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The Best Golf Books to Transform Your Game

What do you get the golfer who has everything? How about a book to show him where he's been going wrong all this time? Greens aren't the only things we like to read - golf books are a staple part of everyday life for most average golfers.

When not playing or watching, we're flicking through magazines, scrolling our phones, and gorging on the written word online.

Sure, we can always reach for the newest copy of Golf Monthly or Golf Digest, but when it comes to golf improvement, there's a whole library of great books bursting with golf swing information to help us connect the dots.

We can be guilty of heading to the range to hit 100+ balls with our newest swing thoughts - before abandoning those same feels after a half bucket of sadness. (Yes, we're speaking from experience on this one!). If that sounds familiar to you, we have one question: how much does that approach ever truly help your game? Sometimes? Rarely? Never?

A better use of your time might be to leaf through some of the world's best golf books. They can only help your understanding of the golf swing, the science and mechanics involved, and how to perform at your best when the chips are down.

6 of the Best Golf Books for 2023

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons - Ben Hogan

If you're struggling to remember what a pure golf shot feels like, why not pick the brains of the best-ball striker the game has ever seen? Surely it's as good a plan as any, right?

We all crave simple instructions to develop a repeatable golf swing. You'd think it would be easy today with the advancement of technology and masses of free instructional content online, but watching two YouTube videos on a similar golf theme can just as easily leave your head spinning.

Though it was released in 1985, Ben Hogan's Five Lessons is still one of the best golf books for cutting through the BS and getting to the heart of what makes a great golf swing. It gives you simple, easy-to-follow advice on the fundamentals of golf, and it's beautifully illustrated too.

If you have an analytical mind and like to get into the minutiae of the swing, this is the book for you. You should find some real golden nuggets to help elevate your game.

Golf is Not a Game of Perfect - Dr Bob Rotella

Golf instruction will get you so far, but taking that extra step and becoming a consistently good golfer will require a solid mental game. That's where Dr. Bob Rotella comes into his own.

Golf is Not a Game of Perfect is somewhat of a mental game bible - and best of all, it's an easy read that you'll finish in a few sittings at most.

Where it differs from Ben Hogan's book - apart from the obvious - is that Dr Rotella advocates moving away from obsessing over the golf swing mechanics and towards a positive mindset on the golf course.

For a fraction of what you're likely to spend this year on new clubs and other equipment (which, let's face it, could very end up in the shed gathering dust), this little book could help you unleash your most important golfing weapon - the power of your mind.

Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game - Dr Joseph Parent

Another title to help your mental approach is Zen Golf. The author, Dr Joseph Parent, has worked with many PGA Tour Professionals, and his techniques have helped Vijay Singh and Christie Kerr reach world number one.

You'll have heard the phrase that you're only as good as the space between your ears - well, Zen Golf helps you get out of your own way on the golf course. The general theme can be simplified to three key messages. Remove the complications. Become more present. Put your best swing on the ball. It might sound overly simplistic, but it gets results.

Could it help your game? There's only one way to find out.

Harvey Penick's Little Red Book - Harvey Penick

We need to be honest here - despite its popularity, this is a golf book we have yet to read. That said, we've had plenty of rave reviews, so it goes on our list.

Harvey Penick was a caddie from the age of eight and was lucky enough to carry for some of the best golfers in the world. His 'Little Red Book' is a collection of notes, anecdotes and golf exercises from his time on Tour, and it puts technical golf movements and jargon into everyday, understandable language.

For much less than the price of a single lesson, you're getting 50+ years of experienced teaching. It's also one of the best-selling golf books of all time - that's as powerful a recommendation as you're likely to find.

Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible - Dave Pelz

One of the best things about Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible is that, even if you take nothing else away, it highlights just how important the game is inside 100 yards. Given that your performance in the scoring zone will often determine your day on the links, that's a result in our book.

Dig a little deeper, and you'll learn how to meaningfully improve your pitching, chipping and bunker play - even those Hollywood flop shots, too.

It's a 'bible' full of helpful tips and accompanying background information. We love that Dave explains what to do and tells the reader WHY to perform specific actions. Explaining the consequences of different courses of action helps us all understand the short game that little bit better.

How I Play Golf - Tiger Woods

In his book, 'How I play Golf', Tiger gives us a little insight into his life as a golfing GOAT and also takes time to break down the key parts of the game into manageable, easy-to-digest sections.

He deconstructs the game with simple tips on putting, the short game, the full swing, driving, the mental side and diet and fitness (an often neglected area). Any opportunity we get to learn from a champion of the Big Cat's standing, we would be crazy to pass up.

Don't be put off by the fact that it was first published in 2001. Tiger's golf tips are as relevant today as they were then. We're not sure the fashion has stood the test of time just as well, though.


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