The 11 Best Golf Books You Should Check Out

We understand the situation. You can’t play due to bad weather or family obligations. That’s ok – grab one of our best golf books to get your fix.

That’s right, you can enjoy the game you love without leaving the comfort of your couch.

You will be amazed by what you learn from reading one of our best golf books. When we developed our list, we broke them down into two different categories.

The first category is “game improvement”. These were written to help you shoot lower scores and improve your golf handicap.

The second category is about the magic of the game and the characters that have played it. Learn some history and enjoy stories from people who have “lived golf”.

Our list of best golf books will give you a bit of both. We have identified 6 to help you play better and 5 that will deepen your love for the game.

Keeping reading to learn what you should be reading!

Best golf books. A golf ball next to a hole.

The Best Golf Books: The Magic Of the Game

The best golf books in this category will give you insight into playing golf professionally and share some of the remarkable histories of the game.

#1: The Greatest Game Ever Played

The Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark Frost is the story of the 1913 US Open and while you will read about the tournament, that isn’t the focal point of the book.

It is an amazing story of two players competing for a trophy with vastly different backgrounds.

At this time golf was dominated by British players and only the wealthy played in the United States.

We don’t want to give away too much but is safe to say that the battle between American Francis Ouimet and accomplished British player Harry Vardon changed golf forever.

Not a big reader? First, you might be looking at the wrong article. Second, good news! This book was made into a movie in 2005.

#2: The Bogey Man: A Month On The PGA Tour

The 2nd entry on our best golf books list is a classic written by George Plimpton. It was re-released in 2016 but was originally published in 1968.

Other writers have tried this concept since George, but no one has captured the experience better.

The Bogey Man looks at what would happen if an average player (weekend warrior) joined the professional golf tour.

This book will put a smile on your face. He uses wit and humor to describe the experience of playing golf with the best in the world.

Along the way, he meets amateurs, pros, caddies, officials, and fans. It shows why we love golf. It is the perfect combination of frustrating, humbling, and, thrilling!

#3: A Good Walk Spoiled

Do you wonder what it is like to play professional golf? To understand what it feels like to make putts in order to support your family?

This is exactly what you will find in “A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour” by John Feinstein.

John spends time with players and talks about their accomplishments and disappointments. He explores what it feels like to win and to lose.

Our favorite quote from a player “One week you’ve discovered the secret to the game; the next week you never want to play it again.”

You will enjoy the read. You will learn that professional golfers are not different than casual players. We all face demons, nerves, and fear when trying to get the little white ball into the hole.

A golf course.

#4: Caddy For Life: The Bruce Edwards Story

A list of best golf books would not be complete without “Caddy For Life: The Bruce Edwards Story“. Once again, John Feinstein does the writing.

Many of the best golf books have to do with the life of being a Caddy. It is an interesting gig – carrying the bag and providing advice to professional golfers.

The vast majority of caddies are in the background. They are often ignored and/or overshadowed by the player.

What makes the story of Bruce Edwards unique is perseverance.

He caddied for Hall-of-Famer Tom Watson for decades and even continued to do his job after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

This is one of the rare times a caddy takes center stage. You will enjoy the read and agree this is one of the best golf books.

#5: Who’s Your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great, and Reprobates of Golf

Let’s be honest. There are times we take golf too seriously. The game can be incredibly funny and that is the approach taken by sportswriter Rick Reilly.

In “Who’s Your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great, and Reprobates of Golf” Rick caddies for famous players including Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, Tom Lehman, and John Daly.

In this enjoyable read, you learn how hard the job of caddy truly is and Rick shares insights on what makes the great players great.

Place this book on your coffee table and read it one chapter at a time.

A green on a golf course.

The Best Golf Books: How To Play The Game

The following 6 best golf books can all help you play better.

#6: Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf

Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons” was written by Ben Hogan and Herbert Warren Wind. It describes the techniques Ben Hogan would use if he was giving you a lesson.

Ben believed that any golfer with basic coordination could learn to break 80. To achieve these results he wanted you to patiently apply his principles.

He designed this book to be a step-by-step guide on how to play golf from the tee box to the green.

Ben explains the fundamentals of the game and demonstrates them using easy-to-understand illustrations.

We recommend you add this to your best golf books collection today!

#7: Golf Is Not A game Of Perfect

Do you have all of the physical tools to excel at golf, but struggle with your mental approach? Do your nerves get the best of you?

Dr. Bob Rotella wrote “Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect” to help with the mental side of the game.

“Dr. Bob” is a sports psychologist that has worked with many of the best players in the world. His is goal to create an attitude and mindset that will help you succeed.

This book includes insightful stories about golf and many mantras that you might find yourself repeating on the course. Here are some of our favorites:

“Golfers must learn to love ‘the challenge when they hit a ball into the rough, trees, or sand. The alternatives—anger, fear, whining, and cheating—do no good.”

“It is more important to be decisive than to be correct when preparing to play any golf shot or putt.”

“On the first tee, a golfer must expect only two things of himself: to have fun, and to focus his mind properly on every shot.”

No round of golf will ever be perfect. You cannot expect perfection in your golf game.

A golf bag full of clubs.

#8: Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf

No one has dominated the game of golf the way Tiger Woods did in the 2000s. Do you ever wonder, how did he do that?

Well, this is your chance to find out. “Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf” will give you the details on how Tiger approaches every shot he encounters on the course.

This was an obvious choice for our list of best golf books. Tiger has always been private and you will be amazed at the level of detail he provides.

Learn to make clutch putts like Tiger. Learn to hit his famous “stinger”. Learn what it takes to be the greatest player of all time!

#9: Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons And Teachings From A Lifetime In Golf

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book is clearly one of the best golf books and many would place it at the top of the list.

Penick started caddying in Austin, TX when he was 8 years old and spent almost a century in the world of golf.

He would keep a little red notebook with him at all times to make notes during a lesson or while playing golf.

Why did this make our list of best golf books? The answer is simple. Harvey has a simple, direct, and practical way of explaining complex golf topics.

Regardless of your current level of play, checking out the “Little Red Book” will make you better.

#10: Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score

Dave Pelz wrote the “Short Game Bible” to help you get the ball into the hole.

A former physicist for NASA, Dave brings a scientific rigor to his research and instruction that has made him the top short-game expert in the world.

His golden rule of golf is “He who rules the short game collects the gold.” In other words, you drive for show and you putt for dough.

Pelz has helped many of the best players in the world and he can help you!

#11: The Golfing Machine

The Golfing Machine by Homer Kelley will not be for everyone. We added it to our best golf books list because of the unique approach that the author takes to explain the golf swing.

The short description of this book is complex, detailed, and technical. Extremely technical. Probably best for players that want to understand the physics behind their golf swing.

Just to give you a quick taste of what to expect, The Golfing Machine breaks the swing down into 24 different components. Each component has different variations.

Homer Kelley worked as an engineer and this book is written like an advanced engineering textbook.

It is an interesting read, but not something you are going to get through quickly. At times, it may give you a headache!

How many of our best golf books have you read? Do you have others you would recommend?

Up Next: Let’s Leave The Library & Head To The Driving Range

Photo of author
Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +1 handicap.

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