Book Review: "Play Golf Better Faster" by Kalliope Barlis

Review by Shannon

“Play Golf Better Faster” by Kalliope Barlis is a comprehensive guide that shares the author’s two-year journey from a golf novice to a professional and her teaching insights from two decades. This handbook is divided into three sections, covering mental strategies, effective practice, and gameplay improvement. It introduces unique techniques like erasing bad shots, anchoring good ones, maintaining a positive attitude, and target-focused play. Readers are invited to transform their golf game and derive more enjoyment from it. Kalliope Barlis excels in golf and teaches privately and in LPGA clinics, enhancing her students’ enjoyment and awareness of the game. (Con'd below)

I was dismayed at the author’s “note to readers,” where she “…refrains from using a lot of standard Golf terminology because she finds it harmful rather than helpful”, yet she whets the reader’s curiosity by explaining that she knew “…a person who had no idea what ‘yips’ were until she learned the meaning, then they started happening.” She may well have told the reader not to picture an elephant in a yellow tutu—now we have to know!

The book is about more than mental rehearsal of your golf shots—it includes engaging all the senses for peak performance. What I did like was the ‘down-to-business’ style the author has—she cuts right to the chase with her descriptions and paints the picture in your mind. This quote from the text illustrates what she teaches: “Size and distance of thoughts influence the intensity of the feelings associated with the thoughts.”

It would be helpful if Barlis explained the NLP Swish Pattern by providing the definition, some background, and citations. There are a few images in the book at the end that, if hyperlinked in the text, would better serve readers. Vocabulary definitions would be helpful as well. For example, the vestibular system, Gold Formula, and hypnogogic state are not defined. In the chapter entitled ‘The 19th Hole,’ the author coins the term 19th Hole, but the meaning of this term is vague, as she says, “The 19th Hole he does to influence the future he has ahead of him.”

In summary, “Play Golf Better Faster” by Kalliope Barlis is a condensed, down-to-earth instructional handbook that, I believe, is helpful for anyone seeking to play golf better. The author sacrificed the reader’s understanding of many principles presented in this handbook on the altar of brevity. Formatting issues loomed large, and un-hyperlinked directions given in the text led to non-existent pages. 

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