If you ever wonder why I never act certain that I’ve found all the existing Peanuts books, of even just all of the ones worth finding, it’s because of books like this. AAUGH Blog reader Scott pointed this unexpected volume out to me, and even help me land a copy of it.
Golf by Snoopy is a befuddling on so many levels, so many “how” and “why” questions. Spiral-bound with thick card pages, this book is to help you “learn to play golf the time honored traditional way with Charles M. Schulz and Al Mengert.” Mengert is a golfer, but if you’ve not heard of him, don’t be surprised; his PGA career peak was in the 1958 Masters tournament, where he came in ninth, though he had a nice long career as pro for various courses after that. The bulk of the book is 18 spreads (they same number as the number of holes on a golf course!) with on the left a simple sentence on playing golf properly, and on the right a black-and-white Peanuts image, printed squished or stretched out of proper height/width ratio. Most of the images are ones that were originally drawn for the National Golf Foundation, who have used them in various guides and posters over the years. They were also used as additional material in the golf-themed strip collection An Educated Slice.
Who put this book out? I can’t say for sure. It has no publisher name, no ISBN to check… but those absences (and several other things) suggest that Mengert may have self-published the work. Usually in such a case I’d suspect it of being a bootleg item, but the work does at least include a thanks to Peanuts Worldwide Entertainment and a listing of the copyright as being in their name…. which is also a little odd (copyrights usually get listed as “Peanuts Worldwide LLC” rather that “…Entertainment”) but not quite the mistake I’d expect a bootlegger to make.
But if I don’t know who published it, I have at least some sense of when. Seven years ago last week, Mengert got interviewed for this article which says he is “working on a Snoopy golf instruction book”. So it was sometime after that that this was completed.
How can you get a copy? Danged if I know. There aren’t any shops selling in online. For that matter, there wasn’t even any mention of this book’s title online before I put up this blog post (assuming my Googlefu was working), and boy, does that make it obscure! Both of the copies that I know to exist – Scott’s and mine – were purchased at the same golf course pro shop, but these were the last copies that they had on the shelf. (Sticker price at $26 apiece.) Is it sitting on the shelves of other pro shops? Is there a garage filled with them somewhere? There are mysteries in this that are yet to be explored!