Bobby Jones on Golf – Wisdom to Savor

This library copy will soon be replaced by an owned copy.  If you love golf, this book is an absolute must.
This library copy will soon be replaced by an owned copy. If you love golf, this book is an absolute must.


Golf is the one game I know which becomes more and more difficult the longer one plays it.

-Bobby Jones


I haven’t touched a golf club since last Tuesday – with the exception of a putter.  Does that count?  (Laughing out loud)

My husband had arm surgery a few days ago so tending to him has occupied my time but I also needed to step away from the lush green grass.  I just spoke on the phone with the pro at my home course, with whom I had a lesson scheduled today at 2 o’clock.  Today is no good.  Heavy rain and winds are expected this afternoon.  It’s a blustery, wet, sloppy mix out there.  I’ll be nervous enough without the added worry of a shot catching the wind and sailing through a living room window.  We rescheduled for next Thursday at 1 o’clock.  Fingers crossed.

I’ve been reading Bobby Jones on Golf [1] and it has been an absolute pleasure (save for the lack of, so far anyway, mention of anything female in the book – more about that in the next paragraph).  There are so many beautifully written, sage words to quote in that book I could easily quote it all.  He is the golf guru who never played professionally,  and who, along with a mechanical engineering degree earned from Georgia Tech and a law degree from Emory University, studied, of all things, English literature – at Harvard!  His education pedigree shows in his writing and everything he perceives about the sport and its relation to life.  This comprehensive treatise on golf is nothing short of pure art.  Much more than just an instruction manual, it speaks to the all-encompassing “wholeness” of golf as a pursuit.  I have only read bits and pieces so far and am choosing to skip around rather than read the book cover to cover.  No doubt I will have much more to say in future posts about this literary gem.  Though I checked it out of the library, I am putting it on the list as one of the first installments of my soon-to-be golf library.

As mentioned above, all references to golfers used in the book are masculine, from what I’ve observed so far anyway.  Out of necessity, we women are used to that and have to overlook it when we read older literature.  It may not seem to be a big deal but after reading his, he, him over and over, it has a certain separating effect, or in other words, it becomes harder to connect to what’s being said.  To illustrate my point, I invite any man to read a book that only describes those involved in the subject matter as she, her and hers.  The truth is a man probably would immediately put it down, dismissing its contents because surely it must be too “girly.”  At least modern golf books are trying to be inclusive of us girls loving the game too.  In this particular case, Bobby Jones’s fluidity as a writer and his thorough mastery of all things golf manage to supercede his lack of mentioning that women even exist.

I will be heading to the range either today or tomorrow, just to see if I can still swing a club, and I need to remember what Jones says below.  If I do manage to make headway on my ailing swing, I need to heed Jones’s advice.

Go out with a definite purpose and stay with your work only so long as that purpose remains definite.  If the purpose is achieved, go home and give your muscles and your head a rest.  Nothing can be gained by dithering with your swing after it has been once straightened out.

-Bobby Jones



[1] Read more about Bobby Jones:  wiki, New Georgia Encyclopedia, images


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