Thoughtful Thursday: Then there were three

Just over four years ago, my very good friend Karl Morris and I decided we would write a book together. We had talked about it for some time and while we knew it was going to be a book on golf, we weren’t entirely sure exactly which direction it would take initially.

We had been hosting some putting schools and Master Classes at Archerfield Links where I am based and were seeing some quite astonishing results with players of all abilities, from relative newcomers to the game to seasoned professionals.

Our initial aim was to help players hole more putts, shoot lower scores and perhaps, more importantly, have more fun on the golf course. We wanted to avoid traditional “technical instruction”, as we had seen too many players over the years lose their natural ability by drowning in a sea of information in their pursuit of a “perfect stroke”, whatever that looks like?!

Decision made, we would write a book about how to become more efficient on the putting surfaces and the concept of “The Lost Art Of Putting” was born.
Fast forward a few months and with the help of 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, who was kind enough to write the foreword, we launched our first book at the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open just along the road at Gullane.

We joked at the time that if we didn’t actually sell any copies of the book, at the very least we would have some very nice 150-page business cards! We needn’t have worried as it soon became an Amazon best-seller and continues to sell around the world. 

As satisfying as that was and still is, what gives us a far greater sense of satisfaction are the thank you notes, letters, and emails we continue to receive from golfers from all four corners of the globe. The words which keep popping up in these notes of thanks are “liberating, freedom, gratitude, and enjoyment”. If we have helped even a small number of golfers to experience any of these, then we feel we have done our job.

On the back of the success of our first collaboration, we were encouraged to embark on another journey to follow on from our thoughts and ideas on putting in the form of another book.

After much deliberation, we decided this one should be about “The Lost Art of Playing Golf”. During the process of putting this together, a chance meeting and subsequent conversations Karl had with Rudy Duran, who was Tiger Woods’ first coach, in China of all places, confirmed we had chosen the right topic.

Rudy very generously agreed to write the foreword where he talked a lot about the young Tiger and his desire to learn how to create all sorts of different shots with different clubs. Something we feel has been lost to a certain degree in recent years.

With the help of some great guest contributors, as we had with our first book, combined with countless hours of research, writing, and re-writing, in October 2019, we launched “The Lost Art Of Playing Golf”.

Naturally, we experienced a certain amount of trepidation as to whether this one might sell and whether we had got the content, flow, and tone of this one right.

Once again, we were delighted not only when this too became an Amazon best-seller but the content seemed to resonate with a far greater number of golfers than we could ever have expected or wished for. We really weren’t sure that the opening chapter about “Gratitude” would be welcomed by people wanting to play better golf but from the feedback we have since received, we are glad we choose to include it.

Over the last couple of years, Karl and I, just like pretty much everyone else on the planet, have had certain issues to deal with due to this global pandemic. We both had longer periods of not having any income from our day-to-day coaching than we would have liked but it did provide us with the opportunity of dust off our respective laptops and get writing again.

This time we felt we should provide an alternative viewpoint on the short game, having already covered putting and actually playing the game.
Once again, we have had tremendous support from a variety of guest contributors (you’ll need to buy the books to find out who they all are), including the legendary Bob Vokey, the godfather of wedge design, who wrote the foreword for “The Lost Art Of The Short Game”.

As with our previous two books, the waiting game we had to play while the publishers and printers turned all our collective thoughts from Word documents into books, as anyone who has written a book will tell you, is a period when the second and hour hands on our clocks and watches appear to be working in slow motion.

In addition to the three books, we are also offering a “The Lost Art Of Golf Collection” box set which contains all three books in a very stylish cover, these are available to pre-order and will be available in the coming weeks.

What started out as an idea just over four years ago, turned into a book, then a follow-up, and then there were three!

Despite the fact Karl and I have read, re-read and proofread this third book more times than we care to count, we can’t wait to share our thoughts and ideas on the short game with the golf world and we wait impatiently for “The Lost Art Of The Short Game” to be held in the hands of golfers all around the world.

Until next time, appreciate every opportunity you have to play this great game.

Gary Nicol

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