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The author of Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game, Dr Joseph Parent teaches Life Coaching for business, life and golf and has done so for over 30 years. He is an expert is mastering the mental game of golf. In the early 1970s, Parent encountered the practice of Buddhist mindful awareness and how it can help eliminate negative patterns of self-defeating behavior. After completing his PhD in psychology he started to apply this philosophy to golf and business. Since then he has become a successful life coach and has helped many professional golfers such as Vijay Singh, David Toms, Juli Inkster and Cristie Kerr. He also helps top amateur golfers.
This book Zen Golf suggests a simple system for achieving and maintaining a successful mental attitude while playing the game. They key to success in golf or business is a combination of confidence and self-awareness. The system Dr Parent teaches involves preparation, action and response to results. In Part One of the book, there is an introduction to the perspective of Zen. He recommends approaching the concepts with an open mind, and not to compare the Zen approach to any other learning methods they have used.
He often gives examples of Zen proverbs and lessons in learning. The section called "Four Kinds of Students" explains how there are four ways of entering into learning. One is to be like a cup that is upside down, and you pay no attention. The second is to be like a cup with a hole in, the words slip by and you remember and retain nothing. The third example is a cup with some dirt in the bottom, which means you are coloured by previous teachings and it clouds your judgement. The fourth way is a cup that is right side up and clean with no holes in and you are ready to learn and open to new ideas. The book is well written and enjoyable to read. People will find in this chapter that the ideas are more about life than just golf, and can be applied to many situations. Part Two applies the Zen principles to golf. The method is broken down into three stages: preparation, action and response to results. All these stages are important and impact on further learning.
In addition to the book, there is a website (ZenGolf.com) providing other related products. For the price of $59.95 you can purchase Lifetime Membership of Zen Golf's Listen, Watch & Learn Package. This includes audio books, video lessons, sneak previews to instructional articles, and is now I-Phone and I-Pad compatible. The website also has a shop where you can purchase e-books, audiobooks and CDs with links to Amazon and Audible, access to life and business coaching services with Dr Parent, and of course golf instruction. Zen Golf instruction comes in the form of individual lessons, group lessons and telephone consultations. He also runs golf instruction events such as workshops, courses and conference speeches.
With these additional features available through the website, the Zen Golf book forms a comprehensive package. The book on its own is limited in it subject, being focussed on psychology. We would recommend the beginner golfer to augment their reading with a more technical book from this category. Whilst Zen Golf is useful reading for all golfers, it would particularly appeal to those with an open mind who want to improve, or indeed have become stuck and need some help. Available in both hardback and audio formats, this product is a great purchase.
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