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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play the Game not Yourself
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...
Published on May 5 2003 by David Parker

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the book I expected it to be
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...
Published on May 27 2003 by Ecnal Yeldnil


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play the Game not Yourself, May 5 2003
By 
David Parker (Auckland New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the book I expected it to be, May 27 2003
By 
Ecnal Yeldnil (Yokohama, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (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.
In a typical example, Rotella opens Nick Price's eyes with the flabbergasting revelation that when things go wrong on the course, Nick could envision things going right, rather than getting down on himself. Rotella closes the tale by saying, "After listening to this for awhile, Nick said, 'If I had known this was what you were going to talk about, I would have come to see you a long time ago.'
'Why didn't you?' I asked.
'I was afraid you'd be into something weird. I didn't realize it would be this logical and sensible.'
Rotella spends most of the first three chapters convincing you that he is logical and sensible, and dropping as many names as he can to support his claim. The entire experience reads like a pitch to a publisher or the inside flap of a dust cover more than a book on how to improve my own mental approach to golf. Similar "me" stories continue to pop up throughout the book, drawing your attention away from any few helpful tips and brings that attention back squarely onto the author, which appears to be where Rotella really wants it.
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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
By 
M. A Netzley "mnetzley" (Singapore) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (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. He seems well positioned to write a book such as this. I would not consider this book to be arm-chair psychology. Dr. Rotella gives sound advice in an easy-to-read form.
In short, I am giving book copies to some of my best friends. I have been pleased with the results I am showing on the course and practice range since reading this book. I would like to share those results with my friends. I am playing better and enjoying the game more. Thanks Doc!
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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
By 
William R Smith (Murrieta, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (Hardcover)
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
By 
Jeff Richardson (Miamisburg, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (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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5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for the mental approach to Golf, Feb. 27 2002
By 
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (Hardcover)
A friend and golfing partner gave me this book to read and I found it to be very enlightening and easy to read. Mr. Rotella focus' more on the mental approach to golf than swing plane and mechanics. However he does address the issue and states that there is a time and a place to think about and also practice your swing faults just not on the golf course. He shows you how to focus, improve your accuracy through visualization and taking dead aim, using confidence to improve your putting and how to achieve it.
Simply stated there is a physical side to golf and a mental side and Mr. Rotella shows us how to improve our game and cut down on mistakes, save strokes and improve course management.
He shares stories about his teachings and conversations with several professional golfers and insights into their world.
I carry an 11 handicap and the weekend after finishing this book I shot a 76 after being 3 over through the first 3 holes and finished with 31 total putts. This book will work for you if you are looking to take your game to another level.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Playing Golf in the Zone, Aug. 29 2001
By 
Gary A. Sailes (Indianapolis, Indiana) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (Hardcover)
The most enjoyable golf you can play is effortless and pressure free. "Doc" Rotella's "Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect" has literally liberated me from myself. I was definitely in my own way, halting my own progress. My swing coach brought me from a 35 handicap to a 16 handicap in two summers. Doc brought me down to a 10 handicap in six weeks, and I am still improving. Two key facets in the book grabbed me. First is, "The best swing thought is no swing thought!" This was riveting and when I finally let go and trust my swing, the ball went longer and straighter. Consistency and lower scores were the result. The second facet dealt with putting. Doc emphasized "When you land the green, hole the put, no matter the distance!" What a confidence and result booster!! My goal was to become a single digit handicapper by the end of summer 2001. I still have three weeks to lose one stroke and achieve my goal. I am convinced it will happen. On June 26th, I had a milestone. After reading Doc's book, I shot my first ever and only sub-par round of 35 for nine holes on a par 36 executive course here in Indianapolis. I had a playing partner and asked him to sign the card. It is now framed and sitting in my office. That was fun. Thanks Doc!! -Gary in Indianapolis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Train Your Brain!!!, Sept. 22 2000
By 
J. Duncan (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (Hardcover)
As a 7 handicap trying to figure out how to shave those extra strokes off to get into the low single digit territory this was a nice surprise which helped to complete my library of essential golf books.
the seminal work on golf (and perhaps) sports psychology from Dr. Bob Rotella. The book works on a number of levels as follows: #1. as a rare and excellent guide on how to prepare oneself mentally for the game and how to remained focused during a match; #2. as a series of anecdotal chapters covering a number of the game's top name players and how they are using Rotella's straight forward and insightful techniques to play better golf; #3. as an instructional piece and #4. as a guide for getting the most out of your practises.
Any one of the above would make it good, all 4 in combination make it a must have for golfers at all levels.
(ps I'd also recommend as essential golf reading Jack Nicklaus's "Golf My Way," Tom Watson's "Getting It Up and Down from 40 Yards and In" and, of course, Harvey Penick's "Little Red Book)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sure cure for a golfing nut case!, June 27 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (Hardcover)
I was a mental midget on the golf course. Despite my low handicap, I was capable of shooting 90 anytime out. My swing and tempo would just go away. Sometimes only for a few holes, sometimes for a few weeks. It all had to do with my mental approach. I would go "unconscience" for weeks and shoot my standard round in the 70's, then I would wake up and decide to "think", and all of the sudden I was a mess. The guys at my club called me Jekyll or Hyde, depending on who I was that day. I won my club championship in 1995, finished 2nd in 1998, then failed to qualify by shooting 92 in 1999. I was almost ready to go to a shrink, and I considered being hypnotized.
I went to a local pro that I knew casually for a lesson, and he told me after 10 swings that I was fine physically. I told him about my troubles. He confirmed that I had mental issues on the course, and instead of nitpicking a with a solid swing, he recommended I read this book. He even gave me his copy. I got through it in 2 sittings, bought my own, and now refer to it often. I have attained a tremendous level of consistency and rediscovered my confidence. My USGA handicap has dropped back to the 4's. I am thrilled, because I went as high as 9 after a month of complete futility last season. The only reason it stayed that low was because they toss out your 10 highest scores from your last 20 rounds when computing the handicap. My average score was almost 12 shots higher than the previous year.
I don't have the vocabulary required to adequately praise this book. All I can say is BUY IT! I still can not believe what it did for me. I haven't had any funky spells since reading it, and my entire approach to the game has changed for the better.
Good luck.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Golfers, go to the top of this page and buy this book now!, July 18 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect (Hardcover)
Simply put, this book is incredible. I am a 16 year old addict, who was last year, the worst player on the school team. I had taken lessons from pros, watched instructional videos, and attended numerous golf camps. At the beginning of the this year's season, I was considering quitting, when I picked up this little treasure. Bob Rotella's book has completely changed my attitude about this wonderful game. It taught me to forget about what other people thought about my game and remember how to have fun. Due to the weather this year, our golf season was only two weeks long. It took me one week to make junior varsity, and I give half of the credit to this book, and half of the credit to me for reading it. By utilizing the mental techniques found in "Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect," I was smashing my previous scoring records and setting new ones almost every round! I was shooting in the mid-70's (9 holes) last year, and now I consistently score in the low 40's! This fantastic book is the real deal!
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Golf is Not a Game of Perfect
Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by Dr. Bob Rotella (Hardcover - May 9 1995)
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