Homer Kelley's Golfing Machine: The Curious Quest That Solved Golf

Scott Gummer, Author, Steve Elkington, Foreword by . Gotham $26 (267p) ISBN 978-1-592-40452-0

Few golf fans know the name Homer Kelley, writes Gummer, an acclaimed golf writer himself who admits even he didn't know Kelley's story until relatively recently. But Gummer aims to bring awareness to a man and the book he wrote that revolutionized the game of golf. Never a golfer himself, Kelley devoted his life to finding what made the perfect golf swing. Spending 30 years of his life in writing The Golfing Machine , Kelley analyzed the different components to a swing via geometry and physics, and insisted that there was no perfect solution—“it was a system, not a method,” and it was up to the golfer to find the proper components geared toward his own game. Even after his first book was finally published in 1969, Kelley continued to fine-tune his work, publishing several updated editions. And perhaps fittingly, he died while giving a seminar on the book. Alas, The Golfing Machine itself might have appealed to only the most physics-minded players: as one critic of Kelley's lamented, it all seems “convoluted.” Yet when one reads over the laundry list of professional golfers who benefited from Kelley's ideas, one wonders why Kelley's legacy lived in anonymity for so long. Gummer takes complicated ideas from Kelley's book and makes them easy to follow, and while the subject matter isn't universally fascinating, golf fans will find it to be a quick, enjoyable read. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
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