Golf Books Provide Instruction And Entertainment In The Off-Season
Just because you’ve hung up your clubs for the season doesn’t mean you can’t think about golf until the spring thaw. Winter is the perfect time to sharpen your mind (and maybe your game) with a few golf books.
Golf books can appeal to golfers of any playing ability. Some books address the psychology of the game, and some address the mechanics of the swing. Some books feature the best courses and holes around the world, and some tell the stories of the game’s greatest players.
Whichever kind of book appeals to you—fiction or non-fiction; instructional or humorous—you’re bound to find a golf book that will instruct, motivate, and inspire you throughout the off-season. In the long interim before winter melts into spring, settle into a comfortable chair, brew a warm beverage, and crack open a golf book.
Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf by Ben Hogan. This classic instructional book can get beginning golfers started with basic swing fundamentals and help seasoned golfers hone and refine their swing. Filled with detailed illustrations, this book is a favorite of many teaching professionals.
How I Play Golf by Tiger Woods. What golfer doesn’t wish they had Tiger Woods’s swing? No matter how one feels about Tiger and his celebrity, no one can dispute his mastery of the game. There are plenty of instructional illustrations to help you swing like Tiger.
Feeling Naked on the First Tee by Ann Kelly. Since golf has always been a male-dominated sport, women can feel too intimidated to hit the course and tee it up. Kelly’s book offers the beginning woman golfer a crash course in all things golf—equipment, rules, terminology, and fashion. If you want to get your girlfriends on the course this spring, this may be the perfect Christmas gift to get them ready.
Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game by Joseph Parent. Doesn’t it seem like your best rounds come when you don’t have to think about your swing and all your shots are effortless? This book will provide tips on how you can clear your mind and let your body take over on the course.
Putting Out of Your Mind by Dr. Bob Rotella. Drive for show, putt for dough, right? In the typical par round, about half of your strokes will be putts. Any improvement in putting will help improve your scoring. In this book, Dr. Bob Rotella, of Golf is Not a Game of Perfect fame, tackles the mental obstacles to good putting. Learn to clear the mind and sink the putts.
This Life I’ve Led by Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Before Annika and Michelle, Babe Didrikson Zaharias broke gender barriers and golfed against the men in professional tournaments. She did this in 1945. Every female golfer should know about this early pioneer of the game and overall tremendous athlete (before she even started her golf career, she won two gold medals in the 1932 Olympics). This autobiography is out of print but can be bought from used booksellers or found in libraries. There are also several biographies of Babe available.
Down the Fairway by Robert T. Jones. Read the thoughts of Bobby Jones, the only player ever to accomplish a Grand Slam. Jones offers his thoughts on golf and recounts some of his most famous matches.
Coffee Table Books
Fifty Places to Play Golf Before You Die by Chris Santella. This book points out spectacular places to play golf, not necessarily famous courses. Each location is spotlighted with pictures, a course history, and travel advice.
Lost Balls: Great Holes, Tough Shots, and Bad Lies by Charles Lindsay. Combining humor and photography, Lost Balls will assure you that the tough lies you had last summer maybe weren’t so bad after all.
The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes by George Peper and the editors of Golf Magazine. Coming in at 456 pages, this book will surely help any despondent golfer survive winter. Thumbing through all the pictures will have golfers fantasizing about spring and forgetting about the winter wonderland just outside their doors.