‘The Golfer’s Guide to the Meaning of Life’ By Gary Player
The title of Gary Player’s recent book, “The Golfers Guide to the Meaning of Life” may appear a bit philosophical but the subtitle captures the essence of the book; “Lessons I’ve Learned from My Life on the Links.” Player is a golfing icon. He has won nine major championships and travelled more miles than any golfer ever. He has been the de facto Ambassador of Golf since he left South Africa to take his game to the world stage. If you know of Player then you know that he has an unwavering positive outlook on everything in life. It is that attitude that comes through in his book.
This book serves as a forum for Player to impart his beliefs on a variety of subjects. Many of the chapter titles sound as if they have been pulled from a self help book; “Success”, “Learning”, Winning”, “Motivation” and “Goals”. Other chapter are pure Player dogma; “Family”, “Sportsmanship”, “Dignity”, and “Physical Fitness”.
Player gives his opinions and formulas for living a successful and dignified life. It is classic Player. You see, in Player’s life there are no gray areas. It is black or white, right or wrong. He gives us his views in a direct and straightforward style. As you read this book you get the feeling you are walking eighteen holes with the Hall of Famer and in between shots he is giving you tips on life. Player addresses the spiritual dynamic in the game of golf in sections called “The Transcendent Moments of a Golfer” and “The Sounds of Golf.” He writes:
“The Silent Sounds of Morning”…Having the opportunity to be the first group off the tee on any given day gives a golfer the opportunity to experience sensations that otherwise would be lost in the noise of midday. The mornings are silent. The players are less apt to be chatty, and cool air and dewy ground are conducive to sticking hands in pockets and walking noiselessly along. Only in the morning do you hear the sound created by shoe bottoms grazing the tops of the grass. Only in the morning does the sound of irons clinking together in the golf bags reverberate through the trees and seem to carry for miles. Only in the morning do you hear your ball land on the green 150 yards away, making a thud like it would if you dropped it on the ground next to you. These seldom-heard sounds help us appreciate the solitary nature of our game.”
While Player recounts many of his golfing experiences in this is book, is not limited to golf only. Player deals with subjects such as personal growth and virtues and character and family values. He relates how his physical fitness has kept him healthy and strong. Player tells us how the game of golf instills integrity, dignity and honor in those who abide by its rules. Player conveys how sportsmanship, fear, change and goal setting have shaped his life and how all these topics are essential to a successful and rewarding life. It is obvious that Player’s beliefs have served him well and he presents them to us as an outline for achieving success in our personal lives.
“The Golfer’s Guide to the Meaning of Life” brings us up close to Gary Player and his values and his way of life. It is an enjoyable and entertaining read filled with Player’s strategy for a value based, contented life. It has certainly worked for him.