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Best Books for Golfers


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Reading Jack's Golf My Way. Cool book to feel connected with his thought process.

 

Other recommendations:

Hogans - 5 Fundamentals of Golf

Rotella - Golf is not a game of perfect

Rotella - Putting out of your Mind

Brodie - Every Shot Counts

Barzeski/Wedzik - Lowest Score Wins

 

The last two are more strategy books on playing percentage golf.  Really good info, just have to practically apply.  I read those before the start of every season as a reminder. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone here read "The Golfing Machine" by Homer Kelly? I've heard it's got great information but is a bit of a difficult read. Prices for used copies are always in excess of $50 as well, so have yet to pull the trigger for something that I might not enjoy reading.

 

 

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I don't do much reading at all, but I did read the little red book at the end of last year and it was good. I need to pick up other golf related reads, I just can never tell myself to sit down and read.

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Off of Plaid's suggestion, I got the Michael Breed book: The Picture Perfect Golf Swing. It's been a great tool in my video analysis.

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Been looking for some ideas on how to improve my game and have been looking for a book/approach on strategy for playing and practicing. I have been researching every shot counts, lowest score wins, and the decade program. Found some good videos in the decade approach and it all makes sense, I understand the concepts behind strokes gained so I am not looking for an explanation on that aspect. I think I am really looking for a evaluation program so I can measure improvement whether it is practice or an actual round. It seem like lowest score wins might be the best option based on limited availability of information; there is no preview of the book or table of contents listing available for me to see what is included.

 

I am generally pretty cheap so $30 for a book seems pretty expensive especially if it isn't going to provide what I am looking for. I tried used. Is amazon and I hav to say I find it shocking that a used copy it $10+ more than buying a new copy.

 

I saw the earlier post that recommended it for a newer golfer so I am wondering if anyone else has read the book and found value in the provided information. Or if anyone else has recommendations on a practice plan. I am comfortable off tee so I am pretty sure I want to focus on iron play to hit more greens and short game to get closer to the pin. both if these areas seem to be the recommended areas to improve scores.

 

I am not looking for a mental approach to the game so no Rotella or Vision54 type recommendations. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

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I'd say one of the absolute best books for beginners is Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf

Caution when reading this book... It has been noted numerous times that what Hogan presents in the book are, in-fact, not what he's doing in real-life with his swing. It may have “felt” that way to him, but it wasn't what he practiced.

I bought it years ago and three different pros said “caution”.

 

 

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I say find a book that CONFIRMS your pro's teachings to help give you another way to look at the same thought/movement/process. If you go out and buy a book that is counter to what he's teaching you, you'll end-up with conflicting thoughts, and then you're down the road to having problems. There are THOUSANDS of books written on the swing... Caution!!!!

 

 

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So... I'm a 20 handicapper with an ambitious, but in my opinion attainable goal of shooting in the 80's by the end of this season, 70's next season, and scratch soon after. I have a new coach who is awesome (if you're in the Long Island area and need a good coach let me know) and my lessons and all are helping tremendously. But I have found that by following my lesson plans and drills I get one dimensional at times and don't progress as quickly as I'd like. But then after reading certain books, I've had that "AH HA!" moment nearly every time where something I thought was "good" was really totally wrong, or I didn't totally understand something my coach told me to do, or any number of other reasons.

 

So I'm curious to know what books would you all recommend to a newer golfer, or just any golfer in general. Maybe it's an author who explains things in a way that you "get it" every time (I feel like Hank Haney hits the nail on the head for me all the time), or maybe a book that changed your game completely, or simply one you just love. I've read and like "The Plane Truth for Golfers", and found it to be very helpful with my particular swing in breaking down feels vs. reality and drills that seem to work for me. I learn best from gathering tons of information, so my goal is to get the best from the best folks in golf... The MGS Community. Thanks!!

 

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I'm in a similar position (handicap) and an avid reader. The books mentioned are great reads,  but I ended up categorizing my reading into two major areas; skill development and mental game. That would be my recommendation to you as well. If your looking for swing or putting skill development many of these books hit the mark - but be careful of information overload. On the mental game (which is where I needed the most help), Rotella's book was a great starting point - but the one I really liked better is 'Be a Player' by Nilesson & Marriott. The latter provides concrete steps to building the mental part of the game. Note the authors are the creators of Vision 54 and have a number of books..  

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As others have said Ben Hogan's five lessons works extremely well (especially if you overlap grip, but still works for interlock); and Penick's red book for justification and acts as a quick reference.

 

I personally recommend, Nick Faldo‘ A Swing for Life. Instruction is simplified, well written, and he explains little nuances in great detail.

Also, Leadbetter's Positive Practice is a quick and understandable read, ( as opposed to the A Swing, which sounds a lot like stack and tilt).

I'd also recommend Phil's Secrets of the Short Game, but only the chipping, pitching, and bunker play. The putter section lacks a bit of luster.

 

 

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Not sure if I saw it or not, but I would put James Sieckmann - Your Short Game Solution ahead of Pelz book.

 

Pelz is guilty of over complicating things at times (although his analysis is spot on). Sieckmann will give you the simplest approach to the short game I have read to date. 

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The Art of War by Sun Tzu.   Many times the battle on the course is won or lost before getting on the course.   Never fight a battle on the course that you know you cannot win, play within your ability.   The course is what you must defeat, know its tactics.

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The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Many times the battle on the course is won or lost before getting on the course. Never fight a battle on the course that you know you cannot win, play within your ability. The course is what you must defeat, know its tactics.

So never tee off until my opponent has the rising sun in his eyes?

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I"m with Tony.  The book, "Be a Player" is my top book on developing on course skills to improve your gome.  The earlier book by the same authors is also very good:  "Every Shot Must Have a Purpose".  The two are complementary.  I would start with the first book and then move on to "Be a Player."  There are three books in the series.  The second book in the series didn't help me as much as the first and third.  It build on the ideas of "Every Shot", but didn't move the needle like "Be a Player."

 

"The Practice Manual" by Young has a lot of good stuff in it, including lots of specific drills to help you improve skills.  It is a bit dense if you are not interested in learning theory, but worth the read.  The first section and third are quite good.  The first time I read this, I skimmed the theory parts and concentrated on the practical stuff.  I later went back and read the entire book carefully.  I guess I just wasn't ready for all the theory the first time I read it.  

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  • 2 months later...

First book I would get would be Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible....read it practice his drills and you'll drop strokes around the green.

I wholeheartedly agree!

 

I'm only 6 chapters in and feel I'm a different golfer. He points out so many things that I have never thought of from 125 yards and in and how to conquer these shots.

 

 

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The Masters: Golf, Money, and Power in Augusta, Georgia by Curt Sampson.

 

This is a great story about all the history behind Augusta. If you like this book then I also have to recommend Hogan by the same author as well.

 

These books won't help your game but they will make you love the game even more.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

A book that I was really fond of was Golf is not a Game of Perfect.  It talks about the mental side of the game.  

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A book that I was really fond of was Golf is not a Game of Perfect. It talks about the mental side of the game.

I love the title and know nothing else of the book. If I can keep reminding myself of that, I'm sure it will make the rounds much more enjoyable.

 

 

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May not be the best but I thoroughly enjoyed it... Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime by James Dodson

 

Highly recommended

 

 

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May not be the best but I thoroughly enjoyed it... Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime by James Dodson

 

Highly recommended

 

 

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Oh man. My favorite Golf Author. I've read everyone of his golf books and can't recommend them enough. Final Rounds and Son of the Game are good ones to start with.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

just finished the Rotella book - "golf is not a game of perfect"... quick read (finished it in about 2 days) and some good insightful stuff that stands the test of time.

 

moved on to "the impact zone" by Bobby Clampett... interesting read and it does has some good stuff.  his BIG thing is "4 inches in front of the ball" ... meaning that should be the deepest part of your divot and that too many players don't take one or start their divot at or behind the ball....he also really harps on getting a lot of lag in your swing.  I know, those are 3 letters that cause a lot of grief in the golf swing, but he does have a point about making sure you maximize the power/force in your swing and don't "lose" it prior to impact.

He doesn't tell you how to swing in the book - his concept is swing it how you want but make sure you follow these 5 'dynamics'.... worth it if you haven't read it yet.

 

look forward to more book recommendations as I've been looking through this thread for suggestions.

on my list ... unconscious putting by stockton....short game solution by james sieckmann....one of the nilson/marriott books

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  • 2 weeks later...

First book I would get would be Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible....read it practice his drills and you'll drop strokes around the green.

 

So I ordered a used copy of this book through Amazon for $10 including shipping.  When I opened it up, I saw that it was autographed by Pelz.  How cool is that?

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Ive read tons. More story or bio type than instructional. Some of my favorites.

 

John Fienstein

-A Good Walk Spoiled

-Open: InSide the Ropes at Bethpage Bkack

-The First Major -2016 Ryder Cup

-Caddie for Life Bruce Edwards Story

-Tales from Q School

-The Majors the story of 2003 Majors.

 

James Dodson

Anything by him and thank me later. But start with

Final Rounds

 

So many more. But those are my two favorite authors and I've read just about everything from each of them.

 

 

 

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  • 4 years later...
On 7/8/2017 at 6:28 PM, gaussman1 said:

Get "The Golf Omnibus" by P.G. Wodehouse. A collection of his short stories written in the early 1900s. Wonderfully funny. You won't learn any technique but you will get a look into the heart and soul of the game.

The only thing better is to get the audio versions read by Jonathan Cecil. Perfect for the golfer on a road trip.

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