Following last week’s Masters Tournament meltdown by Jordan Spieth I thought it would be an appropriate time to post my book review of Don’t Choke – A Champion’s Guide to Winning Under Pressure, by Gary Player.
About Gary Player
First, let’s do a little quick history about Gary Player, which will show us that the man knows what he’s talking about.
From Johannesburg, South Africa, Gary Player won a total of nine major championships in golf, fourth all time. He is one of the few players to hold all four major championship trophies, known as the “Grand Slam.” Not even Arnold Palmer achieved this. Mind you, Gary’s success was during a time when some of the game’s greatest players were at their best, like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros, and more. Player won 18 majors counting the nine he won on the Champions (Senior) Tour. Gary Player knows how to win.
Player has carried his winning ways to the business world, running a successful golf course design company which has built hundreds of golf courses. Other areas Player has excelled in include real estate, marketing, and fitness. Perhaps best of all is the 30+ years Player has put into giving back through charity work and the Player Foundation, whose mission is to “provide quality education for underprivileged children and strengthen impoverished communities plagued by disease and crime.”
Gary takes us through a quick tour of his major golf championships in sequential fashion. He covers his preparation, lessons learned, mistakes made, and how to parlay all of those experiences into building up the don’t choke mentality. Though golf is how Gary tells the reader how to succeed, but the book is not necessarily about golf.
Most Positive Golfer EVER
Gary Player must be the most energetic and positive golfer to ever grace our planet. He’s so passionate about success and being positive. He always has something positive to say, and shares his valuable knowledge of success. You can feel his energy. It’s vibrant.
Gary always looks at the positive in situations. If there’s a fairway left and a lake to the right, Gary would tell you to focus on the positive telling yourself, “I’m going to split that wide fairway.” He would not recommend you focus on the lake by telling yourself “don’t go on the lake.” This is what makes the title of the book a little ironic to me. Saying “Don’t Choke” is like focusing on the lake instead of the fairway. Of course, the title is an attention grabber, so I get it.
The Secret to Gary Player’s Success
There is no secret to Gary Player’s success. Player worked harder and more tenaciously than his opponents and kept a positive, winning attitude.
Can I Translate This To My Own Success?
So I’ve finished Gary’s book and tried to absorb as much of his positive vibe as I can. I hope to apply this attitude in my future golf and business experiences. I hope this book helps give me the strength and courage to not choke on that 3-foot-putt on the 18th hole to win that $2.00 nassau. That’s pressure.
Gary Player Interview
I had the great pleasure of speaking with Mr. Player for an extended period of time in an interview about fitness. It was truly one of the highlights of this modest, independent blog’s 11+ years. Hope you enjoy it.
Click to buy book…
Just what the doctor ordered, a short game book. Somehow I managed to finish the 2014 season with a 1.5 handicap and a save percentage of somewhere between 25-30%. Saves meaning I missed hitting the green in regulation and managed to get up-and-down for par or better. In other words, if I had a short game I could be a hell of an amateur golfer.
My next read (after Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex
haha) will be Your Short Game Solution: Mastering the Finesse Game from 120 Yards and In by James Sieckmann.
I’ve thumbed through and picked a few random pages to check out quickly and I can already tell the depth and detail of this book is great. In randomly picking a couple of pages I’ve already learned some valuable short game tips and information.
I’m excited to dive into this one. Full review soon. Let’s see what happens in 2015.
I’m thrilled to help increase exposure for the golf book Golf Etiquette Quick Reference – A Golfer’s Guide To Correct Conduct. When golfers learn the game they’re taught swing, stance, grip, technique. They’re never taught the etiquette of the game, where to stand, when to hit, how to care for the course. Those aspects of the game should be just as important as learning the swing itself.
Golf Etiquette Quick Referenc
This book is arranged in a small, easy-to-carry package which will fit in one’s golf bag for reference if needed. The tips are simple and supported by nice graphics to demonstrate the concept.
Great tips for the tee…
The book is very thorough, even covering the before and after-round conduct and traditions, like having a drink at the 19th hole.
Putting green etiquette… be sure to read this part!
This book should be required reading for every golfer.
I love picture books. They’re perfect books for my reading level…
I’ve been enjoying a great book called “Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors – Golf’s Renowned Venues.” This book shows vibrant and panoramic photos of golf’s major venues since 1950, along with paintings of them as well. Of course the major tournaments are the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship (British Open), and the PGA Championship.
The photographer for the book was Patrick Drickey, a world renowned photog licensed by the PGA of America. How do I get that gig?
The artist is Linda Hartough, from Harbor Town, SC.
Naturally the first page out of the 250 I opened to was the Old Course at St. Andrews. What are the odds. No really. What are the odds? One in 250 and I turn to THE Old Course.
Green Glory – click to zoom
The 2nd page I managed to randomly find was the photo below of the 13th hole at Carnoustie, a beautiful par-3. See the image below. What a great thought, knowing I’d played both of those courses about five months ago. Seems like years. I miss that place…
Carnoustie hole #13 – click to zoom
Green Glory is full of some great imagery, and a little bit of useful information regarding each venue. This is a great coffee table book for days like today (12/19/13), where it has been snowing for 10 hours. I can thumb through it and reminisce about the rounds I’ve played on some of the courses within. I can dream of playing rest.
To pick up a copy of “Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors – Golf’s Renowned Venues,” visit www.stonehousegolf.com. Retail is $75 for an autographed first edition and $55 for the book unsigned.
This is crazy. I just opened the book again, to look for Chambers Bay. Chambers Bay is the host of the 2015 U.S. Open, the first venue in the northwest to host a major. I turned to the Carnoustie page again! What are the odds?
I don’t do a lot of book reviews. For some reason I can last a few pages reading and then I get very sleepy. A reference book however, is a different story. I like books like this one, which I can refer to as needed.
Golf: Play the Golf Digest Way: Hone Your Game- From Green to Tee
Golf: Play the Golf Digest Way: Hone Your Game- From Green to Tee is a 320 page golf instruction book by Ron Kaspriske with contributions from Hank Haney, Butch Harmon, Jim McLean, Phil Mickelson and Tom Watson.
This book is a substantial size at 8.5×11 inches. Inside the pages are 300+ full color illustrations and diagrams by golf pros and instructors covering every imaginable golf teaching subject as listed below.
- Bunker Play
- The Next Step
As the title and chapter list above indicate, this book takes the player from green to tee, not tee to green. It is said that the best way to teach or learn golf is by starting with the putter next to the hole. Make a six inch putt, then move to 12 inches. Keep moving back, all the way to the tee! That’s what this book does.
The photos and descriptions are excellent, and there are many of the top players from Tiger Woods to Phil Mickelson to Rickie Fowler featured in the illustrations and photos. Below is an example by Phil Mickelson showing how to hit out of wet sand:
The book will be available for purchase on March 6, 2012. Here’s a direct link to Amazon for Golf: Play The Golf Digest Way if you’d like to preorder your copy.