Little Yellow Book

You start on Chapter 7.
A Boeing engineer wrote it.
A lot of what’s written won’t make sense.

Not your typical golf book.

In 2023, golf’s little yellow book, Homer Kelley’s The Golfing Machine¬†turns 54 years old. 54 years¬† is a long time. 54 years as a golf book especially so. 54 years to stay relevant in the golf industry? Practically unheard of.

But more than relevance what is the most striking is the respect that Homer Kelley and The Golfing Machine carries.

Foley is a disciple. Mark Blackburn too. Even though he has denounced certain elements of it, Manzella still speaks fondly, especially of his mentor and Golfing Machine master Ben Doyle.

Even Bryson, guided by coach Mike Schy, still exhibits many of the guidelines outlined within.

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I myself dabbled in it early on in my coaching career but admittedly only scratched the surface, using it more as a rite of passage. Now it just collects dust on my bookshelf, like so many who can’t really penetrate into the actual application of what is being described.

But it wasn’t through want of trying. One time when I was in the Pro Shop I was going through a particular section that peaked my interest. At that moment my boss and Pro at the time, half eating a sandwich, saw one of the diagrams I was perusing and spluttered,

“What the f*** is that!?” (it still makes me laugh).

I couldn’t answer him. I still wouldn’t be able to.

And I suppose that’s what differentiates the Golfing Machine from pretty much everything else. It undoubtedly is an instructional book and would absolutely fall into the category of a “method” philosophy, as much as it’s practitioners would probably deny this.

But it is so much more than than just a swing book. It is an ideology in its truest form. It’s a way of thinking about golf.

Rather than just the information within, you are purchasing a symbol of the value of invention. You are buying into the notion that with great toil, such as that of Kelley and all those who go through the Golfing Machine training process, that we as coaches can grow nearer to unlocking some of the secrets of this game that previously would be out of reach. That we can progress and evolve and so can our players with it.

This is why the Golfing Machine and its practitioners garner so much more respect than other “methods” and how it continues to stay relevant some 54 years later.

So, with all that being said, would I recommend the Golfing Machine? It’s hard to tell. For some it’s just too much. Too much science and not enough artistry. Too many diagrams and not enough application.

But for others, for a book that most of the definitions of concepts literally came from Websters Dictionary, it may just speak your language.


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