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Armour was also a brilliant and dedicated teacher and his classic book How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time
is one of the finest instructional texts ever written. I will do a review of that book in an upcoming blog. How could you not love a golf book where Chapter 1 is called “Why This Book Is as Short and Simple as It Is”?
From the Tommy Armour Golf site:
During golf’s golden age, a flash of silver appeared from across the sea: Tommy Armour, the Silver Scot. While he gained renown as a world-class raconteur, drinker, and gambler with an eye for the ladies, Tommy Armour was also a wounded and decorated veteran of World War I. He was a master bridge player. A concert-level violinist. A best-selling author. And, in his later years, the most respected—and expensive—golf instructor of his day.
Ultimately, Tommy Armour was a champion. And his 25 PGA victories—including three Majors—have earned him a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
1920 Winner: French Amateur
1927 Winner: U.S. Open
1929 Winner: Western Open
1930 Winner: PGA Championship
1931 Winner: British Open
Winner of 3 Canadian Opens
For more information on Tommy Armour and his brilliant and somewhat overlooked career check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Armour
MOE NORMAN -
Born July 10, 1929
Died September 4, 2004
Canadian Amateur Champion 1955, 1956
55 career Canadian Tour event victories
Canadian PGA Champion 1966, 1974
Canadian PGA Seniors' Champion 1979 - 1985, 1987
33 course records
17 holes in one
Inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1995
Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2006
The brilliance of this book is Armour’s straight-forwardness (is that a word?) and his simplicity. The sort of simplicity that you will only find coming from a very confident and capable instructor and Armour surely was this and more. In his day he was one of the most sought out instructors in the world, charging also some of the highest fees imaginable at the time, but Armour could deliver the goods.
The first time I read the book many years ago I was astounded at what a stiking resemblance between some of the address position images advocated by Armour and Fred Couples.
About the only thing that I question in Armour’s book is the chapter called “The Pause That Means Good Timing” which goes against my idea that the transition can be automated and in a properly sequenced swing will simply trigger itself. His chapters “the Grip Holds The Swing Together” and “Footwork, The Foundation of Best Golf”, however, are must reads.
Chapter 1 is called “Why This Book Is as Short and Simple as It Is”. What could be better than that?!?!
First published in 1953 the book is still in print. You can pick it up at most bookstores or online at Amazon.com.
Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was one of the greatest golfers to ever compete. Jones skills took him to golf's summit in the days when amateur golf was respected and held in much higher esteem than the professional game. (I will be talking of Walter Hagen in America and of Henry Cotton in Britain and their importance to the transformation of public attitude towards the professional game in future Blogs)Jones succeeded on both a national and international level winning championships on both sides of the pond.
Here's a picture of the great Henry Cotton showing the equally great Jimmy Bruen his idea of proper left hand action through the ball. "Who's Jimmy Bruen?" you may ask....
I found a great article about Abe Mitchell at the website for Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club in East Sussex. It is one of the Top 100 golf courses in the British Isles acording to Golf World. Here’s a link to the club’s website: http://www.royalashdown.co.uk/
Who’s Abe Mitchell?!?!
Well, he’s that little guy on the top of the Ryder Cup. Abe Mitchell was also the longest hitter of his era and probably the finest golfer to never win the British Open although in my opinion that line would be finely drawn between him and Dai Rees who we will talk about another time.
Abe Mitchell was also one of the finest teachers of his time, teaching Samuel Ryder himself.
You Can download a pdf copy of Roger Porter’s article Abe Mitchell – the Man on the Ryder Cup here: http://www.royalashdown.co.uk/downloads/abe.pdf
There is also a great photo sequence of good old Abe at The Society if Hickory Golfers that you can actually click a button to animate here: http://www.hickorygolfers.com/swings/abemitchell/amswing.htm
Here is one of the shots from that sequence.
And you thought Sam Snead invented The Squat. Shame on you. Just look at Abe. No wonder he bombed it!!!