10 BOOKS THAT EVERY GOLFER SHOULD READ
You are never done learning as a golfer. I wanted to put together a list of golf books that I think can help your game, and hopefully give you some new perspectives on your technique, as well as your mental approach to the game. These are 10 books that I think every golfer should read at least once.
Many of them have been in print for quite some time, so you can get them at a huge discount if you buy them used on Amazon. I have read all of these at one point, and I think they each contain advice that is worth listening to.
There is a ton of information in all of these golf books. It would be unrealistic to expect that you can incorporate everything these authors have written into your game. If you can take away one or two big ideas from each of these books, then your game is going to move in the right direction!
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book
If there is one book on this list that you should absolutely read, this is the one! I wrote a review of this all-time classic here. I believe this is one of the best golf books ever written for many reasons. There are so many little nuggets of wisdom in this book without getting into anything too technical.
Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Ben Hogan might be the most interesting player in the history of the game. This is a man who found his swing in the dirt through a tireless work ethic that golf had never seen before. He had no access to technology, but uncovered things about the golf swing that are valuable decades later. Don’t miss his section on the grip technique, I think this is the most important part of the book for a golfer of any level.
Golf is Not a Game of perfect by Dr. Bob Rotella
I aspire to write like Dr. Rotella. He has a way of describing the game that is so simple and matter of fact that it just makes sense. This is probably his most important book, but I feel you should read his entire body of work. It will give you some new mental perspective on the game that I don’t think other writers can provide.
The Short Game Bible by Dave Pelz
I have made numerous references to this book in my articles simply because I believe my game changed forever when I was done reading it. I consider this advanced reading for golfers, so it might be a little overwhelming to some of you. If you can come away understanding the importance of the game inside 100 yards than you have won half the battle. This one of the golf books that can give you a real plan, and prevent you from stepping up to a shot without confidence
The Big Miss by Hank Haney
I debated whether or not to include this in the list, but I think you should read it for two reasons. The first is that Hank Haney gives a salacious account of his personal dealings with Tiger that were a real page turner for me. The second reason is that there is some really great advice in this book, mainly because Haney uncovers things about Tiger’s game that you would never expect to be deficiencies. It almost makes you feel better about your own game to read about how the best golfer of all time (sorry, possibly the second best) was petrified of his driver!
Unconscious Putting by Dave Stockton
Becoming a great putter is very difficult, and it’s almost impossible to put your finger on what it takes. I believe this book is the closest version to accomplishing that feat. The great part is that it’s not some 500 page technical encyclopdiea. In only 100 pages Dave Stockton gives you some real actionable advice on how to become a better putter. The fact that this book is so short should be a hint to you that it’s not as technical and complicated as you might think.
101 Mistakes All Golfers Make (and how to fix them)
I would be remiss if I didn’t include my own work. My book will be your complete guide to the game for years to come. Best of all, it’s easy to understand.
Fearless golf: Conquering the Mental Game by Dr. Gio Valiante
Fear in golf is a self-fulfilling prophecy. There’s no way to ever completely conquer negative thoughts before you approach your shot. However, the more you can put them behind you, the lower scores you will be shooting. This book can help you do that, by explaining how staying in the moment is the most important and hardest thing to do as a golfer.
Every Shot Counts by Mark Broadie
Mark Broadie has made a big splash in the golfing world with his revolutionary strokes gained statistic. It has changed how we measure a player’s performance on the PGA tour, and his data have lead to some discovery on how amateurs can improve their games. While this book is mainly data driven, I think it can open your eyes up on a few parts of the game. While I don’t agree with everything he wrote in this book, I believe his section on putting makes it worth the read.
Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game by Joseph Parent
Here is more food for your brain. Psychology is just as important to a golfer than the quality of their swing on the golf course. Read this book, and take everything he has written to heart. The best golfers are all Zen Golfers, whether they know it or not
CREDIT: Jon Sherman