class so ...more

Other books in the series

Golf Stories (8 books)
  • The Man Upstairs and Other Stories (Golf Stories, #0.5)
  • The Clicking of Cuthbert
  • Mr. Mulliner Speaking
  • Lord Emsworth and Others (Blandings Castle, #5.5)
  • Nothing Serious (Blandings Castle, #7.5)
  • A Few Quick Ones (Jeeves, #11.5)
  • Plum Pie (Jeeves, #13.5)
“Alf Todd," said Ukridge, soaring to an impressive burst of imagery, "has about as much chance as a one-armed blind man in a dark room trying to shove a pound of melted butter into a wild cat's left ear with a red-hot needle.” 4 likes
“It was a morning when all nature shouted "Fore!" The breeze, as it blew gently up from the valley, seemed to bring a message of hope and cheer, whispering of chip-shots holed and brassies landing squarely on the meat. The fairway, as yet unscarred by the irons of a hundred dubs, smiled greenly up at the azure sky; and the sun, peeping above the trees, looked like a giant golf-ball perfectly lofted by the mashie of some unseen god and about to drop dead by the pin of the eighteenth.” 1 likes
More quotes…