The Golfers Library - 10 Golfing Books You Should Have On Your Shelves

You may not think of golfers as a particularly literary bunch, but over the years there have been some magnificent tomes written about this marvellous game.
Whether it is biographies of the great and good, books about golfing strategy or psychology or about individual golfing tournaments or performances, there’s a lot of top notch golfing books out there.

So whether you are still a fan of flipping the pages of the latest tome, or you are more techno-savvy and prefer to do your reading on your Kindle, iPad or similar, here, in no particular order, are ten of the best golf books you should have in your library.

 

RIP-Seve-Ballesteros


 

  1. Inside the Bear Pit & After the Bear Pit by Mark James

Mark James “Inside the Bear Pit” caused a huge controversy when it was released post-Brookline ’99, when the Ryder Cup reached its Nadir. Partisan home support spilled over into blatant gamesmanship and cheating and James authoritative tome painted a less than seemly picture of events during that competition.

It was compelling reading for its drama, and its sequel After the Bear Pit brings readers nicely through the events that happened after the release of the first book. Both are essential reading for any Ryder Cup fan.

 

  1. Seve: The Official Autobiography by Seve Ballesteros

I can count on one hand the number of top class golf biographies I have read so far and Seve’s effort is without doubt the most memorable. A fascinating tale that has been recently brought to life in a major motion picture, but read the original autobiography first before seeing the film.

 

  1. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals of Golf by Ben Hogan

For many, this is without doubt the Magnum Opus of golf instruction books. Hogan’s simple five lesson approach to the game may seem somewhat simplistic, even outdated, but the principles he displays in astonishing detail have stood the test of time.

If you want to learn about golf having never picked up a club before, or if you want to improve your game almost immediately, this is the book to turn to.

 

  1. Four Iron in the Soul by Lawrence Donegan

Life on tour as a caddie may seem somewhat exciting to the outsider, but for every caddy plying his trade with Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods or Adam Scott, there are hundreds more struggling to make a living with a player well down the rankings.

Writer Lawrence Donegan attempted to live just like that as a caddy for 400+ ranked in the world Scottish golfer Ross Drummond. This brilliant story of life as a caddy offers a very different insight into the game through the eyes of the man carrying the bag.

 

Callaway Apex Pro Iron

 

  1. Bring me the Head of Sergio Garcia by Tom Cox

A superbly funny book about Tom Cox’s attempts to survive for one year as a professional touring golfer. As a teen Cox was a talented aspiring golfer, but in the end walked away from the game.

However as he got older, he dreamed of turning professional and despite being over 30 years of age, he decided to give his dream one last chance, with the aim of qualifying for his dream event. The British Open.

 

  1. Inside – One Man’s Experience of Prison – by John Hoskison

How can this be a book about golf? Well prior to 1994, John Hoskison was a fully paid up member of the European PGA Tour. While never in the upper echelons of the game at European level, Hoskison was a golfer of undeniable talent.

However in 1994, he accepted a drink following a game of golf, breaking a discipline he had kept up for 20 years. He jumped into his car to drive home afterwards and on that short journey, hit and killed a cyclist.

Sentenced to prison, this is his story of how he survived prison and began to try and make amends.

 

  1. The Inner Game of Golf by W. Timothy Gallwey

I am often very scathing of books about the mental aspect of golf, but of all the ones that are available today (and there are a huge amount of them) W. Timothy Gallwey’s book certainly strikes the most resonant chord with me.

There is a huge amount of simple, yet practical advice in the book that even the most limited of player can use to their advantage, yet what is most impressive is how Gallwey explains some genuinely complex psychological thought process, in a rational and easy to follow way.

 

  1. The Phantom of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World’s Worst Golfer by Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby

The fantastic story of a former crane driver and comedy stunt diver Maurice Flitcroft who managed to get himself a place in the British Open. This despite never having played a real round of golf in his life.  He scored 121 and the British Open organisers banned him for life.

This is Maurice’s story of how he battled against the R&A to be allowed to enter the tournament he loved, without possessing a single ounce of golfing talent. A truly hilarious read.

 

John Daly

 

  1. My Life In And Out of the Rough by John Daly

Brutally honest, painful to read at times, John Daly’s life story is a tale of extremes, from feeling on top of the world at one moment, to the bottom of the barrel the next. He details his extraordinary career with a candour and honesty that is refreshing.

Daly’s tale is a cautionary tale of how seemingly having everything, sometimes isn’t enough.

 

  1. ‘Dream On’: One Hackers Challenge to Break Par in a Year by John Richardson

Perhaps the most relevant book for the weekend hacker ever to have been written. John Richardson couldn’t break one hundred and worked in a full time job. However, John Richardson also had a dream: to break par at a local golf course within 12 months, while remaining in full time work and trying to remain a father and husband.

Sam Torrance said he should “dream on”, Darren Clarke suggested three years may be more appropriate to achieve his dream. Everyone he spoke to said it couldn’t be done.

This is his story.

 

 

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