Friday, October 31, 2008

Driven: the book review that all parents need to heed

Golfers, do you want to get to know well-known golf instructor David Leadbetter a little more intimately? Get Driven! Parents, do you think you have the next golf phenomenon sleeping in the crib down the hall and wonder what to do with him or her? Get Driven?

The answer to these two questions can be found in Kevin Cook’s latest volume Driven. If you want to peek through the keyhole to the future of golf, then I would suggest you read this book. If you want a glimpse as to how the future superstars of golf will be developed, read this book. Golfers will remember Cook from his 2007 USGA award winning book Tommy’s Honor. Now he has followed that with a work that examines the concept and inside operations of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy.

And the inner workings can at times be scary. Children who show a glimmer of golf potential are shipped off to “Golf Boot Camp” by “driven” parents, parents who hope to write the next Earl Woods autobiography. Parents, if you think for a minute that your child has the makings of the next golf superstar, then you need to read this book to get a bit of insight into what life is like inside the ultra exclusive DLGA. We all know of the over zealous soccer moms or hockey moms, but now Cook has exposed the golfer moms (and dads) of our society.

The timing of this book review is in connection to my last post which focuses on the cost of golf. Parents who consign their children to the DLGA realize that money must be no object whether they have the means or not. The cost can exceed $100,000 per year.

Cook’s approach to exposing the physical, spiritual and emotional nuts and bolts of the DLGA is well conceived. He centers on the human interest factor by involving us in the lives of the children attending the academy. You’ll read about Peter Uihlein, the son of Titleist honcho Wally Uihelin, and the children of former tennis star Ivan Lendl. But you’ll also read about the not so well to do like Michael Wade, the son of a preacher.

Cook may have opened the proverbial golf can of worms but he has also provided a vital reality check.