A Book Review From My High School English Teacher

I’m always quick to tell folks that I learned how to write from a collection of incredible high school English teachers. What they taught me in my adolescent years still shapes the words I craft today. I think about their lessons often and fondly recall how they helped me become a passionate writer. Their influence can be found in every chapter of my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf.

Recently, I was delighted to hear that one of my favorite teachers had not only picked up a copy, but also decided to write me a personal review. She delivered her comments to me via a visit to my mom’s salon where she still gets her hair done. When reading her elegant notes, I had a flashback to all the papers she graded for me in the past. It was good to see that handwriting again.

Below are her comments as transcribed from the note she left for me. I think it’s the best book review I could have ever hoped for. I enjoyed her comments so much that I thought it would be fun to share them.

Jay,

I took your advice and read your book in bits & pieces. Since I will lend my copy to others, I didn’t want to write my comments on the pieces themselves, so Ill just jot notes to you here…

Loved your introduction, especially the first sentence. Nice little tease at the end too. Then I went to the poetry. Imagine that, “Daylight Savings Swings” was my favorite. “How I Got Hooked on Golf” also spoke to me — intro and conclusion framed it so well. Loved the focus on your relationship with your grandfather. The dedication to your daughter Winnie with Chapter 10 about fatherhood was great. Talking about her with your mom is such fun!

The nine virtues you spoke about in your first chapter made me think about how they are also the ones needed for a successful life. One thing I noticed reading through all the pieces was the figurative language you used, like in “One Last Walk.” Mmmm…maybe you are a poet after all.

Your “On Common Ground” piece made me tear up. It was so beautiful. Maybe that’s just the mama in me. I’m sure your brother loves it as well.

“A Simple Game for Trouble Times” was a great conclusion for the book. “Our times may be troubled, but we have to avoid the convenience of isolation.” Wow! ” We must choose to lean in and engage with one another.” Yes, indeed. Engage with our animals like Leon as well, right?

Chapter 8 shows a lot about you and your priorities. It’s nice that you can have a “club in my hand and hope in my heart” all in your own back yard.

“Braggadocios”? Did you make that word up?

Chapter 11 had such great ideas in your strategic plan.

Glad to see the hangover at the Ocean Course didn’t completely dismantle you.

As you noted on page 83, I hope you’ll continue to play “fun, faster, freewheeling, and far from caring too much about the score.” You know my writer self like the alliteration( remember that?) in this sentence.

I enjoyed seeing the connection between golf and technology that led you to the Shindig. Sounds like money well spent.

Jay, I could definitely see that you have found your voice in this book. So glad I got to read it. You did a fine job of writing it.

Congratulations!

— Sharon

Writing my first book reminded me of so many things that I learned from teachers like Sharon. I hope what I published has made her and others proud.

If you liked Sharon’s review, you might enjoy reading the book in full. You can pick up a copy at the link below.

Cheers,

-J

The Nine Virtues of Golf is the #1 New Release Golf Book on Amazon!

About the Book

In his debut book, golf writer Jay Revell takes readers for a walkabout through his personal experiences, recollections, and theories from a lifetime spent in the sport. The Nine Virtues of Golf is a compilation of short pieces that speak to Revell’s beliefs about the game. Handpicked by the author, this collection of Revell’s work is a reflection of someone who lives for the game of golf. 

Designed to be picked up and read ten minutes at a time, The Nine Virtues of Golf is a perfect companion for golf trips, beach days, and bedside reading. Revell likes to describe his book as “a greatest hits album of sorts” featuring a mix of essays, poems, stories, and other contemplations published by the author in recent years. 

With stories that describe the joy of playing golf, Revell has built a global following of golfing diehards. In The Nine Virtues of Golf, the author brings those tales together in an easily digestible reader that’s perfectly suited for anyone with a passion for golf. 

About the Author

Jay Revell is a golf writer based in Tallahassee, Florida. He is the author of  The Nine Virtues of Golf: Essays, Musings, and Other Contemplations on the Game. His stories, essays, travelogues, and histories have been featured in a wide variety of popular publications including The Golfer’s Journal, McKellar Magazine, Golf.com, and Golf Advisor. Jay has also worked with a number of golf relevant brands such as MacKenzie Golf Bags and Visit Florida. He publishes regular musings on the game via his personal website JayRevell.com.

Beyond golf, Jay is Vice President for Advocacy & Public Policy for the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. As a public affairs professional, he applies over a decade of experience in the realms of public policy, advocacy, public relations, and content creation for community-based causes, campaigns, and other critical services at the local level.

Jay is a husband and father to his wife Sarah and daughter Winnie. He lives with his family and their two wonderful dogs, Leon and Bodie. His family, including their dogs, are featured prominently in his daily golf stories published on his Instagram page.

Jay Revell can be reached in the following ways.

Email: jayrevelltlh@gmail.com and Twitter: @JayRevell

Raves and Reviews

“In this collection you’ll have a chance to not just relive some of Jay’s golf epiphanies, but to recognize your own within them. Just as it’s easy work to connect with Jay as a golf partner, so is it to connect with his words, finding your golfing self in the questions he puts forth, and the answers he discovers.”  –Tom Coyne, New York Times Best Selling Author of A Course Called Scotland

“Is Jay’s life golf? Or is his golf his life? The simple answer is, yes. His total immersion into the soul, culture and community of the game is informative and inspiring. There’s no one who doesn’t benefit from his observations and opinions as he passionately pursues a life of golf.”Matt Ginella, Host of The Fire Pit podcast and former Golf Channel Travel Insider

“Every time I read Jay’s words, I immediately want to get out and play golf. What higher endorsement could there be for a golf writer?” –Tony Dear, Author of The Story of Golf in Fifty Holes

“Jay Revell writes about the game of golf like others write about their kids. His love for the game rolls off the page like a 2-foot putt for eagle. His love for golf is natural and unmatched…in many ways, it’s like peering into his golfing soul.” – Connor T. Lewis, Founder, The Society or Golf Historians and host of the TalkinGolf History Podcast

“Jay expresses beautifully what many of us struggle to articulate: that golf is just a game in the same way air is just for breathing.” – Rod Mori, Host of The State of the Game podcast

“There’s writing about golf and there’s writing about the joy of playing golf. Jay does the latter and does it very well.” – Adrian Logue, Co-host The Good-Good Golf Podcast 

“Now comes yet another “golf scribe” who would not just scribble dribble but rather paint vivid word pictures informing majestic tapestries of friends and friendships forged on terra firma transformed from the soil of dreams into the fabric of reality. Jay Revell is his name. Creative golf writing is his game.” – Sidney L. Matthew, Author of The Life and Times of Bobby Jones

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In the Author’s Words

I believe that golf is the most soulful game ever devised by man. This book is a compilation of essays, musings, and other contemplations that explore my feelings on the subject. Being a lifelong golfer, I have formed many working theories on the game and through my pursuit of the sport I’ve settled on a few that I think hold true. In this collection, you’ll find a variety of my writings on golf and why the game means so much to me and the millions of people who play it. 

These thoughts and stories may be told from my perspective, but I continue to find that they connect with golfers around the globe. Golf is a game of virtue and it creates a unique bond between those who play it. Despite our different experiences, we all tend to come back to the same observations. Speaking to that truth has always been my aim as a writer.

Golf affects those who play it like no other game known to man. It has meditative power and transformational properties. The game is an emotional roller coaster and most players want a nonstop ride. Because golf speaks to the human experience, some people even find redemption in it. Much like religion, golf is also a saving grace. My stories are designed to reflect that. 

I found golf in a small town and it has taken me to courses all across America. Golf has brought me closer to family and earned me friends from many corners of the world. This game is a vessel that has carried me between the chapters of my life. For these many reasons and more, I am unabashedly in love with golf. I write about the game because it means so much to me and this book and its contents are a reflection of that. 

If you believe as I do — that golf is an essential part of life, then I genuinely expect that you will enjoy these readings. If not, then perhaps they can serve as a pathway to some new considerations on the game. Golf is everywhere and all we have to do is go play it. I am hopeful that The Nine Virtues of Golf will lead you to more frequent swings and regular walks on the course you call home. 

Cheers to golf and all that makes it great!

-Jay Revell