Teacher’s Comments: A mixed bag. Your mileage may will vary.
The first section of the book might best be called “Grown Men Behaving Badly,” and is an account of the antics of a group of golfers who call themselves the Hucks. If you enjoy stories of the buffoonery of aging frat boys, you’ll like this part. I laughed for a few pages, but quickly grew tired of the immaturity.
I think that I would have enjoyed it much more if the hijinks had been billed as fiction. The stories read like excerpts from Caddyshack and I would have had more toleration if I thought it a fantasy. My feeling was the author needed to take the collection of stories, add an overarching narrative and sell it as a novel.
The middle is a golf version of the Divine Comedy, which is clever and funny.
The final part makes a complete 180 and becomes a series of essays on a religious philosophy of golf. It is interesting, but after the first two sections, I was not sure if I was meant to take it seriously. (I assume, however, that I was).
Roybob, who holds a Masters in theology and a doctorate in humanities, makes some interesting points regarding golf and religious beliefs. He manages to connect golf to the thoughts and writings of—among others—John Calvin, Alfred North Whitehead, Michael Murphy, Black Elk and Ludwig Wittenstein.
I liked the final part, but thought that—like the first—it needed to be extended into a book that stands on its own.
The writing in Roybob’s Book On Golf is clean and clear. And unlike many self-published books it keeps the typos and grammatical mistakes to a minimum.
In the final analysis, Roybob’s Book On Golf was for me really two and a half short books—a humor novel in the making, a complete short story in the Golf Divine Comedy, and most of a serious work on golf philosophy. Any of these would be worth reading on their own. As a mulligan stew, however, it didn’t quite work for me.