The Reading Room: Selection #3 (August 2018)

It’s the first of the month! The pick for August is Josh Karp’s “Straight Down the Middle.”

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Just finished the book this morning and came away not really understanding what I learned from it. I felt like several teachers that Josh went to contradicted each other and I was left a bit confused to be honest. On the other hand, I played 9 holes last night with a more mindful approach than usual and played one of my better rounds; so maybe I did take something away after reading.

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I enjoyed it for what it is. The exploration into the spiritual, mindful, zen (or whatever you want to call it) has always been appealing to me. Hoping Randy can get the author on the pod.

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I don’t think there’s one ‘correct’ answer to be gleamed. I think that’s part of the takeaway. Everybody has to walk their own journey. Like you guys have mentioned too, I think the big takeaway is larger than just golf. Be present, be searching, etc. All things that can also be applied to golf.

I chatted with Josh this past Friday and will have the podcast up next week. Hopefully hearing him will solidify some of these ideas.

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I’ve also found that idea of being more mindful and quieting the brain to be something that I would like to do, but never really got around to. If nothing else, the improvement in his handicap (was it 5 or 6 strokes?) to be pretty impressive.

I agree that there was a choppiness to the book because of the number of different options he explored. It seemed like that might have stunted his growth because of the starts/stops/changes he made with all the different types of instruction.

For me, the biggest takeaway was acceptance. For example by then end of the book, Karp accepted that he struggled with anxiety at times, and wasn’t going to shoot par every time - but by accepting that was much better at dealing with the anxiety and closer to shooting par then before.

Out of curiosity, does anyone have personal experience with this type of training, either in general or for their golf game?

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I found meditation to actually increase my anxiety. I then came across the book Atmamum by Kapil Gupta and found it to really change things for me on a personal level.

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Will check this book out. Thanks for commenting and sharing.

Just picked up up Zen golf at the library - I’ll be interested to see how it goes. There’s something appealing to me about the idea of quieting and focusing the mind.

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Thanks Randy - I’ve been enjoying the follow up podcasts with the authors.

@Randy I’ve just ordered The Late George Apley, following your discussion with Josh Karp. Will let you know what I think.

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Please do. I’ll likely order it shortly as well.