Butch Harmon’s Playing Lessons


TIGER WOODS TURNS TO HIM FOR ADVICE. SHOULDN’T YOU? In the knowing eyes of Butch Harmon, every golf course — every golf hole — presents a unique challenge that is different for every golfer. For some, with no fear of sand and power to burn, the course is a castle to be stormed, a hurdle to soar over on the way to glory. For others, the course is a minefield, to be tiptoed through with caution and care. The questions posed by every hole are, Who are you today? And how will you meet my challenges? For most amateurs, course management is the most overlooked part of becoming a golfer. They think it’s a subject only for the great players, and that their own energy and effort should be directed toward improving their swings — that strategy can wait. But it’s the average golfers who will benefit most from learning how to play the course, because they’re the ones who pay most heavily for their mistakes; pros get into less trouble, and they recover from it better when they do. The best route to learning course management is a playing lesson with a great golf pro. And now, for the first time, one of the world’s greatest teachers has put a playing lesson in book form. Butch Harmon’s Playing Lessons takes three golfers on three different levels of the game — a low-, a mid-, and a high-handicapper — out onto the golf course of their dreams, and walks them through all the elements of how to approach playing each hole. Using eighteen of the greatest holes from the finest American courses, public and private, Harmon shows each player how to think about the setup of the hole from the vantage of the tee, picking up clues from the terrain to guide you to proper club selection and choice landing area. He shows how to pick a target that minimizes the damage from a poor shot, and gives techniques for getting out of trouble as expeditiously as possible. (He also recommends drills that will correct the fault that got you into trouble in the first place.) And he carries this approach through all the way to the hole, with advice on the all-important short game and tips to make you a better and smarter putter. In his decades of experience as a teaching professional, Harmon has worked with the full range of golfers, from the weekend player hoping to break 100 for the first time to his most famous pupil, Tiger Woods. He’s seen every mistake there is to make, and he’s helped thousands of golfers correct those mistakes and have fun doing it. He believes that course management is one of the four cornerstones of winning golf — every bit as important as the swing, the short game, and your physical condition. Moreover, good course management is the fastest route to improving your score, because you don’t have to make any big physical changes to try it. You just have to get used to playing smart and playing golf according to your game, not your partner’s, your friend’s — or Tiger Woods’s. For every golfer, no matter their level, Butch Harmon’s Playing Lessons is a fun book to read, a great tour of some of the country’s finest courses, and the fastest route to lowering your score. Short of having Butch walk the course with you every time out, it’s your best ticket to being a better, smarter, and happier golfer.

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1 review for Butch Harmon’s Playing Lessons

  1. John Andrisani

    Once golf instructor, Claude “Butch” Harmon, Jr. shared with me extraordinary swing and short game tips, and scoring secrets for “going low” at Augusta National, home of the Masters Tournament, all taught to him by his Dad, Claude Harmon, Sr., renowned golf instructor and the 1948 Masters champion, I knew we were destined to collaborate on an instruction book, which turned out to be The Four Cornerstones of Winning Golf; a part biographical book, including the story of how his father returned home and draped the green jacket over Butch; a part instructional book, that also includes swing keys of Butch’s taught to his premier students at the time, notably, Davis Love, Greg Norman, and Tiger Woods, all whom, thanks to Butch, have become major championship winners. These same tips of Butch’s, plus bonus tips that Butch learned from his Dad, are so special they are sure to help even hackers, thinking about giving up golf, to improve.

    — John Andrisani

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