cover image The Wisdom of Harvey Penick

The Wisdom of Harvey Penick

Harvey Penick. Simon & Schuster, $26 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-684-84508-1

Penick died in 1995, but he continues to teach through books. Recently, readers have had A Fairway to Heaven by Penick's star pupil, Tom Kite, and Mickey Herskowitz (Forecasts, Aug. 11), which included brief excerpts from the master's Little Red Book. The present work is a compendium of Penick's four books--all written in collaboration with Shrake, who selected the most significant observations, tips and anecdotes from the canon. There are also introductions by Kite, along with other top pupils Ben Crenshaw, Betsy Rawls, Mickey Wright and Kathy Whitworth. The collection verifies the aptness of Sports Illustrated's characterization of Penick as ""the Socrates of the golf world,"" for he had no rules that he made his students follow; instead he worked on improving their talents. It is noteworthy that Penick always gave individual instruction and allowed no spectators. And because he was known to be invariably kind and gracious, it is no wonder that those who studied under his tutelage recall him as saintly. Photos. (Oct.)