Editor’s Note: Another in our series this week of ideas for Father’s Day. You can give dad a nice card with an “I.O.U.” inside and then order it up – or get over to the bookstore today. They’re open.
There are a few new books that have crossed my desk recently and I pass them along as a few ideas for the bookshelf of your favorite golfer/dad: if you’re looking to improve with your clubs or between your ears, I offer “Own Your Game: How to Use Your Mind to Play Winning Golf” by award-winning player and teacher Dave Stockton; “Everyday Golfer’s Guide to Shooting Lower Scores: I Learned to Break 80 – You Can Too!” by Mick Gyure (really, that’s his name, I guess); “Every Shot Counts,” by Mark Broadie,” and”Magnificent Masters” by Gil Capps. (more titles below, too.)
“OWN YOUR GAME”
If you’re looking to improve your game with your clubs and between your ears, there’s “Own Your Game: How to Use Your Mind to Play Winning Golf” by award winning player and teacher Dave Stockton with Matthew Rudy (Gotham Books, March 2014).
How much would you pay for a private lesson with the hottest instructor in the game? Stockton draws from his experience as a champion tour player and a revered coach. Stockton has coached everyone from Annika Sorenstam to Phil Mickelson to Rory McIlroy.
“The mental side is basically a routine,” Stockton told me. “I work on the routines of the various players that I work with.”
Stockton has also penned “Unconscious Putting” and “Unconscious Scoring.”
The hallmark of Stockton’s coaching is “trying doesn’t work” – and the book focuses on mental techniques that can make or break your game.
“EVERYDAY GOLFER’S GUIDE…”
An author with a golfer’s name, Mick Gyure, has penned “Everyday Golfer’s Guide to Shooting Lower Scores: I Learned to Break 80 – You Can Too!” (Publisher: PL Motivations, Inc.) He has a series of specific objectives to help golfers overcome common barriers. He stresses that it’s never too late.
“EVERY SHOT COUNTS”
“Every Shot Counts” is by Mark Broadie, a Columbia Business School professor, columnist for Golf magazine and a good player in his own right who said that it’s about using the right strategy to improve your score, explaining that putting isn’t that big of a game-changer, it’s the approach shot, adding that most players don’t play aggressively enough.
“More amateurs take too much risk getting to the green but then I’d say on the green many amateurs are too conservative in that they leave too many short putts short,” said Broadie in a recent radio interview.
Gil Capps, an Emmy Award-winning associate producer with NBC Sports and Golf Channel, offers his first book, “The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta.”
“That really cemented Jack in ’75,” Capps said in a phone interview. “In that tournament, Jack really re-established his spot at the top of the game when it was under threat by these two folks.”
Nicklaus won his fifth Green Jacket; Miller had won 11 times in the previous 15 months; Weiskopf never won a major.
“He’s considered one of the most talented players ever to play the game but a lot of pundits unfortunately consider him one of the guys who really underachieved,” Capps said of Weiskopf. “I don’t think there’s any doubt if he would have won that Masters he’d be in the World Golf Hall of Fame today.”
“His Ownself” is by the legendary golf writer Dan Jenkins. Called a semi-memoir, it follows him as a boy in Texas to his first job at the Fort Worth Press to the top of the heap at Sports Illustrated. Jenkins has covered every golf major for the past 50 years with drama and humor.
Also read “Jenkins at the Majors” and “The Money-Whipped Steer-Job Three-Jack Give-Up Artist: A Novel.”
“THE LITTLE BOOK OF GOLF LAW”
“The Little Book of Golf Law,” (2nd Edition) by John Minan actually breaks down case law involving the game. You don’t have to be a lawyer to enjoy this book. It looks at intellectual property and environmental law and has been revised and expanded from the first edition, published 2007.
“A DIFFICULT PAR”
“A Difficult Par: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf,” by James R. Hansen (Penguin Books), a New York Times bestselling author. Jones is called modern golf’s foremost architect. He’s designed courses in 42 states and 28 countries including the one at Cornell University where the NYS High School championship is contested. No less than 20 U.S. Opens have been played on Jones-designed courses. Many of those annually make the list of “Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.”
Jones believed that every hole should be “a difficult par but an easy bogey.” He was also billed as a salesman, promoter and entrepreneur. Hansen examines Jones’s legacy in all its complexity and influence, including the rivalry of his sons, Robert Jr. and Rees.
“GOLF BALLS ARE FEMALE”
“Golf Balls are Female” is an entertaining, frank read. Author Robert Knox’s friend died which led to many notes by Knox that eventually became the book.
“Anything that can make you so miserable one minute and very happy the next has to be a female,” Knox told me, adding, “I think the readers will relate to the futility of my golf game.”
Knox is a man who hit himself with his own golf ball and tripped over his own club and even impaled himself with a pitching wedge.
“It’s really about male friendship, the whole thing, I didn’t pull any punches,” he said. “We are what we are and that’s how we behave.”
ADD THESE TO THE LIST
The University of Nebraska Press has several golf books reasonably priced to choose from. “The Poetics of Golf” by Andy Brumer, a freelance writer and former editor of “Golf Tips” magazine and “Petersen’s Golfing.” He is also the co-author, with Bobby Clampett, of “The Impact Zone: Mastering Golf’s Moment of Truth.”
Nebraska also offers “Good Bounces and Bad Lies” by Ben Wright; “Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History,” by Bill Fields; “Wide Open Fairways: A Journey across the Landscapes of Modern Golf,” by Bradley S. Klein; and “Brassies, Mashies, and Bootleg Scotch: Growing Up on America’s First Heroic Golf Course,” by Bill Kilpatrick.
Univ. of Nebraska Press also has books on baseball, soccer, basketball, and many other topics. Its mission is to disseminate scholarly research and literature.
A TIP OF THE HAT TO DAD
KPMG ran a photo contest and Twitter campaign to raise awareness of and support efforts to eliminate childhood illiteracy. Golf fans can buy the hat at PhilsBlueHat.com or StacysBlueHat.com. They are the foundation of the “Blue for Books” program, which began in March 2012, and is part of KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL), the firm’s flagship corporate citizenship program. KPMG donates 100% of the net proceeds to the nonprofit First Book, which provides three new books to kids from low-income families for each hat sold.
KPMG, an audit, tax and advisory firm, is the new title sponsor of the LPGA Championship beginning in 2015. First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 115 million books and other educational tools throughout the U.S. and Canada.
BEST IN PAPERBACK
Other books that have crossed my desk over the past year that are now in paperback: “Golf Flow” by Gio Valente, who has taught Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar; “Kinetic Golf” by Nick Bradley; “18 in America” by Dylan Dethier, who just graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, MA; “An American Caddie in St. Andrews” by Oliver Horovitz;
You can’t go wrong with any of these for dad. Oh, and let him snooze i front of the TV today to watch the U.S. Open.