Club Life: The Games Golfers Play
by John Steinbreder
Teacher’s Comments: Too much of this book is irrelevant to the average golfer.
Club Life, by John Steinbreder is a collection of the GolfWeek columnists’ essays on private golf clubs. While not laughing-out-loud funny, Steinbreder does look at the clubs with a humorous edge, chronicling their their foibles and charms as only an insider could.
But therein lies the problem. To properly appreciate Steinbreder’s writings, I think you have to be a member of such a club yourself. Players at public links no doubt will scratch their heads at some of the inane goings on at private clubs. Indeed, even members of less pretentious clubs—like the one to which I belong—will not recognize the scene.
For me, the best parts of the book chronicled Steinbreder’s efforts—and those of his friend Jenkins—to enforce a sort of golf purity at their clubs. The two of them seem to be fighting a rear guard action, opposing such things as halfway houses and supporting the return of caddies to the club.
However, a great deal of the book just left me cold. I don’t care about the best club restaurants, the qualities of superior locker rooms, and the particulars of the designs of club logos. Steinbreder also lost me with his essays on club membership, treatment of staff, and whether or not membership should survive a divorce.
In the end, I don’t think I can recommend this book to the average, public links golfer. However, if you belong to a golf club, you may laugh at the reflection in the mirror of this book.