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Best Golf Books

Last Updated: April 21, 2020
Mark Woods
Product Review by Mark Woods

Looking to improve your golfing abilities, but don’t have time for a one to one session with a coach?
Or maybe you’re fascinated by the sport, but don’t know much about its history?

Then a golf book could be the answer for you.

There are many types of books based around the sport. From useful training guides to entertaining stories from within the world of golf, there is a lot to take in.

The best golf books are often informative, engaging, and useful to beginners and seasoned players.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the bestselling golf books on the market and break down the elements that will provide you with a great reading experience.

Our Reviews

1

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf

Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf is a bestselling classic that was first published in March 1957. Many consider this to be the original go-to book on how to learn to play golf.

Ben Hogan was an American professional golfer who is widely considered one of the all-time greats of the sport. Needless to say, this was a man that knew his stuff. There are also contributions from Herbert Warren Wind, another decorated pro.

While golf has moved ahead in countless ways, with new techniques and technological innovation, the fundamentals will never change. That’s why this is a useful book for anyone looking to improve their abilities.

In this book, Hogan breaks down the basics of how to play golf, and he’s well known for his lasting effect on swing theory.

The book features beautifully crafted illustrations by Anthony Ravielli throughout its pages, so you can look at what’s being described to you and get a clear vision of it. This will help you when it comes to putting these lessons into practice.

Available in hardback, paperback or even spiral bound, this is a great looking product that will rest comfortably on any golfers bookshelf.

Pros

  • Simple
  • Straightforward
  • Written by a golfing legend
  • Features helpful illustrations

Cons

  • Not available as an audiobook
2

Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons And Teachings From A Lifetime In Golf

Next up is Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From A Lifetime In Golf. This is the twentieth edition of the book, which includes a new introduction and twenty new illustrations.

Alongside this, this edition also features materials from the Penick family archives that have never been published before. This will be exciting for fans of Harvey Penick, who was a professional golfer and coached many players into the hall of fame status.

He also managed to get inducted into the Golf Hall Of Fame, meaning he is a trusted source on all things golf and someone you should trust if you’re considering purchasing this book.

Penick always kept a red notebook by his side and named this book after that. In it, you will get useful, practical wisdom from one of history’s leading voices in golf.

If you find over-complicated technical jargon confusing and annoying, then don’t be concerned. Penick keeps things simple and straightforward in his descriptions, which means you can enjoy his words whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned player.

Available in paperback, hardback, or even audiobook form, you can take in these lessons however you please. You can even take it to the golf course with you and refer back to it in times of need.

Pros

  • Useful
  • Insightful
  • Straightforward
  • Twentieth-anniversary edition
  • Penick is a legend of golf

Cons

  • Not as instructional as some golf books
3

The Practice Manual: The Ultimate Guide for Golfers

The Practice Manual: The Ultimate Guide For Golfers is a comprehensive manual that will give you a whole host of useful tips and techniques to take forward.

It was written by Adam Young, who has worked at some of the worlds leading golf academies and has experience in teaching a whole host of players old and new.

This book has been featured on the Golf Channel, which is popular with many players of the sport, so if this is something you’re a fan of then the product is worth considering.

Within the pages, you’ll learn all sorts of useful golfing techniques. Using the latest information from modern motor learning research, Young presents you with a well thought out, meticulously designed practice plan.

Different topics include ball flight, developing skill, the truth about consistency, differential, and variable practice, and how to guarantee results on the golf course.

PGA tour winner Grant Waite said that this book is “a very well thought out, researched and written book”, claiming that the tips in this book have helped him and are invaluable.

386 pages long, there’s enough material in this to cover a wide variety of areas within the sport, so it’s worth considering for anyone looking to take their game to the next level.

Pros

  • Featured on the golf channel
  • Recommended by pros
  • A detailed guide to golf

Cons

  • Only available in paperback
4

Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect

Dr. Bob Rotella is a performance consultant who is popular amongst many professional clients including Nick Price, Tom Kite, Pat Bradley, and John Daly. In his book, “Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect”, he breaks down the mindset and attitude needed to play the sport in the correct way, using an almost philosophical approach.

Golf isn’t just a physical sport. A large portion of the battle is mental, and refining your mental strength is essential when improving as a player.

With focus and concentration, you can step onto the golf course and turn what was once nervous energy into adrenaline.

The book is written in a conversational format, meaning it will be easier to understand than overly formal books filled with overcomplicated technical jargon.

This is useful for people who want to get to the core points at hand in a simple and straightforward way.

You’ll encounter many obstacles on the golf course, and this book is designed to prepare you for any situation.

Available in paperback, hardback, audiobook and even on Kindle, you can have this product with you when you’re on the move.

Pros

  • Bob Rotella is a leading golf performance consultant
  • Conversational and easy to understand
  • Engaging

Cons

  • Some users find the advice too generalized
5

The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever

The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever tells the incredible story of a legendary golf game that lives on in history.

Mark Frost is a popular writer responsible for a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books and television shows such as Hill Street Blues and Twin Peaks.

In this instance, he’s used his storytelling prowess to turn a true story into an exciting book, by using the recollections of the people who were there to witness the event.

The event itself came when millionaire Eddie Lowery made a bet against fellow millionaire George Coleman that two of his employees could not be beaten in a best-ball match of golf.

Coleman was allowed to bring any golfers of his choice to the challenge and showed up the next day with Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, two of the greatest golfers the sport has ever known.

It sounds like fiction, but it’s true. This makes it an exciting and interesting read for any fan of the sport. The book also offers fascinating insights into the day in question, which is often referred to as the greatest private match ever played.

This book has been very well received amongst readers and was a New York Times bestseller. The best thing to do if you’re fascinated by the history of golf is to jump in headfirst and discover this amazing story yourself.

This book is highly recommended for those looking for a mix of the joys of storytelling with the intricacies of the beautiful sport.

Pros

  • Interesting insights
  • Entertaining story
  • Great for lovers of golf history
  • Well received by readers

Cons

  • Not available as an audiobook

Golf books cover a wide variety of topics, so it’s important to consider what it is you’re looking for before you make a purchase.

If you’re looking to improve your own skills, there are plenty of books on the market that offer expert advice on how to do that.

If you’re simply interested in the sport of golf and looking for some entertainment, there are options for you too.

Here are the key factors to consider when you’re looking for a golf book.

Informative

If you want to improve your abilities on the golf course through reading, your best bet is to look for a book that is informative and easy to understand.

Make sure you check out the summary of the book before you make a purchase and ask yourself, does it address the concerns you have about your own playing style? How much does it cover? How many pages are there, and what does it aim to teach you?

Illustrations & Photographs

Some people can struggle to visualize things just through reading. This is why illustrations and photographs can come in handy.

They are hugely helpful in translating things from text into the physical realm.

By combining a comprehensive description of what you have to do with a helpful visual guide, you can build upon your abilities in an easy and straightforward way no matter how experienced you are in the sport.

Formal/Informal

Some books can appear to be just what you’re looking for, but when you start reading you might find that the tone isn’t right for you.

If you are comfortable with technical jargon and terms that might be somewhat complicated, you could use this to access golfing ideas that will help you a lot.

For some, this overcomplicates the process, and for those people, it’s better to go with a more conversational and informal kind of delivery.

This way you can engage with what the author is saying on a more personal level and get to the core issues without having to research terms that might be hard to understand for beginners.

Author

It’s always worth researching the author of the book you’re looking at before you make a purchase.

If they are somebody with a wealth of experience within the sport of golf, you can most likely trust their words.

Professional golfers are often good to take advice from, but you can also look at the people who train the pros.

You can look at who a golf coach has trained and base your decision upon that.

If their playing style is something you want to replicate, then this will be helpful when it comes to making your choice.

Price

It’s important to consider the price of the book you’re looking at.

If a book seems overpriced, make sure you consider the topics above before making a purchase, as you don’t want to open the pages only to discover it isn’t what you were really looking for.

Format

Golf books are available in various formats. This ranges from traditional paperback and hardcover to audiobooks and kindle. If you don’t have time to sit down and read a book, then an audiobook will be perfect for you.

You can put it on in the car or whilst you play the sport of golf itself.

Kindles are easy to transport and useful on the go, but paperbacks can serve a similar function too.

If you have a light, small paperback, you will be able to take it from place to place with ease.

Hardcover books will look impressive up on your bookshelf, so if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing option then this could be for you.

Recap

There are a lot of fantastic books about the sport of golf, but which one is the most useful for you to purchase?

Sometimes it’s best to go with the classics, and our choice is Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From A Lifetime In Golf.

Despite being first published in 1992, this book remains modern and up to date, with the core values of golf clearly defined throughout.

A simple and straightforward guide on how to become a better golfer, this is suitable if you’re a beginner or even if you’ve been playing golf for your whole life.

Penick takes a more philosophical approach to his teaching method, which is enjoyable to read.

In this book, Penick breaks down the step-by-step essentials needed to improve as a player and gives an insight into the mental techniques that will place you at the top of your game.

This twentieth-anniversary edition features treats for fans of Penick, and a new foreword by 2012 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III.

It’s also available in written or audio form, so you can choose whatever suits you best.

Penick’s classic is our choice and tops the list of the best golf books, but what do you think? Which golf books have you read lately, and how did they help you out on the course?

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