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The Elements Of Scoring: A Master's Guide To Scoring Your Best [Anglais] [Broché]

Raymond Floyd And Jaime Diaz

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Chapter 1: The Scorer's Game

Golf is a seductive game because there are so many ways to enjoy it. You can get satisfaction from walking in the outdoors, from the exercise it provides, from the camaraderie of your playing partners, from the sheer distance you can hit the ball, from the fascination of the golf swing, from the challenge of competition, all the way to the opportunity to learn self-control and build character.

All of the above are fine reasons to play. But if you want to be the best golfer you can be, the most important part of the game is measured by one thing and one thing only:

Your score.

The object of the game is to shoot the lowest score you can. Everything else is subordinate to that goal, at every level of the game. For all the spectacular shots they can hit, what pros do better than anything else is to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes possible. That was true of Bobby Jones, of Ben Hogan, of Arnold Palmer, of Jack Nicklaus, and of Tiger Woods. In my experience, for all the other undeniable benefits of the game, scoring well is also the most surefire way to really enjoy golf.

That might sound obvious, but I've always been surprised by how little effort and focus most amateurs devote to understanding how to score lower. Right now, there are probably more people captivated and even obsessed by golf than ever before, yet most are consumed with swing mechanics, driving the ball farther, sports psychology, and having the latest high-tech equipment. All those are worthy subjects that can improve your game and increase your enjoyment, but I think most people miss the forest for the trees. The reason people don't shoot lower scores, to be blunt, is that most people don't know how to PLAY. Not how to swing, or how to hit the ball farther; how to play the game.

Don't take that the wrong way. It's not an easy thing to know. In fact, when all is said and done, it's the hardest. Learning to play golf -- learning to score -- is a lifelong process. I know that, at age fifty-six, I'm still learning.

But here is the hard truth: If somehow I was given your physical game, and we had a match, I would beat you 99 times out of 100 times because I know how to play the game better than you do.

I want this book to teach you how to get the most out of what you have. I'm going to impart everything I know about playing the game. About attitude and visualization, about how to deal with pressure and anger and fear, about preparation and strategy. About what's most important in a round of golf to make the lowest score.

There are elements of scoring, things that will make anyone a better player and will let you shoot lower scores. They are specific, they are learnable, and if you take on the challenge, they will help you improve.

First, we should define what a scorer is. Certainly, it can be someone who shoots low scores, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, in my definition, a high handicapper can be a better scorer than a low handicapper.

To me, a scorer is someone who consistently gets the most from his skill level, who often shoots scores that are better than the way he or she hits the ball, and who in that sense regularly beats the golf course. For a pro, that can be a 71 on a day when he felt uncomfortable with his swing or putting stroke. For someone with a 16 handicap, it can be an 89 on a day when his slice seemed uncontrollable. Conversely, a 67 for a pro on a day when his game was on all cylinders can be a round in which the golf course won, and an 89 can be a defeat for that 16-handicapper if it includes penalty shots from foolish risks on a day when he's hitting straight and true.

Scorers possess a blend of fundamentals, good attitude, and mental strength. They are winners. If you are a scorer, you won't always win, but you will know and play the percentages, and you won't often beat yourself. Being a scorer means playing golf cleanly, efficiently, without waste. It means a thousand other things. Knowing when to take what the golf course gives and when to back off. Knowing your limitations, not just in general but from day to day, from hole to hole, and even from shot to shot. Keeping your composure during disappointments and having fortitude. Having a positive attitude. Handling pressure. Having a sense for the crucial make-or-break shots in a round that keeps a good score going or turns around a bad one. Understanding that while we would all like to have days where we hit every shot solid and straight, it almost never happens. That the reality of playing is improvising, doing the most with what you have, shooting the best score you are capable of THAT DAY.

The subtitle of this book is "A Master's Guide to the Art of Scoring Your Best When You're Not Playing Your Best." Even at the highest level, on the PGA Tour, you learn very early that there is no perfect golf, and that no one has a perfect game. The best players in the world, despite sharing golf's basic fundamentals and shooting nearly identical scores, all have flaws. But they have also all found their own way to play. It's a way that's dictated by their particular abilities, temperaments, and peculiarities, and it's a way that best allows them to score.

Let me tell you a little about how I became a scorer. I may have a reputation as a guy who gets a lot out of what he has, but believe me, I was a long time getting there.

I started playing golf very young, under the tutelage of my father, L. B. Floyd. My dad was a golf pro who served a twenty-one-year hitch in the army, much of it as a master sergeant at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he ran a driving range and the enlisted men's base course. As a kid I loved all sports, but I spent a lot of days playing forty-five holes, practicing for hours at a time, experimenting with shots around the green, and getting a lot of supervision from my dad. My mom, Edith, was the local women's club champion, and my younger sister, Marlene, has played on the LPGA tour since 1976. As far as learning the game goes, I had all the advantages.

Although I didn't play a great deal of amateur golf -- in part because I was busy with baseball, football, and basketball -- I did play in a lot of gambling games around the Carolinas, where I honed a sharp competitive edge. At first, I would play in nassaus in which I had backers. Before too long I was backing myself, regularly playing for hundreds, and occasionally thousands, of dollars. When I won the National Jaycees in 1960 at the age of seventeen, I set my sights on making a career out of golf. The next year, I had an offer to become a pitcher in the Cleveland Indians farm system, but I turned it down because something was telling me that golf was my future. Soon after, in 1961, I turned pro.

At that stage, I was like a lot of young guys with talent: I liked to hit it far, and I liked to shoot at pins. When I was hot, I was effective; when I wasn't, I went for big numbers, with plenty of penalties. I had a lot to learn, which was evident as soon as I became a PGA tour rookie in 1963. In my first nine events, I didn't make a cent. Somehow, in my tenth at Saint Petersburg, I caught a hot streak and won, coming from behind in the final round to defeat Dave Marr by a stroke.

But I didn't win again for two years, and after that, I didn't win again for four more. I had plenty of tools; I was a long hitter, often grouped with Jack Nicklaus and George Bayer as among the longest in golf. I had a good-looking golf swing, and, if my memory serves, I made a ton of putts. I didn't run into a lot of players with more ability than I had. But on the tour, I ran into plenty who were scoring lower.

It took me a while to figure out why, and to develop a different approach to playing. Fortunately, I had enough talent to survive on the tour while I was learning my craft. I wouldn't have that luxury today, not with the numbers of highly accomplished players fighting just to get on the PGA Tour. I would have become one of the many cutting his teeth on the foreign tours or the Nike Tour. But what I eventually had to face was that I was wasting strokes, through temperament, pride, poor judgment, and limitations in my technique. I also had to face the fact that I hadn't really been dedicated enough to my profession.

As a young man, I was just happy to be on the PGA Tour making a living. Because that seemed like enough, I let the good times roll. I remember being asked by a journalist what color my eyes were, and answering, "Mostly red." After a few years of underachieving, I got a dose of seriousness in 1968, when I finally set some goals. The next year would be the first I was eligible for the Ryder Cup, and I really wanted to make the team. I also wanted to earn $100,000 in a single season. And having seen Jack Nicklaus win several Grand Slam events since I had become a pro, I also decided I wanted to win a major championship.

In 1969, I played the best golf I had ever played, won the PGA Championship and two other tournaments, made the Ryder Cup team, and I won $109,957. But I was barely twenty-seven, and I still didn't know what it took to sustain that level of play. My short-term goals fulfilled, I became aimless again. For the next three years I played some of the worst golf of my career, barely worked at it, and totally lost my enthusiasm. I was lost, and it wasn't until 1973, when I met Maria Fraietta, that I finally got on the path to becoming the best player I could be.

From the moment I met Maria, I sensed that this was a special woman who understood me, and whom I could learn from. Maria and I were married on December 8, 1973; twenty-five years later, I know I am one of those lucky people who married the right person.

What Maria taught me was responsibility -- to my talent, to my family, and, ultimately, to myself. As the product of a close-knit, hard-working family in Philadelphia, she knew firsthand that real success never comes easily. When I met her, she was running a group of successful fashion and design schools. Without ever having been an a...

Revue de presse

Jonathan Mayo New York Post Mr. Floyd takes you from the first tee to the final putt, giving tips on how to maximize your game to minimize your score every step of the way.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.6 étoiles sur 5  51 commentaires
34 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Truly a Master's Guide ... a future classic! 10 décembre 1999
Par William R. Miller - Publié sur
Ray Floyd is one of the finest golfers of the past 30 years, and is regarded as one of the best short game players of his generation. This book does not disappoint-- it is a valuable addition to any avid golfer's reference library. Rather than merely focus on swing mechanics, Mr. Floyd provides valuable insights regarding the golfer's mental approach to the game, course management and the scoring shots which comprise the short game. Especially helpful is his analysis of the ten mistakes amateurs make that pros never do. While Ray Floyd has an impressive professional resume, he does not dwell unnecessarily on his many personal accomplishments (unlike, for example, Hale Irwin's Smart Golf), but focuses on the task at hand. Clearly written and well-edited, this book is a keeper-- a future classic.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For those who want to beat the golf course 5 août 1999
Par - Publié sur
I have always found the game of golf fascinating and I have always wanted to master it. This book helps me a lot in my attempt to do so. It is difficult for us, weekend golfers, to know everything there is in golf, every golf course you play and to perfect every swing we make by devoting time to practise. And it is when this book comes in. It tells you how to manage the course, when to take risk and when not to and it is very true that most of us are not always playing in our best physical condition. I will probably re-read it before every round of golf I am going to play.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A "Must Read" For Improving Your Game 2 novembre 2000
Par William Vander Plaats - Publié sur
Along with Ben Hogan's 5 Lessons and Dave Pelz' Short Game Bible, this is probably the best instructional book on golf I have ever read. And while those other two concentrate on the swing mechanics of different parts of the game (the full swing and the short game), this one is all about strategy and what you should be thinking about on the golf course. Very thought provoking, I will keep it by my bedside stand for repeated reading for the forseeable future. I will give away several copies to golfing buddies this Christmas...
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good job, Raymond! 9 juin 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
This is not just another book about swing mechanics. This one is about how to think your way around the golf course to make a better score using the skills that you already have. Unlike some books on strategy, it doesn't assume that you can always hit a precise fade or draw to land the ball exactly where a pro would try to hit it. This is about golf thinking and strategy for the average golfer. As books on golf thinking go, this book by a top pro golfer is more valuable than any of the books by sports psychologists. I highly recommend it. Good job, Raymond! -- Bill from Bangor
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For golfers who want to take the next step 14 avril 2001
Par MARK BAU - Publié sur
This is not a book for the beginner but if you have reasonable shotmaking skills this book can help you take the next important step. Until reading this book I had never broken 90 even though I was always shooting in the low 90's. After reading and digesting its contents I not only broke 90 but shot an 84. You see this book doesn't tell you how to swing a golf club, it points you toward strategies for scoring the best with what you've got.
Floyd explains crucial things like focusing only on the shot at hand, making sure you get your tee shot in play, never getting mad or steamed (it only clouds your thinking for the next shot), how the short putt is the most important shot in golf.
If you read this book and think hard on what he is saying this book will lower your score and make golf even more enjoyable.
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