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Friday, May 3, 2013

Make Every Putt?

Like every golfer, I've been waiting my entire life for this book: How to Make Every Putt: The Secret to Winning Golf's Game Within the Game, by Dr. Joseph Parent. If it delivers on the title, this book is worth a fortune to every golfer in the world.

And it does, if you accept Parent's definition of "making a putt." The book focuses on the mental and physical challenges of putting, building on the author's previous book on the subject, Zen Putting. As you might expect, while there are plenty of drills and practical  hands-on advice, much of the book is about how you think--or preferably don't think--about your putting stroke.  That all relates to the author's definition of "making" a putt, which he says is, "The ball starting out on the line you chose, at the speed you wanted, with what you felt was a good stroke."  You may have noticed that there's nothing in that definition about the ball going into the hole.

Parent explains that apparent contradiction by saying, "The secret to making every putt is to focus only on successfully executing your routine and stroke, not letting your concern about the outcome of the putt interfere with how well you're doing that. Take care of your process and let the results take care of themselves."

Putting aside the epistemology of his approach, Parent's book has a wealth of sound advice on how to read greens, judge speed, establish a productive routine, and much more. He also offers a wealth of drills, many of which are made available online through handy QR codes that take you to instructional video clips online. If you're QR-impaired, you can just go to www.zengolf.com to learn more.

Parent has coached hundreds of pros and competitive amateur golfers including Vijay Singh and Cristie Kerr.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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