Ed Hanczaryk, author of The Guru in Your Golf Swing, is a golf pro who spent decades helping others learn and perfect their golf game, even as he struggled with a severe case of the yips for most of his adult life. It was as a young man attending university on a golf scholarship that Hanczaryk developed the yips, and it was in 2007, when he was invited to teach a youth golf program in the Kingdom of Bhutan, that he met the young Buddhist monk who helped him finally rid himself of the condition.
This book is a magical tale of Hanczaryk’s time in Bhutan and his friendship with the monk. It is the story of how he taught the monk to golf and how the monk taught him to meditate, setting Hanczaryk on a path towards enlightenment where he discovered the deeply rooted cause of his yips.
In an intimate and conversational narrative, Hanczaryk takes readers to Thimphu, Bhutan, where we meet his amazing young students, experience some of the country and join him as he exchanges meditation lessons for golf lessons with the monk. The book is dotted with his use of teaching techniques, like the game of “Golchery” (golf–archery) that he created after attending an archery tournament, and anecdotes like the author’s ill-advised day walk to the Motithang Takin Preserve to see the Takin, a strange-looking antelope-type beast.
Part memoir, part golf instruction, part exploration of the self and the mind, this book reads as any or all of these. If you are a golfer, you may find some helpful tidbits in the golf lessons and, like the author, you may discover a hidden cause for some of your golf failures through meditation. If you don’t golf, but have an interest in meditation, then the golf can become more of a backdrop. Each golf and meditation lesson has a key takeaway. As an undistinguished golfer myself, and someone who has never meditated, I found the summaries to be helpful in the short term and the actual lessons something to study over a period of time. Unusual for this sort of a book, there was a surprising twist at the end, but you will have to read the book to discover it.