Book Recommendations


Danny Crowley, Jr., PGA
PGA Teaching • Coaching Professional

Golf Book Recommendations

Master thy self, or thy self will master you.

Maxim of the Ancients

This selection of books offers psychological insights into the transition from physical learning and training of techniques to psychological learning and training in performance. This material deals primarily with the mind’s role and influence on physical technique. Learning how to manage and discipline thoughts in pre-shot routines and performance, is the means of achieving advanced improvements throughout the game. This material provides insights into how professional athletes discipline their minds for competition. The mastery of physical technique requires mastery of mental techniques used in performance.

mastery-the-keys-to-successMastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment

by George Leonard

Drawing on Zen philosophy and his expertise in the martial art of aikido, best selling author George Leonard shows how the process of mastery can help us attain a higher level of excellence and a deeper sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in our daily lives. Whether you’re seeking to improve your career or your intimate relationships, increase self-esteem or create harmony within yourself, this inspiring prescriptive guide will help you master anything you choose and achieve success in all areas of your life.

In Mastery, you’ll discover:The 5 Essential Keys to Mastery Tools for Mastery and Energy How to Master Your Athletic Potential The 3 Personality Types that Are Obstacles to Mastery How to Avoid Pitfalls Along the Path and more…

Destined to change the way the world perceives the game, Driven is a compelling, behind-the-scenes look at golf’s next generation.

golfs-sacred-journeyGolf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia

by David L. Cook

In life you never really know when you might meet someone who will change your life. And more importantly you never know when your influence might change another. This book is about influence. It is about a man who lived in a simple place but had extraordinary insight. He also had something else on his side. He had time; time to invest himself in the life of another who was lost on his journey. This story is based on the thousands of athletes I have counseled and the great mentors and teachers from whom I have learned. I have brought my twenty plus years of peak performance coaching together and compressed them into a story of two fictitious characters; a rancher with a passion for teaching truth and a young golf professional at the end of his rope. They represent each of us in the various stages of growth. For in life we must be willing to coach and be coached, either one alone will leave us empty.

fearless-golf-conquering-the-mental-gameFearless Golf: Conquering the Mental Game

by Dr. Gio Valiante and Mike Stachura

A detailed plan for conquering the FEAR that sabotages swings and ruins psyches, from the pioneering psychologist whose techniques have benefited Davis Love III, Justin Leonard, and numerous other world-class golfers.As Jack Nicklaus once observed, fear is the golfer’s greatest enemy, inspiring Tiger Woods to “refuse” to give in to this debilitating emotion. It can turn professionals into jelly and dominate the games of most amateurs. It alters swing paths, causes “tap-in” putts to go awry, and transforms a golfer from a brilliant shot-maker on the practice range into an incompetent hack on the course. Most golfers understand this, but do not have the tools to overcome it. That’s where Dr. Gio Valiante comes in. A pioneering sports psychologist, Valiante has studied the sources of an athlete’s fear, investigated the physiological and neurological impact of fear on performance, and, most important of all, developed a ground-breaking program for conquering it. With Valiante’s help and by applying Fearless Golf, Justin Leonard went from three consecutive missed cuts to three consecutive top tens, and Chad Campbell recently moved from 98th in the world to 7th. Davis Love III went from zero wins in 2002 to four wins in 2003, and Chris DiMarco made the 2004 Ryder Cup Team. Emphasizing the need to replace a fixation-on-results with a commitment to mastery of one’s body and one’s mind, Valiante’s approach will not only help golfers reach their true potential, it will make playing every round fun again. Through concrete confidence and mastery drills, he presents specific ways readers can break free of fear’s grasp and perform at their best-even under the most extreme pressure.

every-shot-must-have-a-purposeEvery Shot Must Have a Purpose: How GOLF54 Can Make You a Better Player

by Pia Nilsson, Lynn Marriott, and Ron Sirak

As coaches to some of golf’s top players, Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott have designed and refined a revolutionary way of teaching the game, with phenomenal results. They don’t believe in prescribing the same stance, grip, and swing to everyone, followed by hours of purposeless drilling. They don’t even believe in beginning with physical technique. Their success has proven to them that a great game begins with a great vision. Unlike any other golf book, Every Shot Must Have a Purpose offers cutting-edge techniques for integrating the physical, technical, mental, emotional, and social parts of a player’s game. The book’s revolutionary pre-shot routine will improve your focus, leading to a golf swing that is not only successful but can be repeated under extreme pressure. Emphasizing the individual golfer rather than a rigid set of mechanics, their VISION54 method takes the frustration out of the game. Why 54? Because they believe it’s possible to shoot a 54 (making a birdie on every hole of a par-72 course) if you have the right mind-set and well-honed intuitive power.

the-mystery-of-golfThe Mystery of Golf

by Arnold Haultain

Written in 1908 by a Canadian belletrist who fancied himself a golfer, this classic treatise explores man’s age-old love affair with golf – and pronounces it incurable. Just as a careful player sizes up a putt from all possible angles, so does Haultain examine this curious game, from the physiology of the perfect swing, to the psychology of a sport in which the opponent is oneself, to the peculiar brand of spirituality that leads people around eighteen holes with the promise of nothing more than “almost.” THE MYSTERY OF GOLF may not help shave strokes off your game, but its delightful meditations on why we care so much make for “pure, evergreen entertainment”.

body-mind-masteryBody Mind Mastery: Creating Success in Sport and Life

by Dan Millman

Physically demanding sports such as tennis and basketball have a lot in common with skills such as playing the piano. In addition to physical training, mastering these activities requires developing mental and emotional talents as well. Drawing on his own experiences, Dan Millman, in this revised and updated edition of The Inner Athlete, offers a regimen to integrate physical training with psychological growth. He examines the motivations for athletic excellence and offers a transformative guide to success that is as applicable in everyday life as it is in sports.

the-warrior-athleteThe Warrior Athlete: Body, Mind & Spirit

by Dan Millman

Physically demanding sports such as tennis and basketball have a lot in common with skills such as playing the piano. In addition to physical training, mastering these activities requires developing mental and emotional talents as well. Drawing on his own experiences, Dan Millman, in this revised and updated edition of The Inner Athlete, offers a regimen to integrate physical training with psychological growth. He examines the motivations for athletic excellence and offers a transformative guide to success that is as applicable in everyday life as it is in sports.

peak-performance-golfPeak Performance Golf: How Good Golfers Become Great Golfers

by Patrick Cohn, Ph.D.

For serious students of the game who are struggling to improve their overall performance, this unique guide teaches intermediate to better golfers how to get the most out of their abilities and lower their scores. Patrick J. Cohn’s Peak Performance Golf emphasizes a multidimensional approach to training and overall preparation–the same type of program several PGA Tour pros have used to reach their personal peak and maintain consistently high levels of performance. Peak Performance Golf outlines eight specific areas that every serious golfer should incorporate into his or her game, from getting the most out of taking lessons, to learning sound practice habits, to integrating mental training, physical fitness, and good nutrition–all of which are as critical to success for weekend foursomes as they are for tournament golfers. This goal-oriented, practical plan enables serious amateur players to prepare like the pros and take their games to the next level without spending more time practicing than they do already. Patrick J. Cohn, PhD, is a leading sports and golf psychologist who works with golfers on the PGA, LPGA, and BUY.COM tours and heads Peak Performance Sports in Orlando, Florida. He is the author of The Mental Game of Golf and coauthor of The Mental Art of Putting.

mind-over-golfMind Over Golf: How to Use Your Head to Lower Your Score

by Richard H. Coop

Mind Over Golf Whether you struggle to break 100 or consistently break par, you’ve already discovered that golf is the most mentally demanding of all sports. Dr. Richard Coop, one of the foremost sports psychologists in the country, has developed a unique mental approach to the game, helping both skilled pros and beginning amateurs alike to play better. Mind Over Golf examines all the demanding psychological challenges of golf and explains in detail how to conquer them. Golfers have discovered that there are ways to lower their scores that go beyond getting tips on their swing and stance. In order to play better, you have to find the key that allows your natural athletic ability to come to the fore, without being impeded by anxiety about making a poor shot. By following Dr. Coop’s principles and ideas you’ll be in the strongest possible position, both physically and mentally, to put your best swing on each shot. Payne Stewart says in his foreword to Mind Over Golf, “Not everyone can swing like a tour pro, but most everyone has it within himself or herself to think like one, and Dr. Coop lays the foundation for that within these pages.”

why-golfWhy Golf?: The Mystery of the Game Revisited

by Bob Cullen

In the grand tradition of such classics as Golf in the Kingdom and Final Rounds comes a brilliant consideration of golf’s inimitable and ever-growing popularity. In 1908, Arnold Haultain wrote a delightful book with a deceptively simple title: The Mystery of Golf. It explores the love affair golfers have with their sport and has been a favorite ever since among connoisseurs and students of the game. Now, more than ninety years later, in a thematic continuation of Haultain’s enduring treatise, Bob Cullen has crafted a literate and thoughtful book that chronicles his own quest to uncover the secrets to the spell that golf has cast on millions. Why golf? Beginning with that essential question, Cullen’s fascinating explorations lead readers to a range of exotic and unexpected places of mind, spirit, and geography. Cleverly establishing entirely credible links between seemingly unrelated items — from the breathtaking prowess of Tiger Woods to the Iranian government’s near banning of golf to how a baby’s smile is related to our love of golf — Cullen weaves a rich and amusing tapestry, discussing suck unexpected subjects as Platonic philosophy and the nature of faith. As whimsical and picaresque as it is earnest and intensely personal, Why Golf? does for America’s favorite weekend pastime what Peter Mayle did for the south of France and what George Will did for baseball.