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on April 20, 2013
I am a decent golfer, but I don't play tournaments and I'm not obsessed with my scores. I was hesitant when someone recommended this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoy the game of golf and the PGA, and this book has insights into the game and the players that other books simply don't have. It's obvious that Mr. Valiante has spent time with PGA golfers and knows what he's talking about. One of my favorite aspects of the book is the research focusing on the mental game. It is extremely interesting to learn about this facet of the game that will make or break every PGA golfer. I was pleasantly surprised about the applicability of these theories and research to my own game. While I am not a pro, and not trying to be one, the practical assertions in this book are explained in a way that will help anyone who wants to improve their golf game.
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on May 11, 2013
Pretty bold title, but true, in my opinion. I was lucky to start young, have a little talent and have Sam Snead for a swing model (TV and newsreels). I got to be scratch (or better) with never taking a lesson. Well of course, the logical thing to do was to try to get even better by reading about the golf swing from Hogan, Snead, Boros, Nicklaus and whatever I could find. I mean, these guys were really good and I was just a club champ. A big fish in a very small pond. It didn't take long before I was over 80 a third of the time and golf was miserable. In fact, I never recovered my form. This book told me exactly why. When one reads about technique or even listens to the spoken word of an instructor, it is processed in a part of the brain that doesn't deal with motor skills (cortex). I plan to burn my instruction books, never watch a YouTube video with the sound on and if someone draws lines on videos, I am going to turn it off. I vow to never watch a swing analysis on TV, read anymore instruction ever. I plan on doing the things that enabled me to play some decent golf. For example throw balls under/sidearm and swing in my grandaughters swing set.
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on April 23, 2013
Just like me, youve most likely spent countless hours on the driving range. You hit some good shots, you hit some bad shots but at the end of the day you feel like youve made huge strides in your game and ready to take it to the course and try out your new found skills. The following saturday you find yourself on the first tee and theres a dozen people watching you and you can feel everyones eyes on you. You hear people chatting in the background, you cant help but notice your shadow is blocking your sight of the ball, and next thing you know the wind picks up. "What if I hit a bad shot?" And just like that, youve let self-doubt and fear take control and youre in for the longest 18 holes youve ever played. Dr. Gios book Golf Flow focuses less on the technical aspects of your swing and on the more important mental game that many golfers overlook. His lessons help you achieve full self-belief and help you develop the habits of being a more confident and free golfer. My new mantra before every shot is now "make fearless swings at precise targets" and its paid more dividends than any new club or golf lesson could ever achieve. This was a great purchase and an invaluable investment in my golf game!
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VINE VOICEon November 17, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book could easily have been called "In Defense of Sports Psychology in Golf". The first 150 pages of the 220 in the book all have the definite feel of a validation for the author's current place in sports. If you make it past the glamorization of the author's part in the success of the golfers, there is some reasonable, if not obvious, advice on keeping your head from getting in the way of your golf swing.

The author emphasizes "mastery golf" which really is taking an intrinsic approach to improvement. In much simpler, and plain terms, it is about making your golf game about achieving success by your own internal measures, and not scores or what others might think about you as a golfer. Make it a challenge to learn to putt and build the self confidence to "quiet" the mind and simply execute once you get on the course. This could be applied to driving, iron play, pitching, chipping, or any other category of golf swing. Simply, always work for improvement, and because golf is a game of "infinite challenge" (my term, not the author's), as a learning golfer, there is always something to improve.

So, how does one do that? How does one keep their head out of the game at the most important time, namely during the execution of the shot? The answer is quite simple, and safely buried in narrative from the author, positive belief in the execution of your own golf capability as it pertains to any given shot. You're never going to think positively about making a 20 foot putt, until of course you've done it enough times to convince yourself that you can do it. Keeping in your head that you cannot, is self doubt and one of the key negative thoughts that the author would like you to eliminate from your head.

The book has countless stories on helping high profile golfers, and of course, because every golfer has an inflated opinion of the golf game (when off the course), all these tips and pieces of advice should apply to any old reader that happens to play golf. This is where I strongly disagree. First, the author ONLY talks of his success stories in psychologically counselling golfers. He goes to the trouble of preaching to learn from your mistakes, but in fact, he never illustrates any professional mistakes he might have made of course thinking that these would be of no teaching value. The average reader does not have 1/10th of the skill of a professional golfer and has orders of magnitude more justification in having self doubt when faced with a shot from a fairway bunker into a green 150 years away. The book doesn't even have a single example of how successful these techniques are for amateur golfers, no less a success rate for amateurs. So, who is the book really targeted at? In many ways, I believe the author does exactly what he counsels the reader NOT to do, for reasons of ego. It's hard to believe that professional golfers need a 220 page brochure for his professional services. At the same time, the idea could be to appeal to the guy who thinks he is just about there as a scratch golfer, but this is all based on shooting in the 80s just once.

So, if you're considering this book, think about a couple of things. How good is your technical execution of your shots. If you have doubts, spend your money on golf lessons at a local golf course or perhaps one of the better books on golf instruction. But in either case, the "die might be cast" and you're really just better off relaxing and having fun on the golf course by not worrying about the outcome of your shots. But if you see that chipping the ball is a systemic problem, pick up a book, golf video, or anything that might teach you something and go out and practice good technique. One of the worst problems in golf is that bad habits are ingrained much more deeply than the good ones (in amateur golf).
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on August 20, 2013
This is a book for golfers that see the game as a journey. You can do anything but you can't do everything. Gio's book will guide you through how to identify what area of the game and you, as a person, you need to focus on. The approach is very similar to what Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott has been pursuing for many years and have written about in books such as "Every Shot Must Have a Purpose", "The Game Before the Game" and "Play Your Best Golf Now". If you have read those books, Gio will give you some new perspectives and if you couldn't quite relate to Pia and Lynn's message, Gio's language and perspective might resonate with you. At the end of the day it is about approaching the game holistically, assessing where you are, where you want to go, put a plan together and make it happen. You will become a better golfer AND a better person through the process.
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on April 10, 2013
Seeking an edge to your golf game?

Look no further than the same secret weapon used by Justin Rose (currently ranked third in the World Golf Rankings) and Matt Kuchar (World #10): sport psychologist Dr. Gio Valiante. The mental game is a huge factor in elevating performance on the course and Valiante provides great instruction on how to reach the top of your game by harnessing your thoughts and achieving flow.

In Golf Flow, Valiante - also the author of Fearless Golf: Conquering the Mental Game - provides inside access to how his methods have helped Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Stuart Appleby, Camilo Villegas, Sean O'Hair, and Bryce Molder.

A very readable and insightful book. Recommended!
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on April 23, 2013
Really feel like I've gotten things from this book that will stay with me for a very long time. This book has drastically increased the enjoyment I derive from playing the game by reducing my stress level and reducing my score.
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on June 27, 2013
On the whole I really liked this book. Gio has vast experience with top golfers and others and a strong academic background in sports psychology. This book explains the idea of "flow" which is not movement but a mental state described by a famous Hungarian psychologist whose name I can't pronounce. It is the state where you are calm and totally focused, where time is distorted. It is a lot like the meditator's idea of "mindfulness." Gio, and other well known instructors like McLean and Tewell, makes a strong case that this state is at the heart of both performance and enjoyment of the game. In principle, you are not playing for the crowd or against your opponent but just challenging the course itself.

Now why did I take away a star? It's probably just me. I am familiar with other works on flow and mindfulness and so the beginning of the book was, for me, too repetitive. If you know nothing about these things you won't have that problem. You might also like the numerous interviews with prominent touring pros. I did, but felt there were too many. But, they do make the point.

This book is not a theoretical treatise either. Gio offers a lot of solid tips and methods for inviting the flow state and using it to improve not just your results, but your enjoyment of the game. I have practiced with these tips and feel they help. On balance, I think this book is a valuable addition to any player's library and a good reference.
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VINE VOICEon November 7, 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you are expecting "Be The Ball Danny" advice (Caddyshack [HD]) or the mysteries of The Kingdom of Shivas Irons then you are going to be disappointed. This is a solid, grounded book full of researched practical concepts to improve your golf game. It is about the attitude, the mental inner game, but it is seriously and clearly presented. It's not mystical, it's psychological. Written by a professor of sports psychology who has worked with many top golfers. It is an accessible introduction to enjoying golf, to practicing better, and ultimately playing better. It's an easy read, full of quotes from great golfers, but covers a subject that will take years to embrace. After an introduction, a general discussion and several player case studies, the keys to flow are laid out in the last ten chapters:

Study success
Manage time effectively
Practice with a purpose
Achieve a mastery mind-set
Discern between real and perceived limitations
Craft your environment
Respond positively to negativity
Control your body
Emphasize rhythm, not mechanics
Play fearlessly.

Fully indexed, bibliography for further reading. It could maybe do with more citations of sports psychology research, but I understand that this could have slowed down the pace, turning it from a useful read and into a university paper. Highly recommended for golfers of any ability level. Hope you find this review helpful.
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on April 23, 2013
Great book. Couldn't put it down. Definitely the perfect add on to videos and books that address the more technical side to things. I would have to say that it has made a noticeable difference in not only the way I've approached this game, but other things in life as well. Not to be missed.
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