The Poetics of Golf


The Poetics of Golf

Meditations on the Meaning and Beauty of a Game

Andy Brumer

224 pages


October 2013


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Many golfers would agree with Andy Brumer that there is poetry in the game of golf. And Brumer is not the first to insist that there is more to the game than the superstars, swing gurus, and high-tech equipment that dominate talk of the game today. In this series of essays, Brumer, one of the most insightful writers on golf, considers the game from unexpected and often surprising angles. At once contemplative and compelling, The Poetics of Golf explores the links between golf and life by way of art and literature, philosophy and psychology. In portraits of various players—including Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, and Arnold Palmer, among others—Brumer teases out the truths that their games can tell us, not just about golf, but about character and courage. And he also offers an unconventional yet enlightening look at the intricacies of the golf swing, course architecture, and golfing equipment. Finally, his book reveals to us—in its content and also in its wide-ranging, often lyrical style—that golf is by no means only a game.

Author Bio

Andy Brumer is a freelance writer specializing in golf, art, and literature. Formerly the editor of Golf Tips magazine and Petersen’s Golfing, he is the author of Guide to the Golf Revolution: How Technology Is Driving the Game and the coauthor, with Bobby Clampett, of The Impact Zone: Mastering Golf's Moment of Truth.


“Whenever I need a special insight on the old Scotsgame, either as an editor or a golfer, I always turn to Andy Brumer.”—Al Barkow, golf writer and historian, and editor of the Journal of the Shivas Irons Society

“Anyone who thinks there’s nothing new to say about this game should read this book.”—Robby Krieger, lead guitarist/songwriter for the Doors and an avid golfer

“When Brumer writes, I take note and listen. There’s not a more talented, insightful and creative golf writer working today.”—Bobby Clampett, PGA Champions Tour Player and TV golf commentator

“Brumer will surprise you with most of his interpretations of the game’s hidden qualities. If you know someone who sees golf as another dimension of life, you should buy that person this book.”—Hot Springs Village Voice

“Throughout his career Brumer has studied, interviewed and become friends with numerous golf professionals, teachers and golf characters that have helped him learn the game and shape his thinking. Whether you are a golfer or not, you will certainly appreciate Brumer’s effort to link golf, life, poetry and art.”—Karen Palacios-Jansen, Golf Fitness Magazine

“So, if you’re a golfer and have an undeniable passion for golf literature, get your hands on Brumer’s Poetics of Golf. It will whet your appetite for the mystical side of golf using the game itself as a looking glass.”—Eye on Golf

Table of Contents

Part One. Golf as Memoir
Taking It Back Inside
Night Golf
Girls and Golf in Pinehurst
Golfless in Berkeley
Pure Wine
Cheating at Golf
Part Two. Lives of the Golfers
What Do Golfers Want?
Pro-trait #1: Arnold Palmer
Light My Fivewood
Pro-trait #2: Jack Nicklaus
The Meaning of Tiger Woods
Pro-trait #3: Bobby Jones
Pro-trait #4: John Daly
Pro-trait #5: Charles Howell III
Mike Austin, "Mr. 515"
Pro-trait #6: Gary Player
Pro-trait #7: Fred Couples
Big Shots at Bighorn (July 31, 2002)
Pro-trait #8: Craig Stadler
Pro-trait #9: Raymond Floyd's Swing
Pro-trait #10: Annika Sorenstam
Can You Have Too Much Love?
Pro-trait #11: Se Ri Pak
Canvassing the Course
Pro-trait #12: Tom Watson
Part Three. The Golf Swing as the Axis of the World
Golf Mundi
The Swing Sculpture
"I've Got It!" (or the Madness of "Y")
Basho's Haiku and the Three-ring Swing
Fingerprint Swings
Dream Lessons
On Phil's Watch
The Zen Puppet Swing
Telling Golf's Secret
Seeing the Light
Bending Hogan
The Pathological Driving Range
Piano Lessons to Nobody
Part Four. Golf as a Tool Chest
Faithless to the Fourteen
The Half-degree Solution
Strokes of Genius
About Face
Vestigial Headcovers
Part Five. Golf and the Soul
The Golf Course as a Work of Art
Golf and Creativity
Golf and Spirituality
Bob'n Around
Golf's Imponderables (and an Answer from Jack Kerouac)
Winter Scene with Figures Playing Kolf
Source Acknowledgments

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