Required Reading

I do a fair amount of book reviews at Life in the Rough, but I wanted to list out the books that I feel that every golfer should read. These are books that will definitely improve your game. Below, in each section, you’ll find a link to my in-depth book review for each.

Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible

shortgamebible.GIFDave Pelz is widely recognized as one of the top short game teachers in the world. In fact, he has chosen to limit his teaching to golf from 100 yards and in. His Short Game Bible covers every aspect of the game within 100 yards (except for putting). After reading the book, you’ll know how to hit just about every shot within the scoring zone. You’ll also understand how Pelz developed his fundamentals through research, and how to apply that knowledge to hitting better shots where it really counts.

Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible

puttingbible1.jpgWith the same scientific study Pelz used to map the short game, he also took the mystery out of putting. His Putting Bible is a very detailed look at the fundamentals of putting. He doesn’t just tell you how to putt a certain way. He tells you why. He explains how his research has shown things like how you probably under-read break on putts and how the “lumpy donut” affects your putting game. On top of all that, he’ll teach you a reliable, repeatable putting stroke, how to learn from feedback devices, and much more.

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book

penick.gifLittle Red Book is THE golf instruction book. It’s a boiled-down version of the vast golf knowledge of one of the greatest golf teachers the game has ever known. Penick taught some of the great players of the game, including Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw. His method was not reliant upon angles and planes, but upon feel and wisdom. The book is quite easy to read and understand and came directly from decades of notes that Penick kept. Compiled shortly before his death, Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book is billed as the best selling sports book of all time. If you’ve never read Little Red Book, then you’re missing out on something special.

Golf is Not a Game of Perfect

Golf is not a Game of PerfectThe mental game is such an important part of golf that is simply overlooked by a vast majority of amateur players. In Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, Dr. Bob Rotella gives us a window into the mental game of golf. You’ll learn how to quiet your mind and develop the kind of mental attitude needed to maximize scoring.

This book has absolutely added a dimension to my game, and I believe it will do the same for you.

How I Play Golf

howiplaygolf.jpgHow I Play Golf is a chance to learn from a man who will likely go down as the greatest player the game has ever seen. In it, Tiger Woods shares information about every facet of the game and how he approaches play, practice, the mental game, and much more.

Since it was written, he has revamped his swing a couple of times, but don’t worry, because this isn’t a swing manual. It’s more of a look at his approach to the game, with some technical information included.

The Plane Truth for Golfers

planetruth.jpgIn his book, The Plane Truth for Golfers, Jim Hardy opens our eyes to the concept of swing plane.

The concept of the one-plane and two-plane swing has been around for a long time. However, Hardy teaches that both types of swings are valid, but more importantly, there are separate fundamentals for each, and mixing them can lead to decreased playing ability.

The Plane Truth for Golfers carefully guides us through both sets of fundamentals, starting with address and finishing with the follow-through. If you’ve been combining aspects of these two swing concepts, then reading this book may be an eye opener for you, giving you information you need to greatly increase your consistency and ball striking ability.

  • Book review upcoming. In the meantime, I covered the concepts some in a post here.
  1. hanon says:

    Required reading: ” The impact Zone. Mastering the moment of truth ” by Bobby Clampet . It´s a must. Go and see the reviews into Amazon.com

  2. Putt2Win says:

    Just joined and looks like a great site. I wanted to add one that helped me immensely. Get Zen Golf it was great book. I picked up Zen Putting and it was some of the same info in the first book. I would pass on the Zen Putting.

  3. Double Eagle says:

    Thanks for the recommendations, guys. The Impact Zone is queued up on my night stand and I’m very interested in reading Zen Golf.

  4. Joe says:

    I also liked several other books not mentioned. I read “Inner Game of Golf” years ago. It was good for the mental game. Jim Flick has a good book called “On Golf” which covers all aspects of the game. Another book I read recently was called “Whats a Golfer to Do”. It was more of a “tips” book but still a good read and it did have some pretty good tips. I did enjoy the Penick series of works. For those looking to break 90, I read a book titled “How to Break 90″ It has some good lessons as well. Shawn Humphires wrote a good book, “Two Steps to A Perfect Swing” whcih I also recommend.

  5. Sharon says:

    I absolutely LOVE Harvey’s Little Red Book. His illustrations of the “bird” and the “bucket” really helped my swing tremendously.
    Another book I’ve grown to appreciate more every time I read it is John Feinstein’s “A Good Walk Spoiled.” I learn so much from his stories and anecdotes just as much as I do from the technique of other books. This one’s all about getting a real perspective on the mental game.

  6. Sam Goble says:

    The favorite for me is Harvey Penicks Little Red Book. The biggest part of my swing I am working on right now
    is to avoid standing up out of the shot and blocking it right. Last time I practiced I was working on brushing the
    grass with my irons. I was not taking very much of a divot, which I loved seeing. I was picking it right off the turf.
    I am getting my arms swinging more and not throwing my body around so much.

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