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Fearless Golf: Conquering the Mental Game Hardcover – May 3, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385511922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385511926
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I have had the privilege of getting to know Gio as a friend and a teacher on the PGA Tour. He is the next superstar in sports psychology!”
—Davis Love III, eighteen-time PGA Tour Champion

“After six months of playing below my expectations, I began working with Dr. Valiante. He recognized my problems immediately due to his vast research on the PGA Tour with players such as Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. In my first two events under Gio’s guidance, I was a new player! I was playing with confidence and purpose! The results speak for themselves. If you are trying to become a better golfer, I highly recommend that you take this book to heart.”
—Justin Leonard, eight-time PGA Tour winner, 1997 British Open Champion

“What makes Gio great is his immense knowledge, but what sets him apart from others is the amount of passion he has for the great game of golf.”
—“Young Gun” Charles Howell III, PGA Tour winner

“This splendid book is an invaluable and illuminating guide for golfers at whatever level they play.”
—Albert Bandura, David Star Jordan Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

“Dr. Valiante’s insights about golf are right on track! He has found a way to embed my personal experience as a PGA Tour golfer with what all golfers go through, and to rediscover the timeless universals in golf, namely that great golf is a process of continual learning, and the importance of pursing that learning in a manner that is FEARLESS!"
—David Toms, ten-time PGA Tour winner, 2001 PGA Champion

About the Author

Dr. Gio Valiante has worked as a mental game consultant to the PGA Tour's hottest players, including Chad Campbell, Heath Slocum, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, David Duval, Matt Kuchar, and Chris DiMarco. He is the mental game consultant to Golf Digest, The Golf Channel, and the University of Florida.

Mike Stachura has been an editor at Golf Digest since 1992. He has written numerous instruction stories and served as Travel Editor and most recently Equipment Editor. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Kathy, daughter, Annie Kate, and son, Jack.

Customer Reviews

The book is very repetitive.
Dr. Validate' book masterfully explains achievement motivation and how to practically apply it to the golf swing.
Randy KIng
I love this book - it is a classic and it is a must read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Duane Thomas on July 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The problem with Fearless Golf by Dr. Gio Valiante is that he really has very little to say. There are, basically, only two ideas put forth in this book. (1) Golfers motivated by a desire to master the sport tend to perform better than those whose motivation is to impress other people. (2) People who possess high self-confidence in their skills tend to perform better than those who don't. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Fearless Golf is primarily an exercise in how many slightly different ways, and how many times, it's possible to say those two things. Valiante spends tedious amounts of time in the book's middle discussing how having "mastery golf" attributes is better than not having them (I'm talking 150 pages here, folks), to the point we want to scream, "Okay, we get it! Move ON." It's not until Chapter 4, page 198, that he begins talking about how to improve, how to get from "don't have" to "have". Even then, his advice could be summed up as, "Change, because that would be good." There are no specific exercises, no step-by-step progression put forth.

Understand, I'm not saying the ideas in this book are bad. They're not. It's just that the text is extremely padded, resulting in a slow, boring read. There are five chapters, an introduction and an epilogue in Fearless Golf. If you were editing this book, you could include the Introduction entire, take Chapter 1, cut it in half, skip ahead to Chapter 4, cut it in half, keep most of Chapter 5, lose everything else, and when you were done you'd have a taut, peppy 50-page essay giving you everything of substance in the 275-page Fearless Golf.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By bythecshore on July 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I know that sounds like ridiculous hype, but it's true.

I swear I'm not the author's brother, cousin, agent or employee. I am a weekend golfer - not even every weekend. I live up north so only play 4 or 5 months out of the year. I've consistently scored 103 to 107 per round over the past 4-5 years.

At the driving range, I hit the vast majority of my shots right down the middle, or at least well enough so that they'd be in play 90% of the time. It's when I get out on the course that it all falls apart. So I knew my technique was okay... it had to be a mental problem. I was thinking of seeing a sports hypnotist but couldn't find one and besides, I just don't play that much golf - maybe about 9 holes a week - and didn't want to invest the time or money.

So I went online to see if I could find a book that would address my problem and found Fearless Golf. There is no technique in book, so if your swing or putting stinks, look elsewhere. This book is all about what's going on inside your head. For me it was a bullseye.

When I first started reading it, I was a little defensive; I'M not fearful... I'M not afraid. But as I went though the book, I realized that I was and just didn't realize it. I was afraid of going with what works... I was holding back and sabotaging myself. I was "afraid" of posting yet another lousy score, "afraid" of losing another $10 bet, "afraid" of wasting my valuable time on another awful round. , etc., etc. This book helped me figure that out and get things straight. Why do I golf? Why don't I trust my swing like I do at the range? Why do my bad shots turn in to more bad shots?
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By J. Duncan on May 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
valiante takes golf psychology to a new level with this book. whereas rotella's message is very anectodal and breaks down to something like "equipment and your swing don't matter, stop trying to be perfect and accept things more," valiante's message has more a lot more depth. he acknowlegdes the importance of a good swing and the right equipment and his message is well grounded in psychological research. although breaking his message down to a few points is no easy task (as a matter of fact, he goes out of his way at the end to say it's really up to the individual to frame a message in their own context), it would be something like:

- don't attempt to try and control emotions by pretending they don't exist and that you're not nervous, rather condition yourself to respond productively when these feelings arise;
- focus on things you can control such as preparing properly, developing a plan for the course and the target for your next shot, rather than things you can't control such as what other players are shooting or the weather;
- practise makes permanent rather perfect, so be realistic about what it is you need to work on to get better and how accurately your practise routine reflects these items;
- strive to maintain a light grip, because when the nerves tense up you will lose feelings in your outer extremities and without realizing it, you will grip the club much tighter and hit poor shots as a result.

there are other important elements of this book that from someone else's perspective might be prioritized differently (consistent with the notion of what's key for each individual), but these are the keys for me. clearly, the principles laid out in this book transcend golf and provide a framework for success in life.
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More About the Author

Dr. Gio Valiante is one of the most prominent sport psychologists in the world. He has worked with many of the sport's top players, including Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Camilo Villegas, Sean O'Hair, Davis Love III, and Alexis Thompson. His clients over the past decade have won dozens of championships, and he has become the winningest sport psychologist on the PGA Tour during that time.

Valiante was named one of the 40 most influential people in golf under age 40 by Golf magazine in 2011 and was dubbed Guru of the Year by the Golf Channel in 2010. His book Fearless Golf: Conquering the Mental Game (Doubleday/Golf Digest, 2005) is a standard in golf psychology. He is a professor at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and serves as the mental game consultant for the Golf Channel, Golf Digest, and the University of Florida.

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