No One Playing: The Essence Of Mindfulness In Golf And In Life
By Martin Wells
I received a free copy of No One Playing from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
This is a story about a strange encounter on the golf course with someone who, on the face of it, knows nothing about golf but who ends up teaching the author about the inner game and questioning his approach to golf and to life itself. It’s not just about golf or sport, nor about improvement or progress or how to do something. If anything, it points to a way of living effortlessly that is free and harmonious, that is, to the essence of mindfulness and non-duality. Each of the nineteen chapters contains a lesson which the author palpably resists for the first few holes. But, gradually he comes to realise the profound truth in the teachings of the stranger and begins to understand the radical perspective of no one playing.
Summary from Goodreads.
Every time I find a golf book, I am always interested. Whether it is a biography about a golfer or tips / instruction, I am always eager to see what is inside. No One Playing is surprisingly neither of these. Instead we get a combination of a story and a mental game lesson.
No One Playing has 18 chapters, one for each hole on this course; as well as a 19th chapter that takes place a few weeks after this round of golf. We find ourselves following this round of a man who ends up allowing a person who has never played golf before joining him to walk around the course while he plays. During the course of his round, he is given inspirational talks about the self, life, how to let go of things, and also how he notices that golf is a great example of life.
No One Playing was a very easy read, much easier than other psychology books about golf that I have. Unfortunately, that was all that it had going for it. I found both of the characters to be frustrating. This made it very hard to get the psychological points that Wells is trying to get across not taken as they are intended. The actual underlying ideas and concepts behind what he is trying to get across are perfectly good, and plenty of golfer would do better to benefit from giving them a try; but getting these across in this form of fiction is no easy feat, which seems to have been too far beyond Wells skillset.
While this may benefit quite a few golfers in how it is such a different way to approach the mental game of golf, personally this was nothing ground-breakingly new but just told in a different that I am used to.
Have you read No One Playing? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.
Check it out on Goodreads here.
Purchase it on Amazon here.