10 Golf Books You Should Read

Dan Gold
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Are you a passionate golfer seeking more knowledge to improve your game? If so, these books should definitely be on your reading list.

Reading is a great way to improve your golf game, particularly if you choose the right books. These are 10 of the best golf books of all time. They’ve all sold millions of copies and their authors are considered by many as legends in the sport.

Plus, they’re all written by former and current PGA instructors, leading golf universities or bestselling authors. It doesn’t get any better than that.

NameCategoryProduct
Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons And Teachings From A Lifetime In GolfBest OverallHarvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons And Teachings From A Lifetime In Golf
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of GolfBudget PickBen Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your ScoreUpgrade PickDave Pelz's Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score

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

Our rating: 9 / 10

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

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Pros:

  • Provides lessons on the game
  • Insightful stories regarding golf from a man is on constant pursuit of perfecting his craft
  • Inspires readers to take their time with the game
  • A great gift for someone you love who loves golf

Cons:

  • Although the book is primarily about golf, it is more about the human character rather than the philosophy of excellence
  • Not an instructional manual

It is hard to put this book down once you start reading. Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book flooded the market in 1991 and has been a New York Times best seller for a reason. This book is so engaging and filled with sense of humor that makes it an easy read.

The book was written by Harvey Penick, who is considered the greatest golf instructor of all time. Harvey Penick was a former PGA pro who learned the game from the legendary golf instructor, H.B. (Hugh) Wilson. After his retirement, he realized the purpose of his life was to deliver life lessons and golf lessons both through the same lens.

Being a legendary golf teacher and writer himself, Harvey shares his wisdom and humor through this book. He illustrates lessons he taught with famous golfers such as Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Sam Snead.

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

Our rating: 7 / 10

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

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Pros:

  • A Quick, Easy Read
  • Range of Erroneous Advice Is Corrected
  • Days of Dirt-Cheap Golf Are Here Again

Cons:

  • The Title Can Mislead Readers
  • Simplicity May Disappoint Some Golfers

Ben Hogan is one of the most renowned golfers, having won five major championships over his career. Having passed on in 1997, he still remains one of the most influential golfers of all time. His book is not a traditional golf instruction manual, but rather a philosophical piece of work that aims to focus on the simple fundamentals that make golf enjoyable to play. It's light and easy to read, and provides an accurate, modern take on golf instruction.

Overall, we feel that this is a fantastic piece of work even for the lowliest beginner golfers. And it is well worth a read for any golfer of any level as it provides an interesting insight into the mind of a true golfing great.

3. Golf is Not a Game of Perfect

Our rating: 7 / 10

Golf is Not a Game of Perfect

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Author: Ed Sobey

This book explores the many myths and misconceptions surrounding the game of golf from a scientific to philosophical perspective.

Ed Sobey carries you through the ins and outs of his book to ensure that you have a clear perspective of what he believes is the game of golf. He starts by impressing how The Golf Course should never be perceived as a battlefield.

4. Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score

Our rating: 7 / 10

Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score

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Pros:

  • Sand saves, bunker play, and even putting are covered in this handy book
  • Author is a pro golfer and instructor with over thirty years of experience
  • Simple, easy-to-follow tips
  • Fun and enjoyable to read

Cons:

  • Not a cheap read
  • Doesn’t have an index or table of contents

The Dave Pelz Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score (Dave Pelz Scoring Game) is the ideal book for golfers who are looking to lower their handicap.

Dave Pelz's short game bible focuses on the "soft factors" that can boost your game — the nerves, the focus, the "feel" that most players overlook because it doesn't always show up in the score. This book is written by world-renowned teacher and coach Dave Pelz, who believes that……or maybe we should say proves……that a good shot starts with the left shoulder position at address.

5. Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game

Our rating: 6 / 10

Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game

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Pros:

  • This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve his/her game in golf
  • Dr. Parent offers sound psychological advice when playing
  • The book is clear and concise, thanks to the author's rich experience in golf
  • Although written for golfers by a golf pro, this book can serve as an enjoyable read even for non-golfers
  • Readers who are curious about golf and want to find out more about the game should read this book
  • This is an excellent resource for people who are looking to improve their golf game.

Cons:

  • Not really a downside as such, but one should know that this book is written by Dr. Joseph Parent.
  • The title may lead some people to believe that the book is only suitable for highly-competitive golfers.
  • One key aspect of golf that isn't discussed in the book is the ability to play under pressure.

By Dr. Joseph Parent

Awarded the PGA teaching professionals' book of the year, this book is one of the most recommended ones by some of the most respected names in golf.

Dr. Joseph Parent's book is not a `how-to' guide, instead it is a serious, in-depth discussion on the mental aspect of playing golf.

6. Unconscious Putting: Dave Stockton's Guide to Unlocking Your Signature Stroke

Our rating: 6 / 10

Unconscious Putting: Dave Stockton's Guide to Unlocking Your Signature Stroke

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Pros:

  • Great for all skill levels
  • Easy to understand
  • Dramatic improvement in putting ability
  • Helps you understand the layout of the green
  • Makes you realize where to place your putter
  • Helps you create a good routine

Cons:

  • Size is printed too small
  • Sometimes photos are dark

Unconscious Putting: Dave Stockton’s Guide to Unlocking Your Signature Stroke is a top-ranked, highly rated golf book that’s in the Amazon bestsellers list. The book teaches you how to play golf by understanding your own swing. It's a simple and effective technique that everyone can use.

The guide features a powerful, yet easy to understand format, and includes scores of photos and illustrations that make it easier to understand. Using a specially designed methodology, Unconscious Putting can help any beginner learn to play golf with confidence and style.

This book carries the stories of the author and some of the biggest names in the sport today who have also struggled with the game. They include Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw, Gary Player, Pat Bradley and more. They provide stories on how they overcame their own problems and reach the top of their game.

7. Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes Gained Approach to Improve Your Golf Performance and Strategy

Our rating: 6 / 10

Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes Gained Approach to Improve Your Golf Performance and Strategy

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Pros:

  • Covers all phases of the game
  • Easy to understand
  • Practical tips
  • Informs of errors and ways to correct them

Written by one of golf’s more accomplished instructors, Michael Breed, this master work on the science of scoring is a must read for those who are serious about breaking down their performance on the course and making consistent progress with the game of golf.

Very methodical and logical in approach, Breed breaks down the game into 10 distinct phases and pulls from a number of key elements from: biomechanics, physics, psychology, and even music. He controls the tempo and monitors the rhythm of the game and illustrates how to tee off properly and make the most critical shots.

Breed aptly emphasizes the importance of a well-timed approach for using the body, especially the legs, in order to hit the ball softly. He also discusses numerous exercises for fine-tuning the swing and enhancing accuracy.

8. Fearless Golf: Conquering the Mental Game

Our rating: 6 / 10

Fearless Golf: Conquering the Mental Game

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By Sean Foley and Gordon J. Temple

Next on my list is a book that considers the mental game. Confidence is a very important weapon in your arsenal of ball-getting skills because it separates the great golfers from the mediocre ones.

This book reveals the ins and out of how you can conquer the mental game in order to improve your overall golfing skills.

9. The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods

Our rating: 5 / 10

The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods

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Pros:

  • Very humorous
  • Interesting to read about the life inside the PGA world
  • Reveals a lot of surprising things about Tiger
  • Easy to read
  • Engaging

Woods, one of the greatest golfers of all time, used to have Hank Haney for a coach. Haney writes a great book where you can get to know a little bit more about Woods, but also understand the planning process of a coach.

More than Woods, Haney presents the inside view of the life of a golf coach inside the PGA tour. He’s someone who has been down that road before, and he now has some interesting stories to share.

Conclusion

There are a lot of golf books on the market today, and even more golf books from the past. With that being said, we wanted to present you with some golf books that are really worth it and that will take your game to the next level.

And, although we recommend a lot of golf books, there are a few that we feel are really the best. Of course, there are thousands of golf books out there so take in our recommendations, and always do your own research.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons And Teachings From A Lifetime In GolfBest OverallHarvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons And Teachings From A Lifetime In Golf
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of GolfBudget PickBen Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your ScoreUpgrade PickDave Pelz's Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score