Golf is not a Game of Perfect – Book Review

Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect - Book Review

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Golf is not a Game of Perfect

by Dr. Bob Rotella

Versions available:

Genre: Golf Improvement

Brief synopsis: Golf is not a Game of Perfect is essentially a Bible for the psychological side of golf. It is one of the top three best selling golf books in history and the number one book for any golfer looking to improve the mental aspect of their game. It makes a perfect gift for a golf mad partner, friend, or member of the family, no matter what level of golfer they are, professional or complete novice.

Favourite Quote

“A golfer has to learn to enjoy the process of striving to improve. That process, not the end result, enriches life”

Bob Rotella – Golf is not a Game of Perfect

Detailed Review

If ever I have asked a fellow golfer about the best golf book to read for game improvement, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect was recommended frequently, which gave me the reassurance that it was well worth a read.

I first sought out this book in 2020 at a time that I was struggling with confidence in my game. Immediately, I began to adopt some of Rotella’s key principles each and every time I played, and his advice soon began to improve my game from the inside out. It’s not just me that believes in his theories. Rotella’s professional clients over the years have included Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, John Daly, Tom Kite, Nick Price, Davis Love III, and Padraig Harrington, to name but a few.

The thing is, Golf is not a game of perfect. Golfers of all levels make many mistakes during every round. What do we do when we’re not perfect golfers? Rotella has made his fame and fortune answering that question in this book and his many other books.

Best Selling Golf Book

First published in 1995, Golf is not a Game of Perfect reached the heady status of being the most popular sport psychology book ever, and as such sits in a revered position in the top three best-selling golf books of all time. It references not only many of the top golfers of that era such as Fred Couples, Seve Ballesteros, and Corey Pavin but also includes plenty of stories about some of the other greatest golfers of all time such as Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus. Psychology within the game of golf was not really discussed until Rotella’s work became prominent in the 1980s and 1990s, so he became the seminal leader in this area.

The book itself is obviously based around golf, but many of the psychological fundamentals that Rotella introduces can be transferred into other areas of life, which means that he offers the reader the opportunity of taking away some guiding principles for both the game of golf and for everyday living.

Rotella states that “even the greatest players are human, human beings commit mental mistakes, and all golfers can learn from the study of those mistakes.” Regardless of whether someone is a tour professional or a casual weekend golfer, there will always be mental mistakes made in the game of golf, so Rotella’s advice for limiting these errors is the ultimate key to better scores.

Practice, practice, practice …

Talking about golf specifically, Rotella asserts the importance of practice. He believes there are two states of mind when practicing: the training mentality and the trusting mentality. The training mentality is where a golfer evaluates his shots critically and analytically. It’s where a golfer tries to MAKE things happen. The trusting mentality is where the golfer LETS things happen more naturally. Rotella suggests that a golfer should spend at least 60 percent of their practice time in the trusting mentality because it is where the mind is shut down, except for thoughts of target and routine.

Rotella also emphasises how there should be no “mechanics” on the golf course. His mantra is “Train it on the range so that you can trust it on the course.” Rotella explains the importance of a pre-shot routine and how incorporating a great pre-shot routine on the course will allow the golf swing to flow naturally.

Although Rotella’s advice is now over 25 years old and golf has changed significantly in that time, the principles of Golf is not a Game of Perfect still remain true in its fundamental focus.

Rotella’s keen insight and awareness of all aspects of the game of golf is why his advice is still as relevant and pertinent today as it was when this book was published, and it is why this book in particular is my number one read that I would recommend to golfers looking to improve their game. If you prefer to listen to to your books, then the Audiobook version of Golf is not a Game of Perfect is actually read by Dr. Bob Rotella himself.

About the Author:

Dr. Bob Rotella
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Robert J Rotella (Dr. Bob Rotella) is a renowned psychologist and best-selling author who teaches students around the world how to use their minds to reach their potential. He is consistently recognised as one of world’s finest sports psychologists, and works predominantly with professional golfers from around the world. By helping these golfers to harness the potential of their mind and to control their emotions, he has helped coach and train many top golfers to win in excess of 75 major trophies.


Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect – Version Details


Product Details:

Golf is not a Game of Perfect – Hardback

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster Ltd (2 Aug. 1995)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 068480364X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0684803647
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.97 x 1.52 x 19.05 cm

Product Details:

Golf is not a Game of Perfect – Paperback

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster UK; UK ed. edition (7 Jun. 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0743492471
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0743492478
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.99 cm

Product Details:

Golf is not a Game of Perfect – Kindle Edition

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster UK; UK ed. edition (11 Dec. 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 426 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled

Product Details:

Golf is not a Game of Perfect – Audiobook

  • Listening Length‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 32 minutes
  • Author‏ : ‎ Dr. Bob Rotella & Bob Cullen
  • Narrator‏ : ‎ Dr. Bob Rotella
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date ‏ : ‎ 02 May 2000
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Program Type ‏ : ‎ Audiobook
  • Version ‏ : ‎ Abridged

Product Details:

Golf is not a Game of Perfect – Audio CD

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster Audio; Abridged edition (1 Jun. 2001)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780743508094
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0743508094
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.7 x 1.02 x 14.22 cm

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