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Golf is Not a Game of Perfect [Hardcover]

Dr. Bob Rotella
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 9 1995
Dr. Bob Rotella is one of the hottest performance consultants in America today. Among his many professional clients are Nick Price (last year's Player of the Year), Tom Kite, Davis Love III, Pat Bradley, Brad Faxon, John Daly, and many others. Rotella, or "Doc," as most players refer to him, goes beyond just the usual mental aspects of the game and the reliance on specific techniques. What Rotella does here in this extraordinary book, and with his clients, is to create an attitude and a mindset about all aspects of a golfer's game, from mental preparation to competition. The most wonderful aspect of it all is that it is done in a conversational fashion, in a dynamic blend of anecdote and lesson. And, as some of the world's greatest golfers will attest, the results are spectacular. Golfers will improve their golf game and have more fun playing. Some of Rotella's maxims include:
* On the first tee, a golfer must expect only two things of himself: to have fun, and to focus his mind properly on every shot.
* Golfers must learn to love 'the challenge when they hit a ball into the rough, trees, or sand. The alternatives -- anger, fear, whining, and cheating -- do no good.
* Confidence is crucial to good golf. Confidence is simply the aggregate of the thoughts you have about yourself.
* It is more important to be decisive than to be correct when preparing to play any golf shot or putt.
Filled with delightful and insightful stories about golf and the golfers Rotella works with, Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect will improve the game of even the most casual weekend player.

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Golf is Not a Game of Perfect + Golf Is a Game of Confidence + Putting Out of Your Mind
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Product Description

From Amazon

One of golf guru Jim Flick's mantras is that golf is 90 percent mental, and the other 10 percent is mental, too. Dr. Bob Rotella, a noted sports psychologist and performance consultant, roots around the golfer's mind to expose--and analyze--the doubts, the fears, and the frustrations that haunt anyone who's ever picked up a club and swung it. Through anecdote and aphorism he suggests how these mental and emotional hazards can be played through, and, regardless of skill level, how teeing off with a more positive and confident outlook will translate into better performance.


Tom Kite from the foreword In the first twelve years of my life on the PGA Tour, I had established myself as a pretty decent player, but had only won five official tournaments. In the ten years since meeting Doc, I have won fourteen tournaments, played on the Ryder Cup team, and won my first major, the U.S. Open. To say that I think Doc has helped make me a better player would be an understatement.

Nick Price Bob Rotella's knowledge and practical approach to psychology have been an enormous help to me. He has an uncanny knack of being able to turn the most complicated situation into a simple one.

Pat Bradley Bob Rotella helped me to be my own best friend and to get to the next level of my career.

Brad Faxon I was at a point where I was taking golf so seriously that I wasn't enjoying it any more. Bob Rotella taught me to throw away doubt and fear, and as a result I am enjoying golf, learning more, and playing better.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play the Game not Yourself May 5 2003
I have just read this book and was initially skeptical on the impact Dr Rotella's suggestions would have on my game. This book helped me not to put extra pressure on myself and to concentrate on the purpose of the game NOT a perfect swing. The result - the best long game I have played in years!!! This book gives every golfer a reality check and tells them exactly what golf is. Its the toughest game on the planet and kicking yourself for not hitting good shots throughout the round destroys your chances of playing your best. Standing on the driving range hitting balls and playing on the golfcourse are 2 different things. If 90% of golf is mental why does everyone spend all of their time hitting thousands of balls and reading books on the mechanics of the golf swing? Devote time working on your mental game - it will put you on another level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Things Do Come in Small Packages May 13 2003
Every once in a while I stumble across a book that improves my ability to do something I enjoy. Several years back I read a book called "Fly Fishing Small Streams" which profoundly improved my fly fishing success. Now, I have read Bob Rotella's "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect" and it seems to be in the exact same category. As an eternal 18 handicap who always seems to be one or two stupid holes away from a great round, this book has helped me find a frame of mind that at least reduces the impact these bad holes have on my game--and increases my enjoyment of the game.
The book is filled with straight-ahead, commonsense advice. I seriously doubt that you will read many new ideas in this book. What Rotella does so well is tell stories--he presents the ideas--in a way that makes the advice impactful. I remember his advice during a round. Additionally, the book is clearly written and is easy to read. I suspect the average reader could complete this book in four to six hours. In my case, these were four-to-six hours well spent.
Key lessons include not becoming too concerned with your swing mechanics, how to practice, how to focus on a target, how to respond to a mistake or bad shot, the consequences of always looking at your score and figuring what you need to "break 85", conservative course strategy, and simply trusting your swing. Along the way, we read stories of many famous golfers who have dealt with these issues and more. We see how some have responded well, and we also see how some of these golfers could improve. The book is a nice blend of testimonial, stories, and sound advice.
The author directs the Sports Psychology program at the University of Virginia and works with players such as Tom Kite, Nick Price, and Brad Faxon.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the book I expected it to be May 27 2003
For me, the book was a huge disappointment. Despite the zen-like, poetic title, there is nothing artistic or inspirational about this book's writing style, and the little bits of instruction scattered among the author's self-congratulatory anecdotes have by now become absolute common knowledge -- as fundamental as a book on how to carry your golf bag. Most of the advice is along the lines of picture the shot you want to hit, pick out a target and hit your ball to it, don't dwell on bad shots, hit each shot with a fresh mind, clear your mind of swing mechanics while on the course, etc.
The book was written in 1995, so justifications can be made for its style and lack of innovation. Perhaps these ideas have just been so thoroughly accepted into the mainstream that in hindsight they seem obvious. Perhaps sports psychology was such a bizarre notion in 1995, that Rotella felt compelled to continually hammer us with how "ordinary" his advice is and how accepted it is among his PGA friends. Regardless of what the book was in the 90's, to the 21st century buyer, it is singularly un-useful. One copy each of Golf Digest and Golf Magazine will give you the same tips on the mental approach and will be far more entertaining to boot.
The most wearisome aspect of the book is author Rotella's incessant name-dropping of famous clients, friends and associates. Rotella seems more intent on telling you how successful and right HE is than on how to improve your own thinking and ultimately your golf game. Anecdotes have a place in instruction books, certainly; but they need to be entertaining and informative. Very little of this book is really entertaining, and the copious anecdotes tend to simply support the underlying theme that the author has befriended golf's elite.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Investment in Your Game You'll Ever Make! Sept. 20 2003
I was a twenty something handicap for twenty something years, but here I am twenty something days since reading Dr. Rotella's wonderfully simple, yet powerful book, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, with a personal best golf score of "79"!
Please read this book and I guarantee you that your game will improve.
Thanks doc! -Bill Smith, Murrieta, CA
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Important Book! March 13 2003
This is an outstanding book filled with common sense, wit and wisdom from a true student and lover of the game: Bob Rotella. Rotella books have been a big factor in me bringing my handicap down from 20 to 3 over the last three years. Rotella uses stories to illustrate his ideas and concepts, making them easier to remember and understand. Much more entertaining than do this, don't do that type instruction. Great instruction for life as well as golf, especially his ideas on pursuing your dreams, hard work and overcoming obstacles. This book is great for competitive golfers and recreational golfers. Rotella teaches you to love and enjoy the process of improving and playing regardless of results for that given day. One of the hardest aspects of this book to implement is his suggestion that if you are not spending 90 percent of your practice time on shots from a 100 yards and in, you are not practicing to become the best player you can be. Yet he is correct. The more I pracice the scoring shots, the better I get. This is a book that every golfer should read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Hiaasen!
No better summer read out there! There's nothing like a good laugh to go with a cold beer on the patio.
Published 13 months ago by Andy Richards
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is not all it's cracked up to be...
I had bought this book for my dad for Christmas. It was listed as a bestseller in the golf category, however he didn't like it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by km
5.0 out of 5 stars Really makes you think before you go to the course
This book isn't so much about the right swing or the right gear it's about your mind state and letting go.
I got this book for my boyfriend who has competed for years. Read more
Published on June 12 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars OK to Make a Mistake
Read this along with Putting out of Your Mind by Rotella.
Puts golf into a perspective that helped me to focus on improvement and what is working not what isnt working.. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2003 by John D. Smead
5.0 out of 5 stars OK to Make a Mistake
Read this along with Putting out of Your Mind by Rotella.
Puts golf into a perspective that helped me to focus on improvement and what is working not what isnt working.. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2003 by John D. Smead
4.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading: Golf is a Mental Game
Seriously, this sport is 95% mental, 5% physical. Dr. Rotella supplies the reader with countless tips to give one the power to overcome the "demons" inside all of us on the golf... Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2002 by B. P. Hayek
5.0 out of 5 stars Just having fun now...
Not much to say other than look at the target, look at the ball and swing!!! I shot in the 80s for the first time this summer. Get this book if you get frustrated during a round. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2002 by Nathaniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Simpler golf
Great read! Full of good stories. But... is golf that simple? I would like to believe yes. No mechanical thoughts from a 100 yards in... hard to do, certainly for me! Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2002 by manuel oliveira
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