Table of Contents
Looking for the best golf books of all time? Read on for our golf expert’s guide to books you’ll love to read next.
Golf books can not only help you take your golf game to the next level, but they can also inspire you to become a better player.
When I was younger, I collected probably close to 100 golf books, and I would read them continually, always looking for more information about the game.
Finding great golf books does not have to be hard; it’s best to start with a category and go from there.
Here are some of my all-time favorites, each of these I’ve read likely more than once!
The best golf books of all time are separated by the following categories:
- Best Golf Books For Seniors
- Best Golf Biographies
- Best Golf Books For Beginners
- Best Golf Short Game Books
- Best Golf Psychology Books
- Best Golf Swing Books
- Funny Golf Books
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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 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.
Read the numerous 5-star reviews by golfers:
“I started playing when I was in my early 60s, and as most golfers do I have good and bad days. I have had lessons by a good golf pro, even bought new irons. I improved, but not as much as I thought. This book helped take what my golf teacher taught me and helped me get my head more in the game. The book goes over the basics like holding the club, hand position, swing. But takes you into unusual areas like in your mind swing a bucket of water (you’ll have to read the page or two this is on to get the just), but this has helped me with my new (golf pro) grip and the rithium of the swing…. Get and read this book, there is a lot more in it that may help you.”– J. Holloway, (Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book review)
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.
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
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
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.
Read what reviewers are saying about one of the top golf books:
“…Shipnuck is more than fair in his portrayal of Mickelson and his family. He shows us both sides of a life: the good and the bad of Phil Mickelson.
First of all, Shipnuck let’s us see Phil Mickelson in action as a person. He shows us a man who signs autographs endlessly for his fans ala Arnold Palmer. I think Phil modeled his on course and off course behavior with the fans after Arnold. He felt that having a crowd support him is better than the crowd being against him….
However, there are those who would not. Phil can be offensive with his mouth often calling people by nicknames. Some are nice; others condescending. Phil showed himself to be a leader and a motivator…”– Shakespeare66, (Phil, Best Golf Lessons Books review)
A Life Well Played: My Stories
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 read one of the best golf history books.
“It is Arnold’s journey through life. How he was raised, what he was taught, how he accepted his parents example and how he applied Their lessons to his growth, to his own life….
…Each of us just needs to appreciate and be grateful for our parents and the lessons they taught us. Yes, golf was his ticket to having a notoriously public life, however, and more importantly, his life would have been just as solid without the notoriety which golfing brought to him. A wonderful human being, a person worthy of emulation.”– Jim, (A Life Well Played, Best Golf History Books review)
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
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
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 of the more complex rules and makes sure that beginner golfers have a solid understanding of what matters the most.
Read what reviewers are saying about this golf book:
“Are you a golfer who plays with argumentative friends who have a penchant for violating the rules of the game? Tsk, Tsk especially when you are playing for money. So set your cheater competitors straight with the knowledge they need to win with honor or lose with dignity. Essential reading and frequent reviewing for the avid golfer.”– B. (Fast Guide to the Rules of Golf, Golf Instruction books review)
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.
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.
Jack Nicklaus: Putting My Way
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
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
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 that 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.
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 just have to 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 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!
Read reviews the highest selling golf book of all time:
“I’m 68 years old and getting back into the sport after a 6 year layoff. I have worked on the grip and keeping the elbows close together through the entirely swing for 3 days and have eliminated my slice. Additionally I have found that I hit the ball further that I should for my age. I will continue to follow the advice of the best golfer ever. This is going to be fun.”– Larry, (Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons, Golf instruction books review)
Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf
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.
Read what other reviewers are saying on this book:
“This is the holy grail of books to have. Tiger has shared his expertise on how he approaches Golf. The Golf swing is explained in detail and there are many pictures where Tiger breaks down the components. I would say this is a must have because Tiger Woods gives out tons of information on a variety of shots, techniques needed to master Golf. Tiger Woods is great legend and puts in a lot of work. This has helped me out loads and I will keep this book in my Golf bag because to me its like Tiger is guided on the Golf Course.”– ABZ, How I Play Golf, Amazing success book review)
Hang The Banner: The Proven Golf Fitness Program Used by the Best Golfers in the World
We can’t really talk about the importance of the golf swing without the importance of golf fitness.
In recent years, golf 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.
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
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.
Read the many 5-star reviews on this golf book:
“…Being an ardent golfer, I have read many books about golf, mostly written by the pros…Although most of these “instruction books”, if I may call them that, are very good and the pros are obviously masters in their field, some of them can get very complicated and hard to understand.
…Here’s a little gem of a book that tells us what is wrong with the game of golf, for about 90 percent of the people playing it. Little tidbits of important information that other, more elaborate books may or may not mention: Getting at the golf course too late, so you can’t warm up, are all flustered, and duff the first hole. Wasting your energy carting a golf bag around that is too heavy with unnecessary equipment, too many balls, jackets, etc.
…I really liked “Why You Suck at Golf” and learned a lot from reading it. I will definitely buy Mr. Scarff’s other golfbooks, and recommend him to other fellow golfers!”– Hendrik (Why You Suck at Golf, Greatest Golf Books review)
Final Thoughts: Best Golf Books of All Time
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.
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.