50 Words or Less
The Practice Manual is an excellent book by Adam Young that teaches golfers how to practice.
Books of drills are a dime a dozen, and at that they might be overpriced. Any golfer who has a little experience under her belt has heard about the “Around the World” putting drill or creating a mental fairway on the driving range. Yet not every golfer is getting better.
In The Practice Manual, Adam Young gives his attention to the under-appreciated question of how to make your practice more effective. The book and its content may be a little intimidating for some, but the rewards of understanding the science of improvement are worth it.
The Practice Manual is broken down into three sections. The first, About Learning, explains the ball flight laws and a number of ideas about learning that are referenced frequently in later sections. Each concept is thoroughly explained and, more importantly, is clearly connected to golf improvement.
The second section is called Five Phase Training. This deals with the steps on the path to improvement, from technical changes to transferring your skills to the course. When you read this section, you’ll get a lot of concrete advice about how to improve your training. You’ll also do a lot of forehead slapping as you realize why your previous efforts haven’t yielded the results you want.
The final section, Periodization and Case Studies, is a short discussion of scheduling your year to maximize growth and also perform well on the course.
Overall, The Practice Manual is packed full of useful concepts and concrete tips for improving your game. Whether you’re a coach or just a golfer trying to improve, you’ll be able to draw dozens of useful ideas from this book.
Clocking in at 385 pages, The Practice Manual gives you plenty of material to chew on. It’s broken down well with plenty of headings, block quotes, and bold passages to organize the material, but it’s short on pictures after the opening section on ball flight.
Adam Young’s writing is very accessible, and the pace is good, but the material is dense. This is the kind of book you’ll read over a number of sittings. You will also want to read with a notepad so you can pull out the key points for further contemplation and implementation.
The Practice Manual is available through Amazon for $24. If you’re the kind of golfer who is serious about improving and getting the most out of your practice, this will absolutely be money well-spent.
I think that The Practice Manual is destined to be a classic golf instruction book. While utterly unlike normal instruction books, I think it will become an essential volume like Hogan’s Five Lessons or Jack’s Golf My Way.