Though we would rather be at the course, sadly it’s just not possible to be there 24/7. So when away from the course, it’s time to break open a good book or watch a DVD. About golf, of course. While there are hundreds of books and DVDs, we have selected a number that we enjoy in different categories – fiction/non-fiction, coffee table, classics and history, and instructional. Don’t forget, some books may be available on the Amazon Kindle.
- Any of Mark Frost’s fantastic books: The Grand Slam: Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf, The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf or The Match.
- It would be tough to limit us to just one book from John Feinstein, one of the most prolific contemporary sports writers, so we’ll let you pick any of a few: A Good Walk Spoiled, Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story, The Majors, Open: Inside the Ropes at Bethpage Black.
Coffee Table Books
- We are big fans of either Alister MacKenzie’s Cypress Point Club or The Golden Age of Golf Design, both from Geoff Shackleford. Perfect books for any coffee table.
- The Clubmaker’s Art: Antique Golf Clubs & Their History. The most complete book ever published on antique golf clubs, over 10 years in the making. Relatively rare due to limited production, but an incredible compilation with over 800 photographs. Makes for a phenomenal gift.
- The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses. Brutally honest reviews of hundreds of golf courses throughout the United States from Tom Doak, one of the latest generation of up-and-coming course designers. He may seem arrogant, but this rare book is a chance to hear an architect tell it like it is (or at least as he thinks it is).
- The Badminton Library : Golf. Difficult to find, this book was first published in 1890 and chronicles the early days of the game.
- Bernard Darwin On Golf. A collection of classic essays from one of the best writers of the game. From the Golden Age of golf, a great addition to any golfer’s library.
- Down the Fairway. Written by Bobby Jones following winning with the U.S. and British Open titles in the same year, combines history, biography, and instruction.
- The Spirit of St. Andrews. Insight from Alister McKenzie, one of golf’s greatest architects, on course design, the swing, technology and equipment, putting tips, as well as stories of famous players including Hagen, Sarazen and Jones.
- The Story of American Golf Volume One: 1888-1941. A now-illustrated classic, this book is the most comprehensive chronicle of golf from its introduction in America through World War II.
- Golf Rx: A 15-Minute-a-Day Core Program for More Yards and Less Pain. To help speed recovering from injuries and/or prevent them in the future, Golf Rx offers an easy-to-follow exercise program for players of any level.
- Mark Verstegen has trained hundreds of athletes, and his Core Performance Golf title offers a training program that includes an exercise and nutrition regimen to help build flexibility, strength and stamina.
- Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. Ben Hogan’s 1957 classic with detailed analysis and illustrations. “The average golfer is entirely capable of building a repeating swing and breaking 80,” says Hogan. And with this book, you’ll be on your way.
- Textbook in nature (and length), Dave Pelz’s “Bible” series of books are still accessible to players of any skill level. There’s a good reason this ex-scientist has such a following. Check out Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible: The Complete Guide to Mastering the Green, and Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score.
- While there are lots of books on the swing, don’t neglect the mental side of the game as well. Good books include Dr. Bob Rotellas’ Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, and Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game from Dr. Joe Parent.
- How to Break 90: An Easy Approach for Breaking Golf’s Toughest Scoring Barrier. Just like the title says, two PGA teaching pros provide an approach to taking your game to the next level.
- Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf. Lots of photographs and illustrations to accompany instruction.
- It’s important to work on the swing, but just as important is making sure you have the appropriate clubs for your game. Tom Wishon’s “The Search for the Perfect Golf Club” outlines the importance of getting to a professional fitter to make sure you have the right equipment. It’s more detail than most would need, but once you’ve read this book, you’ll wonder why you ever bought clubs on your own.
- Phil Mickelson: Secrets of the Short Game. A new video, nearly two hours in length, from one of the best short-game players around.
- Hank Haney: ESPN Golf Schools – The 3-Club Tour. From Tiger Woods’ coach, instruction on the driver, wedge and putter. No longer produced so somewhat difficult to find.
- Bobby Jones – How I Play Golf Instructional Series. A series of short films with Bobby Jones offering lessons to struggling Hollywood stars. Enjoy the setup for the lessons…amusing.
- Well known from working with top players in the game, David Leadbetter has a host of videos, including David Leadbetter Simple Secrets for Great Golf, or David Leadbetter Golf Instruction (3 DVD set).
- Jim McLean: The 8 Step Swing. 80 minutes of instruction from one of the top-ranked coaches in the game.