Zen Golf Book Review

This book is a great introduction to a practice called “mindfulness” applied to golf.  Mindfulness is very similar to meditation, which is a more common phrase thrown around these days.  When you read Dr. Parent’s book, you will begin to understand how to manage your emotions, and play your best golf.

Have you ever been on the tee box of a tight driving hole, worried about the o.b. right and the water left?  If you said no to this, I would love to get your autograph and sign as your tour agent.  If you are human, this type of thought will always have the potential to surface during a round of golf.  Dr. Parent does a great job giving you thoughts and exercises that will help to tame these intrusive thoughts.

The book is split up into three parts:

  1. A Different Perspective– This section of the book will take you through various topics about how your attitude and perspective sets you up for success or failure before you ever step foot on a golf course.  This first part is more about you as a person, and how well you fare in the areas of learning, open-mindedness, criticism, confidence, and awareness of thoughts.  Even if you are not a golfer, this part of Dr. Parent’s book could greatly impact how successful you are in life.  In my opinion, the first part is an extension of the author’s studies with meditation and mindfulness.
  2. The PAR Approach– Broken up into the following three categories, the PAR approach is the core of the book, and goes into many of the common mental problems that a golfer will face throughout a round.  It focuses on the importance of having solid routines before, during, and after a golf round.
    • Preparation- Do you have a small, decisive target on every shot you hit?  Could you tell me your pre-shot routine without thinking about it?  Do you ever hit a shot even though you had the wrong club?  Do you fear o.b. stakes and ponds?  Do you visualize in your pre-shot routine?  All of these things and more are covered in the preparation phase of the PAR approach.
    • Action- This is the “performance” portion of the book.  It goes through several mental techniques that you can implement while standing over the golf ball.  No, you won’t get a “magical” swing thought that will cure your hook or slice forever, but Dr. Parent has several useful strategies to get your game from the range to the course.
    • Response- Often an overlooked part of the game, but your reaction to hitting a ball in a pond is critical to developing confidence in golf.  Do you get mad, emotionally attached, or fed up with your game when the ball goes in the water?  Well, you might need to read this section.
  3. A Game of Honor- a short closing section of the book that reflects on a few stories about mindfulness and the “way of the warrior”

Like the summary?  Here is the print and audio version of the book.