Troubador Playing Smart

Released: 28/11/2014

eISBN: 9781784628147

Format: eBook

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Playing Smart

Transform Your Golf Without Changing Your Swing


Amongst regular golfers of the same raw ability, some repeatedly out-perform others. These players consistently score better than the quality of their ball-striking, the accuracy of their short games and their putting skills. Why? These golfers are playing smart. They make better decisions and fewer mistakes than those with similar skills. They assess the challenge of each shot and reach sound conclusions. They prepare well and do everything possible to ensure a good outcome. They focus on reducing the number of shots per round. They use their minds to get ahead. Playing Smart explains what this means in practice. David Richards sets out the principles that smart golfers use to get an edge. He examines every area of the game: on the tee, from the fairway, in trouble, around the green, and on the putting surface. He shows how to analyse your play and single-out the non-swing related problems that repeatedly cost shots. He also discusses the key factors that contribute to accuracy and consistency, and explains how good preparation, ‘routine’, and a rational attitude all contribute to better and more enjoyable golf. Playing Smart offers something to players of every ability. All golfers will be able to see clearly how they measure up against a ‘smart golfer’. Better standard players can check where there is still room for improvement. And beginners should be able to put sound principles in place at an early stage.

“A comprehensive guide to smart play and course management” – Barney Puttick,
Fellow of the Professional Golfers Association

“An excellent read, I’m a changed golfer” – P. Morton, 12 Handicap

“Guaranteed to make you think” – Stephen H

“A brilliant book!” – Diane M, 28 Handicap

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David Richards

David Richards is a semi-retired business professional with a background in electronics, engineering, project management and business consultancy. He lives and plays most of his golf in Hertfordshire, where he is a member of a local club. He regularly plays different courses, particularly enjoys match play golf and captained his club side for several years.

Some time ago it became clear to David that his swing was a fundamental problem in his game and that, no matter how hard he tried, there would be a limit to what he could do about it. But he still wanted to play the best possible golf and to get his handicap down. So he set out on a mission to do this, despite the limitations of his swing.

He initially looked to books for help. But he found that whilst there were many publications on technique and ‘the mind game’, there was virtually nothing that helped with assessing a shot, decision making and analysing where shots are lost.

Over several years he worked on his own game, observed others wrestling with theirs, and in particular studied golfers who always seemed to score well, even when their swing or short games were a bit off on the day. With much hard work he managed to get his handicap down. After an enjoyable period of shooting rounds in the 70s, it occurred to him that the knowledge that he had accumulated might be used to help others, in the form of a book.

Fellow golfers, including the golf professional who now helps with his swing, encouraged him to write Playing Smart. They pointed out that whilst he is not a professional golfer, a teaching professional, or a psychologist, in many ways he is better placed to write a book like this than they would be.

Firstly, he has an analytical mind, honed by years of designing engineering solutions and solving business problems. Secondly, he has observed thousands of rounds played by regular golfers (which is more than many teaching professionals). Thirdly, he has tried all manner of ways in which to improve his own game and discussed this widely (giving him good experience of what does, and does not, work in practice). The result is a practical book that focuses entirely on scoring well.

By reading Playing Smart, David hopes that fellow golfers will find ways to improve their own games and to experience the contentment that comes from being able to play to a better standard.

David Richards
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