Ken Altshuler’s philosophy about life goes something like this: Cram as much in as possible.

He applies that same credo to his golf game: The more, the better.

Altshuler, a Portland radio talk-show host and lawyer, now counts himself as a published author. Portland-based Sellers Publishing Inc. has published his first book, “Golf Foreplay: Everything You Need to Know About the Game — Before You Try to Hit the Sweet Spot.”

The book is doing very well. It’s earned positive reviews, including one in Sports Illustrated.

Not bad for a first-time writer.

“I owned a bookstore when I was 21 years old, right out of college,” he said. “I love books, and always have. I knew I wanted to write a book, but I couldn’t. When this idea came to me, I thought to myself, ‘I can write this book. I love this game, I know it. I can write this book.’“

And so he did.

The book is designed to teach beginners not just the rules of golf, but also its etiquette. Altshuler’s goal is to help newcomers avoid making fools of themselves.

“I want beginning golfers, or even intermediate golfers, to never be embarrassed playing golf,” he said.

Altshuler dubbed around on the course in high school, but never really played until he turned 45. He’s 58 now. He began golfing at the suggestion of his wife, Lynda Doyle. He had just joined the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and was bound for a meeting in Cancun, Mexico.

“My wife said to me, ‘Why don’t you play golf? It’s a good way to meet people.’ So I signed up for the golf tournament. They put me with the president of the organization. I couldn’t play golf, but I had a great time.”

The next year, his wife gave him a set of high-quality irons. He was hooked, and has barely paused since. He has a 17 handicap — you’ll have to read the book to figure out how to use the handicap index — and plays several times a week. His home course is The Woodlands Club in Falmouth. He lives in Durham.

Altshuler and his wife have two daughters, Chelsea Doyle, who works in the newsroom of The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, and Amy Doyle, a senior producer at CNN.

“Golf Foreplay” is a guide to all the do’s and don’ts of the game. It includes jokes and trivia, as well the history of the game, a list of famous courses, important golfers and key rules and tips. He tells you what to wear on the course, what not to wear and how to select the right clubs.

He gleaned his lessons from experience.

The genesis came when he and Ronnie Sellers, the book’s publisher, teamed up for a game at Nonesuch in Scarborough.

“Ronnie hits the first ball, not terrible; it made the fairway. Then he tees up for the second shot on the fairway, and I said, ‘You cannot tee up the ball on the fairway.’ He said, ‘Why not?’ I said, ‘Because it’s the rules.’ And I thought, you know, someone should write a book.”

Sellers, being a publisher and all, was the perfect guy to make it happen. He challenged Altshuler to write a fun and informative text. The next day, Altshuler wrote a table of contents, an introduction and the first chapter.

He sent it off to Sellers, who shared the material with his editorial team. They all agreed that Altshuler’s idea was a good one.

He spent the next year writing, editing and rewriting.

He might have finished it sooner, but Altshuler is a busy man. In addition to his work as a family lawyer — he practices law in Portland and will soon become president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers — he co-hosts a daily morning news and information show on WGAN-AM. When he gets off the air at 9 a.m., he goes to work, spends most of the day at work or in court, and tries to get home by 6 p.m. He’s in bed by 9 p.m.

But he always finds time for golf. He has a standing commitment every Tuesday afternoon at the Woodlands, and tries to golf on Fridays as well. Whenever he travels, his clubs go with him.

“Everywhere I go, I play a little golf,” he said.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

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