If there’s a sport that’s been written more about than the game of golf, I’d be surprised. The annals of golf time have been witness to prose that’s revered even to this day. It’s not all timeless lore, however. The landscape of golf literature is ever evolving. With advances in science and technology, the way in which we teach, understand, and play this great game is ever-changing. There are numerous golf books which talk about it.
If you’re a serious golfer, you probably have an anthology of golf books. Even if you are novice and you would like to learn the modern fundamentals of golf, or you want to evolve your mental game, you should read golf books for sure. Even if it’s just a few, your collection of golf books is something you revere. Every once in a while, you remember a timeless tip you found in Ben Hogan book Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals by The Hawk himself. Hogan’s Five Lessons is fully illustrated with drawings and diagrams to make learning from one of golf’s all-time greats a fun. Or, someone mentions the name Francis Ouimet and how he lived across the Country Club and later won the U.S Open or you feel inspired to dust off Mark Frost The Greatest Game Ever Played. These are must read golf books. If you want to became the next Tiger Woods you should be at least 6 year old boy or girl to read golf books from authors like Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals, Hank Haney, Jack Nicklaus, Michael Murphy, George Plimpton, Mark Frost, etc.
Regardless if you want to add more golf books to your library or, are just shopping for a gift for the golfer in your family, there are some timeless golf books with which you can’t go wrong and are must for every golfer. We made a list of must read books that will help you improve your overall game.
Top 10 Best Golf Books
What to Consider When Buying a Golf Book
Before you purchase your next golf books, ask yourself the question of why you’re buying it. Are you in the mood for a warm read of a golf book that captures the spirit of the game like Final Rounds by James Dodson or read about The Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark Frost? Have you already read Ben Hogan and his books? Hogan’s Five Lessons is a great reason to start buying books. Ben Hogan is widely recognised as one of the greatest golfers of all time, and there’s a reason why his book has become one of the biggest selling in this category. He discovered aspects of the golf swing that are still valuable today. Classics from Hank Haney also come in consideration. Do you want to improve specific aspect of your game like your short game with short game bible or golf swing, or you are just interested in golf history and facts.
Golf books cover countless topics, PGA Tour stories or any other within the game that every golfer love. Before you make a purchase, make sure you do some research, read some reviews, and know exactly what you’re looking for.
This element pertains mostly to instructional golf books or PGA Tour informational books. There’s no shortage of golf authors on golf books that think they’ve uncovered the magic pill that solves problems for every golfer around the world. Remember, they call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken. There is no such thing as a quick fix or magic pill in this maddening game. There are lessons the modern fundamentals of golf has and will see in the future.
With that said, there’s also plenty of good stuff out there. Before you buy a golf book and subscribe to the theories inside, do some research about the author. Are they a household name whose work is credited by the best in the world? Have they appeared in other golf publications? Do they have professional credentials and player testimonials for example the story about Francis Ouimet and his winning on U.S Open? Authors like Ben Hogan, Dr. Joseph Parent (he teaches golfers how to play with more consistency and less frustration), Dave Pelz etc. are surely people who you can trust when reading their books and stories.
Okay, you probably don’t need to worry too much about budget when you’re buying a single book. However, if you find your self on a mission to have a library that rivals that of Congress, you’re going to need some scratch.
Before you go crazy, think about your overall golf budget. What’s more important, buying a driver that fits your swing or, filling space on the bookshelf. We aren’t saying you need to hide your book budget from your significant other, only that you exercise a little bit of practicality.
Reviews of the Best Golf Books
Below, we have described and reviewed the best golf-themed books on the market today and books that every golfer should read.
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf – By Harvey Penik
Revered for his soft-spoken demeanor and gentle way with his students, Harvey Penick’s golf teachings are timeless in their wisdom and simplicity. Sports Illustrated called Penick “the Socrates of Golf.” The Little Red Book is one of the best golf book and for sure one of the most selling golf books. He teaches golfers how to clear their minds, stay focused on the golf terrain.
It’s for these reasons that the Harvey Penick is timeless and accessible to golfers of all levels. In the Little Red Book you will find lessons that will improve your short game, golf swing and other useful advice how to improve your short game on the golf course.
If you’re serious about improving your game, and simplifying the way in which you learn, this Harvey Penick book should be the first book you buy. It is one of those books every self-respecting golfer should read.
A Good Walk Spoiled – By John Feinstein
At some point in your golfing career, you’ve probably made it a mission to get better. You were willing to sacrifice nearly everything; endure blood, sweat and tears in the name of achieving a golf goal.
That’s exactly what John Feinstein’s non-fiction work, is all about. Except for the characters in his book, success is literally a life or death proposition.
The tales within are all true. They provide keen insight to the lives of everyone from Professional Golf’s most notable players, to the heart-wrenching realities of Q-School dreamers living out of their cars.
If you’ve ever wondered what life is like in golf’s major and minor leagues, there’s no more eloquent account than A Good Walk Spoiled. This is definitely a book every golfer should read.
Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey of a Lifetime – By James Dodson
A lot of us were introduced to the game by our fathers. Our fondest memories are playing with them. As we grow older and our parents’ age, time spent on the links with our fathers powerfully defines our relationship.
James Dodson recounts one such relationship with his father, Brax, in Final Rounds. I won’t give away all the spoils in this book but suffice it say, it’s tearful and joyous all at once. With the backdrop of the links that are golf’s origins, this book is a must read for any father or son whose relationship is closely tied to golf.
Be prepared to laugh, cry, smile, and ponder. If you want to get the most out of Final Rounds, read it together.
Dream Golf: The Making of Bandon Dunes – By Stephen Goodwin
I’m a little partial to this book as I’ve been to Bandon Dunes. I revere it as the holiest place to play golf in North America.
The vision of Mike Keiser, Bandon Dunes is the closest thing you can find to pure links golf this side of the pond. The weather is the same, the caddies have Scottish accents, I could go on and on. It’s in the section – books every self-respecting golfer should read.
What makes Dream Golf so special though, isn’t just the magical canvas of Bandon Dunes that it’s painted on. Instead, it’s the vision that Mike Keiser had and, how he turned it into a reality that exceeded his wildest dreams. Drawing on inspirations from golf’s greatest architects, Keiser and his team turned a piece of rugged Oregon coast, covered in gorse and heather, into a place that awakens everything spiritual that is the game of golf.
Two recommendations for this book. First, read it. Second, go experience Bandon Dunes.
Golf is Not a Game of Perfect – By Dr. Bob Rotella with Bob Cullen
The bestselling book from Dr Bob Rotella and a book every golfer should read. When it comes to modern golf psychology, golf game has come a long way. Nearly every PGA Tour Pro has their “guy” when it comes to mental side of the game. Dr. Bob Rotella was at the forefront of that movement and one of the most popular among tour pros and average players on the PGA Tour too. This book can help you with your mental game and the concentration that you need in your short game. One of the best golf books and favorite golf book for many golfers.
Even though this bestseller is some 25 years old, its tenants are fundamentally grounded in science. It’s that science of Bob Rotella and his ideas, that have proven the base for golf psychology’s evolution today.Bob Rotella is one of the hottest performance consultants in America today.
Simply written and filled with accessible anecdotes from the game’s best players, from Bob Rotella will remain timeless for decades to come.
Putting Out of Your Mind – By Dr. Bob Rotella with Bob Cullen
Whether you’re trying to break 100, win your Club Championship, or be the best at your country club or trying to beat the best in the world, putting is what’s most likely holding you back.
It reasons that this should be the easiest, simplest part of the game. We all know it’s not.
Just like Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, Putting Out of Your Mind lays the groundwork for everything that’s evolved in the last two decades when we talk about this essential part of the game.
Again, Rotella’s simple prose and charted wisdom, allow golfers of any level to adopt a thought process that affords them the mental freedom to literally, putt out of their mind and improve their short game and to evolve their final touch.
Dead Solid Perfect – By Dan Jenkins
This list would be incomplete without a mention of the late Dan Jenkins. What Grantland Rice was to the era of Jones, Nelson and Ben Hogan, Jenkins was, and remains, to the modern game. His contributions served to shape the literary landscape of our sport in a way that can’t be rivaled.
You might have seen the movie, Dead Solid Perfect. As is often the case, the fictitious book is better than the movie.
A decades old account of what life was surely like on the PGA Tour, Jenkins’ cast of characters perfectly expose what this world was like. He explained the whole movement that happens on the PGA Tour perfectly. Also, he has collection of a dozen Sports Illustrated essays about players through the decade of the 1960s was expanded in a later paperback version, which simply enhanced an already classic book.
If golf, characters both dashing in their bravado, and desperately hopeless at the same time are your cup of tea, there’s no better golf read than Dead Solid Perfect. One of the best book about golf ever and for sure favorite golf book for many and every golfer should read it.
Caddy For Life: The Bruce Edwards Story – By John Feinstein
Maybe you remember the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach when Tom Watson chipped in on the infamous 17th at Pebble Beach. Just before he hit that iconic shot, he turned to longtime caddy and friend, Bruce Edwards and told him he was going to hole the shot.
That’s just one memorable chapter from what was one of the most respected caddy-player relationships in the history of golf.
In his book Caddy For Life, the author captures the life and story that was Bruce Edwards. Before he tragically passed from ALS, Bruce Edwards opened up to one of America’s greatest sports writers about his professional and personal life alongside Hall-of-Famer, Tom Watson.
Feinstein’s words linger long after they’re read. His accounts in Caddy for Life will leave you laughing, crying, and thankful that the story of one of golf’s greatest caddies was told.
Stitched: A Novel – By Mike Guillen
Once an aspiring professional golfer, Mike Guillen has shifted his focus into writing as a means of staying connected to the game he loves.
Many of us here at GolfersAuthority have read Mike Guillen’s book due to him being a local native here in Phoenix. Based on his own personal upbringing and accounts, this heartwarming and emotional story beautifully explains how golf can be a life changing sport.
Thomas Grier lives an interesting life. When his parents died, he fell in love with golf; it led to him making his home course, Pecan Hill, his home. He also has a dream: to play golf professionally. When the new General Manager arrives, Thomas’s life is changed forever.
Professional Golf for the Rest of Us: A Starter’s Guide to Pursuing Your Dreams – By Mike Guillen
An Arizona native, Mike Guillen is new to the scene of golf-themed authors. A former tournament player, clinic instructor, and mentor to other professionals, he’s been a student of the game for over twenty years. Aside from his life in golf, he has had brief stints as an actor in college, a poker player, and a student of philosophy.
His first book, Professional Golf for the Rest of Us, summarizes many of the lessons and tools he’s implemented in the ten years he has been involved in golf professionally. Favorite golf-themed author for many beginners.
As modern golf game has become, there are some things that remain timeless while being cutting-edge all at once. For example like the Five Lessons from Hogan or books from authors like Hank Haney and his Big Miss, Jack Nicklaus, Mark Frost, there are new golf books like The Short Game Bible by Dave Pelz, that will inspire you and give you motivation to improve your game. That’s certainly the case with the literature surrounding the sport. For someone the greatest game ever played. There are enough pages about the game we love to keep you occupied for decades.
If you want to became the new Tiger Woods apart from practice and training the hardest you should read as much as you can about golf and golf-themed books. Younger you start the better you would became. Golf books will give you motivation inspiration and knowledge about golf game.
When you can’t get out to stroll the fairways on your own, putting your feet up with a good golf book will keep you close to the game you love so much.