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Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game [Format Kindle]

Joseph Parent

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How to Get from the Practice Tee to the First Tee

The most challenging transition for many golfers is expressed in this lament: "Why can't I hit it on the course the way I was hitting it on the range? It feels so frustrating!"

There is an abundance of reasons, all of which tell us a lot about our state of mind on the golf course. Let's start with purpose: what are we trying to accomplish when we hit balls on the range before a round? It usually has to do with getting comfortable with the swing, seeing how it feels that day, looking for some swing key, and so on.

Once we're on the tee, we usually have a very different purpose. It is about performance: getting a good result of the golf shot, avoiding making a mistake, and making a good impression on the people watching, especially our playing partners. With such different purposes, it's not surprising that we make different swings on the first tee than we did on the range.

Another difference is consequence. On the range if you hit a shot that doesn't go where you expect it to, there's no penalty. You rake another ball over and try again. However, you don't get to do that on the golf course. The only time you replay a shot from the same spot on the golf course is when there is a penalty involved (lost ball, out-of-bounds, etc.). Fear of making a mistake introduces tension. The possible consequence of not meeting expectations--our own or those we imagine others have of us--also creates tension that we didn't feel on the range. Tension interferes with our tempo and the freedom with which we swing.

Hitting the same club from the same spot over and over until you "get it right" doesn’t necessarily mean you've "found your swing." You may be making subtle compensations to get the ball to go where you want it to, with that club, from that spot. When you get to a different setting, especially the first tee, that special version of your swing may not work so well.

Often we don't use our complete swing routine on the practice tee. We just set up and hit, then rake another ball over and hit, rake and hit, usually without a specific target. When we get to the first tee, it's very different. Now we have a place we want to send the ball, and we need to aim and address the ball. That’s a totally different way of starting the swing.

For all of these reasons, using our swing routine at least at the end of our warm-up session, with different clubs, specific targets and good images, will give us our best chance for a successful transition to the golf course. Also, understanding the factors that make the first tee different, we can accept that our swing may not be exactly as the same as on the range, and therefore not be so frustrated by a less than perfect shot. Give yourself time to warm up to the course, no matter how well things went on the practice tee.

Willie was a tour veteran who wanted to tune up his game. As I watched him hit balls on the range, one nice drive after another, I said that those shots looked just fine. He said, "It’s easy to get into a rhythm on the range. But it's different out on the course." Later on we looked at some of his past rounds. He often struggled a bit through the early holes, then started to play better. We agreed that he was a "rhythm player," and I suggested how he might get out of his "range rhythm" and into his "course rhythm" before he got on the course.

The rhythm you develop on the range happens while you're hitting shot after shot with the same club from the same spot, often to the same target. On the course it's completely different, almost never hitting the same club twice in a row from the same spot. It takes time to switch from the practice-range rhythm to the playing rhythm.

Almost every tour pro warms up their full swing before a round in a similar way. They hit a few balls with each club, starting with wedges and working their way up from short irons to long irons to fairway woods and finally the driver. Then they hit a few partial wedge shots to finish. I asked Willie to try something different: play a few imaginary holes at the end of his warm-up.

To do this, picture the first hole (or any hole on the course). Create the imaginary boundaries of the fairway using flags on the range. After hitting a tee shot, determine how far you’d be from the green. Picture the green out on the range and play an iron for an approach of that distance. You can include a pretend par-5 and hit driver, three-wood, wedge. For a pretend par-3, tee up the ball and hit a long iron. Willie has included "playing a few holes" on the range in his warm up and goes to the first tee in playing rhythm. His scores on the first few holes of a round have improved considerably, including one round in which he birdied the first six holes.

Concluding your pre-round warm-up this way will make you feel like you've already played a few holes when you get to the first tee. You'll feel like you’re already in the rhythm of the golf course.

Copyright 2002 by Dr. Joseph Parent

Revue de presse

“The lessons in Zen Golf make the mental game seem so simple. Dr. Parent has given me very effective methods for working with thoughts and emotions, and for taking the negatives out of the picture.”
-Vijay Singh, Masters and PGA Champion

“Soothing and enlightening, Zen Golf exposes us to the storm-tossed waters of the golfer's psyche, but in short order, Dr. Parent has us bobbing easily amidst the waves.”
-Guy Yocum, Senior Writer for Golf Digest

“There’s no other book like this one. If you want to know what has gotten in the way of playing better and what you can do about it, look no further.”
-Mike “Radar” Reid, PGA Tour Winner

“Doc’s unique teaching methods helped me to concentrate and to go from the range to the first tee in a way that gets my round off to a much better start.”
-Willie Wood, PGA Tour Winner

“Dr. Parent’s use of golf as a metaphor for business is full of great insights that have helped our staff grow as people and professionals.”
-David Hausdorff, Vice President, Merrill Lynch, Private Client Group

“Here is a roadmap to inner confidence, self-awareness and the feel of a purely struck golf shot. This approach to learning and life is a wonderful and powerful expression of the future for golf instruction.”
-Fred Shoemaker, author of Extraordinary Golf and co-teacher of Golf in the Kingdom seminars with Michael Murphy

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1148 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 204 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0385504462
  • Editeur : Doubleday; Édition : 1st (18 juin 2002)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000FA64SM
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
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  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°197.831 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  226 commentaires
110 internautes sur 115 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Point 9 octobre 2002
Par William Ray - Publié sur Amazon.com
What's the point of golf? What are we trying to achieve while we're out there? Simply put, the point is to get the ball in the cup as quickly as possible and enjoy the process. I played a round early this summer, had an awful time, came off the course stressed and feeling bad about my behavior. I was literally hyperventalating over putts. Turns out I scored well. So something was amiss, right? This book has me enjoying the game again. Zen Golf is not a deep and difficult treatise of the deeper meaning of life and golf. It is closer to an instruction manual on how to play better golf and enjoy the game more. It addresses concepts like trust, confidence and positive thinking. I now enjoy those 3-iron punch shots out of the trees. I'm learning to enjoy those 5-footers. Every shot is an opportunity and there's no need for fear or negativity. My "evil caddie" seldom comes around, and when he does, I know what to do. This is simply the best golf book I've ever read.
65 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Why you should buy this book! 15 août 2002
Par Ross Bagdasarian - Publié sur Amazon.com
As an avid, yet struggling golfer I was ready for just about anything that could improve my game, including a lobotomy. Zen Golf was not only straight forward, but incredibly useful. Shortly after reading the book, I went out and "trusting" my swing not only hit a lot of great shots, but actually began having fun again. I enjoyed myself so much that I scheduled a full day lesson with Dr. Parent. Talk about a book brought to life. He was wonderful. Not only was he full of insight and stress relieving approaches, but he was really fun to play with. In the last year or so, I have been shooting a lot of 80's and even some 90's. Employing Dr. Parent's concepts I shot 77 AND had a fun time. I don't dread golf anymore. I highly recommend the book to every golfer looking to play to their full potential and take the hernia out of the game. For those luckier still, I recommend a lesson with Dr. Parent. If you are struggling with your game, either take up tennis or get this book.
42 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 get your mind out of the way of your golf game 4 juin 2002
Par dmm1 - Publié sur Amazon.com
The one time I had a perfect (for me) round of golf I noticed that the game seemed extremely simple. The rest of the time, I wonder how it can be so complicated to try and reproduce that simplicity. Zen golf gets to the root of this and offers a path there, and the opportunity to have that round at any time.
Joseph Parent's advice applies to all levels of golfers and is a guide to consistent and reproduceable results. It is one of those rare books on golf that doesn't fill your head with things to consider while you play, it does the opposite by showing you how to clear your head and in doing so clear away the obstacles that prevent us and our bodies from naturally performing the way we are capable of. I expect that the short time it took me to read this book will have a long-lasting effect on the way I will play golf from now on, and I am in the process of reading it for a second time.
40 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Yes!!! This book helps your mind when you are on the course. 29 mai 2002
Par Todd Miller - Publié sur Amazon.com
I bought this book because it had a quote from V J Singh on the cover. Singh endorses this book. Singh has been concentrating on the mental side of the golf game. For the amateur golfer, the first thing to do is groove a swing, and develop short-game skills. After that, there are dozens of sports psychology books waiting for you. I have read about 10 of them, and most of them gave me the same feeling, as if I was reading the same thing over and over. This book was a bit different. I felt that the tips were very basic, but a couple of them have really helped me on the course. They have probably helped me more than anything else that I have read. I would say that there were about 6 very good tips/thoughts in this book. And probably 2 of them will stay with me for the rest of my life.
One lesson helps you for when you hit a bad shot. Usually, I would get upset, and my mood probably wouldn't get better until the next time I hit a really nice shot. This book teaches you a very simple method which has helped me to not get upset on the course.
One note: to be honest, I don't think that the book has directly helped me hit the ball closer to the pin, or to play smarter. However, it has helped me enjoy each shot more, and I definitely do not get upset on the course, anymore.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For golf and beyond... 27 octobre 2006
Par whistlepig71 - Publié sur Amazon.com
I really enjoyed reading Dr. Parent's book. It's quick reading, but not lightweight if you take the time to consider the lessons in the words. I'm a relative newcomer to golf and I think I have done well to improve my game in each of the four years I've been playing. A big part of this has been my outlook on the game and the ability to manage the inevitable bad shots that come as a starting golfer.

The lessons presented in this book are great for golf, but they can also be applied to other areas of life. If you don't worry about the results, but are mentally prepared to handle the outcome then you are a leg up on most people. Worry can be crippling on or off the golf course. (Note: this does not mean that you don't care about the results. There's a big difference in not worrying and not caring.)

I've read books by both Dr. Parent and Dr. Bob Rotella. Although both focus on the mental aspect of the game, I find the Zen Golf by Dr. Parent to be more practical. He gives specific examples and exercises that you can perform to make the Zen discipline a part of your practice and your game. That's not to knock Dr. Rotella - I've gotten good use of his books, too. I just find the Zen Golf to be a little more guided in helping you to seek the mental clarity that golf demands.
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