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June 25, 1997|MIKE PENNER

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

What: "Golfers on Golf: Witty, Colorful and Profound Quotations on the Game of Golf"

Price: $14.95 (General Publishing Group)

Author Downs MacRury says he began piecing together this collection of quips, musings, observations and one-liners "to address a perceived need in the literature of golf. For, surprisingly, there are few sophisticated books of quotes on golf."

Actually, that's not so surprising.

Typically, expletive-laden rants about giving-up-this-freaking-game are seldom sophisticated, particularly when delivered while one's five-iron is wrapped around a eucalyptus.

Thus, "Golfers on Golf" devotes a chapter to quotes about "Failure," another to "Pressure and Nerves" and offers useful advice from Tommy Bolt on proper club-flinging technique--"If you are going to throw a club, it is important to throw it ahead of you, down the fairway, so you don't waste energy going back to pick it up."

Craig Stadler on failure: "The game just embarrasses you until you feel inadequate and pathetic. You want to cry like a child."

Tom Watson on pressure and nerves: "We all choke. You just try to choke last."

Golf lends itself to humor, because of the two options on the course, laughter is generally preferred over the nervous breakdown.

If "Golfers On Golf" has a central point of view, it is that the game is best taken seriously, but never too much so. In the words of Simon Hobday, "Golf giveth and golf taketh away. But it taketh away a hell of a lot more than it giveth."

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