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On The Table Read, “The Best Book Reader Magazine in the UK“, author WJ Hendry shares the story of his new book, 18 Holes Of Quantum Golf, and what inspired him to write it.

18 Holes of Quantum Golf: a simple explanation by two old pals of why the Universe fits together the way it does while they’re competing in a round of golf for their own personal trophy. Humour & fact swing together to give the reader an easily understood overview of the ascent of science from the early Greek thinkers to our modern world by way of Galileo, Newton, Einstein and many others.

18 Holes Of Quantum Golf

First time author W J Hendry – the pen name of Bill Hendry – got the idea for ’18 Holes of Quantum Golf’ after playing a round of his favourite game with a childhood friend who lives an hour’s drive away. The pair are both well past retirement age and they meet up several times a year at each other’s course where they play for their cherished personal trophy.

18 Holes Of Quantum Golf by WJ Hendry on The Table Read
18 Holes Of Quantum Golf

“During one particular round, which was  very slow, my old mate and I discussed a chance meeting we had in the clubhouse and that took us on to a discussion about how the modern world that we take for granted came about.”

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Quantum Golf

Of course, you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy this book because there’s an awful lot of humour in it that can relate to us all. However, for the uninitiated in the sport, the term Quantum Golf does exist – and there’s a whole organisation and website dedicated to it.

Basically, Quantum Golf is designed to improve a golfer’s performance based on classical physics which teaches us about how everything is related. About how you can trace back every cause to its effect in a way that can be described or codified by mathematics and the known laws of our planet such as gravity. 

For those who love the sport, as is surely the case with Bob and Alec, Quantum Golf means that everything is interconnected. You, your thoughts, your swing, your body, others around you or connected to you in some way. All of these things have an effect on your swing and especially on your score.  Stop thinking that the only thing you have to pay attention to is how well you swing on the range. That doesn’t matter one bit as we all have experienced not being able to take your range game to the course. As Shakespeare said: “Nothing is good or bad, except what thinking makes it so.”

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Brilliant Thinkers

The book’s main aim is to provide the reader with a simple account of how we humans have gained our current knowledge of the only universe that we’re ever likely to inhabit. It’s the story told in normal everyday language of the many brilliant thinkers from Thales, who lived in the ancient Greek city-state of Miletus 2,600 years ago, right up to our current understanding by way of Aristotle, Demotricus, Galileo, Newton, Einstein and many others.

It’s not written as a normal popular science e-book, but as a story told in friendly and humorous conversations between two senior citizens who’ve been best pals since they were five years old. The main characters are Alec and Bob who, although now living a distance apart, meet five or six times a year to compete for their own trophy which is a pair of worthless 1970’s ten shilling banknotes encased in a plastic beer mat. As well as being an icon of their friendship, the ownership of this small square of plastic has become an important totem for both.

The Characters

The story includes the boys’ wives, Brenda and Alice, along with Jean, who’s a dedicated amateur thespian and has been their wives’ best friend since their early schooldays. The last character is Frank, a golfing mate of the boys, who has been described by Bob’s wife Alice as “That randy laddie who’s the cause of us meeting you pair!” Today’s game, in which Bob is hoping to recapture their trophy, was mooted several months previously to coincide with Jean’s last performance before she retires after 50 years of sterling service with The Players, a local amateur dramatic society.

While they’re waiting to go out on their odyssey, Bob and Alec are approached in the clubhouse by Frank, who’s with a small group waiting to be called in for lunch. He asks Alec if he would care to join them and meet-up with a professor who’d been one of his lecturers when he spent four years studying mathematics at university. Once they’re out on the course, Alec tells Bob that this chance meeting has brought back memories of their childhood and explains why Bob’s father was responsible for his love of numbers.

Conversations

Their only concession to old age is to use a golf cart and this, along with playing behind a very slow group of golfers on a work’s outing, gives them more than time to discuss personal matters as well as science from its early days right up to where we are now. The book is mainly the everyday jokey conversations between the pair of them and there’s no technical language in it apart from Einstein’s famous equation that changed the world.

Their discussions range from the discovery of how Aristotle and Plato managed to delay the spread of true scientific knowledge for centuries up to the discovery of the Higgs boson and the current view on how much more there is out there that’s still waiting to be revealed.

Their match culminates in an unusual way and shows that you don’t need to be a scientist to get an overview of what’s going on in the quantum, or sub-atomic, world and how this even applies to the outcome of their golf match.

The book ends with an emotional evening at the theatre where both Bob and Alec’s families and countless friends watch as Jean is thanked and presented with a wonderful tribute to her sterling 50 years’ service with The Players am dram group.

WJ Hendry on The Table Read
WJ Hendry

The cream’s put on the cake when she’s asked if she’d consent to being the society’s first Honorary President and Bob, referring to his wife’s favourite pop group, whispers in her ear “Sod ABBA… the real super trouper’s standing up there on the stage!”

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About WJ Hendry

Bill Hendry is thrilled that ‘18 Holes of Quantum Golf has become his first published book. W.J. Hendry he calls his “Sunday name.” His working life was spent with telephones and computers and, says Bill: “Most of my adult life I’ve been reading about science and technology and am constantly trying to find simple explanations that underlie their basic concepts. My golfing friend was a modern studies teacher who is ‘into’ the history of many subjects and between us we found we could get understandable explanations about subjects that seemed to be very complicated at the outset. The outline of the book just grew from that round of golf.”

Find more from WJ Hendry now:

‘18 Holes of Quantum Golf’ – subtitled ‘A Duffers Guide to the Universe’ – by W J Hendry and illustrated by Catherine Heffernan, is self-published and available at Amazon as an e-book, paperback or hardcover. Details at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/18-Holes-Quantum-Golf-Universe-ee-book/dp/B09JW5FDM2/

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