Brain, Resources

Recommended Books on PERFORMANCE from Past Contributors

golf books on performance

Looking for some books on the mental side of golf to help with your performance on the golf course? We went back through our season 2 guests and Unlocking Performance Masterclass and compiled a list of useful resources for you.

Lynn Marriott and Pian Nilsson

Two legendary coaches give golfers a powerful new approach to the game… and to life. 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.

Get your copy here > Every Shot Must Have a Purpose: How GOLF54 Can Make You a Better Player

Building on the core concepts introduced in Every Shot Must Have a Purpose and the strategic thinking in The Game Within the Game, Play Your Best Golf Now takes the mystery out of the soft skills of golf and shows golfers how to add these skills to their game for peak performance. Players learn to master the 8 Essential Playing Skills:

These Essentials complement the technical anchors of the game-the grip, the stance, the swing-and give players a foundation for achieving their peak performance. MY54 is the vision, and these are the building blocks for achieving a higher level of play.

Get your copy here > Play Your Best Golf Now: Discover VISION54’s 8 Essential Playing Skills

Dr. Rick Jensen

Providing insights from his inside-the-ropes experiences on the PGA and LPGA tours, Dr. Rick Jensen masterfully delivers a step-by-step guide to taking your business performance to the next level. Packed with insightful stories and self-assessments, as well as thought-provoking exercises and practical case studies, Drive to the Top provides you with everything you need to become a champion in your field of play.

Drive to the Top weaves together the insights, emotions and behaviors of champions in golf and business in delivering a thoughtful, how-to guide on getting to the top. Dr. Rick Jensen has consulted with business executives as well as golf’s greatest champions. Now you can experience what it’s like to receive a personal coaching session from one of America’s premier performance consultants.

Get your copy here > Drive to the Top

This is the golf book for the mental side of golf that helps champions take their game from the practice range to the golf course. Embracing Dr. Jensen’s 12 Truths will help you take your struggling golf game to that wonderful next level. Play better golf with the 12 Truths!

Get your copy here >Easier Said Than Done 

Dr. Rob Bell

Mental Toughness Training for Golf illustrates how to maximize our preparation. In this cutting edge book, you’ll learn how great coaches and players create pressure in practice, how to build a human taproot, why suffering is needed, and the don’ts of mental toughness. This book not only applies to how PGA Professionals compete in practice, but how you can take the same message to your own game.

Get your copy here >Mental Toughness

A change has occurred — youth sports have been professionalized and there has been a perversion of potential. It has become scholarships over development, trophies over toughness, and talent over tenacity.

The professionalization has created an environment of externally driven, perfectionist, and stressed competitors. Parenting athletes also require such a vast amount of sacrifice both emotionally and financially. Are we doing it correctly?

Get your copy here >Don’t Should on Your Kids

unlocking performance summit

Dr. Jon Finn

Pre-Shot helps golfers of all standards to train themselves to hit more great shots and achieve lower scores.

You don’t have to change your swing. Whether you are a beginner, a keen club golfer or an aspiring pro, this system is for you. It has been created by Jon Finn, golf psychology consultant to the Professional Golfers Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Finn works at the Association’s National Training Academy at The Belfry, in the UK.

Golf is arguably the most mentally demanding of all sports and the Pre-Shot system is for players of all abilities. It will help them radically improve this aspect of their game and increase their success and enjoyment on the course.

It consists of easy-to-understand golf-related exercises which tap into the latest neuroscience and understanding of which parts of the human brain are used by golfers.

The simple, practical exercises can be performed anywhere. The effectiveness of the Pre-Shot training programme has been proven with players of all standards; from high handicappers to European tour players.

Get your copy here >The Pre-Shot Training

Dr. Debbie Crews

This book is written to enlighten golfers to perform what we want, when we want it, on the golf course. It is about performance, an integral part of learning and playing this great game of golf. In order to perform it is necessary to achieve a synchronized state of being that allows those great shots to flow through the system (mind, brain, and body). The “system” itself is a remarkable entity that is available to assist us in whatever we want to accomplish. It is more often the case that the performer is unclear, undecided, and possibly in a state of being that interferes with the system’s performance.

Get your copy here >Golf: Energy in Motion

Dr. Fran Pirozzolo

If you’re looking for pointers from the master on crushing drives down the fairway or just having more fun on the course, this is an absolute must for your golfing library.

Get your copy here >Game I Love

A PGA coach and a renowned sports psychologist team up to offer golfers 100 unique physical and mental techniques to improve their putting in a special package designed to slip into the golfer’s pocket or bag.

Get your copy here >The Putter’s Pocket Companion

To help golfers conquer the most important battle in golf, the mental game, renowned sports psychologist Fran Pirozzolo teaches readers how to cultivate mental toughness, concentration, self-awareness, and self-trust; set better goals; and manage mistakes. 100 high impact tips combined with plenty of explanatory photos and illustrations make this book the key to unlocking the full potential of every golfer.

Get your copy here >The Mental Game Pocket Companion

David MacKenzie

david mackenzie banner

Every player has so much untapped potential which is never seen because they don’t know how to utilize the power of the mind. Elite players have mastered how to do this in 7 simple ways and this book will show you how.

The Golf State of Mind is a blend of sports psychology and practical application (eBooks and audio sessions) that will have you playing to the best of your abilities in a very short period of time.

Get your copy here > Mental Game Training System

Steven Yellin

You walk off the course after playing your best golf. Someone asks you why you played so well and you are at a loss for words. This book answers that question.

Get your copy here >The Fluid Motion Factor

Dr. Michael Lardon

The first research-based program to offer concise, clear ways to realize your best performance.

As a therapist, physician, and mental coach, Dr. Michael Lardon has dedicated his career to helping athletes understand and better achieve peak performance. In Finding Your Zone, he shares with readers what he?s discovered about reaching the state in which ?thoughts and actions are occurring in complete synchronicity,? and how this state is accessible to all, not just the few.

In ten key lessons?illustrated by personal anecdotes from his clients?Lardon teaches readers how to access the zone not only in sports but in all aspects of their lives, by understanding how to:

Get your copy here >Finding Your Zone

Perfect your mental approach to your game

To be a golfer is to tinker—with everything from equipment to grip to swing. But one thing most players don’t give enough attention to is the mental game. Psychologists aren’t a new phenomenon in golf, but Dr. Michael Lardon is a different breed of performance coach. Instead of sending his players into a losing battle against emotion, indecision, and fear on the golf course, he shows them how to organize their thoughts and use them for maximum performance. His step-by-step Pre-Shot Pyramid provides any player with the ideal blueprint for shot setup. And his revolutionary Mental Scorecard will give you the tools to accurately measure what you really do on the golf course and how to make real, permanent improvements.

You will learn the same techniques that Dr. Lardon shares with Phil Mickelson and dozens of other tour players, including the tools that helped Mickelson right himself after the 2012 U.S. Open to win the British Open a month later with a historic final round. Mastering Golf’s Mental Game will change the way you think about golf, and is a must-read for any player serious about shooting better scores and getting more enjoyment out of the game.

Get your copy here >Mastering Golf’s Mental Game

Dr. Joseph Parent

The best players know that golf is a game of confidence, and most important, concentration–the ability to focus and block out distraction. The goal of achieving clear thought is also at the heart of Buddhist teachings. In his highly original and groundbreaking book, noted PGA coach and Buddhist instructor, Dr. Joseph Parent, draws on this natural connection and teaches golfers how to clear their minds, achieve ultimate focus, and play in the moment for each shot.

Get your copy here >Zen Golf

Jon Stabler & Dr. Deborah Graham

Do you swing too fast, try too hard, lose concentration, lack confidence, get angry, putt poorly under pressure, finish exhausted, or suffer for hours after a hard game?

The most valuable tool a golfer can bring to the course is a strong mental game. Yet many golfers and instructors take this for granted, focusing almost entirely on grip, stance, or swing technique. The 8 Traits of Champion Golfers is a unique and persuasive approach to becoming a better golfer. Leading sports psychologist Dr. Deborah Graham and Jon Stabler identify the eight crucial personality traits that separate true champions from the rest and give you easy-to-follow steps for improving your game and making it more enjoyable.

Get your copy here >The 8 Traits Of Champion Golfers

If you’re looking for more materials make sure to check out SEASON 2 of the Golf Science Lab podcast and the Unlocking Performance Masterclass.

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Founder and chief curator of the Golf Science Lab. Documenting what's going on in the world of research and beyond that can help you play your best golf on the golf course (when it counts). Join the movement of researched based coaching over trusting beliefs and what worked for one person a few decades ago. Follow on Twitter