What’s absolutely wonderful about golf books is that they can cover many topics, both large and small. From golf instruction to life lessons, the sport of golf lends itself to helping the reader become not only a great golfer, but an even better person.
We’ve put together a list of the 15 best golf books that are must-read for offering insight into what makes the greatest golfers and their teachers so proficient at how they approach and view the game.
From Palmer to Nicklaus to Woods, there have been plenty of wonderfully written books on what makes these legendary golfers click on and off the course.
Our list of the best golf books will help you understand the game better, provide tips for fine tuning your golf swing, and how to handle the mental side of playing an 18-hole course.
Last updated on 2023-09-27. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- Featured Recommendations
- Best Golf Books Ever Written
- Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
- Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible
- Jack Nicklaus: Golf My Way
- The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever
- Arnold Palmer: A Life Well Played
- The Greatest Game Ever Played
- Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect
- The First Major
- Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book
- Tiger Woods
- Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game
- Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf
- Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing
- Unplayable Lies: Golf Stories
- The Bogey Man
- Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Best Golf Books Ever Written
Here are our top 15 picks for the best golf books to improve your game:
Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
The Best Golf Books of All Time
For golfers of any skill level, the bible for learning this great game has always been Five Lessons by Ben Hogan.
Even though the book was written in 1957, it continues to be one of the best selling golf books of all time over 60 years later and is labeled a must-read for every golfer.
The book showcases Ben Hogan’s classic swing with commentary directly from the nine-time major champion. For lovers of the history of the game, Hogan’s Five Lessons cannot be missed.
Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible
Marvelous How-to Guide for Your Short Game
If you are looking for a science-based book from one of the most beloved teachers ever of golf, then Dave Pelz has written the bible for greenside game instruction.
His Short Game Bible is a book that any golfer should read to understand how spin, distance, and speed play a huge part in finding consistency around the greens.
Jack Nicklaus: Golf My Way
A Great Guide to Learning How to Play Golf
This complete instructional guide by the Golden Bear is one of the most heralded books for those golfers needing a complete overhaul of their game.
For amateurs to improve they need to devote time to their golf game and this book from the 18-time major winner shows them the right way to accomplish their goals.
With the use of clear instructions and a long list of vivid how-to pictures, Nicklaus covers every aspect of this dazzling game.
The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever
Great for Fans of Golf History
From Mark Frost comes one of the most popular golf history books that you’ll ever read. Telling the story of when legends Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson took on top amateurs Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi.
The Match offers a clearly researched story that entertains like a popular page Hollywood thriller.
For lovers of an entertaining read with a little golf mixed in, The Match delivers epic storytelling with prose that only an accomplished author like Mark Frost can write.
Arnold Palmer: A Life Well Played
Terrific for Fans of Arnold Palmer
One of the favorite golf books over the past couple of decades is Arnold Palmer’s A Life Well Played.
When you get the chance to read the stories of what makes a legend so special, you take the opportunity and Palmer greatly rewards those who sign up for the ride.
For fans of Palmer and early stories of the PGA Tour, Palmer’s memoir is a magnificent story resource that every golfer will love and adore.
The Greatest Game Ever Played
Great Story About the Birth of Modern Golf
Documenting the legend of amateur Francis Ouimet and the 1913 U.S. Open, The Greatest Game Ever Played takes us on a journey to tell a 118 year-old story of the birth of modern golf.
Facing Harry Vardon, one of the most feared professionals on tour, Ouimet delivered a performance for the ages.
Frost writes the Greatest Game with his usual page-turning style and meticulous research that makes the story a wonderful read.
Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect
Remarkable Lessons for Better Focus
From Bob Rotella, comes a longtime golfing classic that professionals have long used to hone their game mentally. Using practical advice, Rotella teaches the same lessons that he’s shared with countless professional golfers.
What’s really terrific about Rotella is that the mental approach he shares within the pages on how to approach the game has a way of spreading out to all areas of your skill set.
Regardless of whether you are playing regularly at a country club or the local municipal course, Rotella’s teachings are universally considered to be highly beneficial for weekend warriors.
The First Major
For Fans of the Ryder Cup
John Feinstein has written several bestselling golf books, but his latest, The First Major, covers the inside story of the 2016 Ryder Cup, one of the most thrilling tournaments in recent memory.
Just days after the death of Arnold Palmer, teams from Europe and America clashed on a course in Minnesota.
Each thrilling detail is covered by John Feinstein with wit for a story that makes for a wonderfully vivid read.
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book
Classic Instructional Guide with Simple Lessons
Harvey Penick has long been considered one of the greatest teachers of the game and in his Little Red Book, he shares all of his treasured golf club swinging lessons that took legendary players like Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw to major victories.
The Little Red Book, written in 1992, has been reprinted so many times because golfing fans fell in love with the easy writing style and relevant lessons provided by Harvey Penick within the pages of his first book.
First-Rate Biography on the Greatest Modern-Day Golfer
Written by longtime sports journalists Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict, the best-selling biography has grown in stature since it was the basis for the highly-acclaimed HBO documentary on the golfer.
The biography goes into so much more detail and is a nicely-paced story.
A wonderful companion with The Big Miss, a memoir by Hank Haney, Woods’ coach for several years, this biography goes into never before seen areas of Tiger’s life to provide a complete picture of how Woods fell from grace and his redemption back to the peak of the golfing world mountain.
Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game
Wonderful Book on How to Harness the Mind on the Course
Zen Golf is another long time fan favorite for amateurs looking to quiet the mind so they can deliver an outstanding performance on the course.
Inside the pages of Zen Golf, you’ll find practical advice that provides perspective and understanding on how to overcome adversity and create the outlook that will have you conquering the links.
A marvelous collection of lessons, Zen Golf is a remarkable achievement.
Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf
Great for Learning Golf From Tiger Woods
Woods’ book is a modern-day classic detailing how to take your club swinging from good to unreal and how to navigate the green with more confidence and authority.
Everything you’d expect Woods to share about his playing style is here in a fun, picture-filled instructional book.
Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing
Terrific Plan for Golfing Workouts
From Joey Diovisaly and Steve Steinberg comes a wonderful instruction book that helps you build a fluid swing from the ground up. If you are struggling with getting your club swinging into sync, then this book is one to read.
Every good golfer can become exceptional with the right help, and this book is certainly required reading for those serious about improving their body to improve their game.
The book lays out a long list of active workouts that golfers can do to increase their strength and tailor their arms and torso to build a powerful set of golfing skills.
Unplayable Lies: Golf Stories
Excellent Book for Golf Humor
From Dan Jenkins, longtime Sports Illustrated writer, comes a collection of golf stories told with the sardonic wit of one of golf’s greatest writers. In Unplayable Lies, Jenkins tells gut-busting stories that will have you on the floor laughing.
Jenkins covers topics ranging from the PGA Tour to Tiger Woods which provides an entertaining time on the course for the reader.
For a series of good tales that makes for even better reading, Unplayable Lies offers a way to see the game through humorous glasses.
The Bogey Man
Classic Golf Tales from George Plimpton
One of the best books about life on the PGA Tour, Plimpton, a longtime journalist, goes deep into the world of professional golfers back when Palmer and Hagen loomed large to bring a tale of what makes pros tick.
Written in the charming style that only Plimpton could bring a story, The Bogey Man has long been considered one of the most cherished sports books of all time.