Robert Runk is not a golfer by profession or even avocation. Truthfully, he's not much of a golfer at all. And yet, the Southport man has written two golf instruction manuals, parodies of them anyway, that should be on the holiday gift list of any golfer, according to his friend Bob Bruder.

Runk will appear at Borders book store in Fairfield this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to discuss golf and sign copies of his books: "How to Line Up Your Fourth Putt" and "When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever."

Using his humbling experiences on the golf course, self-deprecating humor and the pen name Bobby Rusher, Runk first wrote "How to Line Up Your Fourth Putt" in 1993, and followed that with the recently released sequel "When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever." A bunch of one-liners became his table of contents.

Runk's books include chapters like How to Get More Distance off the Shank, When to Blame the Caddie, How to Obtain Golf Handicap Permits, Hyphenated Insults to Use in Tense Situations, Crying and How to Handle It, What to Do When You Run out of Excuses, and What to Do When Your Ball Retriever is too Short to Get Your Putter out of the Tree.

"People read the table of contents and some of them are in tears (of laughter)," Runk said.

"He has a unique slant on viewing the game of golf. People who have a sense of humor will definitely appreciate his books, and people who don't have a sense of humor around the game of golf need them even more," said Bruder, who is also from Fairfield.

"Bob captures the essence of satirical and paradoxical things that can happen on a round of golf, and how to make fun of ourselves and our (golf) partners," Bruder said.

"Everything hilarious that I've experienced is covered in these books. I think people need to laugh at the strange trajectories and mysterious bounces," Runk said. A serious musician, who studied classical music for seven years before discovering Chuck Berry, Runk is also the distributor of a CD called Music to Shank By, by the Mighty Mulligans.

Runk's literary inspiration struck him like an errant golf ball while playing his first-ever round of golf at Wee Burn Country Club in Darien. He took up the game around age 35 at the recommendation of his then boss, who suggested golf was a great business tool. In his "real" life, Runk is executive vice president of Willis Group, Ltd., a risk management and insurance intermediary in New York City.

It took more than six hours to complete that first game. "They were very patient with me," he said.

For more information about Runk and his books visit his website at