In chapters such as "During Your Swing Is Not the Time to Give Yourself a Lesson" and "How to Enjoy a Bad Round of Golf," the author guides golfers with simple yet powerful techniques to prepare for, execute, and, equally important, respond to the results of any golf shot. The author, Dr. Joseph Parent, is a PGA Tour Instructor who draws on his teaching experience to offer special methods that have led to amazing improvements in the games of professionals and amateurs alike.
"All golfers read this book"
From the best-selling author of Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game and the tennis champion and world record holder of the Golden Set comes the most innovative and powerful book since The Inner Game of Tennis. Combining deep Eastern wisdom and practical tennis expertise, Zen Tennis will help you get out of your own way and into the zone.
Confidence, as every golfer knows, is the key to peak performance on the greens. Zen Putting: Mastering the Mental Game builds your confidence through a thinking-outside-the-box approach that helps golfers of all levels get out of their own way and roll the ball better than ever.
"Not just for putting"
Dr. Joe Parent has drawn on a career coaching the masters to write a hundred easy to understand yet powerful tips for improving any golfer’s score, from the essentials of the mental game to helpful hints to keep your composure. As with his other books, you will find yourself returning time and again to hear what Masters and PGA Champion Vijay Singh call “lessons that make the mental game seem so simple".
"Excellent advice that you can take to the course"
The key to getting the distance right on long putts is getting a good feel for the speed of the green. Here’s a putting drill that will quickly give you a feel for the pace of the green. On a level area of the practice green, line up several balls about 20 feet away from the fringe. Set up to the first ball and focus on the distance from the ball to the fringe. Then make your regular stroke, putting toward the fringe.
Here’s a pre-round putting warm-up routine I have given tour players and amateurs alike. Step 1: Putt to nowhere. In an open area of the practice green, stroke a few putts with no target at all. Vary the distances you roll the putts. Do this until you feel your stroke is smooth and consistent.
Zen Golf Deck is a collection of brief lessons and exercises drawn from Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game. Applied in actual on-course sessions with golfers, including many PGA TOUR and LPGA players, they will introduce you to a unique perspective that brings together techniques of modern psychology and ancient wisdom traditions. Each lesson in the Zen Golf Deck will give you ways to make your mind an ally instead of an enemy, helping to reduce frustration, increase consistency, and lower your scores.
Simple yet powerful keys for keeping your composure and the mental edge over your opponents, which will help you play with more consistency, experience less frustration, and shoot lower scores.
Everyone has comfort levels. They are the levels of performance or spheres of activity that are familiar to us. We’re comfortable playing in the B-flight, we’re comfortable chasing the leader from behind, or we’re comfortable just making the cut. We’re comfortable playing our usual game. Sabotage is the undermining (through underhanded interference) of a project or mission. Self-sabotage doesn’t make sense—why would we undermine our own work to reach an important goal (like breaking 80)?
Once a man wanted to get to a particular island just outside the harbor. He went to the dock and found that two boats moored next to each other were both leaving for the island at the same time, but taking different routes. Not being sure which would be better, he stood with one foot in each boat trying to decide. He still hadn’t made up his mind as the boats pulled away from the dock, and still couldn’t decide when the boats started to go their separate ways.
Playing the game of golf can inspire us to embody gentleness, inquisitiveness, and fearlessness. Gentleness means being kind to ourselves and considerate of others. We can take delight in conducting ourselves as gentle men and gentle women in golf and in life. Fearlessness means being more curious than afraid, trusting in our basic goodness and manifesting unconditional confidence in every situation we encounter.
My teacher, Ösel Tendzin, had a favorite response when his meditation students would ask how to control their thoughts and emotions. He’d say, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. One person will struggle with the waves and be battered about. Another person will learn to ride them. Same waves, very different experiences.” We experience waves of emotions through the course of a tournament, a round of golf, or even a single golf hole.
I’d like to suggest a new definition for “making a putt.” To most golfers, whether or not they make a putt is defined by whether or not it goes in the hole. This emphasizes the result of the putt more than it does the process of putting, and that interferes with the stroke. When we can be totally involved in the process and not preoccupied with the result, body and mind are synchronized. Therefore, we should have a definition of making a putt that reflects the process of putting more than the result of the putt.
Brian had entered the Qualifying School for the PGA Tour for twelve years, but had fallen short every time. The Q-School is actually a series of tournaments, culminating in the finals, a grueling six-round tournament. It is the ultimate pressure cooker, as each golfer’s career for the next year is on the line. I met Brian two months before the Q-School finals. He told me about his career in golf, his hopes and fears, his strengths and weaknesses.
Chris, a good junior golfer, came for a lesson. He complained that his swing gave him trouble when he “got quick at the top.” That usually refers to an especially quick start to the downswing. It sometimes reflects a premature transition, starting the downswing before the backswing is complete. He showed me his swing routine, how he approached and set up to the ball, then how he swung.
A musician came for instruction from the Buddha in practicing meditation. He asked, “How should I hold my mind when I practice? Should I try to concentrate hard and keep it under tight control, or should I relax and let it wander wherever it wants to go?” The Buddha answered the musician with a question. “When you tune your instrument, do you make the strings too tight or too loose?” The musician replied, “Neither too tight nor too loose. I make them just so.”
One of the most fundamental principles of the Buddhist and Shambhala traditions is that the true nature of human beings is basic goodness. Acknowledging our own basic goodness means taking the attitude that there is something fundamentally, essentially right with us. How we feel about ourselves as a person doesn’t need to depend on the quality of a particular golf shot or the outcome of a round.
After taking your seat with good posture, direct your attention to your breathing. Notice the feeling of your torso expanding and contracting, the sensation of the breath flowing through your nostrils. It is important that you don’t manipulate your breathing. However your breath flows, whether deep or shallow, short or long, just notice it with bare attention.
While playing well in a tournament, we might think to ourselves, “Well, you’ve gotten away with it so far, but you’ll screw up before too long.” Believing in this thought gives it power. It creates feelings of doubt and anxiety, which interfere with our swing and produce errant shots. Eventually, the fear of failure becomes so powerful that our game is badly disrupted. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Shambhala is a legendary kingdom that is a model of enlightened society, like the story of Camelot and its ideals of genuineness, confidence, and dignity. Shambhala warriorship is not about conquering others and wreaking destruction. It is about having the bravery to overcome aggression, to manifest fearless gentleness. The fundamental training of a Shambhala warrior is based on the Buddhist practices of mindfulness and awareness in action.