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on 11 June 2009
How many of us have dreamt of playing just one round of par golf or better, when the reality is that we are barely struggling to break 90 or 100. Well John Richardson didn't just dream about it, he actually went out there and did it!

In Dream on: The Challenge to Break Par in a Year John gives an honest account of the period during which he devoted himself to the highs and lows of trying to break par. It's awe-inspiring to read about John's rollercoaster ride throughout the 12 months of this golfing challenge where through hard work, pure determination and sheer bloody-mindedness he stuck to the discipline and succeeded triumphantly!

Evidence of what an amazing feat this was to achieve is evident in Sam Torrance's comment that John should "Dream On" and his fellow Irishman Darren Clarke telling him it would take a minimum of 3 years to achieve his break par goal.

Having been aware of John and his self-imposed golf challenge to break par some years ago I was intrigued to read this book. I've read many golf books but this was one which did not disappoint - I read it cover to cover in 2 days! In my opinion this book was a small investment which delivered not only huge performance improvements with my own golf but also helped me to deal with the mental aspects and challenges of the game.

What makes this a fascinating and easy read is John's straightforward storytelling which is laced with his fantastic Irish wit and his inspiring honesty. At the outset of his story what John lacked in golfing ability he certainly made up for with his passion for the beautiful game. Throughout the book, as well as explaining how tough this challenge was for him and those around him, he entertains us with the experiences which he encountered during his year long journey. This is a classic tale of man vs golf ball, one you won't be able to put down - I promise you!

You can take things away from this book to improve your own game. Personally I will be re-reading this whenever I feel in need of motivation - I think the book clearly confirms that we can achieve anything in life as long as we have belief in ourselves and are willing to devote time and energy to working at it.

Even if you're not an avid golf fan you will still enjoy this book. You will come away from reading it energized and motivated! I highly recommend it.
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on 23 May 2009
As an ex-obsessive, but now very occasional, golfer I found this a superb insight into the psychology of the amateur player.

Do we not all have a copy of the Big Book Of Excuses?
Have we not all at one time strung together our best efforts on each hole and thought "If I could just string them together I'd shoot a 67"? Well John Richardson didn't just ponder this, he got off his clubhouse barstool and went and did just that.

I appreciated that it would require a lot of time, effort and stress, but what John's account brought home to me is just how much self-examination and willingness to change was required to complete the challenge. I am not sure many people could open themselves up in such a way.

As John struggled with his lack of progress in scoring even though he was working long hours and improving his game I could literally feel his frustration as I read his account. Fortunately I also got to share in his excitement as `the round' progressed to it's climax and actually felt a sense of relief as he described holing that final putt.

I would have loved to be there when he called Sam Torrance to break the good news...
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on 8 May 2015
A great book for anyone thinking about getting back in to golf. I read it just as I picked up my bats again and it's has really spurred me on to try to be the golfer I could have been in my youth. A word of warning though, it will mess with your head as you start to think about all the issues that john had in your own game. Quite inspiring though. Now reading Seve's autobiog...
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on 5 August 2009
Golf book for sure. Self-help and motivational - even more so.
On the surface aimed at golfers - in reality us all.
I nicked the quote above from Walt Disney and the book. And I read this in one evening before realising at 445am it was probably time to go to sleep.
All of us can identify with these writings - and as the average handicapper of 17 who has nevertheless on one benign day at London and Hatfield shot a 73, we know that this has the added benefit of being true.
Cannot recommend this highly enough - and Im sure looking back now the author realises how many hundreds of thousands can be inspired by a challenge like this.
And spend less time down at the garden centres.
Or the pub, or watching TV, or bemoaning our luck...
When all is said and done theres a lot more said than done.
Just do it - and congratulations by the way.
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John Richardson give a warts and all account of how he set out to break par, risking marriage, business and health and, when it seemed nearly hopeless, winning through - no spoilers here, you will have to read it for details. I enjoyed this book on KIndle, which is well written and instructive - about golf and life in general. The author is pretty much a driven personality and has had his hand in business and writing about business: this book tells us something about what it takes to succeed and, strangely enough, about what it doesn't, with a lot about golf, self-belief and a philosophy for what matters. A good read.
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on 28 November 2015
A really interesting story of one man's attempt to reach his full potential in golf. I think any golfer who has struggled to improve his performance will relate to this book. It does give you an insight into the dedication it requires to achieve excellence in any pursuit whether it be sport or anything else. A good read for golfers at all levels.
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on 23 June 2014
Found this to be an excellent read and gave a few good insight into the mental challenges that most of us amateur golfer go through.

Having achieved scoring under par and then losing it totally I can relate to the challenges that the author encountered.
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on 5 February 2016
I must admit, I bought this simply to get free delivery as I was already buying a book as a xmas present. Boy, I was glad I did. I didn't fully read the synopsis as I tend to look at reviews instead. So, in an extremely odd set of circumstances, I bought a book written by a man from Northern Ireland (where I was born and raised) and the golf course he practised in was Blackwood (where I played a lot of golf in my teens) without me even knowing. So as well as being an enthralling tale, I could relate to it even more as I have a perfect mental image of the golf course. After reading this I have gone onto buy Ben Hogan's five lessons and gotten my first professional lessons. I'm still a hacker, but maybe one day I won't be. An inspirational read. Can't recommend it enough.
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on 25 February 2010
As a golfer going through an obsessive phase I was excited about this concept, even if it has been done before. I naively expected it to tick some, if not all, of the following boxes - inspiration for my own golfing improvement, technical information on the author's own swing and technical improvements, advice on golf's fundamentals from a man who's been there, even just a funny and light-hearted read. It soon became clear it was not going to deliver on any of these levels. Each chapter follows the same tired and long-winded pattern of him repeating how daunting the challenge was and how much he had to practise, earnestly proclaiming his personal qualities without providing either any golfing insight or even mild amusement. The editor must take a share of the blame - the overly wordy, baggy and repetitive sentences make you wonder if it's self-published. Still, the concept is an absolute gift for even a half-decent writer - this guy falls a long way short of even that level.
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on 17 April 2015
I came across this book purely by accident. I was at the Dentists waiting for some lovely procedure (I'm sure) and I spotted an article in a Golf magazine about 'Dream On'.

I bought the book as something stuck with me because John created a challenge over twelve months and juggled his family life and a fifty hour weekly work life. He wasn't some millionaire trustafarian athlete with a load of time on his hands. He's normal hard working bloke who was shooting 105 with a target to breaking par in a year.

It's honest, engaging and inspiring. Even if you're not a golfer, it's about taking on a challenge, taking on the naysayers and giving it a go.

It's a fantastic book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
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