50 Greatest Golf Tips
In his first golf book John Richardson transformed his ability to play the game – he went from hacker to hero.
In his second he’s still keen on change, but this time it is everyone else’s golf he wants to improve.
The first book was called ‘Dream On’ and it did more than prove golf can be conquered because he didn’t just undertake a journey along the fairways, but – watch out, this is beginning to sound like a movie trailer – John Richardson also made a journey through life.
Did I mention the book is being turned into a film? Err, yeah, it is.
The story was simple: Richardson despaired of his inability to break 100 in his annual golf match and, somewhat paradoxically, accepted a bet that he couldn’t break par for 18 holes within a year.
When he told Sam Torrance about the bet, the legendary Scottish Ryder Cup captain inadvertently provided the title of his quest, book and movie.
“Dream on,” he said.
But Richardson accomplished his mission. He pored over books and manuals, he talked to swing coaches and mind doctors, he watched a young Rory McIlroy in person at his local range and he viewed hours and hours of videos on his TV and on YouTube.
He also hit hundreds of shots.
Thousands of shot.
Tens of thousands of shots.
And then, with time running out, nearly one year on, he finally broke par on his home course.
The dream was realised.
With it came another truth: that he was not alone. Okay, not many people devote 12 months of their life to success on the course like Richardson did, but plenty seek to crack the mystery of golf.
Which led Richardson naturally to the idea of the second book: ’50 Greatest Golf Tips – make that dream round a reality’.
The book, which seeks to share the lessons Richardson learned, is easily digested in one go, or there to pick through when your swing or game goes to pot.
The big question for some readers might be: why turn to Richardson for help? Why take the advice of a fellow hacker (at least initially) rather than the famous names of golf instruction?
The simple answer is: *because* Richardson is like us, not in spite of that fact.
Because Richardson had a fast track course in what many of us will spend our lives doing: reading those books, following those tips, watching those videos.
He never claims to know the golf swing inside out (in fact he specifically points you in the direction of the experts for that). Instead he applies what he learned and explains how it worked for him – and that is the book’s strength.
So are two other, related, aspects.
The first is that Richardson’s approach is cross-disciplinary. Other books tend to be written by experts in their field – by swing coaches, short game gurus, putting tsars and mind doctors. Each of them believes that their discipline holds the key.
Richardson can stand aside from that. He can pick and choose from all their advice. So the book has advice on the long game, the short game, driving, putting, mind games, course management, fitness and equipment.
But there is another, almost secret, multi-disciplinary feature and that is Richardson himself, revealed in his business background.
A successful entrepreneur, he introduces us, for example, to the 80/20 rule: “The core principle is that 80 per cent of our results flow from just 20 per cent of what we do.”
To explain in more detail would be to reveal the tip – but it’s very good and it could transform your game. That, and other ideas, are unlikely to be found anywhere else in the golf section of your book store. Unique, too, are the video links which come with the book, one for each tip.
Above all Richardson’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm shine throughout the book, just as they did in ‘Dream On’.
He achieved his aim that time – he broke par. And his big secret at the end of it? Nothing mythic, nothing Hogan-like, no secret code breaking, ultimately it was down to hard work.
Lots and lots and lots of it.
But along the way some tips and methods proved better than others – and in this book Richardson shares them with us.
’50 Greatest Golf Tips’ is published by Blackstaff Press. It’s available online and in your endangered local bookshop too.
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