18 Best Golf Books of All Time to Improve Your Score [2024]

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During my younger years, I developed a habit of collecting the best golf books of all time – almost 100 at the time. I spent countless hours reading them, always searching for new tips to enhance my understanding of the game.

One book that has remained my personal favorite over the years is Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons.

Drawing from my experience as a golf instructor, this article is my way of sharing with you the books that have made a significant impact on me and my golf students. I’ll also guide you in selecting the ones that could best benefit your own golf game.

18 Best Golf Books of All Time By Category

Finding great golf books does not have to be complicated; it’s best to start with a category and go from there. Feel free to jump ahead to the section you’re interested in below.

Here are some of my all-time favorites, each of these I’ve read likely more than once! 

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Best Golf Books For Seniors 

Senior golfers have a slightly different look at the game of golf than younger players.

Whether you have been playing the game your entire life or have just started, it’s very often easier for seniors to see the magic that golf can be and appreciate the sport just a bit more. 

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book

Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, best golf books of all time

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book is perhaps the most well-known golf book of all time. If you are even somewhat interested in the game of golf, you can fly through this book. 

Penick was one of the greatest golf teachers ever, and he would make notes after lessons about golfers and the things he was discovering. These notes were eventually put into an interesting, funny, educational book, and truly a golf masterpiece. 

I have always loved Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book because I can keep picking it up and getting more information from it every time. 

The Eternal Summer 

The Eternal Summer

Great golf books are not always going to help us change something in our swing; sometimes, they can just be about appreciating all that this sport is.

The Eternal Summer is a book about Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Ben Hogan in the summer of 1960. 

On a rainy day when you can’t make it to the golf course, this is the book I would pick up and read.

You will find that it’s easy to read and gives insight into why the game is so great and what we can learn from these players that will make modern-day golf even better. 

You Can Shoot 70 At 70: Age Defying Breakthroughs for the Senior Golfer

Best Golf Books of All Time, You Can Shoot 70 At 70.

Maybe your goal is to break 80 or 90, but having a book that helps break down precisely what a senior golfer needs to take their game to the next level is extremely helpful.

Seniors usually have a different road to breaking 70 than the golfer who can hit 315 off the tee. 

The key, and the main point of this book, is that if you have the right things to focus on, your game can be greatly improved. 

Best Golf Biographies or Golf Autobiographies

One of the reasons we love the game of golf is because of the professionals that we support and watch. Reading stories of the pros can be inspirational and entertaining. 

Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar

Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography

If you follow professional golf at all, you likely know the impact that Phil Mickelson has had on the game through the years. Phil Mickelson does not follow the path of all players, and it makes his journey intriguing. 

In recent years, Phil really chose to do his own thing. Whether you agree with the way Phil lives or not, we can all admit he’s one of the greatest lefty golfers ever.

I found this book to be an interesting insight into Phil Mickelson’s life and how and why he is the way he is. 

A Life Well Played: My Stories

A Life Well Played: My Stories  by Arnold Palmer

The world of golf would not have been the same without Arnold Palmer.

Palmer was truly one of the nicest and most endearing golfers to have ever played the game. Watching him play golf inspired everyone to get out there and swing away. 

I love any book about Arnold Palmer, but this one is filled with great stories and tales about his life. If you don’t already know it, Palmer lived a fascinating life, different from other professional players. 

If you’re up for a short, fun read, you’ll definitely want to read one of the best golf history books.

Best Golf Books For Beginners 

Starting the game of golf is overwhelming; this is why it makes sense to choose golf books that break down the information for new golfers.

These books do a great job of simplifying what is otherwise a very complicated game. 

Golf All-in-One For Dummies

Golf All-in-One For Dummies

The Golf For Dummies book is a great beginner’s golf guide. We wouldn’t recommend this book for the golfer that has been playing for a while, but if you need a general guide to get started in the game, it does a pretty good job of breaking things down. 

Keep this one around as a reference guide to go back to. Golf has a lot you must remember, so having a guide to check in with from time to time is a great benefit. 

Fast Guide to the Rules of Golf

Fast Guide to the Rules of Golf

The rules of golf are certainly not the most fun area of the game to work on and practice; however, it does pay to know what the rules are.

If you are new to the game, don’t think of the rules as a way to punish golfers; instead, use it to help you when you can. 

The Fast Guide to the Rules of Golf breaks down some more complex rules and ensures that beginner golfers have a solid understanding of what matters the most. 

The Four Foundations of Golf 

The Four Foundations of Golf 

For golfers learning the game, it makes sense to learn it the right way and build skills that can last the rest of your life.

We like The Four Foundations of Golf because it talks not just about the basics and their importance but also about the enjoyment of golf. 

Some golfers are truly miserable, and there is just no reason for this; golfers should be having fun on the golf course. 

Best Golf Short Game Books

The short game is one of the best areas of the game to work on if you want to score lower. This is especially the case for the senior golfer who maybe experiencing slower swing speeds.

Here are some of the best short game books that you can find. 

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Ben Hogans Short Game Simplified 

Ben Hogans Short Game Simplified 

In some golfer’s minds, Ben Hogan was the best player ever. Even if you think other golfers have done better, Hogan has an excellent swing, and his fundamentals have helped shape the world of golf. 

This Short Game Simplified book takes Hogan’s short game and shows us how and why it works. The book is easy to understand, well laid out, and leaves you with actionable steps to get better on and around the greens. 

Putting My Way Book: A Lifetime’s Worth of Tips from Golf’s All-Time Greatest

Putting My Way Book: A Lifetime's Worth of Tips from Golf's All-Time Greatest

No list of golf books is complete without something from Jack Nicklaus. Similar to how Tiger put out an instruction book on his game, so did Jack Nicklaus. However, this specific one talks just about putting. 

Putting is an area of the game that many golfers find to be unenjoyable to practice.

If you are one of those players, you would likely enjoy what Putting My Way offers. We love how this golf book takes some complex concepts and makes them easier for golfers to dial in their abilities on the green. 

Dave Pelz: Short Game Bible

Dave Pelz: Short Game Bible

If this is your year to really make a change in your short game, the Dave Pelz Short Game Bible could get you there.

The Short Game Bible is a classic golf book with so many great tips and pieces of advice to help a player of any level. 

What I love about the short game and this book is that you can take small steps toward making big changes in your golf game. 

Best Golf Psychology Books

The mental side of golf is just as important as the physical side.

If you have been playing for a while and haven’t started working on the mental side, chances are you are leaving strokes out on the golf course. 

Zen Golf: Mastering The Mental Game 

Zen Golf: Mastering The Mental Game

If you get into the golf psychology thing, you will notice that all of the experts have different opinions about what to think and how to think. This is one of the great things about the game of golf. 

I like the Zen Golf book for a player who has not done much with the mental game of golf yet.

Zen Golf introduces why golf psychology is so important and some really easy ways to get better at thinking.  It can also help you improve your golf course management strategy.

Mastering Golf’s Mental Game 

Mastering Golf's Mental Game 

No golfer can master the mental game until they learn how to do it.

Training your brain for better efficiency on the golf course is entirely possible; you must know how to do it. 

Mastering Golf’s Mental Game is one of the best books for breaking down different strategies, incorporating more of the right mindset into your game, and ultimately shooting lower on the golf course. 

Best Golf Swing Books

Working on your golf swing is a lifelong project. Some golfers like to do this with the help of a professional, while others do better on their own.

Here are some books that have impressive information about becoming the golfer you want to be. 

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

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

Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons is my favorite golf book of all time.

However, I’m not the only one to feel this way about this book.

Ben Hogan was an incredible golfer, and he was brilliant when it came to breaking down the golf swing. 

This book breaks down the critical areas of the game and how you can improve, and he’s very matter-of-fact about what it takes to play better golf. In addition, his information works! 

How I Play Golf by Tiger Woods 

How I Play Golf by Tiger Woods

Whether you like him as a player or not, we can all agree that Tiger Woods knows how to play the game of golf!

This book breaks down his strategy and the way he has approached the game, as well as the basics and fundamentals that led him to be great. 

Regardless of your golf handicap, you will find great information here. How I Play Golf is a book you can reference for years to come. 

Hang The Banner: The Proven Golf Fitness Program Used by the Best Golfers in the World

Hang the banner book cover showing famous golfers with their trophies after a tournament.

We can’t really talk about the importance of the golf swing without the importance of golf fitness.

In recent years, golf exercise and fitness has become a necessary component in playing a great round of golf. Whether you are new to the game or have been playing your whole life, it pays to be in good shape to play. 

However, what works for golfers is entirely different than what works for runners, tennis players, soccer players, etc.

Hang The Banner helps golfers understand how and why to work on certain areas of their bodies to improve play. 

Funny Golf Books

If you stick around the game of golf long enough, there are some funny things that will happen.

These books can give you a good laugh and sometimes make you the funniest one in the foursome. 

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Golf’s Best Excuses: 150 Hilarious Excuses Every Golf Player Should Know

Golf's Best Excuses: 150 Hilarious Excuses Every Golf Player Should Know

Do you have that friend that tells you the pressure in the air is tough for them that day, or their left toenail is bothering them, and that’s why they slice? Golfers hate to admit that sometimes they just make mistakes!

Golf’s Best Excuses is a funny book that gives us even more insight into just how crazy golfers can be! 

Why You Suck at Golf: 50 Most Common Mistakes by Recreational Golfers

best golf books of all time - showing one of the funny golf books, why you suck at golf.

Why You Suck At Golf is a funny and educational look at the mistakes that most recreational golfers make.

This book will give you a few laughs but, at the same time, help you make some more intelligent decisions on the golf course.

Keep this one in mind if you struggle to break out of that high handicap range. While it’s not technically a golf coaching book, you’ll sure come away with some helpful golf tips.

Final Thoughts

We hope you now feel a bit more prepared for your next reading adventure. There is truly no shortage of golf books, and once you find the authors you like, you can watch closely and look for more releases. 

I highly recommend having a swing-related book but also reading some of this great golf history books to ensure you are seeing the full picture of all golf has to offer. 

Don’t forget that you can always get free golf books by joining your local library. This is a great way to save a bit, especially if you don’t desire to keep the book on your bookshelf.

What is the highest selling golf book of all time?

The long-time highest selling golf book is Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons. It is one of the most outstanding golf books that is just as relevant today as it was years ago. Most golf professionals will recommend it as their go-to for foundational golf instruction books.

How can I get better at golf book?

You’ll want to read our favorite best golf books for beginners: 1) Golf All-in-One For Dummies 2) Fast Guide to the Rules of Golf 3) The Four Foundations of Golf

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Brittany Olizarowicz is a Class A PGA Professional Golfer with nearly 30 years of experience. Many of her teaching years were spent training senior golfers. In recent years, Britt's career has moved to golf writing, where she shares her knowledge with a global audience. Britt is still a scratch golfer and enjoys playing golf with her husband and two young children several times a week.

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