Possibly the most famous golf quote ever, was spoken by my all time favorite golfer, the late Bobby Jones.
“Comptetitive golf is played on a five and a half inch course, the space between your ears.”
When asked about the mental aspects of golf my standard quote is, “Golf is 90% mental and the other 10% is in your head.”
My friend and fellow golf blogger John Retzer released a new book to address the mental aspects of golf called, The Five Inch Course: Thinking Your Way To Better Golf. In this great golf resource John shares short thoughts about all aspects of the game, which he gathered through years of playing, blogging and also coaching high school golf.
The format of this book is quite similar to my all time favorite golf book, Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book. In fact, it is really a blog format in print, with each subject or chapter containing a concept with one to a few paragraphs. Each thought or concept is clearly described in an easy and sensible way, with tips on how to apply it to one’s game. Many of the concepts are quite basic, but more often than not we forget the basics in golf, like playing for the fat of the green. Here are the main categories covered:
Keep It Simple, Stupid
Once again, we forget the basics too often. In my city amateur this June I was in good shape. I wasn’t going to win it, but I was sure to make a top 10 finish and collect several hundred dollars in prize money. On the final hole, after playing 35 solid and smart holes, I forgot the basics. I went for the “hero” shot. The result? A double bogey which dropped me from top 10 to T13. I figured that one swing cost me over $200 in prize money. Had I kept a level head and employed the basic thoughts I’d read in John’s Book, I would have made a better finish by far.
The goal of John’s book is not to coach swing technique or change one’s swing to look more like Fred Couples. Too many books try to change a player into someone they are not. The fact is, there is only one Fred Couples. This book helps one take his/her unique game and swing to the course and get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. With lower scores comes more fun. That is the goal, right?