• July 31, 2022

Golf Books – Take a look at my collection

Being a golf fanatic, it was natural for me to collect a series of books on the subject. I’m actually thirty-two. This collection is eclectic in that it covers every aspect of the game that has been written about. Some of these books were given to me as gifts, but most of them were bought during my years of chasing this crazy game. (Or is the game driving you crazy?)

For the interest of other golf fans looking for a good book on the game to read, I have categorized my collection by subject. Admittedly, you can argue about my categorization, but it should provide some help to anyone looking for a particular aspect of the game. Next, my collection is divided into the following categories.

• Historical (Ancient writings about the game)

• Collections of Comments and Quotes from Writers and Actors

• Instructions

• The mental side of the game

• Course architecture

• Humor

Historical: These are reprints of three of the oldest known books on the game.

Thistle Golf Club Rules by John Cundell, 1824. It is a copy of the first book on golf, containing an attempt to establish a history of the game, as well as the rules in force at the time the book was written.

Some Incoherent Observations About Golf by Robert Chambers, 1862. This book is the third book on the game ever published and gives Mr. Chambers insights into instruction as well as the rules of the game.

Tee Shots and Others by Bernard Darwin, 1911. A collection of essays by Bernard Darwin. Darwin was a top level player who never lost his passion for the game. He was known for never quoting a player. Once, when asked if he would attend an interview of a new British Open champion, he snorted: “My readers want to know why I think he won, not why that fool thinks he won.

The next category is a collection of writings, comments, and anecdotes by and about golfers of all shapes and sizes.

passion for golfedited by Schuyler Bishops, 1998. A collection of pieces written by the best sports writers of the last fifty years that reveal the inseparable relationship between this game and life.

great golf stories, edited by Robert Trent Jones, 1982. A comprehensive collection of writings on the game. It offers the best that has been written with continuous commentary from one of the best course architects.

“And then Jack told Arnie”edited by Don Wade, 1991. Don Wade has been covering the pro tour and collecting true stories about players and the game since 1970. This is a collection of his stories.

The Quotable Golferedited by Gary McCord, 2000. This book is a rich compendium of quotes reflecting the history, lore, agony, and excitement of the game from Will Rogers to Tiger Woods.

golf instruction. No collection would be complete without instruction books. I never kept all the instructional books I bought, but the few I do have include a couple of very good ones.

Tiger Woods – How I Play Golf by Tiger Woods, 2001. Tiger Woods how to play the game. Need I say more?

classic golf instruction by Christopher Obetz, 2005. Lessons from Jack Nicklaus and others with the amazing drawings of Anthony Ravielli. Ravielli’s drawing rewards the reader with an incredible view of the golfer’s body in action.

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book by Harvey Penick, 1992. Harvey Penick’s notebook of his teaching years. Gives his practical wisdom by cutting through the jargon and helping golfers play their best.

fit for golf by Gary Player, 1995. One hundred exercises that will improve your game.

punctuation elements by Raymond Floyd, 1998. Raymond Floyd’s lessons on how to get the ball into the cup with the fewest strokes.

See it and sink it by Dr. Craig Farnsworth, 1997. An instructional book on how to improve your putting by teaching you how to better see the line and hit the ball into the hole.

impact zone by Bobby Clampett, 2007. This book is a unique guide to teaching a golfer to understand how to improve their swing for better club impact on the ball.

think like a tiger by John Andrisani, 2002. An analysis of Tiger Woods’ mental game based on John Andrisani’s experience as Tiger’s teacher from the ages of 10 to 18 and his interaction with Tiger’s family and acquaintances during those years.

Golf course architecture is its own particular type of design. Here are some books written by some of the great masters of the art, as well as one from the younger generation.

golf by design by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. 1993. Jones guides golfers from tee to green and details how architects pose challenges and offer players strategies to meet these challenges.

Golf, as it was meant to be played by Michael Fay, 2000. Scotsman Donald Ross designed more than 400 courses in the US and Canada. In this book, Michael Fay takes the reader on a tour of 18 of Ross’s masterfully designed holes, chosen from courses across the US.

golf never let me down by Donald J. Ross, 1996. Donald Ross’s Lost Commentaries on Architecture, Course Keeping, and Everything Else. These commentaries were written before 1914, intended to be published at the time, but for some reason they were never published. They came to light after Ross’s death in 1948.

Sandy Lyle takes you around Scotland’s championship courses by Sandy Lyle with Bob Ferrier, 1982. Sandy Lyle takes the reader through fairways and greens, describing the challenges of six of Scotland’s best courses. Several photographs and a schematic are shown for each hole described.

The anatomy of a golf course by Tom Doaks, 1992. Tom Doaks discusses his craft and explains the strategies behind an architect’s decisions when designing a course and how he plans to play the course.

The mental side of the game. Golf being the game that it is, sometimes it drives players crazy. It has been said that this game reflects all the positive and negative aspects of life. No wonder so much has been written about this. Here are several books that cover the mental side of the game.

Golf and the spirit by M. Scott Peck, 1999. In this book, M. Scott Peck writes a book for both beginners and experts. He goes beyond the mechanics to explore the deeper themes, the ways to manage the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of this wonderful, maddening, deflating and inspiring game.

The golfer’s guide to the meaning of life by Gary Player, 2001. Gary Player’s fifteen lessons from “Why Play Golf” to “Sportsmanship” and “Motivation” ending with “The Eternal Game.”

golf dreams by John Updike, 1996. John Updike reflects on the game and its mental challenges.

golf for lighting by Deepak Chapra, 2003. This book is a gripping story about Adam, who is playing a terrible game, when he meets a young professional teacher named Leda. In seven short but insightful lessons, she teaches Adam the essence of the game that explains so much about life itself.

A nice ride pampered by John Feinstein, 1995. John Feinstein has written an account of the life of a professional golfer on the PGA Tour.

Links by Lorne Rubenstein, 1991. Links is about the essence, mystique and intrigue of the game, and the magic that draws people from all over the world.

Finally, golf humor. If you play regularly, you need to have a sense of humor about the game and particularly about your game. These are some of the most humorous books ever written.

Divots, Shanks, Gimmes, Mulligans and Chili Dips by Glen Waggoner, 1993. The first half of this book deals with Waggoner’s life on the professional tour as a writer and observer. The second half covers the life of a hacker, stick throwing, and everything in between.

Golf by Stephen Potter, 1968. Humorous lessons on gambits and stratagems a gambler can use to win.

The Down Hill Lie by Carl Hiassen, 2008. Carl Hiassen’s chronicle of his shaky return to the game after a 30-year absence and the subsequent destruction of his self-esteem will have you laughing out loud. A book for all game lovers.

golf a la carte by Peter Dobereiner, 1991. A collection of some of the best work by Peter Dobereiner, dean of golf writers and surely one of the funniest men to ever stroke a pen and hit a club.

The art of thick golf by Michael Green, 1967. Humorous anecdotes about a hacker’s experiences in the field.

And probably the prize in my golf humor collection:

the golf bus by PG. Wodehouse, 1914. Thirty-one humorous tales from the fairway to the putting green from the clubhouse to the sand trap from the master of comic fiction.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my useful collection. It should keep you reading about the game for some time, and hopefully provide you with a few laughs along the way.

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