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Golf books are a golf fanatic’s best friend. If you are a true golf enthusiast, you probably don’t get enough of the game in the limited amounts of time that you get to play golf. And, after the Golf Channel (wink), golf books are perhaps the best way to connect with the experience of the game while you’re away from it. Here are some of my favorite golf books:


The Inner Game: Golf Books About Golf as a Spiritual Practice


Extraordinary Golf: The Art of the Possible
by Fred Shoemaker, Pete Shoemaker
To me, what most people call the “mental game” of golf is much more than that. Golf actually has the spiritual power to be life transformational, and Fred Shoemaker is the “real deal” when it comes to illuminating this. I did a golf school with Fred. ( ) He walks his talk in every way, and this book is very worthwhile and very accessible. Just the connection to throwing clubs and your inherent, natural abilities is worth the time and money. Overall, this golf book is very clear and will help you develop a powerful, positive attitude for the great game of golf. And, this (in my humble opinion) is something most golfers sorely need. Shoemaker is one of the true masters of the inner game. If you are attracted at all to the higher dimension of the game, this golf book is a must read. Buy now at »

The Inner Game of Golf
by W. Timothy Gallwey
Tim Gallwey is better known for The Inner Game of Tennis, but his exploration into the inner game of golf is clear and effective. In fact, this book really made a difference in my game. There was something about the way he connected me with his experience of connecting to his own natural ability to helped me connect to mine. This book is filled with useful, practical advise and it’s a fun, easy read. Highly recommended. Buy now at »

The Cosmic Laws of Golf (and everything else)
by Printer Bowler
This is a more fun approach to the spiritual dimensions of golf. It’s meaningful yet doesn’t take itself too seriously. Right from the start, I found his description of the twisted mental gymnastics that most golfers experience delightful. Bowler moves from there into some innovative visualization exercises, all with a lightness of heart that can help you enjoy yourself more and play better too. Buy now at »

Golf is Not a Game of Perfect
by Dr. Bob Rotella
Rotella is one of the more famous mental game gurus, and this is his essential work. Solid advise written is a clear manner. A positive ride that can’t hurt and can help. Buy now at »

Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game
by Joseph Parent
Parent is Vijah Singh’s mental game coach. This is another useful golf book. It’s more of a meditation on the game and the art of letting go from an excellent Buddhist-inspired perspective. A solid approach if you have the presence of mind to put it into practice. Buy now at »

Golf Novels: Golf Books that are More than Good Stories


The Legend of Bagger Vance
by Steven Pressfield
Forget the movie. This book is actually based on the Hindu classic, The Bhagavad Gita. (Bagger Vance = Bhagavan. Ranolf Junna = Arjuna) It’s probably my favorite golf book. It’s certainly the only one I’ve read three times. I consider it to be a must read. I wish as many people would read this as have read Golf in the Kingdom. I liked this MUCH better. Maybe that’s partly because I am a something of a student of Indian philosophy, but I also found it far more entertaining. It’s a great story filled with insights as well as a profound, cosmic perspective. I found the movie to be a real let down given how rich, fulfilling, and soulful I found this book to be. Pressfield is a great writer, and if you are a golf fan and haven’t read this, I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Buy now at »

Golf in the Kingdom
by Michael Murphy
I suppose this is a classic of golf as spiritual practice. Shivas Irons is a charming character and the insights about the game are fun and on target; yet, as a novel, I found it lacking a solid narrative. Still, it’s worth the journey. Buy now at »

Golf Books About the Culture of Golf


My Usual Game
by David Owen
Owen is a wonderful writer who uses this book to provide an extraordinary ride through the world of golf from Augusta to Scotland, from the Ping factory to a hysterical romp via the “man van” through Myrtle Beach. Many laugh-out-loud scenes and mini-adventures told with panache and polish. Good fun and a valuable perspective masterfully told. Buy now at »

Bud, Sweat and Tees : A Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour
by Alan Shipnuck
A fascinating "inside the ropes" perspective on life on the PGA Tour. Yes, there’s plenty of beer and babes, but there’s also a real adventure on Tour as Rich Beem wins the PGA in his rookie year. How’d he do that? This golf book is quite amazing as golf entertainment in a gossipy way that is, as far as I can tell, totally non-fiction. I learned something about the importance of focus on the golf course too. Great fun! Buy now at »

A Feel for the Game
by Ben Crenshaw
Crenshaw is a gentleman with a noble history. His golf memoir is as gentle as his demeanor, but also has the added richness of his relationship with the great golf teacher, Harvey Penick. It was a pleasure to get to know Crenshaw better through this book. While it was hardly a revelation, it illuminated the man behind the highlights, and I found him worth knowing. Buy now at »

Other Resources


Article: “A New Beginning—Golf Book Collecting” by Shivas Irons Society historian, Peter Shaerf provides a unique and personal perspective on golf literature. Also, I highly recommend the The Journal of the Shivas Iron Society. Issue 1 was nothing short of inspirational and beautifully designed as well.


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