'Make Your Golf Dream A Reality' by Lou Hays

By: Dr. John Wagner

The promise of this book, if you follow its rules, is enable a high handicapper lower his handicap to a low single-digit. After the author makes this bold statement in the introduction, he devotes the next 40 pages to his personal history.

I really didn't want to know about Hays' journey - I was looking for tips to help my game. So, after the first 40 pages I was tempted to put the book down and not read it anymore, as he failed to engage me. But I pressed onward to see what magic Hays had to help reduce my handicap.

Most of my friends who are higher handicappers are knowledgeable golfers and understand the basics very well. For me, and I'm sure for them, this book is merely a first-grade primer. It makes the incorrect assumption that the reason someone has a high handicap is that he doesn't know how to address a shot, read or stroke a putt, chip, practice, etc.

The book may work for someone who has played only a few rounds, but there's not much information for someone who plays a lot. The author makes it sound like we can all be scratch golfers. If that were true, the game would be boring. But we can't reach that exalted level as it's physically impossible. Otherwise, basketball players would never miss a free throw; we could all hit baseballs like Ted Williams; and every pass in football would be completed.

This isn't a book I recommend reading or buying. Use your money instead on a sleeve of new golf balls.

"Make Your Golf Dream A Reality," by Lou Hays, $13.95, Hays Publishing, Park Hill, Okla., ISBN 1880673770

Dr. John Wagner has been a Seattle dentist for 37 years. He's been published in several dental journals as well as had several articles appear in the turf magazine for Pacific Northwest golf course superintendents. John has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Washington Business School for several years and as a guest lecturer for several dental societies. Dr. Wagner is the co-designer (with Steve Shea of the Berger Partnership) of a golf course in Japan that cost over $120 million and was built by Wadsworth Golf Construction. He's a Past President of the Washington State Golf Association and a Trustee of the Pacific Coast Golf Association. John is currently a Member of the USGA Green Section and a Director of the WSGA.