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GARY PLAYER’S BLACK BOOK

Sage advice has a way of forming life cornerstones. The possibilities for how this counsel is acquired, while often endless, are most often passed along by those whose experience(s) and wisdom are both admirable and trustworthy.

Gary Player (10) copy 2[2]smallGary Player is a man I have long admired and trusted.

Having had the good fortune to interview him multiple times over 33 years covering this game, my office file folder dedicated to the Black Knight is a thick one. I had it out again the other day and remain captivated by the sheer volume — and the quality.

Transcribing interviews for writers can be pure drudgery, but not the ones I’ve done with Player. Q and As with him — especially a two–plus hour session in 1999 I did with him at the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco, which moved from lunch in the Royal Golf Dar Es Salem clubhouse to a bus bound for a reception hosted by Prince Moulay Rachid later that evening — weave their way through Player’s career achievements and a surplus of golf-related subject matters with hand-cramping efficiency. What’s remarkable in the context of the answers is how often Player veers off to incorporate matters of society, politics, business and life. It’s quite astonishing. I looked briefly at a couple of transcribed pages from 1999, which had references to child obesity, Apartheid and Ben Hogan all from just a couple of questions.

Clearly he is engaging. Worldly, however, is a far more apt description of Gary Player.
With that in mind I was pleased to receive an advance copy of his new book last month.Gary Players Little Black Book-jkt mech5resized

On sale as of Wednesday, Gary Player’s Black Book – 60 Tips on Golf, Business, and Life from the Black Knight (Skyhorse Publishing) is unique, not unlike the man himself. With 18 books to his credit already, the winner of 167 professional golf tournaments has taken what might be called a compelling tributary off the main river with his most recent literary project.

Effectively, this book is 201 pages of that sage advice previously mentioned. It is organized into three sections and focuses on specific scenarios that arise in life, golf and business. And it does not candy coat. There are things on these pages that will strike a chord, open your mind, or make you think differently about something than you had before.

Player takes on the role of psychologist, therapist, parent/guardian and swing coach and he does so admirably. His approach in this book is ideal not just for golfers but for anyone. It’s a terrific read. And as much as he is funny and provocative, make no mistake: Player is stone-cold honest. Nary is there a single place on these pages where he isn’t grounded either. If you want it straight you will get in Black Book.

Consider the first section, “The Questions of Life.” Player offers profound and personal wisdom to queries like, ‘How did you discover your purpose in life?’; ‘How do you strike a balance between pride and humility?’; ‘Is there a time to quit something and move on?’

Amid section two’s “The Questions of Golf,” Player serves up a wealth of his advice on the game, the swing and how to get more power, but he even delves into areas such as ‘How do I keep focused when others are playing badly?’ and ‘Do I play safe or take on the risky shot?’ Compelling about this section too is how it has widespread application. Anyone, from beginner to tour professional can get something from the answers on these pages.

Being a business analyst and a longtime watcher of the Gary Player brand, section three’s “Questions of Business” was so good I read it, then re-read it again right away. Of personal interest was, ‘What qualities make for a good CEO?’ and ‘Do I make a career change or stick with what I know?’

There is a more interesting narrative here. Lee Trevino pens the foreword for his longtime friend and the author’s own introduction and conclusion bookend and set up the three sections perfectly.

Gary Player’s Black Book – 60 Tips on Golf, Business and Life from the Black Knight is one you may wish to pass along to a friend or family member. But you might not. If you do there may be a caveat in place for its safe return. That’s because there is a timeless quality to Player’s words on these pages. This is a book that is likely to be referenced often. It’s one with tremendous shelf life.

Not unlike the legend himself.

Article courtesy of ScoreGolf.

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