by Ron Medalla
Eighteen Holes With Grandpa is an unusual golf book. Neither instruction nor history, it is instead a collection of pearls of wisdom from the author’s father-in-law, dispensed as a round of golf at Yale’s golf course. Medalla says he wrote the book “because I want my boys, John’s grandsons,to have a piece of the experience” of playing with Grandpa. In writing the book, he also lets us have the same experience.
Each of the eighteen chapters describes a hole at the course, offers a short story and then a “Playing Tip”—a philosophical nugget that could apply equally to golf and to life. For example:
Hole 18: I Would Hit Your Five Wood
The last hole on the course is a very tricky par 5 and everyone pulls out his driver. However, to land on the small raised fairway, you need to hit the most perfect long drive. Otherwise your ball will likely be lost in the hidden grassy hill in front of the fairway. When I reach for my driver, Grandpa always says to me, “ I would hit your five wood.”
Playing Tip: Don’t be greedy! Life is a long journey composed of a series of small steps,not one big leap.
I enjoyed the book, but know that it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Medalla’s father-in-law reminds me of my own grandfather, who would dispense his wisdom on fishing trips, or around the work table as we tied fishing flies. For the right person, I think this would be a nice Father’s Day gift.