Golf My Way (Jack Nicklaus) pdf, epub, doc

Golf My Way ePub and PDF Available
Golf My Way is a classic of golf instruction, but truth be told, it’s pretty dumb to think any book can teach you how to play golf like Jack Nicklaus in his prime. So much of what makes any truly elite, once-in-a-generation athlete worth emulating has so little to do with anything you can put into words. It’s all about pathology, really — pathological competitiveness, pathological attention to detail, pathological confidence — and you either have it or you don’t.

That said, there are two lessons in Golf My Way that anybody can apply to regular life. The first is one anyone, regardless of skill level, can actually use on the golf course too: that is, stop playing golf — or anything else you love to do — just before you feel like you’ve had your fill. Nicklaus writes that, even as a very young boy, he loved golf with such passion he never wanted to leave the course. There was always another bucket of balls to pound on the range or fifty more putts to sink on the practice green. He eventually learned there was value in quitting for the day even if he had the energy and interest to keep playing. He came back fresher, hungrier the next day. Like Hemingway, who stopped writing each day in mid-sentence, Nicklaus wanted to always look forward to his life’s work.

The second lesson is a little more figurative because, unless you not only play golf but are a truly excellent golfer, you really must ignore its literal application. Nicklaus writes that it’s almost impossible to play a perfectly straight shot in golf. The result will be crooked; the trick is to know what kind of crooked the shot will be and then to account for it. That’s why he has a particular target on each shot and he tries to shape the flight of the ball every time he hits it. He aims for the center of every green and tries to move the ball one way or the other, depending on the location of the pin. If it’s on the right side of the green, he aims at the middle and tries to cut the ball toward the pin. If it’s on the left, he aims at the middle and hits a draw. Nicklaus figures that’s safest and it gives him the best chance at being on the green, even if he doesn’t pull off the shot exactly as he intended. Again, don’t try this at home in the most literal sense: there are successful professional golfers who are incapable of navigating this approach on a golf course. While it allows for imperfection, it also requires exquisite control of the intricate system that is a golf swing.

However. There is the metaphor.

Our paths are crooked. Yes, we need to aim at something. But even the best of us are capable of flaring off into any number traps and thickets and other assorted hazards. Imperfection is a constant. Expect it. Embrace it. Plan for it.

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