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Harvey Penick

What needs to be said about Harvey Penick? He was a legend while alive and his books will keep that legend growing for a long time to come. You know how you hear about someone passing away and you say to yourself, "I wish I would have had a chance to meet that person." Well, that's how I feel about Mr. Penick. Read any of his books and your spirit will be lifted with the words of the genteel and wizened Penick!

While alive, Penick reminded me of Wodehouse's Oldest Member. In the book "And If You Play Golf, You're My Friend," in a chapter titled Pressure, Penick mentions the prolific author. Perhaps Penick, in a philosophic sense, styled himself after Wodehouse's character. He was a great study of Human character and would approach each individual uniquely. As the Oldest Member would come up with the perfect story for the one seeking advice, Penick would come up with the perfect solution for the student. He often mused on the problem over night before coming upon an answer. He was outspoken, yet humble; he was smart enough to know what to say and even smarter by knowing when to say nothing. Penick speaks of tingles and goosebumps the moment he knows he has helped someone. He relates that no money can compare to this feeling. This is so true that it hastens one to reflect. His care came out in buckets of water from the well of a giant and benevolent heart.

I don't think there was a more emotional tournament in modern history than the 1995 Masters. Ben Crenshaw, Harvey's longtime pupil and friend, won the Masters just one week after Harvey's death. I must admit there were tears for this spectator on that memorable day. In the forward to "The Game For A Lifetime," a book compiled after Harvey Penick's death, Bud Shrake re-visits that emotional time. I have never read a more powerful opening to a golf book . . .tears again for me! It's the spirit and quality of Penick's care that made him so very special. We can only be thankful that so much of Harvey's thoughts and experiences have been preserved for future generations.

Oh the value of books! All of the Penick books belong in the golfer's personal library!

Highly recommended!

Rating: Holes in one for all Penick books!

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