This article was published in the November edition of GolfTEC’s Momentum Newsletter. To sign up to receive GolfTEC’s monthly newsletter, click here.
Winter is not only the perfect time to work on your game by taking the majority of your golf lessons, it’s also a good time to catch up on your reading list. Here are three books recommended by GolfTEC to keep you at the top of your game.
Five Lessons – The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
By Ben Hogan
Review by Jim McNaney, City Manager, GolfTEC Minnesota
While it seems you could fill an entire wing of the Library of Congress with golf instruction books, there is one that is quoted, referenced and probably read by more golf professionals (both teaching and playing) than any other: “Five Lesson – The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” by Ben Hogan. Why? Quite simply, because it is great.
It’s great because it was ahead of its time using anatomical drawings to go along with the words. It’s great because it takes what appears to be a very complex sequence of motion and breaks it down to 4 manageable parts. It’s great because it repeatedly drums into the reader’s head that no matter what level they are, they can improve and play better golf. Finally it’s great because it gives insight to the mind of one of the greatest golfers of all time.
If you are looking for some off-season reading, this book should sit at the top of the list. In fact, this book might be considered “required reading” by anyone taking lessons. If you have read it before, read it again. Like a good “who-done-it,” you will pick up something new with each read.
I recommend students read it “actively.” What I mean by this is take each part and practice it at home and in the bay. Discuss it with your Coach. Take as much out of it as you can and make it a part of your learning experience.
Active reading ensures that your improvement has no off-season.
They Played With A Quiet Mind
By Charles F. Kemp
Review by Brent Stewart, GolfTEC VP of Marketing
I first read this book in 1996 when I was playing golf with a cluttered mind. This 144-page quick study helped me back then and still helps me today.
I believe this book can help golfers of all levels and it is worth reading for the quotes alone. “You must put your mind at ease so your body can perform.” ~ Davis Love II. “Putting is more art than science.” ~ Ben Crenshaw. “You can’t be a perfectionist and play golf.” ~ Bob Toski. “Concentration is the ability never to look forward and never to look back.” ~ Anonymous.
This book is full of real-life experiences from some of golf’s greatest players including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, with some insight into some of the earlier greats like Sam Snead, Ben Hogan and Harry Vardon.
I will leave you with this one small excerpt from the book: “Relaxation is an art, but it can be cultivated and is of great value, both on and off the golf course. It helps us to attain a quiet mind that will help us both work and play better.”
Fearless Golf: Conquering the Mental Game
By Gio Valiante
Reviewed By GolfTEC Instruction Department
Dr. Gio Valiante is a mental game specialist who has worked with some of the top golfers on the PGA Tour. Dr. Valiante has researched how the brain affects thought patterns and performance and has created a mental game-conditioning program called the “Fearless Golf Academy.”
During the winter, when the weather might not be ideal for golf (or if you’re going on vacation and need a good read for the airplane), check out Fearless Golf. From gaining confidence to creating good mental habits before each round, the book is 300 pages of mental golf preparation.
The book starts with the story of Ben Hogan’s 1950 US Open victory when he needed a 1-iron shot from the fairway to make a difficult par and continue to playoff holes the next day. With a perfect swing and a par on the hole, Dr. Valiante writes that it was a moment of fearless golf and an example of playing well under pressure.
Whether it’s a $20 bet with your Sunday foursome or there’s a championship on the line, reading Fearless Golf this winter will help prepare you to play your best golf in 2012.