A great resource that teaches you the finer points of playing golf, the best golf instruction books offer a wonderful insight into what makes the best golfers so successful.
From short game tips to the inside stories on what makes PGA Tour major-winning champions, these books help amateurs fine tune their golf game at their own pace.
On our list of the best golf instruction books, we’ll take a deep dive into the classics from golfers like Jack Nicklaus and Byron Nelson and then take a look at some of the modern classics from instructors like Dave Pelz.
Each book will provide a road map to lower scores with tested fundamental approaches that are guaranteed to help you post your best personal score.
Last updated on 2024-02-13. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- Featured Recommendations
- Best Golf Instruction Books
- Five Lessons with Ben Hogan
- Zen Golf
- The Big Miss
- Little Red Book
- The Wedge Book: An Owner’s Manual for Your Short Game
- Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible
- Golf is Not a Game of Perfect
- Golf My Way
- The Match
- Golf in the Kingdom
- Play Golf the Wright Way
- A Life Well Played: My Stories
- The Elements of Scoring
- How to Play Golf For Beginners
- Every Shot Counts
- Five Lessons with Ben Hogan
Best Golf Instruction Books
Here are our top picks for the best golf books:
Five Lessons with Ben Hogan
Five Lessons with Ben Hogan: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf has long been considered to be the bible of golf instruction. A timeless classic, this golf book details the secrets that made Hogan one of the greatest golfers of all time.
What makes the book so beloved is the illustrated lessons within its pages. Instead of just reading and translating on the course, Hogan shows you exactly how to replicate the tips to better your game.
With nine majors under his belt, Hogan was well regarded for his ball striking and this book, co-written by Herbert Warren Wind, provides a clean path for helping you increase the quality of your contact.
One of the best mental game books for serious golfers, Dr. Joseph Parent outlines the best way for players to find focus and clarity on the course.
Professional golfers have used Zen Golf to deal with adversity on the course, with the most popular fans of Dr. Parent including iconic players Phil Mickelson and his six major titles and Vijay Singh.
Great for golfers that need help eliminating the noise, Zen Golf is a mental weed cutter that provides straight talk for improving your game.
Written in a straightforward, easy-to-understand style, Dr. Parent minimizes the technical jargon to help an avid golfer discover the best way to play good golf.
The Big Miss
The book works on several levels, from golf instruction manual to insight into what makes the best all-time golfer perform at such a high level.
A blue-collar kid growing up, Hank Haney offers a unique glimpse into his method of coaching the best on the PGA Tour.
Although criticized as gossip in parts of the golf world centered around Woods, the Haney book pulls back the curtain on the greatest golfer of all time. Great for serious golfers who want advanced details on improving, Haney’s book is an exceptional book.
Little Red Book
From Harvey Penick comes the timeless Little Red Book. Like the best golf instruction books, Penick gives golfers a straightforward personal lesson approach that can be used on the range or course.
Golf books like the one from Harvey Penick are treasures that can be consulted again and again throughout the years.
Using his trademark red spiral bound notebook at Austin Country Club to take notes on golfers such as Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw, Penick developed a series of easy-to-follow drills that helped golfers get their game back on track for decades.
With a wry sense of humor, Penick effortlessly provides a series of digestible lessons that are so clear and concise that even a young junior golfer can understand.
The Wedge Book: An Owner’s Manual for Your Short Game
One of the modern classics for attacking your short game comes within the pages of The Wedge Book. From Brandon Stooksbury, the book helps good golfers find their edge from inside 100 yards.
As most instructors believe, Stooksbury takes you through a step-by-step plan for the practice range that helps you develop the same skill set that advanced golfers enjoy on the golf course.
Regardless of the wedge in your bag, the book shows you how to swing with dead aim to save more pars and lower your overall scores.
Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible
A longtime short game guru, Pelz focuses on the green with his Putting Bible. Tackling everything from form to important distance strokes, Pelz thoroughly examines what makes great putters perform at a high level and how amateurs can build their own putting skills.
A short game bible for all golfers including high handicappers and beginning golfers, the personal lesson-style of Pelz’s approach is incredibly appealing.
What’s really terrific about the Putting Bible is that Pelz clearly shows a detailed plan on how to use the one club that is most important to your final score.
Golf is Not a Game of Perfect
The classic from Dr. Bob Rotella tackles the mental side of golf.
Mental coach to esteemed golfers such as Nick Price, Davis Love, and John Daly, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect has long been considered one of the best golf instruction books when it comes to the subject of creating a fierce spirit that handles adversary and attacks the course with energy and positivity.
Dr. Bob Rotella has crafted a masterpiece of golf psychology that can help dial-in a swing and find the rhythm during your next trip to the local country club.
Golf My Way
From the legend Jack Nicklaus, Golf My Way is one of the most formidable golf instruction manuals on the market today. A timeless classic from the Golden Bear, Nicklaus takes you methodically through his approach to playing this great game.
Starting with his distinct swing to his unorthodox putting approach, Nicklaus offers a tested fundamental plan to improve your skills.
For golf fans, the Nicklaus book is a golf digest of extended lessons and relatable anecdotes, alongside the best golf instruction you’ll find from a professional golfer.
From golf writer Mark Frost, The Match details an entertaining David vs. Goliath story that took place in 1956.
A million dollar bet between two millionaires brought together Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan against two amateurs, Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi, in a best-ball, winner-take-all match.
While the book might seem a strange choice to include on a golf instruction list, the depth of storytelling by Mark Frost makes it one of the best hybrid golf books for amateurs.
Not only does the reader get a delightful golf-centric narrative but a solid lesson-driven look at the mental aspect of attacking the golf course.
Golf in the Kingdom
Easily one of the best golf novels ever, Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy offers an existential look at what makes golf such a spiritual game.
Tracking a single day in the life of an avid golfer, the novel shows why humans are so attracted to the ups and downs of the great game.
Although most golfers would never classify the novel among the best golf instruction books, Golf in the Kingdom is an essential guide about conquering the mental aspect and creating joy each time you step onto the links.
Play Golf the Wright Way
From one of the greatest women golfers of all-time, Mickey Wright, comes a classic manual for playing your best golf – Play Golf the Wright Way.
Utilizing pictures and informative instruction, this golf book provides a clear and concise look at Wright’s gorgeous golf swing.
Great for golfers of all ages, the book takes the personal lesson approach to heart, creating drills to improve the same skill needed for every shot.
For years, golfers have used her chapter on the psychology of putting to help better understand and execute on the putting surface.
From front to back, Wright’s opus on building the swing and finishing strong with the putter delivers expert analysis.
A Life Well Played: My Stories
While Arnold Palmer has written several golf instruction books, perhaps the most enjoyable is the recent collection of stories that spans his life from business to golf.
Like the yarns of an experienced head pro, Palmer details the lessons he’s learned with a golf club in his hand. From finding his unbelievably unique swing to playing his best golf later in life, Palmer shows the same skill as a writer as he had on the links.
The Elements of Scoring
Raymond J. Floyd, a four-time major winner, details several important areas for amateurs to improve.
Floyd’s chapters include top 10 mistakes that weekend warriors make, why the 6-foot putt is the most important in golf, and how to play to your strengths after building your tested fundamental approach.
Other chapters tackle tougher subjects for amateurs including why bogeys are good for your game at times and how to maintain a clear mind while playing to avoid meltdowns.
More thorough than a golf magazine, The Elements of Scoring is a great place to start for the advanced golfer looking to reach a personal best.
How to Play Golf For Beginners
The book moves point by point through the rules of the game, handicaps, etiquette, gear, and types of games you can play on the links.
A recent update to the book includes more advanced information such as how slope and elevation affects shotmaking and how to hit high spin and low punch shots.
Every Shot Counts
For golfers that are into advanced analytics, the Every Shot Counts by Mark Broadie could revolutionize your golf game.
Using the Strokes Gained Approach, Every Shot Counts provides readers with the information that cuts away the noise and leaves them with a clear-cut idea on how to improve their game.
Chapters include a discussion on finding the newest stats for reducing wayward shots and how to improve on the green. While the book might not read like a golf classic written by Herbert Warren Wind, it does speak to the data-driven golfer.