The Soul of Golf HTML version

It is frequently and emphatically asserted by reviewers of golf
books that golf cannot be learned from a book. If they would add
"in a room" they would be very near the truth—but not quite. It
would be quite possible for an intelligent man with a special
faculty for games, a good book on golf, and a properly equipped
practising-room to start his golfing career with a game equal to a
single figure handicap.
As a matter of fact the most important things concerning golf may
be more easily and better learned in an arm-chair than on the links.
As a matter of good and scientific tuition the arm-chair is the place
for them. In both golf and lawn tennis countless players ruin their
game by thinking too much about how they are playing the stroke
while they are doing it. That is not the time to study first
principles. Those should have been digested in the arm-chair,
where indeed, as I have already said and now repeat with
emphasis, the highest, the most scientific, and the most important
knowledge of golf must be obtained. There is no time for it on the
links, and the true golfer has no time for the man
who tries to get it there, for he is generally a dreary bore.
Moreover, the man who tries to get it on the links is in trouble
from the outset, for in golf he is faced with a mass of false doctrine
associated with the greatest names in the history of golf, which is
calculated, an he follow it, to put him back for years, until indeed
he shall find the truth, the soul of golf.
This book is in many ways different from any book concerning
golf which has ever been published. It assumes on the part of the
reader a certain amount of knowledge, and it essays to bring back