The Legend of Joe Golfer is the first book written by Canadian Chris Kalwa, a lifelong educator, recreational athlete, and a private golf instructor with a passion for inspiring others in golf and life.
The book is a salute to the regular player, with helpful golf tips and suggestions for recreational golfers—just like having a personal caddie at your fingertips. Whether you’re an unskilled beginner or seasoned advanced-level player, this 368-page golf book will improve the quality of your game. Joe or Jane Golfers who’ve recently purchased the best brand-name clubs and golfing equipment quickly find out that visions of perfectly crisp ball-striking and precisely placed shots don’t immediately appear in play as advertised. Instead, you continue to spray your bad shots all over the course—like a groundskeeper watering the grounds for the next day’s play.
Chris Kalwa has been there, he’s done that, and he feels your bad-shot aches and pains. Thus, speaking from experience, the author shares his uniquely crafted golf story: a passionate 12-year journey of endless playing trials and tribulations. This book provides all regular players with a looking-glass through which anyone can relate to and connect with. You’ll understand why you got addicted to this ancient and beautiful game, and learn how you can best prepare for and enhance your enjoyment of golf.
Broken down into a four-stage approach, The Legend of Joe Golfer includes the following general sections:
- Shaping and defining your own legendary character
- Learning effective rescue shots
- Choosing a better physically-fit lifestyle
- Reflecting on your personal golfing evolution over time
Several of the author’s Top 10 and Top 5 lists are somewhat subjective, but still give you food for thought. For example, in chapter five, Kalwa offers his David Letterman-style Top 10 suggestions for enhancing Joe and Jane Golfer’s enjoyment of golf.
No. 10: Learn and apply the basic rules and proper etiquette for golf. This is pretty straightforward.
No. 9: If you keep score, count all strokes. If you do, this will certainly help improve your game.
No. 8: Demonstrate proper course maintenance. Simple things like repairing your divots, raking the sand evenly, or minding the flag for your playing partner are rules that make the game more enjoyable for everyone.
No. 7: Give the group playing ahead enough space. Then again, if they are really slow, they should let your group play through.
No. 6: Understand and follow the correct order of shots. In other words, the player who shot the lowest score on the previous hole has earned the right to tee off first on the next hole.
No. 5: Demonstrate an efficient and repeatable pre-shot routine. Whether you believe this or not, it really does help to mentally prepare you for the next shot.
No. 4: If you can’t resist commenting on a fellow player’s game, be helpful rather than critical. In other words, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
No. 3: Leave multi-tasking to the workplace. For some reason, golfers feel it’s necessary to use cellphones on the golf course. Unless you have a dire emergency, respect the game and those around you—leave the cellphone in the bag or in the car.
No. 2: Destroy all motorized golf carts. This is a little over-the-top, though walking the golf course whenever possible should be the rule and not the exception, unless you have physical restrictions.
No. 1: Have fun out there. Amen to that suggestion.
There are a lot more nuggets in this book, and it’s definitely worth reading. The Legend of Joe Golfer is published by AuthorHouse and is available from major booksellers.
Great Golf Book #2: Men in Green
Looking at the book’s title and cover photo, one would deduce that Men in Green is all about the Masters. However, it’s not! Author Michael Bamberger has spent years caddying, playing, and writing about golf, and meeting some of his personal heroes along the way. While in Chicago covering the Ryder Cup in 2012, Bamberger said, “I was in a downtown restaurant by myself at a table with a paper tablecloth, and I found myself writing names on it. The names came to me quickly. I marked one column Living Legends, the other Secret Legends…Maybe I was subconsciously filling out lineup cards for a National League game, I don’t know, but when I was done, I had two columns with nine names each for a total of 18—golf’s holy number.”
The Living Legends in Bamberger’s list are Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Mickey Wright, Ken Venturi, Tom Watson, Curtis Strange, Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, and Hale Irwin. The Secret Legends are Sandy Tatum, Jaime Diaz, Billy Harmon, Neil Oxman, Dolphus “Golf Ball” Hull, Randy Erskine, Cliff Danley, Chuck Will, and Mike Donald.
Donald, who was runner-up in the 1990 U.S. Open 25 years ago, accompanied Bamberger on an exhaustive tour to find and get to know these 18 luminaries with the hopes of each answering a certain difficult question: When and where were you happiest?
The heartfelt stories are endless, and cover topics like life and death, sickness and health, unusual marriages and unlikely friendships, trophies lost and won, comic tales from lives lived on the road, lost loves, and second chances, and a cheating scandal that reveals volumes about an icon in their midst.
Bamberger was inspired by Roger Kahn’s baseball classic, The Boys of Summer. Published by Simon & Schuster, the 272- page Men in Green is available at major booksellers. Curl up in a hammock this summer and lose yourself in this delightful read.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer and writer. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, “The 19th Hole,” which is published every Saturday at rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org