ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: Play Your Best Golf Now

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, every now and then I receive books to review. Sometimes I hold off on them because there are a lot of reviews being made, and sometimes I'm just busy with other things and reading takes a back seat.

Cover of Play Your Best Golf NowI'm still reading this book, but it's pretty cool so I thought I'd go ahead and pass it on.

Most of you are probably familiar with the authors, Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott. They're the founders of VISION54, the program built around the idea that it's possible to birdie every hole in a round of golf -- to shoot a 54. Annika Sorenstam has been one of the most vocal supporters of the program, and several other pros have picked up on it. Lynn and Pia have already done a couple of books about VISION54 but this one, Play Your Best Golf Now, is the newest. (In fact, it was just released at the end of April.)

As a general rule, I'm not big on books that focus on the mental approach. Golf is just a game, and keeping perspective is just a normal life skill. What's cool about PYBGN is that it merges practical golf skills with a mental approach that fits in with my goals for this blog. For example, I encourage you to focus on developing a predictable swing rather than a perfect one, and to focus on scoring rather than technique. Nilsson and Marriott feel the same way:
"Having a great swing is not playing great golf. That is only part of the puzzle of peak performance. Our goal is to unify the elements of the game that have become splintered into swing coaches, long-game coaches, short-game coaches, putting coaches, mind coaches and more. We are performance coaches. The point of the game is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible." (p10, their emphasis)
Or how about this:
"It can be just as destructive to be totally obsessed with swing theory and swing mechanics as it can be to be obsessed with visualization, strength training or any other piece of the game. We reduce the game to its simplest, most accessible -- and therefore most attainable -- elements, and it is these elements, when combined, that produce great golf." (p11)
And I love this one:
"To score, you need to have a good enough swing and a good enough putting stroke, but you don't need to be perfect. In fact, the obsession with perfection can be detrimental to performance." (p12, their emphasis)
Those quotes could have been part of my own "about" page for this blog! Can you tell why I'm loving this book?

The book focuses on 8 Essential Playing Skills (some are more mental, some are more technique) and 2 Practice Essentials that are basic to VISION54. There are short practice sections at the end of each chapter, and they cover things from physical skills like balance and rhythm to mental skills like decision-making and commitment to your shot.

I'm well into the book and it's maintained a very practical tone so far. It's even fairly fun to read! Because of this, I feel pretty good recommending it. Play Your Best Golf Now seems to have the same goals I do on this blog -- to help you learn how to use your existing swing to actually play good golf, post good scores, and have more fun with less work. What more could you ask for?

Click the pic to go to the hardback page at It's also available as a NOOK book, and Amazon has a Kindle version. Apparently there is no paperback edition yet.


  1. I've read all of Lynn and Pia's book and this is the culmination of their work. They do a great job of defining the undefinable....Tempo, Balance, Tension, and what to do to work on them. Their premise is if you work on these, EVERYONE'S golf swing will get better....quit worrying about perfection and angles and planes. This is a great combination of the mental game, how to practice and how to take it to the course. HIGHLY recommend!

  2. That practical aspect is what I liked most about it, Tom. Too many "mental" books are basically just lectures.