This is a seminal book in the library of golf, being the first mass-produced book of instruction. In spite of its diminutive size, Hints on the Game of Golf was such a revelation to the uninitiated and aspiring players that it was an immediate success. Nor was the success short-lived, as the book was in print for 20 years through 14 printings. This is the author’s first work and a watershed volume in golf literature. The attraction of this century old book is not the technical instruction; the long nose clubs of that era required a much different swing than we need with today’s modern equipment. Its fascination is that Hutchinson saw the need for such a book and that the result is engaging still today.
This is not a dry, club-by-club instructional like so many modern offerings. Spirited and informal, it is part description, part admonishment, part scientific treatise, and part recitation of the truisms from the ancient game. Hutchinson actually cites himself as having often said golf could not be taught successfully through a book, but he explains his reversal in the introduction. Hutchinson wrote this book partly out of frustration at seeing men playing golf “in a style in which it is physically, anatomically, mathematically, from very conceivable point of view, impossible for a human being, made on any known plan, to strike the ball correctly.”