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The Golfer’s Mind Cracks Open My Brain

It is common knowledge but not common skill that golf is 95% mental once the mechanics are taught. Giving the plethora of TV raised golfers, focusing the distracted brain of a golfer is no easy task. Still, the is the career Dr. Bob Rotella took on as sports psychologist. In the Golfer’s Mind, he breaks down the game into simple topics to analyze and improve your golf game and play.

Simple is the Golfer’s Mind

What I like about Dr. Rotella’s writing style is its conversational nature. Each chapter reads like a chat on the practice range or first tee box. He uses real world examples from his clients and his studies. The chapters cover common topics all golfers can identify with.

My favorite chapters were:

  • A Golfer’s Sense of Self
  • Staying in the Present
  • Anger and Acceptance
  • Practicing to Play Great
  • Routine

There are 29 chapters but these five earned tabs for points that rang true with me.

Favorite Passage

Breaking a book down to one passage feels unfair but I am not here to recount the book page by page. Routine envelopes the sacred ritual of the golf swing. A solid swing routine on the driving range strengthens a golfer’s game and minimizes mistakes. Dr. Rotella says:

When people tell me that they play better on the range than they do on the course, I want to know whether they employ the same routine on the course as they use on the range. Almost always, the answer is that they don’t. On the course, they think more, they take more time, they’re careful. They get tighter. That’s why they play worse. One of the first things I learned from my high school football and basketball coaches was that you practice the way you play, and you play the way you practice.

This is so common that I smacked my head when I read it. To apply this notion, I adjust my range practice to take aim on every shot and even wait 30 seconds between shots. Banging out shot after shot is not how I play a round of golf. Alternating clubs each shot is a great way to strengthen your range practice as well.

I would add the question: do we play the front nine like we play the back nine? I will pay attention to my rhythm and routine after the turn and see if the two are mirror images.

The Golfer’s Mind: Buy, Borrow, or Bypass

This is a BUY in my collection. A great book to look over midseason and through the winter months.

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