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Golf is Not a Game of Perfect Hardcover – May 9 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 9 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068480364X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684803647
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.8 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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