E.M. Prain

Certainly not the most widely known name…but for those who haven’t heard of him, let me share a little of his work—

[i]The ball, if the truth be known, plays a brilliant defensive game. Confident in its own emplacement, it does nothing to interfere, but waits for the player to attack.

Consider the matter a moment in a mood of exaggeration. The course is empty and you are without a partner. You and the ball are about to start the intimate personal duel in which only one can survive. You know you must attack and you are wondering about your plan. The ball is perfectly calm and brilliantly on the defensive.

You tee up and grasp the club, perhaps a little quickly, and with a number of plans in your mind. You start the address, that preliminary reconnaissance, the probing of the enemy line. Then you launch the assault, trying to stick to one plan, but halfway up the backswing you decide that the time is not ripe.

You drop the club and light a cigarette, and you give the enemy a threatening look while trying to conceal your fear. You walk away and take in the surrounding view. Everything is very peaceful. Some cows are grazing in the field to the right of the tee. A shot landing in that field will hardly disturb their peace, but you know that it will disturb you because it will cost you a stroke.

Trying to eradicate such thoughts you turn again to the tee, eagerly hoping that perhaps you can see a gap in the defenses. Everything is just as it was. The ball is impregnably calm, awaiting the expected attack. You walk to the start line once more, muttering as you go- “I wonder who it was who said that this is a cold-blooded business.”

Only good generals survive. They survive and are successful because experience has taught them the principles and techniques of their art. These principles are the basis of their plan, and when they have decided just how they will attack—or the shot they wish to play—they waste no time in attacking, confident of success because they are obeying those principles which have stood the test of time.[/i]

E.M. Prain…1946 One of my favorite passages…RR

Philosophy meets warfare meets golf…deep stuff!

Certainly, I would subscribe to the view that being very clear in your mind what you have to do is 90% of the battle…I think being a good player does mean being able to make correct assessments and then acting decisively with good technique.

I liked this quote so much that I bought his book…thanks RR.


Can I also recommend “The Art of Coarse Golf” by Michael Green.

Several side splitting chapters, I never go anywhere without a moave tee :laughing: