BOOK REVIEW: How To Line Up Your Fourth Putt & When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever

Courtesy R. Runk Golf is a funny game.  You wake up much earlier than you normally would, get dressed in clothing you would otherwise never wear outside of the house, and you drive to a large open field where you plan to curse and get angry for roughly 4 hours.  In a nutshell, the game of golf is as frustrating as it is enjoyable for 98% of the population who have fallen victim to the game's siren-esque calling.  However, no matter how serious one might take his or her game while actually playing, one thing is for certain: you have to be able to laugh at yourself.  Or, as Bobby Rusher believes, laugh at your partner or caddy.

Rusher's books, How to Line Up Your Fourth Putt and When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever, are not your typical golf-tip manuals or swing guides.  Heck, even the way these books have been published - one-page chapters bound together by a green spiral backing in a up-to-down flip chart format - lets the reader know that this is no ordinary golf book series.  Instead, readers and golfer alike will be introduced to a different type of instruction: realism, with a huge dosage of humor.

Make no bones about it; these books are hilarious.  Never before have I read a golf book - regardless of format - that had me laughing out loud more often than what Rusher has released in his work.  The books themselves are not long or difficult to read by any means; however, I often found myself re-reading a chapter just to laugh again at an incredible presentation of wit mixed with realism.  How are Putt and Regrip able to poke fun at the reader without coming off as offensive?  Simple: undeniable talent from an incredibly skilled author.

Rusher comes off as an "everyman"; the type of golfer you or I have played a round with 100 times in our golfing careers.  Remember that time when you were laying 5 on the tee after hitting the ground twice, just before trying to pawn those horrible swings off as "practice"?  Or how about the time your playing partner ended a hole with a Dunlop after teeing off with a Titleist?  I know; you have to recall the time your opponent reported a double bogey despite you watching him hit three balls into the water, right?

Courtesy R. Runk

Well, Rusher certainly remembers these occasions, and I certainly do as well.  Putt and Regrip are presented as a hysterical "get tip guide" for the average golfer to use whenever he or she decides to undergo 4 hours of torture (i.e., your next round of golf).  In the process, Rusher offers the reader a chance to examine his or her own silly idiosyncrasies and habits in blaring clarity that can only be described as refreshing, real, and wholeheartedly honest.

For example, chapters described in the debut offering How to Line Up Your Fourth Putt and it's sequel, When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever, Rusher touches on topics such as "How to behave when you lie 2 on the ladies tee", "What to do if they duck on the 5th when you yell “fore” on the 11th", and "The difference between a game that is a “problem” and a game that is a “mess”. Needless to say the reader is immediately shown that they are in for a tongue-in-cheek, no-topic-unturned journey of self-discovery, brutally-honest revelations, and unmatched comedy.

I have read many different golf books in my career, ranging from instructional booklets to fictional stories.  Never before have I ever read a series of books that I could relate to more on every level than the work that Rusher has provided to the golfing world.

Golf is a funny game, indeed.  In many ways, life can be ever more funny.  When the two aspects of a person's experience on the golf course are examined with the art and talent that Rusher expresses in his work, one thing is for certain: golf and life are meant to be enjoyed, dammit.

Do not miss out on a great opportunity to look at your golf game in the way it was supposed to be seen.

How to Line Up Your Fourth Putt and When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever are available by visiting  Bobby Rusher (aka Robert Runk) is also an accomplished musician and also offers an equally-funny CD of golf tunes entitled Music to Shank By.  Both books and his CD are available on the website.


(Note: As a follow-up to this review, will also post an interview with author Robert Runk in an upcoming post.  Stay tuned...)