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Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  700 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The best players know that golf is a game of confidence, and most important, concentration–the ability to focus and block out distraction. The goal of achieving clear thought is also at the heart of Buddhist teachings. In his highly original and groundbreaking book, noted PGA coach and Buddhist instructor, Dr. Joseph Parent, draws on this natural connection and teaches gol ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 14th 2002 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2002)
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Dave Shapiro
Feb 07, 2016 Dave Shapiro rated it it was amazing

Zen Golf: Mastering the Inner Game by Joseph Parent

TITLE: Why a book about golf has value for all business leaders, regardless of whether they play golf or not!

Initially, I found my ego whining about the title of the book.... "Another, quick fix magic dust inner golf book". However, I picked it up because it kept popping back up in to my awareness.

Still a bit resistant, I began reading about the author, Joseph Parent. What I learned is that he is accomplished and acclaimed as a Sports Psycholog
May 11, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing
I play disc golf and compete in PDGA (Pro. Disc Golf Assoc.) tournaments. I was a competitor in the 2011 pro world championships, where I achieved my goal of not finishing DFL (dead f'ing last)—but only barely. Though I've improved my game a lot over the years, I've struggled with my mental game. So before a big tournament last weekend, I gave the audiobook of Zen Golf, read by the author, a listen.

I loved this book, and I know I'll be re-reading (listening) many more times. It eloquently reinf
Jan 25, 2009 John rated it it was amazing
Best golf book I have ever read as far as improving your game.
Doc & Charly
Jan 07, 2011 Doc & Charly rated it it was amazing
Yup, it’s all about your head…life and golf. Best golf instruction book ever. I will read this through again and again.
SERENITY NOW! nope, didn't help.
Aug 24, 2009 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: golf fans
Though I would hardly call myself a fan of the game of golf, I happened upon this book and was interested in the "zen" aspects of the game. I read this book in about 2 hours and though I skimmed most of the golf-specific parts, I did gleam a bunch of nice nuggets that are steeped in Buddhist philosophy.

The book has many witty, short stories, many of which I have read in other books about Buddhism. It also has plenty of pithy platitudes and a healthy dose of bragging about his successes in teachi
Gonzaga Escauriaza
Feb 19, 2017 Gonzaga Escauriaza rated it it was amazing
Worth reading.

Easy, helpful and entertaining.
Nick Krueger
Apr 16, 2016 Nick Krueger rated it it was amazing
Dr. Joseph Parent made an outstanding book about golf. It is a quick read, but a lot can be learned This book is a little different compared to other golf books though. It teaches you about the mental side of golf and how much that impacts your round and scoring. After reading, you find yourself thinking about the book when your playing and actually lowers your scores.
In this book it teaches you many things vital to playing better golf. Surprisingly, most things that you learn in the book, you a
May 29, 2013 Albert rated it it was amazing
I would like to start off by saying that this book is not for everyone. It was written by Joseph Parent, a psychologist that knows much about the game of golf and the whole mental side of it. This book was a fantastic read in my opinion. It appealed to me specifically because I have a passion for the game along with many others. Joseph Parent structured the book to begin by going through a lesson and dividing each one into little paragraphs. The order that it was written in makes perfect sense a ...more
Josh Kloster
Jan 30, 2013 Josh Kloster rated it it was amazing
The book I read for January was Zen Golf. One of the reasons I had the intentions of reading this book was because I can honestly say I struggle with my mental game on the golf course. After reading this book I can safely say that this will defiantly improve my game here’s why.
This book mixes the philosophy of Buddhism into the game of golf. For example it talks about how you first have to find peace within yourself before you can make a decision that has the potential to make you mad. This b
Feb 04, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Most golfers know that the biggest obstacle to good performance on the course is the space between our ears - our mind! However, most of us practice developing a mental game even less than we practice chipping and putting! We all know that the best way to permanently change behavior and attitude is to do it in small steps over a long period of time - like studying for an exam by taking good notes during class instead of cramming the night before. The beauty of this book is that the chapters are ...more
Dec 08, 2012 Rrager15 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: golf-books
Are you a golfer who has a decent understandings of the fundamentals but can't get to the next level? Do you get in your own way and self-sabotage your rounds? Instead of bringing you joy, is golf often a cause of frustrations? Then this is the book for you. Numerous times Dr. Parent's description of situations seems as if they were written specifically for me. A good insight into golf, a better insight into life. This is a book that must be digested slowly, it's not meant to be a quick read. It ...more
Nov 30, 2008 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this audiobook. It's so easy to get in my own way when it comes to my game. When that happens I'll start listening to it from the beginning, and I'm reminded (again) to notice the mental gymnastics I play in my head that interfere with relaxing, staying focused and having fun playing golf. I like Joseph Parent's tools that he offers to reduce those my issues. In the end I get what really want: confidence in playing golf.

At some point I'll reach the plane where I start applying the lesson
Brian Lombard
Apr 12, 2011 Brian Lombard rated it it was amazing
If you have played golf before, you have had the reaction of "what was I thinking when I hit that shot"? Reading "Zen Golf" by Dr. Joeseph Parent, will help you answer that question and give you insight into how to control the thoughts that inhibit the body from making a good golf shot. The writing style in this book is very appropriate for the subject matter. The author does a good job of keeping the material moving along as to not dwell in one particular place for too long.
Rob Baker
Feb 16, 2014 Rob Baker rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
The most difficult aspect of my game for years has been mental stability throughout the duration of the round. I'm fundamentally sound but lacked the mental toughness when things go awry. Zen Golf tunes you in to truly realizing the beauty in golf while focusing your mindset on the positives even when the "anyway" shot occurs. Well-written despite certain sections being tautological as the book went on.
Brad Lyerla
Oct 06, 2010 Brad Lyerla rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
In Zen Golf, Parent teaches methods for maintaining one's cool under pressure by staying in the moment and avoiding useless judgments. Patience, calm and dignity are the keys. They lead to clear-headed golf and that will improve scores.

None of this is new information. But Parent offers some mental exercises, many borrowed from Buddhist teachings, that may be helpful to those who are impatient or quick to anger.
Muriel McLemore
May 01, 2013 Muriel McLemore rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended by a club champion that we met in Florida. It combines golf mechanics with Buddhist philosophy to help manage the mental game. It really focuses on just trusting what you practice. Although I have finished the book, I will go back to it often to get my head straight when I am on the course.
Sep 05, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
Ok, so don't laugh but I had to read this book to see if it would help my golf game. I have to say it did even being 30 weeks pregnant. I am still playing and loving it. My handicap has stayed about the same even though this little guy keeps me from swinging in my full range of motion. I recommend this book to all of my golfing friends!
Apr 28, 2012 Bradhusser rated it really liked it
I believe this book is one thy will help me over time so I am not entirely sure how to rate it. I have played once since reading golf zen and it has made no noticeable difference in my game. I think it may require a reread and some time to get all have all the concepts sink in and really help my golf game.
Russell Marks
May 14, 2011 Russell Marks rated it liked it
I read this one during the rainy season hoping that it would aide in lowering my handicap, I guess time will only tell. There were plenty of good focus and visual techniques recommended. I particularly liked how the author tried to avoid writing in first person as a means of making the reader truly immerse themselves in the lessons. Nonetheless, the book rambled on a bit and became repetitive.
Mike Walters
Nov 18, 2015 Mike Walters rated it really liked it
Shelves: golf
Great book about the mental side of golf. You may not be able to relate to all of the scenarios and recommendations presented, but I can almost guarantee you will walk away with something that you can apply to your game.
Jan 11, 2015 Jett rated it it was amazing
Its like the book is a whole metaphor. He talks about golf in a very different perspective and brings golf and something else and compares them together to get so much power for the reader to understand about Zen Golf. Helps a lot with people who have golf's mental game.
Mary Mystical
Oct 07, 2016 Mary Mystical rated it it was amazing
Re-read, and totally worth it.
Donna Gough
Sep 21, 2014 Donna Gough rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book. Lots of great lessons for golf...but also for life in general. Would recommend for any golfer and will definitely reread.
Jerry Ortiz
Jul 18, 2012 Jerry Ortiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enlightening book on the mental aspects involved in effective golf play and management. of your emotions.
Cameron Moore
Apr 13, 2015 Cameron Moore rated it it was amazing
Great Book. Really teaches you the values of the mental game, not just for golf, but for life.
Jun 27, 2015 Joseph rated it liked it
Good thought process - it all about the tray matter. Fun little book
Apr 07, 2008 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most difficult distance to master in golf is the 8 inches (give or take) between one's ears. If nothing else, this book helped me understand that.
Ed Mcgrath
Mar 21, 2014 Ed Mcgrath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I look at golf differently now and enjoy playing again.
May 31, 2016 Marialena rated it it was amazing
Awesome read for clearing mental chaos on the golf course and life.
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