He is not a pro golfer. Nor a successful amateur, or a respected writer on the game. He is not a golf commentator, or a caddie, or a gold guru, or a Dutch sports psychologist, or ageing, golf-playing light entertainer.
No: Richard Russell is just an ordinary golfer. An under-achieving member of Sunningdale, whose only claim to fame is that he never, ever wears a sweater - not even in January. He plays of 6, which is the worst handicap anyone can have in golf: too low to win the handicap competition, too high to win the scratch ones. Consequently, his life is one of joint fifteenths and dusty mantelpieces.
Part autobiography, part theory, part book of golfing fun, My Baby Got the Yips is unlike any golf book you've ever read. It doesn't lift the lid on the Ryder Cup. It won't reveal the man behind the myth, and it doesn't go behind the scenes at the Majors. This playful memoir of a golfing nobody is concerned with much more interesting and rarely-ponders matters.
For example: the best way to throw a golf club; the greatest golfer you've never heard of; the ten most marvellous golfing moments; the champion who became a hacker; the impossibleness of putting; the civilised splendour of the halfway hut, and the secret of golf. As you reach the end, you will conclude that this is a man who feels about golf the way that millions around the world do. Charming, funny and wise, My Baby got the Yips captures the essence of the game and touches everybody who plays it.
"No game infiltrates the imagination quite as golf does. Richard Russell's observations are so in tune with the spirit of the maddening pursuit that it almost qualifies as a masterpiece." The Sunday Times
Richard Russell is an advertising copyrwriter and a member of Sunningdale Golf Club and Rye Golf Club.