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Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game Hardcover – May 14, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


"We admire Dr. Joe and appreciate the lessons he has taught us in golf and life through his friendship and writings. He conveys his wisdom to all in a simple and beautiful manner." -Jack and Barbara Nicklaus

"Zen Golf is the best book at connecting the mind and golf together. Dr. Parent has given me very effective methods for working with thoughts and emotions, and for taking the negatives out of the picture." -Vijay Singh, #1 in World Rankings, 2004-5; Masters and PGA Champion

"A top-notch book on the mental game." -David Leadbetter, internationally renowned golf instructor

"There's no other book like this one. If you want to know what has gotten in the way of playing better and what you can do about it, look no further." -Mike "Radar" Reid, Senior PGA Champion

"Zen Golf teaches the ideal attitude we need to celebrate the journey of golf instead of worrying about the outcome. Dr. Joe's wisdom has made a huge impact on the way I look at golf, and at life as well." -Tina Mickelson, PGA Teaching Pro, TV analyst for Golf Channel

"A great book - destined to be a classic. Dr. Parent is a groundbreaking writer in the history of golf instruction. He's on our list of Top Ten Mental Game Experts in the world." -Jaime Diaz, senior writer for Golf Digest

"Dr Parent brings a unique insight to the game of golf that will help you play better and enjoy the game more." -Robert Trent Jones, Jr., renowned golf course architect

From the Publisher

A senior writer for Golf Digest described ZEN GOLF: Mastering the Mental Game as "Soothing and enlightening, entertaining and provocative; here is a book that is highly original, exciting, and deserves notice."

In May 2002, ZEN GOLF was released in hardcover. By December it went to its fifth printing, charted as the current bestselling instructional golf book in America.

In response to many requests for an audio version (especially for listening to while driving to the golf course), the audiobook has been produced as an unabridged edition, a 4 CD set in an attractive jewel case, read by the author, PGA TOUR Instructor Dr. Joseph Parent. It conveys through the author's own expressions the wisdom so many golfers of all levels have found in ZEN GOLF.

Fred Shoemaker, author of Extraordinary Golf, wrote, "Dr. Parent has beautifully melded the timeless wisdom of Buddhism with his timely insights as a golf coach. Here is a roadmap to inner confidence, self-awareness and the feel of a purely struck golf shot. We are approaching a turning point in the way golf or anything else is learned. This approach to learning and life is a wonderful—and perhaps our most powerful—hope for the future." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (May 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385504462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385504461
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Joe Parent has been coaching the mental game in business, life and golf for over 25 years. After completing his Ph.D. in psychology in 1979, Dr. Joe began bringing his insights in mindful awareness to golf and business. Since then he has become a renowned and sought-after instructor of the mental game, teaching the path to success to hundreds of professionals and amateurs in golf and other sports, as well as to top executives seeking cutting-edge business insights.

He is a highly regarded keynote speaker at corporate, celebrity and charity events hosted by companies such as US Trust/Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, UBS, Dreyfus, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Salomon Brothers, CBRE, World President's Organization, PGA of America, Tiger Woods Foundation, First Tee Foundation and many others.

A distinguished PGA Tour Instructor, he has attracted such clients as major champions Vijay Singh, David Toms, Cristie Kerr and Juli Inkster. About his first book, the bestselling ZEN GOLF: Mastering the Mental Game, Golf Digest reviewers say, "Here is a book that is highly original and exciting, destined to become a classic. Dr. Parent is a groundbreaking writer in the history of golf." Now in its twelfth printing, there are over 200,000 copies in print world-wide, including editions in seven different languages.

Zen Putting: Mastering the Mental Game on the Greens is the follow-up, incorporating the groundbreaking yet timeless strategies from his Zen Golf philosophy to the all important game-within-the-game, putting. GOLF: The Art of the Mental Game is Dr. Joe's most recent book, pairing 100 of his mental game tips with the classic golf drawings of the renowned illustrator, Anthony Ravielli.

As a result of his writing and his instruction of PGA TOUR players, Golf Digest named Dr. Joe to their first list of "Top Ten Mental Game Experts" in the world, and made him a featured instructor in their popular instructional section: "Breaking 100-90-80 and 70." His instructional articles, rich with tips from his lessons, appear in many major golf magazines and online, and he has been quoted and praised in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Joe has been featured on CNN, NBC's Today in New York, HBO Sports, ESPN, and many appearances on The Golf Channel. The ZEN GOLF book has been featured in a widely circulated MasterCard "Priceless" ad, and had its own cameo appearance being read by Ray Romano on "Everybody Loves Raymond." Dr. Joe has coached Ray, Kevin James, Malcolm McDowell, Michael O'Keefe (Danny Noonan in Caddyshack), Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen, world champion boxer Oscar de la Hoya, and many other celebrity golfers.

Dr. Joe Parent teaches at the Los Angeles Country Club and at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa Resort, Ojai, California. Speaker materials available on request; demo video

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 117 people found the following review helpful By William Ray on October 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What's the point of golf? What are we trying to achieve while we're out there? Simply put, the point is to get the ball in the cup as quickly as possible and enjoy the process. I played a round early this summer, had an awful time, came off the course stressed and feeling bad about my behavior. I was literally hyperventalating over putts. Turns out I scored well. So something was amiss, right? This book has me enjoying the game again. Zen Golf is not a deep and difficult treatise of the deeper meaning of life and golf. It is closer to an instruction manual on how to play better golf and enjoy the game more. It addresses concepts like trust, confidence and positive thinking. I now enjoy those 3-iron punch shots out of the trees. I'm learning to enjoy those 5-footers. Every shot is an opportunity and there's no need for fear or negativity. My "evil caddie" seldom comes around, and when he does, I know what to do. This is simply the best golf book I've ever read.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on August 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As an avid, yet struggling golfer I was ready for just about anything that could improve my game, including a lobotomy. Zen Golf was not only straight forward, but incredibly useful. Shortly after reading the book, I went out and "trusting" my swing not only hit a lot of great shots, but actually began having fun again. I enjoyed myself so much that I scheduled a full day lesson with Dr. Parent. Talk about a book brought to life. He was wonderful. Not only was he full of insight and stress relieving approaches, but he was really fun to play with. In the last year or so, I have been shooting a lot of 80's and even some 90's. Employing Dr. Parent's concepts I shot 77 AND had a fun time. I don't dread golf anymore. I highly recommend the book to every golfer looking to play to their full potential and take the hernia out of the game. For those luckier still, I recommend a lesson with Dr. Parent. If you are struggling with your game, either take up tennis or get this book.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By dmm1 on June 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The one time I had a perfect (for me) round of golf I noticed that the game seemed extremely simple. The rest of the time, I wonder how it can be so complicated to try and reproduce that simplicity. Zen golf gets to the root of this and offers a path there, and the opportunity to have that round at any time.
Joseph Parent's advice applies to all levels of golfers and is a guide to consistent and reproduceable results. It is one of those rare books on golf that doesn't fill your head with things to consider while you play, it does the opposite by showing you how to clear your head and in doing so clear away the obstacles that prevent us and our bodies from naturally performing the way we are capable of. I expect that the short time it took me to read this book will have a long-lasting effect on the way I will play golf from now on, and I am in the process of reading it for a second time.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By whistlepig71 on October 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading Dr. Parent's book. It's quick reading, but not lightweight if you take the time to consider the lessons in the words. I'm a relative newcomer to golf and I think I have done well to improve my game in each of the four years I've been playing. A big part of this has been my outlook on the game and the ability to manage the inevitable bad shots that come as a starting golfer.

The lessons presented in this book are great for golf, but they can also be applied to other areas of life. If you don't worry about the results, but are mentally prepared to handle the outcome then you are a leg up on most people. Worry can be crippling on or off the golf course. (Note: this does not mean that you don't care about the results. There's a big difference in not worrying and not caring.)

I've read books by both Dr. Parent and Dr. Bob Rotella. Although both focus on the mental aspect of the game, I find the Zen Golf by Dr. Parent to be more practical. He gives specific examples and exercises that you can perform to make the Zen discipline a part of your practice and your game. That's not to knock Dr. Rotella - I've gotten good use of his books, too. I just find the Zen Golf to be a little more guided in helping you to seek the mental clarity that golf demands.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Todd Miller on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because it had a quote from V J Singh on the cover. Singh endorses this book. Singh has been concentrating on the mental side of the golf game. For the amateur golfer, the first thing to do is groove a swing, and develop short-game skills. After that, there are dozens of sports psychology books waiting for you. I have read about 10 of them, and most of them gave me the same feeling, as if I was reading the same thing over and over. This book was a bit different. I felt that the tips were very basic, but a couple of them have really helped me on the course. They have probably helped me more than anything else that I have read. I would say that there were about 6 very good tips/thoughts in this book. And probably 2 of them will stay with me for the rest of my life.
One lesson helps you for when you hit a bad shot. Usually, I would get upset, and my mood probably wouldn't get better until the next time I hit a really nice shot. This book teaches you a very simple method which has helped me to not get upset on the course.
One note: to be honest, I don't think that the book has directly helped me hit the ball closer to the pin, or to play smarter. However, it has helped me enjoy each shot more, and I definitely do not get upset on the course, anymore.
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