Book Review: Golf List Mania!

Golf List Mania! by Leonard Shapiro and Ed Sherman is exactly what it sounds like: a huge pile of golf-related lists.

Who doesn’t love a good list on the topic of golf? I’ve done a number of them myself over the years. They’re fun to do, they’re a good way to dig into any facet of the game and its history, and they’re a great way to spark debate.

Who are the top five players of all time? What are the ten best tournaments ever? Name the five greatest shots you’ve ever hit. Name the five best shots you’ve ever seen. The list (of lists) is virtually infinite.

Shapiro and Sherman did some serious brain-storming to come up with most of the 100-plus lists included in the book. It’s filled with some creative, well-researched lists that are fun to read and thought-provoking.

But they did one better. They also included lists by notable figures such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Jiyai Shin, Ian Baker-Finch, Ron Sirak, Dave Kindred, Jim Nantz, Peter Kessler, and a number of others.

I can’t exactly review a book of lists without doing a list of my own. Here are a few of my favorite lists from the book:

  • My Five Most Memorable Golf Shots (by Arnold Palmer). I love the fact that The King can rattle off his five best shots, some 50 years after the fact.
  • Why We (Occasionally) Hate Golf. Everything great has a dark side. Golf is no different.
  • Worst Bodies/Best Golfers. The fitness craze is mostly a new phenomenon. One thing that many pros shared with amateurs in days gone by was similar non-attention to physique, with some notable exceptions, of course.
  • Golf’s Greatest Traditions. There are a boatload. I don’t envy the work involved in whittling the list down to ten.
  • The Wit and Wisdom of Lee Trevino. The Merry Mex has always been known for his memorable quotes.
  • Stuff You Probably Never Knew About the Masters. A Masters list is always a good thing.
  • Golf Clichés. This list is better than most… better than most!
  • The Difference Between the Pros and Us. Another one that could go on way beyond seven items.
  • Biggest Chokes. It’s painful to watch, but it happens to the best of us sometimes.
  • Resumé Gaps. Hard to believe The King never won a PGA Championship.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I can’t say I agreed with every item, but that’s the beauty of lists. The greatest shot, greatest tournament, greatest player, the best, the worst, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

One thing is certain: the lists in this book will get your mind churning and you’ll come up with your own counter to many of the items. And, of course, many of the entries can’t be disputed. Or can they? There’s only one way to find out. Read it for yourself and we can continue the debate.

The bottom line is, I highly recommend this book. It’s a fun read, it will educate you on the history and traditions of the game, and will be a great source of debate among you and your golfer friends.

Golf List Mania! retails for $15. Click here for more information from the publisher.


  1. Greencat856 says:

    Are you going to include this book in the next golf book giveaway? I might like to enter.

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