Cover Image: Winning Golf

Winning Golf

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is not a book about how to play better golf.  Rather, it is a book about the psychology of sports.  It has some interesting quotes from PGA golfers, but in itself will not improve your game.
However, there are useful techniques that will assist any athlete in any sport.  As Bobby Jones stated, “Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course.” The author gives techniques such as breathing, visualization and positive thinking that will make the five inch course easier to navigate.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Ask just about any golfer at any level and they will say that the mental aspect of the game is just as challenging, if not more so, than the physical and mechanical parts.  To address this, Dr. Saul Miller, who has provided mental coaching to athletes in many sports, wrote this book to help golfers improve their mental game. 
Dr. Miller’s tips start with a simple step – proper breathing.  The deep breaths in and out that are often recommended for anyone, athlete or not, to slow down and relax are what are recommended for a golfer here.  The lesson is to do this before every shot.  From there, Dr. Miller expounds on relaxing, lowering anxiety, stopping negative self-talk or thoughts and to always picture the perfect shot.  Goal setting is also an important part of this book and these steps are useful for the player who is committed to spending a great deal of time working on his or her game.  Especially for those in either competitive settings or those whose long-range golf goals include accomplishments such as being awarded a scholarship or making the professional tour.  
While this did not seem to be a good source of lessons for the casual or part-time golfer, this still has some useful tips even if the reader does not have those long-range goals or a lot of time to spend working their game.  The book also is not completely about mental skills or lessons.  While the discussions were about what each golfer was thinking about, my favorite section of the book was when Dr. Miller interviewed each professional golfer who has shot a round of 59 or lower.  What these golfers were thinking during their historic rounds made for great reading.  
I wish to thank ECW Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a review. 

A great book that explains how to deal with the mental side of the game in way that is easy to understand. I look forward to puting these techniques in to practice and seeing an improvement in my handicap. I recommend this book to all golfers irrespective of ability. It can only improve your game.
Was this review helpful?
Golf is hard. Ask anyone who has played the game and each will be able to give you very different reasons as to why they are struggling at it. Most amateurs will mention physical aspects of their game as what is stopping them from playing better. Most elite amateurs and professionals will give you a very different side that the mental side is overall what stops them from shooting low consistently. Yes, on any given day they will say that a certain aspect of their game may need working on, but when they go and practice those things, at the same time they are also working on their mental game to believe that they are capable of doing the shot they are working on.

14 different chapters are used to make all of the information included easy to distinguish from one another. The first few chapters include what exactly the mental game is, and how it can affect different people differently. It then goes onto managing emotions, and then how to release them; how to think powerfully (a very important aspect of life, not just golf); visualisation and how this best sets up your shots and rounds. A entire chapter on individuals who has shot sub-60 rounds of golf is partially of interest, which is promptly followed by a chapter on commitment, confidence and identity. Balance and lifestyle as touched upon, and are very important for a long golf career. Individual differences explains how each golfer reacts to pressure situations, and how they can also benefit from a different style of practice. Transferring mental skills examine how athletes from the NHL and NFL have transferred their own mental training from their respective sports into improving their own golf games, you would be surprised by what they say!

The last chapter includes summaries of what each chapter is about if you want a brief recap of what was said, but don’t feel like rereading the entire thing. It also makes note of all of the individuals mentioned, where they are from, and any notable achievements that they have accomplished if you want to do some research some of the talent more.

I personally cannot wait to put all of these into practice for my golf, it has already shown a difference and I cannot wait to see how much it will aid me in the future.
Was this review helpful?
Golf is a tough game to play. It’s a game of rhythm and power but also of precision and touch - but most of all it plays with your mind. I’ve previously investigated this element as it’s something that I really struggle with, but I’d not come up with anything approaching a plan to deter the demons from inhabiting my head on a regular basis. It can eat me up in a way I’ve not experienced any other sport do.

This book explores the problem pretty thoroughly, seeking to explain why anxiety and doubt can creep in and, more importantly, what golfers might do to overcome such challenges. There’s interesting ideas around how your mind can become cluttered with too many technical thoughts (part of my problem), about how golfers can become too result orientated rather than focussed on the process (also my problem) and how tension can result in gripping the club too hard and/or swinging too hard resulting in negative outcomes (guess what!). The author explains how to adopt strategies to address these issues and explains why these should prove beneficial. Nothing particularly new here, but useful reminders.

The new (to me) ideas began with a detailed summary of how breathing exercises can radically augment your ability to combat the negative thoughts. I was initially quite sceptical about this but coincidentally I saw a top professional golfer being interviewed after a competitive round a few days ago and he talked about the benefits he’d accrued from just such an approach. Okay – so it’s something I really do need to work on. Another suggestion put forward is that of using personal positive affirmation – essentially, constantly reminding yourself of your strengths so as to form a positive base in your mind. This is something I intuitively feel sceptical about, and yet there’s something about it that is nagging at me, telling me there’s potentially some benefits to be found here too.

Mixed in with the above are a good number of anecdotes based on the author’s personal experiences and lots of supporting quotes from well known players. If I have a minor gripe about this book it’s only that there’s probably a little too much of this for my personal taste. But overall I do feel that there’s a significant amount of very useful information here – definitely enough to persuade me to adopt a defined strategy going forward.
Was this review helpful?
The field of sports psychology, particularly golf psychology, is heavily populated.  Dr. Miller's latest book, "Winning Golf", is the latest entry into this crowded field.  Unfortunately, Dr. Miller comes up a bit short in attempting to provide either a comprehensive plan for creating the right mental attitude or tidbits that can be recalled at proper moments when needed during the course of a round.  Over the course of my golfing career I've relied heavily on Bob Rotella's teaching and methodology with some modest success at mastering the mental game of golf.  I find his writings to be both enlightening and entertaining.  On the other hand, about all I can glean from this book is a recitation of platitude after platitude with no direct connection, for the most part, to golf and the many situations golfers find themselves in.  I don't think that Dr. Miller is going to find a place on my bookshelf next to Dr. Rotella.
Was this review helpful?