Book reviews: Right Brain vs. Left Brain

Published 07/09/2013 07:05:00

How to Master a Great Golf Swing
By Maxine Van Evera Lupo
296 pages

It's Only a Game
By Jackie Burke, Jr. with Guy Yocum
185 pages

Just like most people are either left-brain or right-brain dominant, when it comes to the golf swing, you are either a physiological technician (left-brained), or a feel player (right-brained). For most of us that have an income that is not dependent on how well we strike the ball, we play the game for fun, and workout our swing flaws with a bucket of balls. But there are others who approach the game with the left brain and analyze the mechanics of the swing, and they enjoy looking at the parts before playing the game.

How to Master a Great Golf Swing is for logical and analytical minds. Maxine Van Evera Lupo's efforts are more of a textbook than a good, relaxing read. This book is obviously for a player interested in bettering her game with a ëhow to' manual. Van Evera Lupo's approach is decidedly scientific, and right-brainers will not make it past the introduction. This is not to say How to Master a Great Golf Swing is without value. The illustrations depict the fundamental process of a great golf swing without clouding them with swing plane lines. The final chapter is a quick fix index that not only offers corrections to unfundamental swings, but also refers readers to the specific pages that address these issues in the book. How to Master a Great Golf Swing is not a book most golfers will read cover to cover, but it is a manual that can help get your game back on track.

Jackie Burke, Jr., one of golf's elder statesman and a 17-time winner on the PGA Tour, approaches the game from the intuitive side of the brain. It's Only a Game is a look at the game from the eyes of a PGA Championship and Masters winner who feels that golf should be played for enjoyment, regardless of ability. Burke Jr. left the golf in his prime to co-found the Champions Golf Club with Jimmy Demaret in Houston, Texas. Therefore, readers have two reasons to admire Burke Jr.: he was a masterful player and knows a thing or two about how to run a successful business. It's Only a Game is a collection of Burke Jr.'s memories and sage advice; both are entertaining and educating. In sharp contrast to Van Evera Lupo's approach, Jackie's humor oozes through the pages.ìScrambles are all right once in a while,î Jackie writes, ìbut they remind me of a game of tag where no one is it.î He also shares some of his experiences with the greatest players to ever hold a club, like George Low, renowned as the game's greatest putter by his peers.

If your swing resembles Tigger more than Tiger, It's Only a Game shares some of the mental tricks, the basic fundamentals, and most importantly, the lifetime of fun this little game of golf can bring. And if your swing does resemble a professional, then this book will help you understand that although golf is difficult, it should always remain fun.


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