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My Fake Name
- Publié sur Amazon.com
The whole starting idea of every book in the "For Dummies" literary franchise is that you, the reader, don't know anything about the word that precedes "For."
If it's titled "Plamplams For Dummies," the assumption is that you don't know anything about a plamplam. If it's titled "Exmepus For Dummies," the assumption is that you don't know anything about an exmepu.
"Golf For Dummies" by the friendly Gary McCord continues that tradition in that it assumes that without it you couldn't readily distinguish between golf and, say, water polo.
As a book for people who have never played golf, this is a fine effort, and it's why I give it as many stars as I do.
I've played more golf than I should admit (starting maybe 48 years ago) considering how bad I still am, but the point is that I write this review not as a good golfer but as an experienced golfer. More to the point, there was nothing significant in this book that I did not already know.
And that's GOOD, because if you are new to golf you will want to pick up on all of the sometimes silly and sometimes serious rules, and you will want to know that you should start with lessons rather than just barging out onto a golf course as a virgin (you WILL make a fool of yourself), and you will want to know how very much it costs just to outfit yourself with the necessary tools, materials and supplies, not to mention what it costs to play each round, and you will want to know how exceptionally psychologically painful it is to play golf most of the time.
And how satisfying it is to hit a "Be-Back" shot, which is that one full swing out of dozens in a round in which you do everything just exactly right and your clubface makes this perfect little click sound against the ball, and the ball feels weightless as you follow through, like it's a ping-pong ball, and it rockets downrange at magically high speed at just the right height and in just the right direction, and it rises and rises and flies farther still, till it levels off and flies some more and then finally, taking a lot longer than usual, it gradually drops towards land, and then it eventually does land, and then it rolls for another mile, which is so pleasing that no matter how poorly the rest of your round is going it makes you say, "I'll be back" to play again.
In "Golf For Dummies," McCord successfully informs the novitiate, but he also connects with us old pros. He warns against the foolish notion of taking up golf in the first place, which I too do herby do, but he artfully explains why so many of us cannot stop now that we've started. (See "Be-Back" shot above.)
McCord admits that golf is hard. In my experience it is the hardest game. He explains that many factors can screw up a golf shot, and then he essays to cure a few of the most common ones by virtue of lessons on the grip (relatively easy to get right) and the stance (harder to get right) and the swing (much, much harder to get right).
This is the essence of any general book on how to play golf, and McCord admits his lessons are incomplete, that no number of pages can adequately replace the tutelage of an in-person pro, that anyone's "natural" pre-lessons golf swing is so very idiosyncratic to the individual and must in 99% of cases be corrected, sometimes a lot, that if you were to read or hear about all the tips for playing golf better, they would number literally in the tens of thousands and he's hitting the best-proved ones.
McCord also talks about the psychlology of golf, which is different from the psychology of, say, darts. With darts you pick a spot on the dartboard and you throw an arrow at it, and then you do that two more times, and each time you throw it exactly the same way. With the rarest of exceptions, the only factor that changes, and then not by much, is the exact location of the target for your next dart. Golf is quite different, and the number of factors that must be accounted for, except for a tap-in, can grow to a dozen and overwhelm even the best golfers. McCord stresses the importance of total concentration and just the right amount of confidence.
He explains the importance of putting, correctly referring to it as quite different from the full swing. It's almost as though golf consists of two unrelated activities, like the biathlon (snow skiing followed by rifle-shooting), or, in McCord's words "the game within the game." FYI if you aren't already a golfer, in what's called a regulation round the total number of putts will be a full 50% of the total strokes, i.e., putting is half the game. For example, a par four played in regulation will consist of two swings to get on the green, a distance from 250 to 470 yards, and then two more swings with a putter to hole out for an additional total distance of maybe 10 more yards. As the saying goes, and McCord repeats it here for the millionth time, "You drive for show and putt for dough."
Speaking of which, McCord explains some of the commonest bets in golf, but I can assure you there are dozens more. Golf is a game that just begs to be bet on, and the better a player you are, the more money you'll make. If you and three buddies start playing golf together as newbies and they take no lessons and you don't either but they didn't read any books and you read this one, you'll beat them.
There are plenty of drawings and photographs, although I do wonder why there's an eight-page full-color section in the middle. (Well, that wasn't very clear. I don't mean I wonder why it's in the middle, I mean I wonder why it's there at all.) Surely this raises the cost and therefore the price of the book.
The glossary is nice if you're a newbie, i.e., if you need a book titled "Golf For Dummies," but if you're already a golfer you'll be familiar with most of these terms and no doubt many more used by the particular cohort of people you play with.
The index is gratifyingly complete.
For the purpose for which this book was written (I'm reviewing the fourth edition, so it must be pretty popular), it does a dandy job, and it does so with the light touch for which the "For Dummies" series in general and McCord in particular are known.