LESSONS TO LEARN
Instructional books to help you improve your game
By Cheryl Walker
Copley News Service
When it comes to golf, players are usually looking to improve their game. But to get private lessons with a pro can be costly. A more affordable way is to check out the latest books on the sport.
Al Owens, who has been a member of the PGA of America for more than 15 years and has served as a master instructor, wrote his book, "Manifest Your Golf Desires" (a Windows-based ebook, $27.95), to help golfers who are at any level of play. The book offers ways to understand the game and at the same time lower scores without taking lessons with an instructor.
"Manifest Your Golf Desires" focuses on the Alcero Method, which is improving the game by taking a look at how the golfer is currently playing. The book reveals the areas of the game that prevent golfers from actually playing the way they want to.
What Owens outlines for golfers is how to create every shot inside the mind, what actions need to be taken to lower the golf score and what techniques can be used to improve.
Owens' other book, "Transform Your Golf Game" (a Windows-based ebook, $149.95), was written for golfers to work on their game on a practice range, golf course or even from home.
"Transform Your Golf Game" expands on his first book, focusing on specific new techniques and drills. He encourages players to create a new approach to their shots adding that mental attitude is largely responsible for the results on those shots.
For more information about these two books, visit www.alcerogolf.net.
Mark Degnan, a golf pro at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif., where the Buick Invitational is played each year, has two books he likes to recommend to men and women. He finds that "Extraordinary Putting" by Fred Shoemaker and Jo Hardy (Putnam, $21.95) is an excellent source.
"Putting itself is a game within a game," said Degnan. "Putting is one of the most creative parts of the game. I use a lot of his tips when I teach."
The book raises an awareness on how to putt.
"He touches on things on a broader base," Degnan said. "He talks about more of the creative process to be a better putter."
To Degnan, even more important that improving a golf score, is general information about the game, which he says is normally not given during instruction.
For women, especially beginners, Degnan recommends "From the Red Tees" by Celeste Palermo (Cumberland House, $18.95).
"It's a really good book that has a lot of valuable information," Degnan said. "It helps flesh out what we don't cover in typical clinics. It tells how to prepare for the game, how to make tee times and golf etiquette."
Palermo wrote the book because so many women are taking up golf. She gives many golfing tips, basic etiquette and rules of the game in a humorous way and with some golf anecdotes.
One thing Palermo wanted to get across in her book is that most golfers suffer from frustration, especially those new to the game. Palermo, who writes that she has been over par and out of bounds many times, reminds golfers that mistakes are normal.
Degnan noted that women in general have concerns about a variety of topics before they even get out on the course.
"They have lots of questions. How do I dress? And, what do I do?" he said. "They always want to make sure they don't do something wrong."
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