Edgar wrote a golf book entitled The Gate to Golf, based on his discoveries made in England. Edgar had an ailing hip which he could not turn freely. Through experimentation, he found that a restricted hip turn still allowed a repeatable swing with excellent power and control. This book proved to have significant impact on golf instruction, right up to the present time.
Edgar was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He won the French Open in 1914. He coached the young player Tommy Armour, who became a prominent professional after 1920; Armour later praised Edgar as having helped him the most. The legendary Harry Vardon stated that Edgar was on his way to becoming a player who could surpass everyone.
Edgar emigrated to the United States in April 1919, following World War I. He was the head professional at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta. Edgar played frequently with the young Bobby Jones at the Atlanta Athletic Club (the site of today’s East Lake Golf Club) from 1919-1921. He mentored and coached Jones during this period as well. Jones developed into one of the dominant golfers of the 1920s.
Edgar won the Canadian Open in 1919 at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club by a record 16 strokes (a winning margin which still stands for a PGA Tour event), with Jones second, and came back the next year to win that title again. He lost the 1920 PGA Championship, one of golf’s majors, in a match play final to Jock Hutchison. During 1919-20, Edgar was among the top players in the world.
Edgar’s death was mysterious. He was found late at night on an Atlanta street, bleeding heavily from a deep wound in his leg, and died in the street before any trained help could arrive. The case was turned over to police, but never solved. He left a wife and two children in England.
In an article published in Sports Illustrated in April 2010, writer Steve Eubanks wrote that Edgar was having an affair with a married Atlanta woman, and that this likely played a central role in Edgar’s death. Eubanks’ article was an excerpt from his book To Win and Die in Dixie, a biography of Edgar published later that year.
You can download this golf instruction book here: Free Old Golf Book Download #3
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This is an excellent golf instruction book that I know you’ll enjoy reading and just goes to show you that nothing has really changed that much in ninety years.
Until next time,
“What I’m talkin about is a game, a game that can’t be won only played.” – Bagger Vance
Have you ever read the book “The Legend of Bagger Vance?” I read Steven Pressfield’s excellent book when it hit the book shelves in 1995 and my impression was here’s a guy who has written a book that gives us a small glimpse into golf’s never world through the eyes of a tormented man and golfer named Rannulph Junah. Maybe you saw the movie adaptation of the book which starred Matt Damon as Rannuph Junnah, a local golf champion from Savannah Georgia who plays an historic golf match against two titans of the golf world at that time, Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones.
Will Smith play’s Junnah’s caddie Bagger Vance an interesting character who provides Junnah with unusual insights into improving his golf game and for that matter his life. Bagger Vance is a teacher of the game of golf and he instructs Junnah on how to access his “authentic golf swing.”
In the movie clip Junnah is faced with a common dilemma facing all golfers and everyone else…choice. Bagger Vance tells Junnah that he has a choice, he can stop or he can play. He can stop trying to play the game of golf and just play it.
“Now play the game, your game – the one that you was only meant to play.”
This golf story reminds me of the dialogue between Alice and the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” said Alice. “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.”I don’t much care where–” said Alice.”Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.”–so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.”Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough…”
We are constantly being asked to make a choice, a decision about which way to go? But do you make it on your own, or do you have a “Bagger Vance” to help you make your choice or decision?
Bagger’s final bit of advice before Junnah exorcises his demons and hits his shot is this; “let yourself remember your swing.”
You have always got a choice…you can stop trying to play golf, or keep trying to play and…
Golf confidence lives outside of the shadows.
Until next time.
P.S A Little Golf Trivia…Matt Damon did not have any previous experience playing golf; he spent a month with golf pro Tim Moss in Hilton Head, South Carolina, to prepare for the role…Pretty Impressive!