The Game for a Lifetime: More Lessons and Teachings
His gentle demeanor and timeless wisdom made Harvey Penick America’s best-loved teacher of the game of golf. From his lesson tee at the Austin Country Club, he taught several generations of champions and high-handicappers, pros and amateurs alike. All who came in contact with him came away with their grips improved, their souls refreshed, and their hearts gladdened by his love of teaching and his eagerness to serve.
At the time of his death in April 1995, Harvey was well along in the work on this, his fourth book of golf instruction. Like his classic Little Red Book, The Game for a Lifetime is filled not so much with swing tips and stance aids but with a timeless philosophy that seeks to improve your play by improving how you feel about your game. The secret of Harvey’s teaching lies not in any techniques he prescribes but in how the stories and advice and parables he shares point the way for anyone to play better golf by being a better golfer.
In The Game for a Lifetime, Harvey tells us about the different methods he used to help his pupils find twenty more yards off the tee; about the incredible swing of Leaping Lucifer who did everything wrong when he stood over the ball, but whom Harvey helped to find contentment and joy both on and off the course; and about the sweet-swinging pupils whose swings he could remember and recognize without having seen them for thirty-odd years. He spends much of the book advising “the seasoned player” — whose seasoning is measured not in years but in experience on the links and at the practice tee. His highest praise goes not to any of the champions he trained or Hall of Famers he worked with but to his wife, Helen, who stood by him in thick and thin during his seven decades of service to the game he loved. And the book concludes with the tribute his son, Tinsley, paid him at a gathering of the world’s best golf teachers during the week of the 1995 Ryder Cup.
Harvey always said he knew that the teachings in his books have stood the test of time. His was truly a lifetime spent pursuing the best the game has to offer us: physically, emotionally, spiritually. The Game for a Lifetime is a fitting testament from this remarkable man.