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How I Play Golf Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 9, 2001
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No athlete has changed his sport the way Tiger Woods has transformed the world of golf. The Tiger phenomenon has created a new legion of golfers, seduced by Woods's almost effortless mastery of this most difficult game. In How I Play Golf Woods reveals the many facets of his game and offers a plethora of tips and advice aimed at all levels of play. Unlike most golf guides, and perhaps somewhat surprising from a player best known for his long game, How I Play Golf begins with the short game--putting, chipping, and pitching--before moving onto swing mechanics and hitting off the tee. Produced in conjunction with the editors of Golf Digest, the book is lavishly photographed and illustrated and offers a gold mine of useful ideas and mental images Tiger has collected over the years. Throughout, Tiger recounts memorable shots from his relatively brief career; for example, his only "perfect" shot (a 3-wood on No. 14 at St. Andrews) and his first putt at the 1995 Masters (a 20-footer for birdie on No. 1 that missed and rolled off the green). How I Play Golf is not only a first-rate instructional guide, it also communicates a passion and respect for the game that beginners, hackers, and low handicappers should find inspiring. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards
From Publishers Weekly
Very few sports figures have accomplished as much as Woods has already achieved at age 25. He has been named "Sportsman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated twice; he has won more than 30 professional tournaments and he's the youngest player to win the Grand Slam four of the major pro championships. Despite his many commercials and product endorsements, Woods is one of the rare athletes who isn't overplayed in the media. Unlike many other sports stars, Woods plays and wins quietly. That may explain why this instructional book will reach far beyond the links. Woods talks about his experiences and his attitudes toward golf and life. The conversational tone is quite engaging: "The difference between golf and most other sports is that anyone of average intelligence and coordination can learn to play it well. It requires a commitment to being the best that you can be. That has always been my approach to the game.... Pop gave me many great lessons, not only about golf, but also about life. His greatest advice to me was always be myself." On watching the ball, Woods says, "If you're like me, you can't wait to see if the ball is tracking toward the hole right after the golf ball leaves the putterface.... The tendency to peek too soon causes your head to move and leads to off-sloppy contact.... I found an effective way to fight the problem: I practice putting with my left eye closed, so I can't see the target line at all with my peripheral vision. That makes it easier to keep my eyes looking straight down." Accompanied by wonderful photos, the book reads as if Woods is right there with the golfer, providing instructions. (Oct.) Forecast: With scheduled appearances on Oprah and Dateline along with extensive print and television advertising, this book will immediately shoot out of the bookstores. Strong sales should continue for a long time.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
with the Editors of Golf Digest
© Marc Wickert December 27, 2009
The beauty of this modern age for anybody into anything is that there are instructional books and DVDs by the best practitioners in the world in every field imaginable - golf, mixed martial arts, tennis... even books on how to grow handlebar mustaches.
The thing is, no matter where you live on the planet, you can hop online and order a book or DVD, then start receiving tuition from the greatest exponent in any chosen sport or interest.
TIGER WOODS: How I Play Golf is a perfect example, where you can have the world No.1 for your mentor.
As the cover states: "There is simply no athlete quite like Tiger Woods. His domination of golf is unparalleled."
Preface - How to Start (Yearning to Learn)
Chapter One - How to Putt (Rolling the Rock)
Chapter Two - How to Get It Down (Turning Three into Two)
Chapter Three -How to Escape from Sand (Making the Hard Easy)
Chapter Four - How to Swing (Building an Action to Last)
Chapter Five - How to Flag Your Irons (Knocking Down the Pin)
Chapter Six - How to Nail Fairway Woods (Playing the Versatile Clubs)
Chapter Seven - How to Smoke the Driver (Going with All You've Got)
Chapter Eight - How to Handle Problems (When it Starts Getting Ugly)
Chapter Nine - How to Stay in Control (Managing Your Game)
Chapter Ten - How to Master the Mind (Winning Psychology)
Chapter Eleven - How to Get Strong (Surviving as the Fittest)
Chapter Twelve - How to Play (Enjoying the Journey)
All instructions from Tiger are clearly worded and accompanied by excellent photos to make your lessons with him easy to follow and put into practice.
As with the best of the best in all sports - Fedor Emelianenko in MMA, Roger Federer in tennis, or Tiger Woods in golf - there is more to the player's winning ways than meets the eye. All elite champions have great mental powers. And as mentioned above, TIGER WOODS: How I Play Golf also contains the chapter, How to Master the Mind, which covers some very interesting aspects of Tiger's mental approach to the game.
This is an outstanding publication for any professional or would-be golfer.
First, I'll mention what you won't find. This book is not overly technical and can be read profitably by recreational golfers and even non-golfers. The book is thoroughly illustrated with photographs (they are actually the primary medium of instruction), which is quite different than Ben Hogan's classic "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf". By way of comparision, this book is considerably less technical than Hogan's book.
The book is laid out by tackling the shortest shots first - putts. Tiger explains that the book proceeds with the shortest shots and progresses through longer shots because he was taught golf that way. He explains why he plays the game the way he does (for example, he uses the interlocking grip instead of the more common overlap grip) and frequently points out other methods that could work. Tiger is quite thorough about exploring not just the technical aspects of playing shots, but also the mental side of the game, such as pre-shot routine and course management. He periodically uses actual pivotal moments from tournaments (such as the 13th at Augusta on Sunday at the 2001 Masters) he played in as illustrations of the principles he talks about in his book.
Another fascinating aspect of "How I Play Golf" is when Tiger discusses the off-course side of his golf preparation. Obviously, this includes exercise and fitness, but also includes diet and nutrition. He doesn't get too in depth about any of these subjects (he's actually quite secretive about the details of his exercise routine), but explains the general principles of why he does what he does. Tiger Woods is one of the most fit people on the planet, and the emphasis on physical well-being is a great message for the public.
Since this book was published shortly after he completed the Tiger Slam in 2001, there is undoubtedly much that he would change if he wrote another book like this right now, eight years later. Nevertheless, the information here can help a wide range of golfers. Even if you don't play golf, this book is still enjoyable to read and may convince you to give the game a try. It would be fascinating if Tiger wrote another book like this near the end of his competitive playing career to see the evolution of his thoughts on playing golf - we can only hope!