Zen Golf Book Review: Albert Hansrisuk

Zen Golf, Dr. Joseph Parent

I would like to start off by saying that this book is not for everyone. It was written by    Joseph Parent, a psychologist that knows much about the game of golf and the whole mental side of it. This book was a fantastic read in my opinion. It appealed to me specifically because I have a passion for the game along with many others. Joseph Parent structured the book by going through a lesson and dividing each one into little paragraphs, further explaining the concept or idea. The order that it was written in makes perfect sense and teaches a powerful lesson as you read through the whole book.

The author incorporates Zen in his teachings for the whole book. He starts off many of his lessons by an old Buddhist story. One example of this is a story that takes place in India. There was a king whose feet were very sensitive and complained constantly about the kingdom’s roads which were very rough and rocky. He decided that he wanted to cover the roads with leather so that he can walk around comfortably. One craftsman said that he could do the job but it will cost all of the kingdom’s treasury. Another said that it will cost half of what is in the treasury. Finally, an old woman came along and said that she can do the job for ten rupees. She said, “I’ll just strap a piece of leather under each of your feet and you’ll be walking on leather wherever you go.”

This relates because golfers have a tendency to complain about the conditions constantly and they need to learn to play in a variety of conditions. He teaches you to adapt your mind to whatever conditions are presented to you and essentially cover your feet with leather so you can walk comfortably wherever you go and not complain!

This book was written to help improve your game and “coach” you into having the correct mindset when playing. I would recommend this book to anyone that plays the game of golf and is looking to improve and stay in the “zone”, as the author puts it (staying focused). It may not be for everyone but I could not put it down when I got it because you can learn so much and gather a lot of information from this book, not only about golf but also on Zen philosophy and life in general. He relates a lot of his teachings to Zen Buddhism in the ancient stories and lessons. All in all, Joseph Parent did a tremendous job in writing this book and touches up on important lessons to be learned on the mental side of the game and Zen philosophy.


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