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Grass Routes by Richard Pennell Book Review

By: | Wed 06 Sep 2023 | Comments

I delight in the written word especially when it relates to golf. My favourite golf writers include Bernard Darwin, Pat Ward Thomas and James Dodson.

All have uniquely intriguing characteristics and styles but all have a literary skill that is evocative and creates mental images though the use of words.

Darwin famously attended the 1922 Walker Cup as a reporter for The Times only to find himself playing as captain Robert Harris became too ill to play. 

Pat Ward Thomas had such an innate love of the game that he, with others, created a golf course within a prisoner of war camp. All equipment was created and hewn from scraps when those very scraps would have been the most meagre of rations.

James Dodson created for me a seminal golfing book detailing the journey he took with his father who visited the UK during the Second World War. Entitled Final Rounds, it details a shared final golfing journey. It is a wonderful book and the only example of a written word that has drawn me to tears on reading it such was the quality of the writing.

Having avidly followed the blog writings and musings of Richard Pennell, I was genuinely excited when the copy of Grass Routes arrived through the letterbox.

Beautifully boxed and presented by Grant Books. This is an absolute delight. It's sort of a book that I picked up and immediately lost two hours. That time however was a great investment as it left me with a warm glow and smile and a desire to throw the clubs in the car and get golfing immediately.

Grass Routes Book Review

I have to declare an interest here as I have had the fortune to meet Richard and play golf with him. In person he is equally articulate and evocative as his writing. I've also been fortunate enough to spend time in his company both on and off the golf course, which inevitably leads to a bias in his favour. I remember with fondness an evening in Ireland singing with a Welsh golfing choir that led to an astonishing visit to a local pub for a quick one that wasn’t.

We both love the game of golf and are more concerned with the people we encounter than the scores we record.

His book is beautifully illustrated and probably the greatest compliment that I can pay this particular book is that it left me feeling very jealous and full of envy.

Richard has the ability to create golfing imagery in your mind’s eye, the rhythm of his writing is astonishing.

The book is a collection of reminiscences from a golfing life well-travelled. Richard has served the game at all levels learning his trade from within. He was a successful greenkeeper who then progressed to management at some of the UK greatest golf courses where he was employed in a range of roles. 

There can be few who have had the golf related experiences that he has enjoyed. His voice is tempered with a deep knowledge and experience that is hard earned.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in the game of golf, its history or its operation. In particular, anyone interested in the gems of golf courses that he has taken the time to describe.

The link provides access to a chapter within the book and it is a perfect illustration of the type of writing he offers. I also recommend his blog writings that offer musings of a similar quality and content.

For more information and how to buy, please visit https://pitchmarks.bigcartel.com/.

What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)

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