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The Golfer's Mind: Play to Play Great [NOOK Book]


For the last decade, golfers of all abilities have been drawn to the writings and teachings of Bob "Doc" Rotella. His books Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect, Golf Is a Game of Confidence, The Golf of Your Dreams, and Putting Out of Your Mind have all become classics for golfers everywhere. Weekend golfers and pros like Brad Faxon, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Tom Kite, and Davis Love III all read and listen to the man they call Doc because his teachings are simple and direct ...
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The Golfer's Mind: Play to Play Great

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For the last decade, golfers of all abilities have been drawn to the writings and teachings of Bob "Doc" Rotella. His books Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect, Golf Is a Game of Confidence, The Golf of Your Dreams, and Putting Out of Your Mind have all become classics for golfers everywhere. Weekend golfers and pros like Brad Faxon, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Tom Kite, and Davis Love III all read and listen to the man they call Doc because his teachings are simple and direct -- and in the end, what Doc says makes them play better golf.
The Golfer's Mind was actually first suggested by Davis Love, Jr. -- Davis Love III's dad -- who encouraged Doc to write an instruction book on golf's mental challenges, organized by topic. Love thought that golfers could keep the book with them, or at least nearby, at all times. When they needed a refresher on a certain issue, they could consult the book, read for a few minutes, and take away solid guidance regarding their difficulties. Doc heard what Love said, and twenty years later, The Golfer's Mind is that book. From his Ten Commandments (Commandment I. Play to play great. Don't play not to play poorly) to just about any topic a golfer might imagine, this is the ideal way for players to get all of Rotella's teachings. Doc covers topics including:
  • Butterflies
  • Practicing to Play Great
  • The Rhythm of the Game
  • Routine
  • Setbacks
  • How Winning Happens

In the perfect format for the busy golfer, The Golfer's Mind is the concise and convenient quick-reference tool to appeal to Rotella's millions of followers and is sure to become a golf classic.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Dr. Bob Rotella's The Golfer's Mind is just what the doctor's fans ordered. Readers of his Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect and Golf Is a Game of Confidence have wished for a quick reference, a take-anywhere guide that distills the "Rotella Rules" that improve confidence, concentration, and competition. Here it is.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439103395
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 6/16/2008
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 225,057
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Dr. Bob Rotella was the director of sports psychology for twenty years at the University of Virginia, where his reputation grew as the person champions talked to about the mental aspects of their game. His client list includes Hall of Fame golfers like Pat Bradley, Tom Kite, and Nick Price as well as stars of the present, such as Darren Clarke, Keegan Bradley, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Mark Wilson, and Rory Mcllroy. A writer for and consultant to Golf Digest, he lives in Virginia with his wife, Darlene.
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Read an Excerpt

Introduction: My Top Ten

All of the rings and all of the money and all of the color and display -- they linger only in memory. The spirit, the will to win and excel, these are the things that endure. The quality of any man's life is the full measure of his commitment to excellence and to victory, regardless of what field he might be in.

-- Vince Lombardi

I teach the psychology of greatness. The way I teach it varies.

When I first begin to work with a client, I like to arrange for him or her to come to my home in Virginia. We spend a couple of days together, some of it in conversation and some of it on the golf course. I get to know the client thoroughly. He is immersed in my ideas about using the mind to achieve greatness, about playing to play great, about bringing the best possible attitude to play and practice.

After that, the nature of my contact with my clients may change. Some of them still like to come to Virginia periodically for a long session. But others prefer shorter talks on specific issues and problems that have arisen in their careers. I might meet them for lunch or dinner in a town that's hosting a golf tournament. We might chat on the putting green or the practice range. Sometimes we talk over the phone while he's in a hotel room and I'm at an airport.

This book is akin to that second category of counseling sessions. In fact, it arises partly from them. When I talk to a player who says, "Doc, I'm having trouble trusting my swing," I review the fundamental ideas about the necessity of trust and why it helps a golfer produce the best shots he's capable of making. Players have often wished I had a book, a handbook if you will, that could serve the same function and reinforce those conversations. This is that book.

If you're completely unfamiliar with sports psychology as I teach it and with its application to golf, you might want to consult one of my earlier books, like Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect. It's my primer on how great golfers think.

Often what I hear from readers of those earlier books is something to the effect that, "Your ideas were really helpful right after I read them, Doc, but lately they don't seem to work well." What that tells me is not that the ideas have gotten less effective. It tells me that over time, the reader has forgotten some of them. Or he's reverted to old ways of thinking, perhaps without realizing it.

This doesn't surprise me. The players with whom I work individually are prone to the same problem. If the issue is trusting the swing for instance, they might be able to do it very well in the months after we have our initial session. It's one of the things I stress. But over time, a golfer is exposed to a barrage of contradictory ideas. People are telling him to think about the way his hands cock the club or the ratio between his hip turn and his shoulder turn. If he's a professional, he gets this sort of advice from renowned instructors on the practice range at Tour venues. If he's an average player, he gets it from magazines and television. Pretty soon, instead of trusting his swing and thinking about his target, he's thinking about pronation while he's on the golf course. He's trying to swing while his mind sorts through bits and pieces of conflicting advice. That's difficult to do.

When this happens with one of my established clients, I review the essentials with him. This book is an effort to do the same thing for readers. It's a distilled version of what I teach.

So often, in those telephone sessions, I return to ten fundamental points of good golf thinking. If Moses hadn't already copyrighted the name, I would be tempted to call them my ten commandments for playing great golf. I know that if a player adheres to them, he can find out exactly how low his skills are prepared to take him on any given round. Here they are:

I. Play to play great. Don't play not to play poorly.

II. Love the challenge of the day, whatever it may be.

III. Get out of results and get into process.

IV. Know that nothing will bother or upset you on the golf course, and you will be in a great state of mind for every shot.

V. Playing with a feeling that the outcome doesn't matter is almost always preferable to caring too much.

VI. Believe fully in yourself so you can play freely.

VII. See where you want the ball to go before every shot.

VIII. Be decisive, committed, and clear.

IX. Be your own best friend.

X. Love your wedge and your putter.

These ideas may sound obscure or strange to you. If you finish reading this book, they won't. I intend to explain each of them, and by the time I'm done, you will understand why they're so important. I hope you'll want to re-read them often.

The first person who suggested the format for this book to me was the late Davis Love, Jr. He and I worked together on the staff of Golf Digest Schools before his tragic death in a plane crash in 1988. He told me once that he wished there was a book of instruction on the mental side of golf, broken down into topics. He thought that a player could carry the book with him or keep it close by. When he needed to refresh his thinking about a particular issue, he could consult the book, read it for a few minutes, and come away with sound advice aimed at his problem. Not only do I owe the idea behind this book to Davis Love, Jr., I owe him so much more. He taught me a lot about golf, and he was a great friend. That's why the book is dedicated to him.

I hope readers will use this book as Davis Love, Jr., envisioned. You might want to read it in its entirety first. After your first consultation, I intend the book to be available as a handbook. You may want to consult some chapters, like "A Golfing Philosophy" on a regular basis, because it's so easy to lose track of the fundamental ideas in that chapter. If you're getting ready for a tournament and you feel the need for some advice on putting, for example, or acceptance, or game plan, you can go right to the chapters on those topics. Read as much as you need. Use the thoughts at the end of each chapter for a quick refresher. Put the book aside and come back to it when you need it again.

Sometimes people ask me if I teach psychological "techniques." I don't. The word "technique" suggests to me some sort of mental parlor trick. I don't want you to have faith in a technique. I want you to have faith in yourself. Your mind can be a powerful tool that will help you realize your dreams and aspirations. But you have to control it and use it properly. You have to coach yourself. You have to believe in yourself.

What I teach is both simple and difficult. It's simple, for instance, to say that you have to be committed before you start your swing, that doubt and indecision can ruin a shot. But on the course, it's not so easy to be committed. It takes discipline and practice.

The fact that it's hard is one reason it's worthwhile. Having control of your mind and using it properly can separate you from the competition, whether it's at your club or on the PGA Tour.

I believe that virtually every golfer has the potential to be much better than he or she is, and that using the mind is one essential way to improve. You will never know if you have the ability to be the best player in the world, or the best player in your club, unless you commit yourself to developing both your physical and mental skills. This book can be part of that commitment.

"Commitment" can be an imposing word. It can suggest that using your mind properly is an onerous chore, that you might shoot lower scores, but enjoy the game less. Trust me. The players I know who have the best minds also have the most fun playing golf. They understand that it is, in the end, a game. They have a ball finding out how good they can be at it.

So can you.

Copyright © 2004 by Robert J. Rotella
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Table of Contents


Introduction: My Top Ten

1 A Golfing Philosophy

2 A Golfer's Sense of Self

3 Goals and Dreams

4 How Memory Works

5 Confidence

6 Staying in the Present

7 Your Target

8 Anger and Acceptance

9 Planning for Success

10 Trust

11 Butterflies

12 Your Fellow Golfers

13 Practicing to Play Great

14 Perfectionism

15 Fear

16 Commitment

17 Patience

18 The Myth of the Killer Instinct

19 The Rhythm of the Game

20 Routine

21 Your Best Friend on the Golf Course

22 The Tee

23 Scoring Clubs

24 Short Game

25 Putting

26 Setbacks

27 Visualization

28 How Winning Happens

29 If You Play Today
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    I love this book. A Pro told me about it and I am forever thankful.

    This book is a keeper for the rest of my golfing life. A book to learn from and review from time to time.
    It is a fast read and easy to understand. Each aspect of the game is described and dealt with in a fun and informative way. At the end of each chapter it reviews each major point in concise sentences. I plan to photo copy each and have them in my golf bag to review when necessary. When your game falls apart as it always does, you do not have to go hunting thru the book to try to find the sentence you are looking for. Just go to the chapter that deals with the problem and find the answer in just a few pages.
    I can't wait for my husband to read this, I know it will be a tremendous help for his game also.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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