The great­est golf books

Read­ing about play­ers’ mind­set, men­tal as­pect of the game can help more than you might ex­pect

The Signal - - Golf - Pro­fes­sional Golfer Hans Ker­st­ing

Re­cently, I men­tioned the idea of read­ing a good golf book in lieu of be­ing able to get out to prac­tice dur­ing the hol­i­days.

Noth­ing, of course, can re­place the ac­tual prac­tice of phys­i­cally go­ing out and work­ing on your golf game. How­ever, I have found that a good book about golf can help you more than you may know.

But what is con­sid­ered a good golf book?

I be­lieve a good book on golf fo­cuses more on the men­tal side of the game, rather than the phys­i­cal. A good golf book gets you to think dif­fer­ently, and not nec­es­sar­ily swing dif­fer­ently.

One of my fa­vorite “think­ing” books about golf is a clas­sic called “Golf is Not a Game of Per­fect,” by Dr. Bob Rotella.

Rotella is a renowned sports psy­chol­o­gist, who has worked with many of the game’s great­est play­ers.

The book fo­cuses on ideas such as proper ex­pec­ta­tions you should have while stand­ing on the first tee, the at­ti­tude you should have when miss­ing the fair­way with your tee shot and the im­por­tance of self-con­fi­dence.

These are only a few of the ideas dis­cussed, and I am cer­tain we can all ben­e­fit from read­ing this book.

An­other book I have al­ways en­joyed is “A Good Walk Spoiled,” by John Fe­in­stein.

Fe­in­stein is a re­mark­able au­thor, who has cov­ered sev­eral sports dur­ing his ca­reer.

This book does a great job of let­ting the reader in­side the life of a PGA Tour player. Fe­in­stein spent a sea­son trav­el­ing with play­ers on tour, and he does a nice job of high­light­ing the highs, while cap­tur­ing the tu­mul­tuous lows ex­pe­ri­enced by every pro­fes­sional golfer at some point in their ca­reer.

It’s a be­hind-the-scenes look at life on tour, and it’s a ter­rific book that every­body is likely to en­joy.

Per­haps the most re­veal­ing book you can read is

“The Big Miss,” by Hank Haney.

Haney is best known for coach­ing Tiger Woods from 2004-10. This book re­veals an amaz­ing amount of in­sight to the mind­set that makes Woods one of the great­est golfers of all time.

Not ev­ery­thing in this book is com­pli­men­tary to­ward Woods, and that’s what makes the book even that more in­ter­est­ing. Given Woods’ re­cent re­turn to promi­nence on the PGA Tour, this is a book I highly rec­om­mend to ev­ery­one.

There are hun­dreds of books about the game of golf. Most of these books deal with help­ing you im­prove your golf swing. I en­joy books that of­fer much more than that. I pre­fer a golf book that speaks about the mind­set of cer­tain play­ers, and the idea of im­prov­ing our own way of think­ing around the golf course.

These are just a few of my fa­vorite books. What are some of yours?

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