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The Golfer's Guide to the Meaning of Life: Lessons I've Learned from My Life on the Links Hardcover – Oct 12 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (Oct. 12 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579544789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579544782
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 1.7 x 19.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 231 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,104,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

The Golfer's Guide to the Meaning of Life (TM)
Lessons I've Learned from My Life on the Links

On the Nature of Champions
The most significant common intangible among the truly great is that they enjoy adversity. They want to be put in fear-inducing situations because they know it is the ultimate test. The true prize is not the trophy. Rather, the prize is the knowledge that at precisely the right moment, one is able to exercise absolute self-control and precise judgment.

On Fate
We who play the game know that sometimes we get pleasant and unexpected surprises, such as a hole-in-one or a ball that skips off the water and onto dry land. We also know we are equally likely to get a bad break-- a wild bounce of the ball, a sudden gust of wind. The game leaves us no choice but to accept the good with the bad and to move on to the next shot.

On Competition
The game of golf challenges your mind anew every single day and presents you with the ultimate opponent: yourself. I've always been amazed that people can derive so much satisfaction out of beating others when they have never taken the ultimate test of battling themselves.

On the Role of Mind
The swing is not the thing. The professional tours were and still are loaded with people who can swing the golf club as gracefully as you please. That does not make them great players. The difference between being a good swinger of the club and a great player lies between the ears, in the mind. To keep your mind open to learning new things is to keep progressing forward in life.

On Positive Thinking
I will say without hesitation that you cannot achieve any goal if you have negative thoughts running through your head. You must have positive and, what might even seem to others, bold thoughts. This is not to say that you should ignore the strengths of an opponent whether on the golf course, on a sales call, or in the boardroom. Acknowledge his strengths? Yes. Dwell on them? No.

From the Back Cover

"Golf is, of course, only a game. But it is a game that loves you back. I know of no man, woman, or child that ever felt as if the game somehow let them down. It may at times challenge us more than we would like it to, but does not life do the same?"

If there were a Mount Rushmore of golf, Gary Player's handsome, well-recognized face would have to be included. The winner of more than 160 professional tournaments, Player is a member of The Big Three-- along with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer-- who dominated professional golf through the 1960s and 1970s. But Player's influence goes far beyond the golf course. Recognized as the Black Knight, he is an accomplished businessman and devoted family man, a life-long philanthropist, and tireless international ambassador of golf.

In The Golfer's Guide to the Meaning of Life, Player reflects on the most important life lessons that the game has taught him, lessons humble and profound, wise and universal. Written for nongolfers, new golfers, and experienced golfers alike, this is a book not about hitting a ball into a cup, but about what a funny old game can teach you about living life with strength, purpose, and joy.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Gary Player is such an inspiration. His love for the game is infectious, even for someone like me who plays completely inconsistently, who can hit a beautiful shot and then completely blow it for the next 3 shots(!), who has had more than her fair share of 3 putts...I will read this book again and again, I've leant it to my daughter, I've recommended it. Observations he shares such as the beauty of your surroundings during an early moring game shortly after dawn, and the way golf is a game full of etiquette...what other sport demands that you always be aware and considerate of the other players, ahead or behind you, and either accomodate them by repairing your divots, or be mindful of them by not hitting into them. So much can be parrallelled with joys and frustrations of everyday life. When I read this book, I become more determined that I WILL master the sport!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent read Sept. 25 2016
By J. Martin - Published on
Verified Purchase
I was expecting a little bit more in terms of universal life long lessons. It certainly covered the game of golf. However, based on the title and the overall non-golf related success of the author, I anticipated broader success concepts.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars June 11 2016
By Mrs Fay Low - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick read but interesting Sept. 25 2005
By Bernice W. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Gary Player since the early 1960s, when he was young and I was even younger, so I was happy to get this as a gift from my very secure husband. I learned some things I didn't know about Gary Player, and found a lot of thought-provoking ideas about life in general. Some of the book might seem self-aggrandizing, but there's a lot of other stuff to chew on. I'm not a golfer (I have played a little, but not recently) but that doesn't matter for the enjoyment of the book. I read it all in a couple of train commutes, maybe an hour and a half.

The book is nice physically, with good paper and a nice cover, so it would make a good gift.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent inspirational read and not just just for golfers Aug. 23 2006
By Tufty - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've been a great admirer of Gary Player for many a year and always swore I'd try and learn more about what makes the great man tick as I'd only heard snippets over the years. The last one was when he was interviewed at the US Masters this year by the BBC and he said he was still doing 100s of sit ups a week and he just beemed huge self-confidence and positiveity.

The time came to find out more and searching Amazon brought up, as expected, a lot of golf instruction books. I was however after more of a book about the man and how he thinks and this book seemed to fit the bill.

I have to say that it is a little gem! A fairly quick and easy read but one that deserves to be read at least once every year or so to give you a kick up the backside to improve your attitude to the whole of life with relationships, career and your general purpose in life. There are the passages of text that you almost expect to be in there from Gary which almost validate buying the book. Then there are those unexpected pieces that raise an eyebrow or two and make you realise you've just been revealed another facet of his personality and makes it all the more intriguing as to what the next chapter will bring.

The chapter on Gary's exercise routine that he has done for an hour a day for as many years as he has been an elite golfer was very simple yet so inspirational with the energy that seemed to come off the page that I got on the floor and did 50 sit-ups right then and there. I was so motivated that I carried on and did a full weights workout despite the fact I was feeling a little tired beforehand. I have since done some form of exercise daily - such is the power of the man and how he motivates people.

I believe Gary is now in his 70s but it seems from the book that his philosphy to life was embedded at a young age and he has stuck to it rigidly through thick and thin and is the reason why he is still competitive on the Senior PGA tour after so many of his contemporaries faded long ago. If my father wasn't such an inspiration to me then I would gladly have had Gary and he is on a list of people I have that I hope to meet in my lifetime as I just know he is going to be around well into his 100s so the chance is very much there!

Great book. Great guy. What more can I say?!


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Player's class revealed Nov. 9 2008
By Bagger C. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is quick, easy read and really gives one a sense of not only Gary Player's life within golf, but also the essense of his beliefs on life. He shows the reader how the honesty of the game carries over into one's life. I found the book very enjoyable, though probably more oriented towards a golfer.