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GOLF BOOKS TO ASSIST THE MENTAL GAME - A LIST

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  • GOLF BOOKS TO ASSIST THE MENTAL GAME - A LIST

    Inspired by the revived 'Blow up Hole' thread:

    https://www.torontogolfnuts.com/foru...-blow-up-holes

    I gathered the books I own (admittedly I've not read all of them) that focus specifically on Golf's mental game - There are certainly more available, and this is just a sampling (Likely purchased a couple in the US, but believe most if not all are available via Indigo):

    Dr. Bob Rotella:
    • Golf is Not a Game of Perfect
    • Golf is a Game of Confidence
    • Your 15th Club
    • The Unstoppable Golfer
    • The Golfers Mind
    • How Champions Think
    Dr. Gio Valiante:
    • Fearless Golf
    • Golf Flow
    Other Miscellaneous:
    • Own Your Game - Dave Stockton
    • Be A Player - Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott
    • The Mindful Golfer - Stephen Altschuler
    • The Inner Game of Golf - Timothy Gallwey
    • Golf: The Art of the Mental Game - Dr. Joseph Parent
    • Extraordinary Golf - Fred Shoemaker
    • Mastering Golf's Mental Game - Dr. Michael T. Lardon
    • Don't Choke - Gary Player
    Hope this helps in some way. If you've read any of the above, please weigh in on your own reviews.

    Thank you,

    - Ian
    Last edited by tarrantian; Jun 3, 2019, 08:38 PM.
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    Taylormade TP EF Satin Chrome Wedges (KBS Tour Wedge) (52D/56D/60D)
    Golf Pride CP2 Pro Jumbo Grips (All Metals/Irons)
    Taylormade Spider Tour Black 34" (20G Weights)
    SuperStroke CounterCore Pistol GT 2.0
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  • #2
    From the list I've only read a couple Rotella books and Golf Flow, all of which I've enjoyed (if not applied).
    I liked "Every shot counts" (not listed) for a few nice nuggets as well.

    Not sure if Jared Tendler has a golf mental game book out but he does work with golfers and his mental game of poker books are worth their price many times over (many things apply to golf as well even without rewording things for golf specifically...which I'm sure he will do eventually if not already.

    A book on my wish list came up during these NBA finals as Steve Kerr was bigging up a book called "The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance"
    He claims there is a lot of great stuff in there he shares with his Warriors players and I'm sure a bunch will spill over and apply to golf as well.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SmoothBomber View Post
      From the list I've only read a couple Rotella books and Golf Flow, all of which I've enjoyed (if not applied).
      I liked "Every shot counts" (not listed) for a few nice nuggets as well.

      Not sure if Jared Tendler has a golf mental game book out but he does work with golfers and his mental game of poker books are worth their price many times over (many things apply to golf as well even without rewording things for golf specifically...which I'm sure he will do eventually if not already.

      A book on my wish list came up during these NBA finals as Steve Kerr was bigging up a book called "The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance"
      He claims there is a lot of great stuff in there he shares with his Warriors players and I'm sure a bunch will spill over and apply to golf as well.
      Nice...

      I believe the book you refer to is also by Timothy Gallwey (May have been his first book before he did the golf version I referenced)...

      I read this back in my tennis playing days before the golf bug bit hard.
      Taylormade M1 460 Driver 9.5D (Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 TS) (8.75D)
      Taylormade M1 3 Metal 15.0D (Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 TS) (16.5D)
      Taylormade PSI Irons (KBS C-Taper 105 S) (3-PW)
      Taylormade TP EF Satin Chrome Wedges (KBS Tour Wedge) (52D/56D/60D)
      Golf Pride CP2 Pro Jumbo Grips (All Metals/Irons)
      Taylormade Spider Tour Black 34" (20G Weights)
      SuperStroke CounterCore Pistol GT 2.0
      Taylormade Supreme Cart Bag
      Clicgear 3.5+ Push Cart
      SkyCaddie TOUCH

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      • #4
        My view is the mental side of golf only applies to those who can hit the ball on a repeating basis,ie pros.The handicapper may draw on some form of never quit,but that is it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Par90 View Post
          My view is the mental side of golf only applies to those who can hit the ball on a repeating basis,ie pros.The handicapper may draw on some form of never quit,but that is it.
          Couldnt disagree more. That would be like saying you dont have to worry about tilt in poker until you are playing really high stakes. In fact, a poor mental game will cost a mid handicapper way more strokes than a pro bc the pro will actually have a chance at pulling off the superhero escape that generally results in a blowup hole for a weekend warrior.

          Besides the scoring aspect, a poor mental attitude will ruin enjoyment of the game and that is a far steeper price to pay than a couple of strokes you dont care about anyway. Ive seen guys have a bad hole early and have their rounds and afternoons ruined...nobody wants that, score be damned.

          ...and yes my apostraphy doesnt work on this keyboard

          Comment


          • #6
            Sometimes we need a kick in the rear to bring perspective. Got into the office yesterday only to hear my business partner tell me that he had been biking on Sunday with his riding group, and one of his buddies got caught in a gust of wind, crashed and died. Had a doubles match in the afternoon, and decided that regardless of how I played, I would just go out and enjoy the experience. Despite the cold and windy weather, i was just thankful for being able to go out and play the game I love.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'll throw in a recommendation for "The Three Principles of Outstanding Golf: How a Golfer's Mind Really Works" by Sam Jarman. Started reading it a while ago (and might start over with a highlighter in hand) and it's been pretty interesting. Certainly one thing I'm trying to take from it is the quote taken from Ian Poulter, "I'm playing the shot, not the situation".

              edit: Dang Cselby sorry to hear that. Plenty of times on the course when I'm playing bad or see others struggle, I do try and help put things in perspective as well, just that we can be thankful just to be able to play golf.
              Last edited by ShaneBarnes; Jun 4, 2019, 09:39 PM. Reason: corrected the quote

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cselby View Post
                Sometimes we need a kick in the rear to bring perspective. Got into the office yesterday only to hear my business partner tell me that he had been biking on Sunday with his riding group, and one of his buddies got caught in a gust of wind, crashed and died. Had a doubles match in the afternoon, and decided that regardless of how I played, I would just go out and enjoy the experience. Despite the cold and windy weather, i was just thankful for being able to go out and play the game I love.
                Couldn't agree more, been trying to just enjoy the game and not put too much pressure on performance - Fact is, we all play to get better, not to get worse and when your game seems to be going the wrong way, it can really bring you down with the wrong perspective...

                I've been trying to just enjoy the game more, the experience, the excercise, the fresh air and the comraderie, and low and behold, my performance has improved.

                Expectations are the enemy, and you can't help but have increased expectations when you get more experience and years of golf under your belt. Keeping expectations at a reasonable level (most of us are not pros), and just have fun is the better way, but certainly not easy.
                Taylormade M1 460 Driver 9.5D (Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 TS) (8.75D)
                Taylormade M1 3 Metal 15.0D (Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 TS) (16.5D)
                Taylormade PSI Irons (KBS C-Taper 105 S) (3-PW)
                Taylormade TP EF Satin Chrome Wedges (KBS Tour Wedge) (52D/56D/60D)
                Golf Pride CP2 Pro Jumbo Grips (All Metals/Irons)
                Taylormade Spider Tour Black 34" (20G Weights)
                SuperStroke CounterCore Pistol GT 2.0
                Taylormade Supreme Cart Bag
                Clicgear 3.5+ Push Cart
                SkyCaddie TOUCH

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SmoothBomber View Post

                  Couldnt disagree more. That would be like saying you dont have to worry about tilt in poker until you are playing really high stakes. In fact, a poor mental game will cost a mid handicapper way more strokes than a pro bc the pro will actually have a chance at pulling off the superhero escape that generally results in a blowup hole for a weekend warrior.

                  Besides the scoring aspect, a poor mental attitude will ruin enjoyment of the game and that is a far steeper price to pay than a couple of strokes you dont care about anyway. Ive seen guys have a bad hole early and have their rounds and afternoons ruined...nobody wants that, score be damned.

                  ...and yes my apostraphy doesnt work on this keyboard
                  +1 and well said...

                  Blow up holes happen during lapses in concentration, mental fatigue, frustration that feeds the desire to try to 'over-recover' or take further risk that only exacerbates the situation and makes it worse. Reducing the damage caused by a poor shot should be the priority and not the 'hero' or low % shot.
                  Taylormade M1 460 Driver 9.5D (Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 TS) (8.75D)
                  Taylormade M1 3 Metal 15.0D (Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 TS) (16.5D)
                  Taylormade PSI Irons (KBS C-Taper 105 S) (3-PW)
                  Taylormade TP EF Satin Chrome Wedges (KBS Tour Wedge) (52D/56D/60D)
                  Golf Pride CP2 Pro Jumbo Grips (All Metals/Irons)
                  Taylormade Spider Tour Black 34" (20G Weights)
                  SuperStroke CounterCore Pistol GT 2.0
                  Taylormade Supreme Cart Bag
                  Clicgear 3.5+ Push Cart
                  SkyCaddie TOUCH

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SmoothBomber View Post

                    Couldnt disagree more. That would be like saying you dont have to worry about tilt in poker until you are playing really high stakes. In fact, a poor mental game will cost a mid handicapper way more strokes than a pro bc the pro will actually have a chance at pulling off the superhero escape that generally results in a blowup hole for a weekend warrior.

                    Besides the scoring aspect, a poor mental attitude will ruin enjoyment of the game and that is a far steeper price to pay than a couple of strokes you dont care about anyway. Ive seen guys have a bad hole early and have their rounds and afternoons ruined...nobody wants that, score be damned.

                    ...and yes my apostraphy doesnt work on this keyboard
                    If the less than 10% of golfers can break 100 theory applies,I would say learning proper mechanics will help the golfers mental state more than anything.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Par90 View Post

                      If the less than 10% of golfers can break 100 theory applies,I would say learning proper mechanics will help the golfers mental state more than anything.
                      Both you and tarrantian are correct. He about the trying to hit the hero shot when in crap. I do. And you about hitting the ball properly - wouldn't have gotten into the crap in the first place.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Par90 View Post

                        If the less than 10% of golfers can break 100 theory applies,I would say learning proper mechanics will help the golfers mental state more than anything.
                        It doesnt apply cuz thats not a thing lol. Dunno where you got this theory from but first link I googled that tracks handicaps has 96% of golfers at 28 handicap or better. 50% is handicap of 13. To get down to the top 10% of golfers we are looking at a 5hcp or better.
                        https://www.underpargoals.com/percen...ers-break-par/

                        Im not devaluing learning to swing properly (for you, not some gold standard) as I love the golf swing more than actually playing golf itself...just saying that a good mental game allows you to perform that stroke more often by getting out of your own way and not pissing shots away bc you are still mad at what you did a hole or two ago.

                        I missed breaking par on an executive course (+1 despite being -2 thru 16) and this really stings not because of the flubbed chip on 17 (after nearly driving the green on a par 4) due to wrong technique for the lie I had... but bc I tilted my face off and rushed to hack at the ball almost immediately and flubbed again. Then hit on to 7ft which I didnt even take my time on bc I was still reeling from the flubs on what was otherwise a fantastic chipping day for me and 2 putted for a 6. The 18th tee shot was a nonstrategic maximum whack that came to rest just behind a pine tree on the right side and my fate was sealed...bogey for +1 when just 5min earlier I was looking at an eagle chip and realistic up and down for -3 but I totally choked (or lacked knowledge of how to play that lie at the time)... but still what followed is what really hurt and that was tilting the rest of the round away. The way I unraveled after the first flubbed chip eats at me way more than the bad shot itself. Simply regrouping after first flub could have salvaged a 5 if not a par, leaving me going into the 18th still underpar instead of even and hot-headed. For me, this was a super rare occurrence as my mental game is strong and attitude towards golf is very relaxed but if this happened several times a season let alone once a round like for some poor souls I would be buying up any book I could find on mental game or just quit. I dont see the fun in experiences like that one, whether it is a spot where you blow going underpar or breaking 90.

                        But I guess you are right about hackers that cant break 100 not needing mental game books. They need a post-it-note that says: You are not good enough to get mad at bad shots. So dont. Just enjoy the game.
                        Last edited by SmoothBomber; Jun 6, 2019, 12:22 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Don't bother with Zone Golf unless you're into self-hypnosis and psycho babble. Not that there's anything wrong with it. I thought the book was about 230 pages too long.

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                          • #14
                            Late to this, but yes, Tim Gallwey wrote “Inner Game” books about golf and tennis, and I am surprised no one mentioned “Golf in the Kingdom”.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Par90 View Post
                              My view is the mental side of golf only applies to those who can hit the ball on a repeating basis,ie pros.The handicapper may draw on some form of never quit,but that is it.
                              Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent. Quick read and amazing.

                              https://www.amazon.ca/Zen-Golf-Maste...ag=googcana-20

                              I'd say the mental game is massively important for all players. E.G. I had a nightmare front 9 last week. Spent the whole back 9 focusing on breathing to lower the heart rate and up the focus - dropped 6 strokes on the back.

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