The incomparable range of sports books produced by Pitch Publishing over the past few years has ensured theyÕve secured a place as one of the UKÕs leading publishers of sporting material.
From the unashamedly nostalgic Got, Not Got and the thought-provoking If Only: An Alternative History of the Beautiful Game, to Andrew MurtaghÕs superbly-written Gentleman and a Player, Pitch Publishing are always likely to come up with something different. Take a look at their current range:
Golf: The cure for a Grumpy Old Man by Peter Alliss
Release date: 19th February, 2009
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Our Price: £13.29
You Save: £5.7 (30%)
Golf: the Cure for a Grumpy Old Man
By Peter Alliss
Hodder & Stoughton
4sportsbook.co.uk price: £13.29, saving 30% on rrp
Such is the nature of Peter Alliss's easy on-screen charm and perfectly pitched voice that as you meander through Golf: The Cure for a Grumpy Old Man, you can almost hear his rich intonations and occasional bursts of schoolboy laughter in the background.
While golf broadcasters have often excitable men behind the microphone, eager to describe the intricacies of every single shot, tee-to-green, Alliss knows when to remain quiet. Ironic really, for he is the undisputed voice of golf in more than 50 countries, a man voted the Best Golf Commentator Ever.
Recognising this, the publishers wasted little time in releasing a CD version of this book, but Alliss has a writing style akin to his commentary: witty and playful, yet knowledgeable and engaging. He reels off anecdotes as easily as he might during a rain break at the Open or while standing at the bar of his own club.
Prospective readers might believe this is a discarded stocking filler, though in fact it is a practical account for beginners and those who have allowed their game to become a tad rusty willing to accept the author's brief, which is to explain why golf is the answer to middle-aged discontentment.
Alliss has little difficulty providing compelling reasons why golf is the absolutely perfect game for adults. For a start, there is the breathtaking scenery. Few golf courses are positioned adjacent to the outside lane of the motorway and even those that are - Dewstow in South Wales, for example, are so well hidden from the traffic that players would hardly notice.
Then there is the fresh air: forget that nonsense about golf being a 'good walk spoiled', being out and enjoying four hours of aerobic exercise and walking is not going to do many mature people much harm.
Alliss suggests the camaraderie has an enormous beneficial effect upon players too. Cracking jokes and having a laugh are great, while underpinning this with an element of competitiveness and having 'a shilling on the side' merely adds to the game's appeal.
Finally, Alliss cites "instant therapy" as golf's greatest attraction. My theory is that somewhere in the 85-95 shots it takes the average hacker to go around an average course will be one or two absolute crackers. Forget the missed putts, the wayward drives, the shanked chips to the green; everyone is capable of getting everything right at least half a dozen times during the course of a game and it is these shots which are recounted afterwards, ie the ones that account for instant therapy / satisfaction.
In addition, Alliss describes how beginners should go about taking up the game, what equipment is necessary to buy and who to contact for lessons. With the aid of line drawings, he describes golf's basic techniques, how to maintain a consistent swing and how to build up self-confidence.
The book is also aimed at regular golfers whose skills have rusted who require guidance to get them back on the fairways. Alliss's humorous and consistently helpful book confirms that golf is a great game not just for grumpy old men, but is an accessible and hugely enjoyable pastime for all.
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